Located along the North Coast 500, Keiss Harbour House is a stunning, contemporary-styled historic house on the edge of the Caithness village of Keiss, 12 miles south of John O'Groats. The five bedrooms, three bathrooms, open-plan kitchen with seating and a roaring fire, spacious reception rooms with two further fireplaces, make it ideal for entertaining groups of friends or family gatherings. Pet-friendly and well-equipped.
This area is ideal for those seeking an active holiday, with surfing and golf being local specialities, or for a more relaxing break, with sandy beaches, fishing and many historical and archaeological attractions in easy reach. This is also an ideal base for trips to the Orkney Islands, or boating and wildlife tours. Or why not just sit in an armchair in front of one of the three real fires, looking out over the sea?
The far northern highlands of Caithness are an unexplored gem of Scotland. There are fascinating archaeological remains and historic houses and museums to visit, surfing, golfing, walking, and easy access to the Orkney Islands. Whisky, gin and vodka distilleries are all within 10 minutes of the house. The stunning northern coast of Scotland and the north-western Highlands are also within easy reach.
Keiss Harbour House has five bedrooms and three reception areas, arranged over two floors.
The reception rooms in Keiss Harbour House are located upstairs, to take advantage of the sea views. The upstairs rooms comprise:
Spectacular 'Great Hall’ style living/dining room with vaulted ceilings and a handmade wooden table to seat up to 16 people or more if you're close, two seating areas with sofas and armchairs, with an open fire and a wood burning stove at opposite ends of the room.
Breakfast room open to the kitchen with an open fire, lounge chair and table, and a small dining table with 4 chairs for more intimate meals - also an ideal games table.
Fully equipped kitchen with island seating for 5 where you will find extras such as a wine fridge, two refrigerators and a freezer, Nespresso coffee machine, slow cooker and lobster pots. Shower room with toilet.
The Great Hall, kitchen and breakfast room all benefit from spectacular sea views.
The bedrooms and bathrooms are downstairs, accessed from a beautifully lit corridor: Three double bedrooms (two with balconies). One twin bedroom. Bunk room with two sets of bunks. Large shower-room with bench that doubles as a steam room and toilet. Bathroom with hand-held shower and toilet. Laundry area with washing machine, iron and tumble drier.
The bedrooms and bathroom all benefit from spectacular sea views.
The house has the following facilities: free Wi-Fi. Two open fires and a stove. Steam room. TV with Freeview. Bose Sound Dock plus stereo with iPod dock. Games and jigsaws, novels and local reference books. Underfloor heating throughout, easily controlled by wall thermostats in each room. Stair gate, cot, high chair, children's crockery, games and toys. Locked store (cellar) for surfing gear, fishing equipment, etc. All heating included with logs and coal provided.
Keiss Harbour House forms part of the historic harbour in the village of Keiss. The house directly overlooks the harbour, which is still used by fishing boats. On sunny days, the harbour provides a delightful area for sitting outside, watching the boats come and go. The fishermen still use the cellars below the house to store nets etc and you can usually buy fresh crab and lobster right off the boats.
The Keiss village pub is a five-minute walk up the quiet village road, where you will always receive a warm welcome (it's also the source of all local knowledge). It's best to enquire first, but they serve food. Open only on weekends (Friday - Sunday), Smuggler's Inn is a charming pub at the 600 year-old Ackergill Tower which you can see from the house along the bay.
From the doorstep of the Harbour House, you can walk to beaches in either direction - both rocky and sandy. Every step is a walk through history - as you walk north from the driveway of the house you will see the cliff-side ruins of 16th-century Old Keiss Castle which was replaced by the current 'newer' house in 1755. Between the house and the castle, you will pass the remains of two ancient iron-age brochs, and a WWII 'pillbox'. Situated in Sinclair's Bay, the Harbour House looks directly across at Noss Head Lighthouse and Sinclair-Girnigoe Castle which comprise impressive 15th-century ruins which you can walk around in.
With several castles and ancient archeological ruins, staggering geological formations, sandy beaches, and a stunning 18-hole links golf course - Keiss Harbour House enjoys a very fortunate setting in the centre of Sinclair's Bay.