Information Centre

|Information Centre
Information Centre2020-02-10T15:00:30+00:00

Hello from Kathryn, Visitor Manager

Holidays at Ardtornish are different, because we have a full time Visitor Manager (me!), and a dedicated Information Centre to help ensure that your stay with us is a proper holiday.

The Ardtornish Information Centre is in the Estate Square, and open from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm Monday to Friday and 9.00 am to 10.00 am on Saturdays. It has information about the estate, local places of interest, and good ideas for walks, trips, and nature spotting.

We stock a range of items for sale.

We are proud of our Ardtornish meat – frozen venison, beef and lamb from the estate and farm, of very good quality and the absolute minimum of food miles.

Practical goods include maps, midge repellent, fishing flies, and postcards.

We sell books of local interest – including Faith Raven’s book about the Ardtornish Garden, Prof. Peter Warren’s book about the marbles at Ardtornish House, a range of Sarah Raven’s cookery and botanical books, and Christopher Bacon’s book about almost fifty years at Inninmore.

There is a free to use broadband PC & Wifi hotspot for use while the Information Centre is open, and a post box at the entrance.

We can offer a number of other services during your stay – from domestic help such as baby sitting and mid-week house-keeping to the hire of mountain bikes, boats and all-terrain baby buggies.

Six things you need to know about Ardtornish

From Ardtornish’s heights you can gaze to the mountains of the Hebrides. Ancient woods surround sheltered sea-lochs. Waterfalls drop straight from moorland to the sea. One medieval castle guards a bridge over a rocky river, another the tip of a headland in a strategic sea-lane. In the nineteenth century this largely wild landscape was carefully turned into a model estate: at its heart a stupendous mansion house, half French château, half Victorian engineering triumph. Around its feet are gardens filled with veteran trees and century-old Himalayan rhododendrons, officially described as ‘stunning’. At every turn are elegant and decorative cottages. It would be difficult to find a place in which more care has been taken.
Giant white tailed eagles vie with golden eagles for nest-sites here. The offlying skerries are the haunt of seals and terns. Otter territories ring Ardtornish. Grey geese overwinter on the pastures; barn owls and woodpeckers, falcons and siskins are here year-round. Ardtornish is one of the few remaining refuges of the native wildcat. Pine martens hunt in the woods. A walk in the hills is a journey into the world of golden plover and red deer.
Our twenty miles of coastline includes wide bays fringed with ancient forests, pink granite and black sand beaches, rocky coves, volcanic cliffs, and the quiet waters of Loch Aline. It’s one of the best places to dive, sail, and canoe in the country. A kayak route along our coast is ranked by National Geographic’s Traveler magazine (2011) as one of the fifty greatest tours in the world, “teeming with seals, otters, dolphins, minke whales and basking sharks.” Our freshwater lochs have golden sandy beaches. The BBC says Ardtornish “boasts one of the most spectacular landscapes in the UK.”
With 5,000 acres of native broadleaved woods, over 1,000 acres of certified sustainable forestry, a farm in organic conversion, and some of the most exquisitely designed hydro-electric schemes yet conceived, Ardtornish combines the virtues of a traditional estate with a painstaking approach to the environment. Woodchip boilers are being installed for heat and hot water. Ardtornish is a big place with a tiny footprint.
This is no invented theme park, but somewhere with its roots deep in the past. Members of over a dozen families continue to live and work on the estate, as their fathers, mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers have before them. Community is important to us, as we work with local people to build new houses and bring new enterprise to this remote and much-loved part of Scotland.
Scallops and langoustines, cockles and mussels, pollock and mackerel— all from the sea on your doorstep. Nowhere will you find seafood better than this. With our farm’s lamb and 21-day hung beef, and venison from our hills, you’ll understand why people tend to come back to Ardtornish simply to eat. Our partner business the Whitehouse Restaurant was Restaurant of the Year 2012 in the Highlands & Islands Food and Drink Awards, and a finalist in the same competition in 2015 and the Scottish Restaurant of the Year Awards 2015. It is just up the road in the village of Lochaline – and one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s favourite seaside restaurants.