The Loch Fleet Hideaway, located a caber's throw across the saltmarsh, was Boban's next project. With its smart tin roof and covered decking, and picture windows giving uninterrupted views through the rustling grasses to the shore, it's a birdwatcher's dream bolthole. Curl up on the veranda with a glass of wine as the sun starts to sink, and listen out for the curlews' haunting cry. It's a mesmerising sound - a mindfulness moment straight out of the BBC Springwatch school of meditation.
Next on Boban's agenda is a whisky distillery in the grounds of Dunrobin Castle – the fairytale fortress that is Lizzie's ancestral home.
- It's Springwatch - or Autumnwatch - on steroids; the reserve is home to waders, buzzards, pine martens, otters and harbour seals
- Clamber up the ladder to the mezzanine for stargazing through the window in the roof
- We loved curling up with a gourmet breakfast in bed: delivered in a wicker basket to your door
- Complimentary tickets to the Duke of Sutherland's ancestral seat, Dunrobin Castle, a turreted chocolate-box confection, for booking through i-escape
- The price of staying in a nature reserve with walking trails is that people might occasionally wander past
- For heat and hot water it's DIY - you need to keep the wood-burning stove stoked
- Some might find the decor a little spartan, but the simple, pared-back design means you focus on what's outside
- The extra double bed on the mezzanine is accessed via a ladder, so it's unsuitable for young children
Best time to go
Our top tips
Talking of birds, don't miss the falconry display at Dunrobin Castle.
- Eco Cabin
- 2 bedrooms
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car recommended
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Bicycles Available
The cabin is open-plan, with an L-shaped living area, the bed at the back, and the kitchen and lounge at the front. Picture windows face the covered deck and reveal sweeping saltmarsh views. The surprisingly sleek bathroom is enclosed, clad in dramatic black Caithness stone and wood, with piles of fluffy white towels. There's a ladder up to a small mezzanine with a queensize bed for kids (not suitable for toddlers) and a stargazing velux window.
It might be off-grid, but it's been expertly handcrafted by Boban. The kitchen units are made from honey-hued sycamore felled in Dunrobin Castle's grounds (and replaced with indigenous Scottish trees), while the interior walls are warm terracotta-toned chipboard. The modern mustard sofa is chic, and local artworks adorn the walls. A roaring fire in the large wood-burning stove heats the hut and hot water. It's the best of both worlds: you can go full digital detox but there is a TV and WiFi if you want to stay connected.
- Washing machine
The kitchen is well-kitted out (with a wood-fired stove and hot plate and separate gas rings), but a delicious gourmet breakfast is delivered in a wicker basket – with fresh flowers. Think crispy bacon, roasted tomatoes, free-range eggs (from their hens), a warm baguette and homemade scones wrapped in a cloth, fresh fruit, muesli and organic yoghurt. You'll find a range of kitchen staples awaiting you, such as tea, coffee, sugar, milk, salt, pepper, oil, pasta and rice.
In the nearby village of Golspie, there's a fishmonger along with The Trawler, for sustainably-sourced haddock (battered, breaded or in gluten-free batter) and chips, fish cakes and scampi. At Capaldi's ice-cream parlour, scoop up Belgian chocolate rum truffle, cinnamon latte and after-dinner mint along with more traditional flavours. Or head to Dornoch, where you'll find a local farm butcher's (their own lamb, beef and turkey) as well as The Courtroom, an industrial-chic bar and brasserie dishing up hand-dived Orkney scallops and local game.
- Chef on request
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Hob or stove
- Organic produce
- You can just hole up here. There are walks from the door through the coastal reserve, a tidal basin fringed by fragrant pine forest and peppered with wildlife-watching hides, and mountain bikes to borrow
- Spot wildlife on the mudflats – keep your eyes peeled for waders in winter (curlews, oystercatchers, dunlin and herons), as well as cormorants, buzzards and osprey, and seals basking on the sandbanks
- There are also hills to climb (Ben Bragghie), beaches to comb (Golspie has a long sweep of golden sand), and whisky distilleries if you fancy a dram (Clynelish the closest)
- Fairytale Dunrobin Castle is pure Disney, more grand chateau than forbidding fortress, with elegant formal gardens to wander
- Picture-postcard pretty Dornoch is just a 15-minute drive south, with its wild, dune-backed beach and 13th-century cathedral
- The northeast coast is home to a number of legendary golf courses: Golspie (James Braid-designed), Brora and Royal Dornoch
Activities on site or nearby include:
This is a wonderful place to allow your kids to run wild over the salt marsh and in the surrounding woodland. It's all big open spaces and freedom. Boban and Lizzie have two small children and a big, friendly dog. The whole set-up feels laid-back, relaxed and child-friendly. Nearby there are plenty of bucket-and-spade beaches.
Family friendly accommodation:
There's a double bed up a ladder in the eaves for children.
Families Should Know:
The second bedroom is up a ladder so we don't advise toddlers and small children to sleep there.
- Airport: 1hr 15m (Inverness)
- Hospital: 5 minutes
- Shops: 5 minutes
The Loch Fleet Hideaway is in the Loch Fleet National Nature Reserve, close to the Loch and the coast. It's a 10-minute drive from the village of Golspie, in Sutherland, in the Highlands of Scotland.
Inverness Airport (1-hour drive) is the closest, with flights from around the UK.
Golspie railway station (5-minute drive) has trains to Inverness (2 hours).
It's easiest to arrive by car. There's a parking spot behind the cabin. Edinburgh and Glasgow are a 4-hour drive south, Inverness 1 hour south.
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.
- Inverness Airport 92.0 km INV
- Edinburgh Airport 324.0 km EDI
- Beach 0.1 km
- Shops 5.0 km
- Restaurant 5.0 km