Certainly one of our more "unique" properties, Cruinn-leum was conceived as an artists' retreat with recording studio, but it is also offered as a wonderful holiday home. Located in Toscaig, Applecross, the Round House built to high eco specifications, perches high above the narrow road leading down to the pier at Toscaig on the west coast of the Applecross peninsula opposite Breakish on Skye and the Crowlin Islands in a semi-wild location and yet with shopping, dining and filling station nearby. Wester Ross in the North West Highlands of Scotland is a popular tourist destination, renowned for its stunning loch and mountain scenery, fantastic white beaches and abundant wildlife, with its remoteness and slower pace of life offering a peaceful sanctuary from the pressures of modern living.
Applecross and Toscaig are accessed by only two roads, one of which being the infamous 'Bealach na Ba' (Scottish Gaelic for 'Pass of the Cattle') due to it historically being used as an old drovers road to take cattle to market. At 2,054 feet with hairpin bends and gradients approaching 20%, it is more akin to the great mountain passes of the Alps boasting the greatest ascent of any road in the UK. The adventurous few who take this option are however rewarded with the truly spectacular views across the Applecross hills, the world famous Cuillins of Skye and the sandy bay below, though for those preferring a gentler route, there is an alternative longer road in from Shieldaig along the rugged coastline which whilst a less intense drive, still provides panoramic views over the Torridon Mountains and Loch Torridon. The bonus of having such a limited route in is that Applecross has retained a simple unspoilt charm not very evident in most parts of the Scottish Highlands these days.
Cruinn Leum makes good use of its elevated vantage point with the living accommodation upstairs offering a delightful open plan living and dining space with surround sound entertainment and a well equipped modern kitchen. The design of the room offers exceptionally good natural light flooding in through the large windows which also provide wonderful views looking up the loch to Crowlin and the Isle of Skye. The impressive solid oak staircase follows the curve of the external wall as expected with the unique round house design and the attractive log burner in the entrance hallway works well in distributing heat throughout the property. On the ground floor there is a good sized double bedroom with door opening to outdoor sitting area and a large 'studio console desk' doubling as a dressing table reflective of Cruin Leum's recording studio identity. Adding to the unique character, is an unusual yet luxurious cedar wood panelled room with slate floor and underfloor heating, housing a wet room shower, WC and wash basin.
There are a wide variety of activities on offer in the area including superb walking, climbing, cycling, sailing, fishing and kayaking with the gulf stream warmed and calm waters making the latter activities even more appealing. The bay at Sand has a beautiful sandy beach with views over the Inner Sound to Raasay and Skye with nearby Applecross Bay offering one of the largest sandy inlets in the Western Highlands, complete with aquamarine seas and 70ft sand dunes providing the ideal opportunity to experience sand sledging fun!
Local attractions include the beautiful walled garden of Applecross House with its Potting Shed restaurant, the Heritage Centre complete with spinning demonstrations and locally crafted gifts. The award winning Applecross Inn with its 'best pub food in Britain' award, provides great meals as well as the Kishorn Seafood Bar or for locally famed pizza, visit the unusual Flower Tunnel surrounded by a wide variety of colourful plant life. Boasting an amazing clear night sky with little light pollution, the milky way is clearly visible and the Northern Lights can often been seen on clear crisp nights. For nature lovers, the area is teeming with wildlife including red deer, otters living near the pier who can be seen going for early morning swims, buzzards and even golden eagles including a nest on the cliffs in Toscaig. If you leave out jam sandwiches (especially strawberry), the rare pine martens will often come near to the door and eat them of an evening. There are also a wide variety of sea birds and seals can often be seen basking as well as the occasional whale passing through the Inner Sound plus Toscaig pier is locally known for great mackerel fishing in the summer - have the BBQ ready!
Electricity, heating (via log burner, oil filled radiators and under floor heating), towels and bed linen are all INCLUDED. Pets are welcome by arrangement. Sorry, smoking is not permitted in the property. £50 discount applies to the above rates when booking two or more weeks in 2014.
Note: With regards to its recording studio facilities, Cruinn Leum can also be utilised as a project studio complete with an engineer and this can be organised by prior arrangement at a cost of £200. - per week (over and above the normal holiday rental). This includes use of all available studio equipment plus up to 5 hours of technical support from the owner.