Balcraggie House, a Regency Manse in Glenelg
Balcraggie House is the old Church of Scotland manse in Glenelg. The house was built in 1830 to replace an earlier building that dates to the 1720s. The foundations of this older manse can still be seen in our garden. The self-catering annex is the original North Wing of the house, and was originally designed as the study rooms of the minister.
Balcraggie House has a walled garden and orchard to which you have complete access. There is private car-parking within the grounds. The grounds of the house extend to three and a half acres and contain many mature trees. The situation is in a quiet Highland glen, the main glen in Glenelg, and as there are no other buildings in close proximity it is very quiet and secluded. The land around is crofted with some arable land and parks for cattle and sheep. Hills rise up on both sides of the glen and are home to sheep, red and roe deer, foxes and badgers, wildcat and pine marten and a variety of birdlife including the golden eagles and a family of white tailed sea eagles which nest near the ferry.
It is one mile from the village of Glenelg, where there is a well-stocked local shop and the excellent Glenelg Inn – well known for its food and conviviality. We are also one mile from the beautiful stretch of sandy beach known as Bernera, and a little further from there is the community-owned ferry to Skye (runs Easter to October, a wonderful crossing through dramatic scenery where sea-life abounds – there is both a seal colony and an otter colony here, a variety of sea-birds and even passing dolphins, whales and porpoises).
The road which leads to the village goes on another nine miles to the hamlets of Arnisdale and Corran where it ends (tame red-deer stags and a ‘tea-hut’ are big attractions here on the banks of Loch Hourn). On the way to these places, you pass the beaches and islands of Sandaig where Gavin Maxwell lived with his otters and wrote “Ring of Bright Water”. You can reach this little paradise by way of forestry tracks.
There are many other wonderful walks along the shores and in the hills of Glenelg. There are many antiquities to be discovered there – hill forts from the Iron Age, the best preserved Brochs on mainland Scotland and the Hanoverian Barracks from the 18th Century. The road which passes by Balcraggie House is an old Military Road which leads to these, now ruined, Barracks. For serious hill walkers, the house is within easy reach of several munros.