The Dunnet Estate

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Sleeps: 18 Bedrooms: 9 Bathrooms: 8
Oliver Approved

Overview

20% Off: Secret Sale!
Wedding Venue Exclusive Recommended Manor Country Estate
Wow Factor
Sustainable Collection
Heritage Collection
Ideal for Kids Walk to Beach Laptop Friendly Workspace Parking Space Northern Lights Viewing Romantic Decorated for Christmas

The Dunnet Estate holds a magnificent location on the north coast of the Scottish Highlands, set on Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of the UK mainland. The 2,000 acre estate boasts remarkable coastal views in all directions and a makes a truly extraordinary setting for a family get-together or special occasion stay. While guests will enjoy total tranquility and privacy, a variety of helpful amenities, including supermarkets and restaurants, can be found in the nearby town of Thurso, less than a twenty-minute drive away.

The home boasts a varied and fascinating history, originally completed in 1906 by Admiral Sir Edwyn Alexander-Sinclair, notable for firing the first shots of the Battle of Jutland. In 1948, the Estate was purchased by Commander Clare and Lady Doris Vyner, a close friend of Elizabeth, HRH the Queen Mother, and invited her to stay at the house in 1953 after the death of her husband, King George VI. During her stay, she spotted Barrogill Castle from one of the upstairs windows, she arranged to view and purchase the dilapidated castle, later renaming it the Castle of Mey, its original name. This story was even touched upon in the first series of the popular tv show, The Crown. Since then the home has been hotel, a private residence and even nearly became a recording studio for Led Zeppelin. The house gradually fell into a state of disrepair until it was eventually purchased by its current owners who have lovingly restored and transformed the house into the beautiful home that it is today.

The ground floor is home to the fabulous entertaining spaces which comprise of the elegant sitting room, library, games room and formal dining room which can comfortably seat up to twenty guests. The kitchen comes fully-equipped with all the tools you could possibly need to create delicious meals, while a second caterers’ kitchen is available for those who wish to really relax and hire in the professionals! The Dunnet Estate can comfortably accommodate up to eighteen guests across the nine beautifully-appointed bedrooms, seven of which feature en-suite facilities, while the remaining two share the use of a fantastic family bathroom. On request, four of the bedrooms can be set up with twin beds, making them ideal for siblings or friends to share.

Outside, wonderful views can be enjoyed from every direction: south to Dunnet Bay, west to Peedie Sands beach which is a short walk away, north to Dunnet head and east to St John’s loch and the Castle of Mey. Any children in the group will enjoy exploring, playing games, and having yummy picnics in the large grounds.

Oliver Approved

What you should know…

  • Those travelling with small children should ensure that they are not left to explore the grounds alone due to the open lochs
  • On request, the games room can be converted into a ground floor bedroom - ideal for any guests who struggle with mobility

Property Features

Wi-Fi/Internet Laptop Friendly Workspace BBQ Washing Machine Tumble Dryer Dishwasher Microwave AGA Electric Car Charger Safety Deposit Box Hairdryer Ground Floor Bed & Bath Smart TV TV Gym/Fitness Room Games Room Indoor Games Table Tennis Table Football Home Cinema DVD Working Fireplace/Woodburner Fire Pit Heating Parking Space Seaview Decorated for Christmas

Ground Floor
- Entrance hall with piano
- Boot room with table tennis
- Sitting room
- Library with selection of books
- Cinema/ TV room
- Fully-equipped family kitchen
- Separate kitchen for external caterers
- Dining room with seating for up to 22 guests
- Cloakroom
- Family shower room

First Floor
- "Bushta" bedroom with four-poster double bed and en-suite bathroom
- "Dwarwick" bedroom with super-king double bed and en-suite bathroom
- "Olrig" bedroom with double bed and en-suite shower room
- "Morven" bedroom with super-king double bed and en-suite shower room
- "Holborn" bedroom with king-size double bed and en-suite shower room
- "Hoy" bedroom with king-size double bed and en-suite shower room (can be set up with twin beds on request)
- "Mey" bedroom with super-king double bed and en-suite shower room (can be set up with twin beds on request)
- "Stroma" bedroom with twin single beds
- "St Johns" bedroom with twin single beds
- Family bathroom

Exterior Grounds
- Walled garden
- Fire pit
- Large grounds
- Lochs
- Walk to secluded sandy beach

Additional Facilities
- Wi-Fi
- TV
- Nespresso Coffee Machine
- Hairdryer
- White Company bed linens
- Gym with peleton, water rower, free weights and TRX
- Travel cot available on request (please bring your own cot linen)
- Parking

* Four of the nine bedrooms can be set up with twin beds on request. The games room downstairs can be set up as a disabled bedroom with accessible bathroom next door if needed, please just request at the time of booking.

