Setting Up Basecamp at the Torridon Inn

by Keith Savage · 1 comment

The Torridon Inn, Wester Ross, Scotland

Over the last few weeks I’ve written about the high-end Torridon Hotel and its magnificent 1887 Restaurant, but there’s a lot more to the Torridon Estate. In fact, there’s an Inn that caters to the budget-conscious traveler just a hundred yards from the hotel. The inn used to be the stables for the old hunting lodge that became the hotel, and it comprises 12 recently refurbished, contemporary, ensuite rooms. The attractive, stone buildings are arranged like an upscale motel, and just around the corner stands the Torridon Inn’s convivial pub. What’s more, the Torridon arranges loads of activities from the inn including everything from mountain biking to shooting to pony trekking. While the inn is not aimed at luxury travelers, both the inn’s pub and rooms have been awarded four stars by Visit Scotland.

I had the opportunity to spend a night at the Inn directly after my stay in the hotel to compare and contrast the two accommodations. I journeyed out to Applecross and when I returned in the evening my things had been conveniently ported over to the Inn. My parents and had a separate room, and we parked our car in front of the rooms just like you would at a motel so we could easily unload our luggage. The exterior of the Torridon Inn is nice brickwork that gives away its stabled past.

In our ground-floor room Sarah and I found two double beds and a private bathroom. The windows looked over parked cars, though we could see the hotel not far away. The room itself was clean with simple, modern furnishings and a modicum of decoration, but there were flourishes like the tweed pillows that showed the inn was in the same family as the hotel. I appreciated the good internet and brightness of the space, but the creaking of floorboards overhead and periodic garbled speech made me wish the walls were a little thicker.

Our bathroom was fairly small and a bit dark because it had no windows. This was a perfectly functional space though there was a bit of mildew in places that my better half noticed, and the water pressure had something to be desired.

We decided to eat dinner at the Torridon Inn’s pub, just a minute walk from our rooms. The pub was filled with local families, hikers, and travelers all seeking a meal out and perhaps some good ale and whisky, for there was a surprisingly wide range of single malts and cask ales. The menu featured dishes based on local produce. I ordered a pot of fresh mussels and a pint of Skye red ale that set me up for the rest of the evening.

We were all exhausted after a long day out touring Applecross and the harrowing Bealach na Bà pass, so we called it early. More energetic folk could have whiled away the night in the pub for a night to remember (if possible). I slept wonderfully, maybe even better than at the hotel the night before, but mattress firmness is a personal preference. After getting ready and packing we rejoined at the pub for breakfast where I ordered porridge with brown sugar, cream, and whisky (to pour over the oatmeal). Sadly, the dram never made the trip, but maybe that was for the best. The porridge was hot and filling and catapulted me ahead on my journey.

The Torridon Inn is ideally situated to explore Wester Ross’s gorgeous scenery, and makes a great base or a stopover on the North Coast 500. There are few accommodations (by comparison with the rest of the country) in this part of the highlands, and it’s fortunate the Torridon Inn is such a comfortable and convivial place. I would happily return to the Inn for a few nights to explore this area in more depth, maybe undertake some of the Torridon’s activities. Quality accommodations that don’t break the bank aren’t easy to come by. Bookmark this one!

Disclosure: The Torridon provided me with a complimentary night’s stay. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are mine, as always.

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