Those who enjoy holiday accommodation which is a little bit different, a little bit special, will certainly find it at Rua Reidh Lighthouse, built in 1910 by David Alan Stevenson, which has a truly spectacular situation on the headland, about 12 miles north of Gairloch in the north west of Scotland.
It is reached by an equally spectacular single-track road across the cliff tops, with amazing sea views. This becomes the private lighthouse road after you leave the tiny hamlet of Melvaig (where there is an excellent Inn), and there are then no further habitations for three miles until you suddenly come upon the lighthouse below you. It really is the most dramatic approach!
The light is now fully automated, so guests have the opportunity to stay in what were the First Officer's Quarters, a ground floor apartment now fully refurbished to make a comfortable holiday home. The owners stay on site and run a small independent hostel from the rest of the building. There is also a small visitor centre showcasing the history of the lighthouse and the wildlife of the area (free entry to residents).
A long corridor runs the length of the lighthouse wing where the apartment is situated and the rooms all open off this. There is a cosy sitting room with multifuel stove, a modern dining kitchen, three bedrooms, one with en suite shower, and a further shower room. The dramatic rocky shoreline is just over the low wall which surrounds the complex. There is a terrace outside the apartment where it is possible to sit out and another more sheltered area within the central 'courtyard'. The views from the lighthouse to the Isle of Skye, the Shiant Isles and the Western Isles are outstanding. There are clifftop walks and beaches to explore, and guided wildlife walks from the visitor centre.
The big attraction of the property is its peace and solitude, remoteness and wildlife - this is the best place in Europe for whale and dolphin watching and the owners carry out a daily "Shorewatch" survey for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation charity.
For practical needs, Gairloch, itself a popular holiday destination, is only a half-hour drive away and offers shops, hotel, restaurants, a golf course, pony trekking and boat trips. On the way, you pass sandy beaches (one aptly named Big Sand) and from the village you can tour to north and south.
Munro baggers can climb Slioch or An Teallach and a trip up to the little fishing port of Ullapool, with more tempting mountains just beyond, is another possibility.
Bed linen, towels, electricity and oil-CH INCLUDED. Up to two well-behaved dogs are welcome under strict control (sheep grazing around the lighthouse). No smoking in the house. Private water supply. Wi-fi available, subject to provider.