When it comes to creating the ideal holiday cottage, few can have got it more 'right' than the owner of Fern Cottage, just outside the village of Strachur near Loch Fyne in Argyll.
This substantial, modern, but traditional-looking house is accessed by a quiet lane and stands in its own large grass garden on the hillside, with fine views across and down the wooded valley, with summerhouse and patio area. There is ample parking at the door.
If the situation is a fine one, the interior is a real revelation and has surely been a labour of love for the owner. Every detail is in place, even down to bedside drinking glasses which co-ordinate with the decor! The light and bright entrance hall leads to a spacious sitting room with multi-fuel stove.
The kitchen-diner/family room extends right along the back of the house with ample comfortable seating and TV/DVD so that the head chef need not feel isolated while she/he (one can always hope!) works her/his magic on the Aga range cooker, perhaps fortified by a raid on the dedicated drinks fridge. Also on this level are a twin bedroom, a shower room and a utility room.
Upstairs, both double bedrooms are en suite, and there is a charming little room with full size bunk beds which will especially appeal to children in the party. All bedrooms have iPod chargers and radios. The Fern theme runs through the house, and it can be fun trying to spot the motif in the various rooms.
Strachur, on the shores of Loch Fyne, is a popular holiday village, with an excellent village store/cafe and, of course the famous Creggans Inn. It is easily reached, too, either by driving along Loch Lomond and over the pass of Rest and be Thankful, or by taking the 20 minute ferry ride from Gourock to Dunoon and then driving along Loch Eck.
The surrounding area offers great walking, biking and fishing. Dunoon and Inveraray on the other side of the Loch, have all facilities, golf courses etc and Inveraray Castle and the Town Jail are also well worth a visit. At the head of the Loch you will pass the Loch Fyne Smokery, a good opportunity to stock up on fishy and other goodies.
Those interested in gardens will find they are within easy distance both of the NT gardens at Crarae, Ardkinglas Woodland Gardens at the head of the loch, and the Benmore Botanical Gardens on the way to Dunoon. A stroll up romantic Puck's Glen is also highly recommended while you are there.
Further afield, you can head from Loch Awe and the west coast at Oban, the Crinan Canal, or even the Mull of Kintyre.
Bed linen, towels, electricity and the first £20 of oil-CH are INCLUDED. Sorry, pets are not accepted and smoking is not permitted in the cottage. Wi-Fi is available, subject to provider.