Location

About the surrounding area of The Dunnet Estate
Walk to Beach Watersports Sailing Canoeing/Kayaking Rural Location Walking/Hiking Paths Golf Nearby Cycling Horse Riding Stalking/Hunting Northern Lights Viewing Outstanding Landscapes Outdoor Pursuit & Activities Tourist Towns & Villages Historical Sites Surfing Boat Trips
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The Dunnet Estate is situated on the north coast of the Scottish Highlands, while guests will enjoy the tranquil position, helpful amenities can be found in the village of Castletown, less than 10-minutes away. A wider variety of shops and restaurants can be found in the town of Thurso, less than a 20-minute drive away. For those travelling from further afield, Inverness Airport is just a two-and-a-half-hour drive away. A day trip to Orkney can also be easily arranged from the house.

There is plenty for guests to see, do and explore in the surrounding area. Hike across the Estate to the beautiful Peedie Sands or Dunnet Bay Beaches, spend perfect days swimming, surfing and watching the sun set over the Atlantic. For history enthusiasts, the Castle & Gardens of Mey and Old Keiss Castle are well worth a visit and both less than a 30-minute drive away. Any keen whisky or gin drinkers will enjoy informative tours of the Wolfburn Single Malt Distillery and the Dunnet Bay Spirits Distillery, both less than 20-minutes away, be sure to book in advance to secure tickets. Finally, no trip to this remarkable part of Scotland would be complete without a visit to John o’Groats to have a picture taken next to the iconic signpost, just a 20-minute drive away. From here, enjoy a 3km coastal walk to Duncansby Head Lighthouse and admire the truly out of this world scenery.

Read more about Highlands

Local Amenities
Nearest Airport Inverness Airport

(196km)

Nearest Town Thurso

(14.5km)

Nearest Village Castletown

(5.9km)

Nearest Restaurant Northern Sands

(1.1km)

Nearest Supermarket Tesco Superstore, Thurso

(14.2km)

Nearest Beach Peedie Sands on the estate

(1km)

Nearest Ferry Port Thurso

(19km)

Nearest Train Station Thurso

(16km)

Nearest Bar/Pub Northern Sands

(1.1km)

Nearest Shop Spar, Castletown

(7.6km)

Nearest Golf Thurso Golf Club

(19.2km)

Region

Luxury self-catering holiday accommodation in the Highlands

Get ready to embark on a whimsical journey to the Scottish Highlands with Oliver's Travels, where fabulous, characterful homes await in this rugged and enchanting slice of northern Scotland. Mist-shrouded mountains, deep-blue lochs and ancient castles are the name of the game. It is like stepping into a fantasy novel, but with fewer dragons and more kilts!

First up on our Highland hit-list is Ben Nevis, standing at a whopping 1,345 metres. Climbers and hikers worldwide flock to its trails, ready to conquer the mountain and be rewarded with the most incredible views. If you are not up for an epic uphill battle, fear not! The Great Glen Way offers a more chilled stroll along the Caledonian Canal, connecting Fort William and Inverness. It is like a leisurely stroll through nature, with bonus canal vibes.

Now, who hasn't heard of Loch Ness? Home to historic castles such as Urquhart Castle, this legendary spot invites you to channel your inner detective and search for Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Nessie might be shy, but the views are anything but! You will enjoy ruins, mystery and just maybe, a friendly monster waving from the depths.

Inverness, the unofficial Highland capital, is where historic charm meets modern pizzazz. The River Ness weaves through the city, tickling the feet of Victorian buildings. It is a sophisticated dance of old and new. You can stroll along the riverbanks, explore Inverness Castle and soak up the local vibes at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. Heading west is the hidden treasure of Plockton which boasts landscapes so picturesque, you will think you are in a watercolour painting. Whitewashed cottages add a touch of charm and the sheltered bay is the perfect spot for daydreaming. You can take a boat trip to nearby islands or just bask in the coastal serenity. In Fort Augustus, where the Caledonian Canal plays meet and greet with Loch Ness, boating and water-based antics abound. The locks of Fort Augustus are like a watery staircase, a fascinating engineering marvel that turns boat journeys into a spectacle.

The Highland Folk Museum near Newtonmore invites you to step back in time. This living history museum spills the secrets with reconstructed buildings, costumed interpreters and demonstrations of age-old crafts. Another wonder, Eilean Donan Castle is a real-life fairytale fortress perched on a tiny island where three lochs have a meet-up. It is so postcard-perfect that even Hollywood could not resist its charm. History buffs and Instagram enthusiasts, this one is for you!

