Tuesday, November 7, 2023
HomeUK TravelQuick keep: The Whispering Pine Lodge, Spean Bridge, Highlands, Scotland, UK

Quick keep: The Whispering Pine Lodge, Spean Bridge, Highlands, Scotland, UK

Initially constructed as a searching lodge within the 1800s, The Whispering Pine Lodge didn’t turn into a lodge till the mid-1900s when it was referred to as Letterfinlay Lodge. Subsequent additions and renovations made it widespread with guests from England and Germany who would spend time searching and fishing round Loch Lochy. At present, this tranquil Highland retreat is the flagship property of Black Sheep Inns.

The welcome

We arrived within the early afternoon and have been suggested on reception that the kitchen was open for lunch for one more half hour. Because it was a beautiful afternoon and the solar was shining, fairly than checking in right away, we opted as a substitute for an al fresco lunch on the Lochside Brasserie’s expansive terrace, with heavenly views of Loch Lochy. It was superb!

The room

We stayed in room 6, a lightweight and ethereal pet-friendly Luxurious Loch View room with its personal personal balcony. The room provided a recent have a look at conventional Highalnds fashion, with darkish woods and a decor that acknowledged the lodge’s Scottish heritage.

The room has giant glass home windows that allow in plenty of gentle and that open sideways to let in loads of recent mountain air, in addition to a personal balcony with scenic views of the glistening Loch Lochy and the pine forests past.

Within the room was a TV, free WiFi, tea and low amenities, complimentary water, a phone and so forth.

The toilet

The room comes with an en suite with a bathe, basin and WC.

Aloe vera toiletries from the Highland Cleaning soap Co. are provied – wild nettle and heather shampoo, physique wash, conditioner and cleaning soap. Robes, slippers and a hairdyrer are additionally supplied.

The amenities

Whispering Pine Lodge comes with its personal personal seaside providing direct entry to the loch – excellent for a soothing stroll alongside the shore or, for anybody courageous sufficient, a spot of wild swimming.

The Burns Bar is a homage to Scotland‘s nationwide poet, Robert Burns – it’s a beautiful little spot to have a pre-dinner drink, or to easily retire to after dinner to take pleasure in a wee dram. I think about it’s notably cosy and alluring in winter with a fireplace crackling.

With its large image home windows giving a view of the loch wherever you sit, The Lochside Brasserie presents a novel eating expertise, and the perfect I’ve skilled in Scotland for some years. Like different Black Sheep Inns, native recent fish, seafood and basic regional cuisines lots of the dishes are ready with seasonal and native substances, usually with an modern Asian twist.

The Steamed Mussels with saffron and white wine sauce, served with a slice of sourdough, is straightforward however executed superbly.

Equally, the Garlic Paprika Prawns – with calamari and Spanish chorizo, additionally served with a slice of sourdough, have a very smokey, scrumptious flavour.

From the starters, I’d additionally personally advocate the Hen tikka – Tandoori spiced hen items cooked in a tandoor, served with mint and coriander chutney – while my spouse completely loved the Cullen Skink – conventional Scottish soup with smoked haddock, potatoes and onions, swerved with a slice of sourdough – a lot that she had it twice.

Grilled Teriyaki Slamon – served with Asian greens and steamed rice

The Hen Hyderabadi – fragrant hen curry with fried onions, yoghurt and complete Indian spices – is admittedly tasty, as is similar dish served as a substitute with a lamb shank. Additionally look out for the Hen Amritsari – a standard Punjabi hen curry.

And for the last word indulgence, strive the Lobster Thermidor – a cheese-crusted Scottish lobster with thermidor butter, served with paprika potatoes.

We tended to forego dessert on all meals, content material with a starter and major… nevertheless, temptation obtained the higher of me on the final night time of our keep due to the Outdated-Normal Chocolate Cake – a delightfully moist chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream.

Black Sheep Inns take nice satisfaction in sourcing meals domestically the place they will – the fish is sourced from Iain Stewart, meats from Stuart Maclachlan of Lochaber Larder and ice lotions from Luvians in Perthshire.

Additionally be aware that The Whispering Pine Lodge is residence to The Little Salon and Spa – a comfortable pine wooden salon that gives an entire vary of remedies for leisure. Pamper your self with any one in every of their physique massages, physique remedies, waxing, facials, manicures and pedicures, all provided by an skilled, pleasant workforce.

