Fortingall, just northwest of Aberfeldy in beautiful Highland Perthshire, is one of the prettiest (think roses round the door thatched cottages) and most historic villages in Scotland. Tucked away on the little single track road to Glen Lyon, Scotland's longest glen, it is a haven of peace and tranquillity which yet boasts a very fine hotel offering excellent meals.
In the corner of an elegant courtyard setting, between the hotel and the wooded hillside right behind, are Fortingall Stables, a superb and quite spectacular conversion of, well, an old stables complex.
As soon as you walk through the arch to the recessed front door, you know you are in for something special, and the interior of this spacious and exquisitely appointed house has wall-to-wall Wow factor. It almost goes without saying that the owner is an interior designer. The vast, open plan, galleried living area has a wood burning stove and doors opening to the secluded rear garden (furniture), where you can walk out right on to the hill. Downstairs, there are two bedrooms, one with en suite shower room, and a further bathroom and upstairs there is a very large bedroom with two beds, with a further sofa bed (charge) on the broad landing.
The first thing that strikes one outside Fortingall Stables is the quietness. Standing in the garden behind, looking across the valley, you will probably hear only birdsong and perhaps a busy woodpecker hard at work in a nearby tree. At the same time, the famous Fortingall Yew is only a few yards away in the neighbouring churchyard. This historic veteran, at around 4,000 year old, is the oldest living thing in Europe, and was already middle-aged at the time of Christ. Which is another story, for Fortingall is reputedly the birthplace of Pontius Pilate (one of the many, it must be said) who was said to be the offspring of his Roman legionnaire father and a local girl.
Glen Lyon offers great walking and cycling, or by taking the road over to Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch (water sports) you can climb Schiehallion. Water sports too are to be had in plenty on Loch Tay. There is golf at Kenmore, Aberfeldy and Killin and by the time you get there (about 30 minutes from the house) you are well on the way to Oban and the west coast, or Loch Lomond.
There is courtyard parking at the door and a telephone. Heating is by electricity. Bed linen, towels and the first £20 of electricity are included. One well-behaved pet is welcome by arrangement. Smoking is not permitted within the cottage. A refundable householder's deposit will be required.
Accommodation (sleeps 6/7):
- Open plan sitting room/dining room/kitchen with wood burning stove, TV/DVD, doors to garden, electric cooker, fridge-freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, microwave etc.
- Double bedroom with doors to garden and ensuite Bath/Shower room.
- Double bedroom.
- Bathroom with bath/shower, WC and wash basin.
- Twin bedroom.
- Gallery with sofa bed.