Of course, we cannot forget the whisky. The Highlands are the holy grail for whisky aficionados. Glenlivet and Glenfiddich distilleries open their doors for guided tours, where you will learn the magic behind crafting Scotch whisky. Sip, swirl and savour – it is a Highland happy hour!

Whether you are scaling castles, conquering peaks, fishing, boating or just lounging by a loch, the Scottish Highlands invites you to a land where nature and history come together in a brilliant way. It is a timeless tale that leaves you in awe. Step into the magic as adventure awaits!

Ah, bonnie Scotland! A wild and beautiful part of the world, where you can explore the rugged highlands or enjoy the colour and vibrancy of cultural capitals like Edinburgh and Glasgow.

But how do you know you’re getting the very best out of your trip? That’s where we come in. If you’ve had a browse through our range of luxury cottages and castles in Scotland, you’ll know there’s some great places to stay, but to find all the great things to do, see and eat you’ll need our handy Scotland travel guide  – so read on and enjoy! 

Download our Scotland Travel Guide >>

Kids

Best Suited For: All Ages
Ideal for Kids Ideal for Teens Ideal for Xmas/NY

The Dunnet Estate makes an excellent choice for families travelling with children who are bound to enjoy playing games on the Estate grounds and nearby beaches. Dunnet Bay Beach just 1.5km away is one of the best surfing beaches in the country and there is a surf school there every day.

Four of the bedrooms can be set up with twin beds making them ideal for siblings, cousins or friends to share. Despite the rural location, the town of Thurso is less than a 20-minute drive away and is home to a number of family-friendly restaurants and big name supermarkets.

Baby and Toddler Equipment

  • Mattress protector
  • Baby bath
  • Stair gates
  • Plastic crockery
  • Bath mat
  • Food blender
  • Cot(s)
  • High Chair(s)

Kids Activities Close-by

  • Beach Nearby
  • Walk to Beach
  • Watersports
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Cycling
  • Horse Riding
  • Outdoor Pursuit & Activities
  • Tourist Towns & Villages
  • Historical Sites

Onsite Facilities

  • Xbox/Playstation/Wii
  • Children's books
  • Board games
  • Games Room
  • Indoor Games
  • Table Tennis
  • Table Football
  • Home Cinema
  • DVD
  • Fenced Grounds

Services Available

  • Catering Available
  • Breakfast Available
  • Chef/Cook Available
  • Maid Service Available
  • Babysitting Available
  • English speaking babysitter available

Extras

Oliver's Extras

  • Half Board
  • Pre-Stocked Fridge Available
  • Cooking Classes Available
  • Yoga Classes Available
  • Transfers Available
  • Catering Available
  • Breakfast Available
  • Chef/Cook Available
  • Maid Service Available
  • Babysitting Available
  • Butler Available
  • Property host
  • English speaking babysitter available

At Oliver’s Travels, we pride ourselves on going that little bit further for our guests. From private chefs to travel services, we can help you arrange those little extras that make it a truly memorable holiday. Simply fill in the concierge request form or contact the Oliver’s Concierge Team, who will be happy to help. We can typically help you arrange any of the following:

- Maid service/extra cleaning
- Private chef/cook/catering
- Welcome hamper/pre-stocked fridge
- Local day-trips or tours
- Airport pick-up/drop-off

Simply fill in the concierge request form or contact the Oliver’s Concierge Team.

Please note that all extras are subject to availability and must be requested in advance of the holiday (prices on request). Due to some rural/remote locations, not all services will be available at all properties. However, we will always do our best to fulfil your requests! 

Oliver's Travels Chef Service: A Gourmet Dining Experience
Make hosting a memorable dinner party at your villa an absolute breeze with our superb Chef Service. Our chefs will take care of everything for you from start to finish so you can just sit back and enjoy the gastronomic experience. They will bring all the necessary ingredients, cook and serve the food and even clean up afterwards. To find out more visit www.oliverstravels.com/chefs

Event information

Indoor Capacity - 40

Outdoor Capacity - 200

Wedding Ceremony and Reception
There is a flexible layout for both the ceremony and reception. The property is fully-licensed to host legal marriages.

Additional Fees for Events
Pricing is created on request, please enquire for details.

Restrictions on Decorations and Themes
No restrictions, clients can bring their creative ideas!

Catering
There is no in-house catering options. Clients will be able to choose from a selection of recommended suppliers.

