Hillockhead self-catering holiday cottages is a well-established holiday letting business located in a rural setting in the heart of the Black Isle. This popular and attractive business is presented to a high standard, enjoys consistent trading levels and generates a good level of income. The bookings come from both repeat business and significant new business which is generated through Hillockhead Cottages own website as well as from other tourist sites such as Undiscovered Scotland, Walk Highlands, etc. There could certainly be scope to use other agencies such as booking.com, to generate more business should new owners wish to develop the business further. The cottages are available year round.
The site is well laid out, and a private entry leads into the gravel parking area. At the end of the short drive is the “Farmhouse” this property is a four bedroom traditional property which sleeps up to nine guests. The drive sweeps round to the left where the two buildings housing the remaining 7 cottages are located. The Longhouse with its three cottages named Juniper, Rowan and Chanonry Cottage, offer panoramic sea views overlooking the Moray Firth. The Steading, which is a 150 year old sandstone steading also enjoys good views from the four cottages/flats situated there, which are named Dolphin, Pines, Swallow and Stables Cottage, two of which have access to an external balcony.
The cottages enjoy an elevated position, on level ground, with open countryside. There is a gravel drive and ample parking. The surrounding lawns are spacious and offer a large area for outdoor activities. The site is generally well maintained.
Although similar each unit has a distinct design, and are often requested by name by repeat clients. Each unit has ample parking and surrounding amenity ground and some offer a veranda, or patio area which allows guests to relax and take in the glorious open views. The cottages are similarly furnished and decorated to a modern standard, offering a good degree of comfort. All units are maintained both inside and out and there is evidence that the vendors consistently reinvest in the business infrastructure. The standardization of the lodges makes for ease of business operation being less labour intensive than Guesthouses or Hotels which require to be maintained on a daily basis. The cottages are serviced on the changeover days which are normally once a week. This reduces the workload, laundry and management time compared to serviced accommodation.
REASON FOR SALE
The vendors have been operating the site since 2003 and it is their wish to downsize and concentrate on other interests which has brought this very attractive business to the market.
Hillockhead Farm Cottages is located near the villages of Rosemarkie and Fortrose, on the Black Isle in Ross-shire. The villages are full of charm and character and are appealing residential villages, with a wide range of services and good schools. They are within commuting distance of Inverness, the Highland Capital, which offers all the facilities and amenities associated with city living including excellent air, rail and road transport links.
The villages are also a popular tourist area in their own right with B&Bs/holiday accommodation, local amenities, a village hall and the Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club close-by. There are a number of other quality golf courses in the area. In and around The Black Isle there are plenty of activities for both locals and tourists alike to engage in. Boat trips operate from the local harbors, taking visitors to see the dolphins in the inner Moray Firth. At Chanonry Point many locals and tourists alike gather to watch the dolphins often seen here. Other activities within the immediate area include walking, fishing and nature watching. Loch Ness and its associated castles are only a short drive away and the West Coast is a 50 minute drive. The Black Isle Show is a large agricultural show held each August which brings an abundance of visitors to the area. A further attraction to the region is the distilleries such as Glen Ord Distillery, Dalmore Distillery and Glenmorangie Distillery; these distilleries have visitor centres providing guided tours. Locally both the Black Isle Wildlife Park and Black Isle Brewery are also main attractions for visitors.
THE COTTAGES - THE FARMHOUSE – SLEEPS 9
Ground Floor – Kitchen and Dining Room with a good sized separate lounge. Kitchen is well equipped with dishwasher, washing machine and dryer. Ground Floor Double en-suite bedroom and an attic bedroom accessed via a spiral staircase.
First Floor - Master bedroom with ensuite and a family bedroom sleeping 4 with adjacent shower room. Stunning views
THE COTTAGES - THE LONGHOUSE – THREE COTTAGES:
ROWAN COTTAGE – SLEEPS 6
Ground Floor – Open plan kitchen/dining/living area, well equipped kitchen including washing machine, dryer, dishwasher etc. Bathroom with bath and shower. One double bedroom.
First Floor – Large family bedroom, one double and two singles, sleeps 4. Stunning views.
JUNIPER COTTAGE - SLEEPS 5
Ground Floor – Open plan kitchen/dining/living area, well equipped kitchen including washing machine/dryer, dishwasher etc. Bathroom with bath and shower. One double bedroom.
First Floor – Family bedroom with three single beds plus pull out bed. Stunning views.
CHANONRY COTTAGE – SLEEPS 5
Ground Floor – Open plan kitchen/dining/living area, well equipped kitchen including washing machine/dryer, dishwasher etc. Bathroom with Whirlpool Bath and shower. One double bedroom.
First Floor – Family bedroom with three single beds, second bathroom with shower and small bath. Stunning views.
THE COTTAGES – THE STEADING – FOUR COTTAGES:
DOLPHN COTTAGE – SLEEPS 5
Ground Floor – Open plan kitchen/dining area, well equipped kitchen including washing machine, dryer, dishwasher etc. Bathroom with bath and shower. Twin bedroom. Sea and countryside views.
First Floor – Very spacious sitting room with TV, DVD’s etc, double bedroom with ensuite shower room. Large south facing balcony.
PINES COTTAGE – SLEEPS 5
Ground Floor – Entry into the kitchen/dining room, well equipped kitchen, laundry area with washing machine and dryer. Twin bedroom and shower room. Sea views.
First Floor – Sitting room with TV/DVD’s etc, glass door to balcony with stunning views. Double ensuite bedroom, small single room.
THE STABLES – SLEEPS 2
All on one level this unit comprises open plan living/dining room and well fitted kitchen. One double bedroom and a large characterful bath and shower. Spectacular sea views.
SWALLOW COTTAGE – SLEEPS 2
All on one level this unit comprises open plan living/dining/kitchen which is well fitted. One double bedroom and a large modern bathroom. Panoramic sea views.
There is a room in the stable building which has been fitted out for communal seating and has a supply of games, books and DVD’s.
Within the stables block there is an area of under utilised space, over two floors. The ground floor is currently used partly as a recreational room and there are other storage areas on this floor. A staircase leads up to a first floor where there are two other rooms with stunning views. There is a small kitchen and plumbing for a bathroom as well as significant storage space. This could quite easily be converted to owner’s accommodation with the appropriate consents. The Farmhouse is also available for occupation by owners should they desire to utilise this and let out seven cottages.
The gravel entrance way leads into the site where the driveway splits both in front and behind the Steading building and continues round to the Longhouse, and past the Farmhouse It is possible to park outside the individual units of the Steading and close to The Longhouse. There is an area of lawn to the left of the Steading as well as a large area in front of the Longhouse. A path leads to the beach.
Over development would reduce the attractiveness of the site, however there may be the potential for small development subject to the relevant permissions. The recreation area within the Steadings building along with the various other unused rooms in that part of the building could certainly be developed subject to planning consent. There is a section 75 in place which prohibits the individual sale of the buildings.
There is a mix of oil central heating, and mains electrical heating. The Steadings building is all electric with storage heaters.