Within the few days main as much as our keep, I really had a nasty again so was a bit of hesitant to strive the Balinese Therapeutic massage however was glad I did. It’s a soothing therapeutic massage that makes use of a mix of light stretches, acupressure and aromatherapy oils to stimulate the stream of blood and convey deep leisure and wellness. In the meantime, my spouse loved her Abhyanga Indian Therapeutic massage which is an Indian Ayurvedic therapeutic massage that makes use of luke heat medicated oil and lengthy, light strokes which helps in detoxing, relaxes tense muscular tissues and improves metabolism. They each left us feeling suitably refreshed and have been a beautiful finish to our stick with Black Sheep Inns

Among the many different out there remedies is the Black Sheep Signature Therapeutic massage which is a novel belnd of East and West methods – a Thai-style therapeutic massage with yoga stretches, mixed with enjoyable aromatherapy to extend physique flexibility and calm down the thoughts.


The lodge’s picturesque location overlooking Loch Lochy, and solely a brief drive from the city of Fort William, make it an excellent place for visitors to benefit from the Highlands. And only a 20-mniute drive from the lodging, passing the Commando Memorial devoted to the boys of the unique British Commando Forces, lies the Nevis Vary Mountain Expertise the place you’ll be able to take a mountain gondola (or cable automobile) to a peak of 650 metres (from a beginning peak of 100 metres).

The mountain gondola takes you up the north face of Aonach Mòr, the eighth highest mountain in Britain. It’s utilized by mountain bikers and paragliders within the Summer time and skiers within the Winter. It’s also widespread with walkers, providing entry to straightforward walks to Sgurr Finnisg-aig or Meall Beag, from which you’ll take pleasure in unbelievable views.

Sgurr Finnisg-aig seems to be out throughout the Nice Glen and Hills of Knoydart and, by trying again in the direction of the path of gondola, from right here you too can see the summit of Ben Nevis itself.

ALso when within the space, I’d completely advocate taking a Loch Ness cruise. We went on a contemplation cruise on the Jacobite Insurgent, from Jaocobite Cruises, guided by Linda who clearly lived and breathed the loch (she can also be an RNLI volunteer on Loch Ness), and who was each informative and fascinating.

The Contemplation Cruise offers you a pleasant stability between studying in regards to the loch, its points of interest and the fascinating tales behind it out of your information, but additionally with some quieter intervals that help you simply and take all of it in.

We embarked at Dochgarroch Lock, a part of the Caledonian Canal designed by Thomas Telford, earlier than going out onto Loch Ness, taking in views of the Dochfour Property, Bona Lighthouse the place fly fisherman have been casting close by, Aldourie Citadel, Dores seaside (the place monster-hunter Steve Feltham scours the loch from a transformed cellular library), Abriachan and Urquhart Citadel (the positioning of many a bloody battle throughout the Scots’ battle for independence).

We additionally discovered all types of attention-grabbing details about Loch Ness on the cruise. As an example, do you know that it’s neither the biggest loch by floor space, nor the deepest, however that it does maintain essentially the most water. In truth, there’s extra water in Loch Ness (263 billion cubic toes of water) than in all of the rivers and lakes of England and Wales put collectively.

We additionally heared tales in regards to the Wellington Bomber crash touchdown on the loch, the water pace document try of John Cobb, and naturally tales about Nessie, earlier than returning to Dochgarroch Lock. In the event you get the prospect, we might spotlight advocate the expertise. You probably have a canine, she or he can include you additionally.

When driving again to The Whispering Pine Lodge, what I imagine to be a pine marten darted throughout the highway, lept up on to the crash barrier on the opposite aspect and scurried alongside the highest of it for just a few metres, earlier than disappearing into the grassy verge. Sadly there was not sufficient time to drag up and seize a digicam, nevertheless it was beautiful to witness all the identical and all of the extra particular once I later found that there are stated to be solely round 3,700 grownup pine martens in Scotland.

Different good touches

A variety of treats have been supplied in our room, together with some nuts, Scottish shortbread fingers and a few praline candies.


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Backyard View rooms begin from £107.
Luxurious Loch View rooms begin from £226.

One of the best bit

The view! Whether or not it’s a shiny, sunny day or a cloudy and dramatic one, you’ll by no means tire of the view. You may this beautiful surroundings from the Lochside Brasserie or the expansive terrace exterior, from one of many loch view rooms or from the resort’s very personal personal seaside.

The ultimate verdict

The skilled workforce of employees who exit of their method to make you’re feeling welcome and relaxed, coupled with the standard of the lodging, the superb Asian-inspired delicacies, the bonus of spa amenities and, in fact, the spectacular lochside view, imply that The Whispering Pine Lodge is bound to exceed your expectations.

Disclosure: Our keep was courtesy of The Whispering Pine Lodge from Black Sheep Inns.

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