Venue Accessibility 
The property has limited accessibility via public transportation and guests may need to ride share or take a taxi. There is complimentary parking on-site. There is limited wheelchair accessibility, please enquire for details.

Venue Back-Up
There is indoor space available for back up. 

Wedding Suppliers
The venue has a range of suppliers for clients to use, but clients are also able to bring their own suppliers.

Flexibility on Duration
Yes, please enquire for details.

Children
Children are welcome, but no childcare services are available.

Security Measures
The venue uses surveillance cameras to monitor the premises. 

Noise Restrictions 
There are no major noise restrictions and parties can extend late into the night.

Please note that any event rental may be subject to additional charges, venue hire fees and to a higher security deposit, which will be in addition to any published rental rates and fees.

All events are on request only and subject to prior agreement from the owner, who reserves the right to refuse all events without their prior authorisation.

Terms & Conditions

These terms and conditions may be amended from time to time.

Security deposit £2,000 charged to client’s credit card prior to arrival and refunded after departure, subject to full inspection.
Arrival time 4pm
Departure time 10am
Energy costs included? Yes, included in the rental price
Linen & towels included? Yes, included in the rental price
End of stay cleaning included? Yes, included in the rental price
Changeover day Flexible
Minimum stay Please note that there is a 3-night minimum stay, this may be increased across peak dates
Pets welcome? 1 well behaved dog is allowed to stay (downstairs only) for an additional cost of £100 per stay
Smoking Allowed? No smoking
Heating costs included? Yes, included in the rental price
Property Licence Number HI-00003-F
EPC Rating B

Rental Rates

Prices based on an occupancy of 18 people:

Rental period 3 Nights 4 Nights 5 Nights Weekly
May 23rd 2024 - Jun 28th 2024 £6,348 £7,406 £8,464 £8,678
Jun 28th 2024 - Sep 2nd 2024 £7,728 £8,464 £9,200 £9,919
Sep 2nd 2024 - Oct 4th 2024 £6,348 £7,406 £8,464 £8,678
Oct 4th 2024 - Dec 20th 2024 £5,753 £6,877 £8,001 £8,200
- Christmas + New Year £9,582 £10,106 £10,630 £11,638
Jan 3rd 2025 - Mar 28th 2025 £4,959 £5,819 £6,679 £7,522
Mar 28th 2025 - Jun 27th 2025 £6,348 £7,406 £8,464 £8,678
Jun 27th 2025 - Sep 1st 2025 £7,728 £8,464 £9,200 £9,919
Sep 1st 2025 - Oct 3rd 2025 £6,348 £7,406 £8,464 £8,678
Oct 3rd 2025 - Nov 24th 2025 £5,753 £6,877 £8,001 £8,200

Prices based on an occupancy of 18 people:

Rental period 3 Nights 4 Nights 5 Nights Weekly
May 23rd 2024 - Jun 28th 2024 €6,939 €8,096 €9,252 €9,486
Jun 28th 2024 - Sep 2nd 2024 €8,448 €9,252 €10,057 €10,842
Sep 2nd 2024 - Oct 4th 2024 €6,939 €8,096 €9,252 €9,486
Oct 4th 2024 - Dec 20th 2024 €6,289 €7,517 €8,746 €8,963
- Christmas + New Year €10,474 €11,047 €11,619 €12,721
Jan 3rd 2025 - Mar 28th 2025 €5,421 €6,361 €7,301 €8,222
Mar 28th 2025 - Jun 27th 2025 €6,939 €8,096 €9,252 €9,486
Jun 27th 2025 - Sep 1st 2025 €8,448 €9,252 €10,057 €10,842
Sep 1st 2025 - Oct 3rd 2025 €6,939 €8,096 €9,252 €9,486
Oct 3rd 2025 - Nov 24th 2025 €6,289 €7,517 €8,746 €8,963

Prices based on an occupancy of 18 people:

Rental period 3 Nights 4 Nights 5 Nights Weekly
May 23rd 2024 - Jun 28th 2024 $7,512 $8,764 $10,016 $10,269
Jun 28th 2024 - Sep 2nd 2024 $9,145 $10,016 $10,887 $11,737
Sep 2nd 2024 - Oct 4th 2024 $7,512 $8,764 $10,016 $10,269
Oct 4th 2024 - Dec 20th 2024 $6,808 $8,138 $9,468 $9,703
- Christmas + New Year $11,339 $11,958 $12,578 $13,771
Jan 3rd 2025 - Mar 28th 2025 $5,868 $6,886 $7,904 $8,901
Mar 28th 2025 - Jun 27th 2025 $7,512 $8,764 $10,016 $10,269
Jun 27th 2025 - Sep 1st 2025 $9,145 $10,016 $10,887 $11,737
Sep 1st 2025 - Oct 3rd 2025 $7,512 $8,764 $10,016 $10,269
Oct 3rd 2025 - Nov 24th 2025 $6,808 $8,138 $9,468 $9,703

Please note that these prices/rates are a guide only and may not be correct at the current date. For an accurate quote, please enquire.

