On Scotland’s wild west coast, underneath imposing mountains, is the tiny village of Torridon. Sitting on the edge of the deep sea loch is the Torridon Hotel – a luxury hotel in the most dramatic of locations.
A string of white cottages dwarfed by arguably the UK’s best mountains is all that marks the village of Torridon. But despite its size and remoteness, this part of the west coast of Scotland is deservedly popular. The village is a stopping point on Scotland’s famous North Coast 500, a mecca for those wishing to climb the famous munros of Liathach, Beinn Alligin and Beinn Eighe, and for the Torridon Hotel, one of Scotland’s most stylish (and relaxed!) hotels and a destination in its own right. We checked in for the weekend.
The Torridon Hotel
Built in 1887 as a shooting lodge, once home to tech pioneer Ada Lovelace, The Torridon is now a luxury Scottish retreat. With 58 acres of parkland, its own herd of highland coos, the Torridon Inn next door, the friendliest and most helpful staff (ever!) and its spectacular location on the loch, the Torridon Hotel makes for a destination which invites you to check in, and not check back out.
Rooms in the hotel range from classic doubles to four posters, all beautifully restored by owners Daniel and Rohaise Rose-Bristow. For those looking for more privacy, there is also a dog-friendly annex and a self-catering boathouse in the most romantic of locations. Behind the Torridon Inn, they also offer cottage style apartments.
Our deluxe room had a spectacular view of the loch and was opulently furnished with gorgeous Indian paisley details and a bathroom hidden away in the hotel’s clock tower. With a clawfoot bath positioned to take in the view and Scottish treats on the excellent tea tray we delighted in snuggling in the incredibly comfy bed and watching the dark descend over the loch before dinner.
Downstairs, the hotel is all luxury Scottish – tweedy comfy sofas, roaring fires, and wood panels. We settled into the lounge with the hotel’s restaurant menus and an Arcturus Gin. Launched in 2017 and bottled by Dunnet Head Distillery, the hotel’s signature gin is flavoured with botanicals from the estate – Scots lovage, local blaeberries and kelp.
Whisky fans are also well served in the hotel’s award-winning whisky bar with over 350 drams to try and a very affable and knowledgeable barman to help you work your way through them.
If the white tablecloths and hushed tones of the Torridon’s 3 AA Rosette 1887 Restaurant‘s dining room might seem a little formal, the menu is certainly not. Amongst the 7 courses on the hotel’s tasting menu is an abundance of bright green herby foams (from the hotel’s kitchen garden), Japanese-style cannelloni, local beef tartare (don’t worry the coos outside are pets) and short rib of beef is served with peat water rolls and marmite butter. For pudding was an incredible and unusual treacle and tarragon tart. Head chef Ross Stovold has put together a menu with plenty of style and lots of local substance.
The 1887 restaurant also serves a daily changing 4-course menu or a more casual menu is served over at the Inn where the food is more of the traditional pub variety with doorstop sandwiches (which were perfect after a day in the hills) tasty haggis with whisky sauce, mac & cheese, and North Coast 500 burgers.
Breakfast at The Torridon is spoken about in hushed tones by the staff and is well worth reining in an assault on the Torridon’s whisky bar for. Breakfast is served overlooking the loch and includes a traditional Scottish breakfast, grilled kippers from Isle of Ewe and great veggie options including perfectly poached eggs – everything you need to set yourself up for a day of outdoor adventures.
Things to do in Torridon
If you can drag yourself away from your room or fireside perch then Torridon is crying for you to get outside and explore.
If you fancy a gentle ramble:
- Stroll from the hotel to the Torridon boathouse along the loch for an incredible view across to the hills. The Boathouse walk will take around an hour and is flat and waymarked.
- Explore the village, with a walk along the lochside.
- Nearby the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve offers lots of short walks including a sculpture trail.
- For those looking for a longer walk, take the circular route to Loch Damh and the Falls of Balgy, or explore the Aird Mhor peninsula.
For those looking to get adventurous:
The hotel runs its own activity center, offering daily outdoor adventures. Fancy canoeing on Loch Torridon, gorge scrambling, archery on the lawn, or shooting clays out across the bay? For those staying in the hotel, the activities are included in your room rate – it is the highlands of Scotland version of a spa!
Under the tuition of Torridon Activities leader, Charlie, we had our first go at clay shooting, with B quickly getting the hang of lining up his shots, shouting ‘pull’, and hitting nearly every target – including doublers. I proudly hit one clay!
Get up into the Torridon Hills
For hill walkers, Torridon offers some of the finest hill and ridge walking in the whole of the UK, with unusual rock formations, pinacles, and terraces to tackle. There are 3 mountain ranges accessible from the hotel offering 9 Munros to climb on Beinn Alligin, Liathach and Beinn Eighe.
Munro bagging in Torridon should be done with care, and in the summer, Torridon Activities offers guided walks to the top, otherwise, walkhighlands have the routes. Check out my beginners guide to bagging a Munro for some tips!
If you don’t fancy bagging a Munro there are plenty of other hill walks in the area – we climbed up Beinn Damh, a Corbett (901m) accessed directly from behind the hotel for a view across Loch Torridon to hills towering above, in winter, I think it was the better choice!
Oh Torridon, you were incredible!
Love, from Scotland x
Stay at The Torridon
Thanks to the Torridon for having us to stay. Our stay at the Hotel and Inn was complimentary, the gushing is all my own!