Sea Otter Cottage when purchased in 2006 had a small, very poorly built annexe. Following a storm in 2015, this collapsed so badly that it had to be totally rebuilt from the foundation upwards. In the short term this proved to be extremely expensive such that major debts are still outstanding. However the final result is a magnificent new build holiday cottage following the latest regulations.
Looking north towards Orkney and the Pentland Skerries lighthouse, this wonderful holiday location is now a fully equipped, foreshore cottage with quite unforgettable sea views. As the tide comes in across the sheltered bay, you could be watching a living oil painting of the ocean surf. The kitchen and living room windows are so close to the high tide that it's hard to believe and the upstairs bedrooms have the same fabulous views across the bay as Sea Otter Cottage next door.
Orcas are regularly visible, seabirds and seals abound.
It might seem far north but it is still south of all of Norway and is well worth the two hour scenic seaside journey on the road up from Inverness Don't miss the Store House restaurant (M-Sat 9-6, Sun 10-5) just 12 miles north of the Kessock bridge, or Dunrobin Castle near Golspie. Alternatively one can enjoy 4 hours of relaxation on the Far North Railway. (If aged over 50 making use of the special Scotrail concessions)
For those who enjoy eating out there are in Wick several excellent local hotels and even a well established gourmet French restaurant (greetings to Andre). McKays friendly hotel (give Rupert's personal greetings to Murray) holds the Guinness book record for the "Shortest street in the world"
Further afield in Scrabster (20 miles) both the Upper Deck and the distinctively ethical Captain's Galley ("Which" Best Fish Restaurant in the UK: 2008) are highly recommended - The Castle of Mey, the Gringoe castle ruin and the Sinclair clan museum are worth visits while the hinterland is a major bird sanctuary. Light aircraft can easily land at the airfield where the Spitfire which found the Tirpitz re-fueled on it's way take it's pictures back to London, and Wick also has a regular sea boat and harbour festival. Thurso has a world class surfing beach.
lf you love the sea and tranquillity this is the place for you to watch the ocean surf, to sit reading while listening to the waves, or to go for carefree and carfree walks along the shore in either direction. At high tide, with only the sea and the surf visible; you could even be at sea without the seasickness. Being east coast Scotland midges are virtually never a problem, yet paradoxically facing west, the view of the sun setting over "Ackergill Towers"restored castle (try googling it and compare the prices) with every wave of a high tide being tinged with pink has to be seen to be believed.
lf you in the light of all this beauty you still need the internet, there is free Wi-Fi. So far sadly, as in all of Caithness, not always reliable.
Stop Press: Wi-Fi situation.
We have had Wi-F in both Sea Shore and Sea Otter Cottages for many years and until recently it has been working reasonably well.
Unfortunately we are now sorry to report that this BT service for which we continue to pay, has been getting steadily worse, presumably because more and more people in Ackergill are trying to use the Internet at the same time. We are promised that fast fibre optic cables “soon” but no definite dates so far. Hopefully you will find enough enjoyment of the location for this not to be too big a problem, and for some even an advantage.
If messages are essential good Wi-Fi access is available in Weatherspoons resraurant in the centre of town, or in the foyer of McKays or the Norseman hotels.
If needed, an ink-jet printer/photocopier/scanner can be rented at low cost.
Travel: Direct by air to Wick from Aberdeen or Edinburgh and hire a car from Richard's friendly local garage. Alternatively fly to Inverness (direct, low cost flights from Luton, Gatwick, Heathrow, Liverpool, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Dublin, Leeds, Manchester or Newcastle), or else travel more sedately up to Wick by coach or on the comfortable scenic train.