Reviews

  • Wonderful

    on 16/11/2023

    Wonderful stay, incredible location and very accommodating team.

  • An amazing stay

    on 28/07/2023

    WOW! What an amazing stay! A great combination of modern comforts with traditional feel. Everything was amazing from start to finish. Extremely clean, comfortable, and peaceful. We can't wait to come back!

  • Everything you could ever need

    on 22/02/2023

    Amazing venue and location for a family gathering, the owners were extremely helpful and friendly, easy communication in the run up to our stay & useful recommendations of local services. House contains everything you could ever need, plenty of space for people to spread out including cosy tv room and table tennis room for the kids, luckily the weather was immense so we were also able to make the most of the coast paths down to Dunnet beach and Peedie sands.

  • Wife's 50th Birthday

    Created on 06/09/2022

    We spent a fantastic weekend at The Dunnet Estate. Everything from booking through to checking out was made as hassle free as possible. The house has everything needed for parties, weddings or just family get togethers. Absolutely loved it and couldn’t recommend enough.

  • Spectacular stay and perfect getaway

    on 02/05/2022

    The Dunnet Estate exceeded all our expectations… and our expectations were high. A week of luxury for our extended family. We loved having the space to hang out all together or escape to one of the many beautiful rooms on offer. It was a perfect setting for a murder mystery party, Easter egg hunt, toasted marshmallows around the fire pit, a fantastically equipped kitchen with everything we needed. Even allowing for for last minute birthday cakes to be whipped up. The kids loved the space which proved perfect for hide and seek, as well as the excitement of a cinema room and table tennis. Beautiful rooms, all recently refurbished to the highest standard. How often can you say you’ve slept in the same room as the queen mother or had a shower in a turret with a view?
    Lots of things on offer to do locally. We enjoyed walks around Dunnet Head, a chilly dip in the sea at Peedie Sands, wild swimming in the loch, trip to the most northerly point of the mainland, took in views of the Orkneys, encountered seals swimming off the headland and a touch of gin and whiskey tasting.
    An unforgettable family holiday in a beautiful place.

  • Luxury Highland Retreat

    Created on 29/04/2022

    What an amazing place. We stayed for ten days and were blown away (sometimes almost literally) both by the house and it’s magnificent setting, resplendent on Dunnet Head. We walked the headland, swam at the private beach, saw killer whales, otters and seals, and generally just felt inspired by the natural beauty of Caithness. The House is stunning, beautifully appointed and luxurious. Each bedroom has picture perfect view and each allows for a retreat into spacious baths or showers. Each evening we cooked and ate, all 14 of us, in the panoramic dining room and then retreated to the sitting room where one night, we sat and watched the northern lights from the window. You couldn’t make it up! Thanks to the owner for an amazing stay. We wholeheartedly recommend The Dunnet Esate to all and everyone.

  • What a find!

    Created on 20/02/2022

    I spent a week here at a work’s convention in this beautiful, elegant house in February this year. What a find!
    Each bedroom is tastefully furnished and has a different theme. The four public rooms were made available to us where we could work on our individual project. Each morning we met in the large kitchen for a buffet breakfast and for brainstorming sessions as there is also a caterer’s kitchen where the chef prepared meals for us. The dining room is grand and the local catering was superb. One lucky stargazer managed to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights while the rest of the team were chilling out indoors in the cinema room.
    I would have loved to have more free time to explore the private beach and grounds. There’s a magic atmosphere in The Dunnet Estate. I hope our CEO decides to book the venue again in autumn. Perhaps there'd be an opportunity for some al fresco dining in the outdoor theatre and garden area next time we visit.

  • You will not want to leave...

    on 28/12/2021

    A beautiful house in an absolutely stunning location!
    Elegantly furnished rooms with comfy beds, modern conveniences added to the historic building with great care, double doors open up the groundfloor between kitchen and hallway and dining room making it the perfect space for a party, the beach only a short walk away over heathery moorland, stunning views over Dunnet Bay and over to Orkney, lots of interesting day trips and activities in the area.... The perfect place to escape to!

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