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House of the Northern GateDunnet Head, Thurso
Sleeps: 18

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House of the Northern GateDunnet Head, Thurso

Sleeps - 18

Region - Highlands & Islands

Sporting
Mixed sporting · Salmon Fishing · Trout Fishing

Activities
Beach · Riding · Sailing · Walking / Hiking

Facilities
Mobile coverage · Wifi

Features
Children Friendly · Dogs Allowed · Self-Catered

Rental
From £6,000 per week, self catered

Estate Details

House of the Northern GateDunnet Head, Thurso

Sleeps - 18

Region - Highlands & Islands

Sporting
Mixed sporting · Salmon Fishing · Trout Fishing

Activities
Beach · Riding · Sailing · Walking / Hiking

Facilities
Mobile coverage · Wifi

Features
Children Friendly · Dogs Allowed · Self-Catered

Rental
From £6,000 per week, self catered

Situated on Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of mainland Britain, The House of The Northern Gate is a beautiful, exclusive use Highland coastal estate. With sweeping views of Dunnet Bay, one of the UK’s most stunning beaches, guests are welcomed by a beautifully restored Baronial Mansion.

Set amidst 1,800 acres of moorland and incredible views out over the Pentland Firth to the Orkney Islands, guests can enjoy the stunning white sandy beach with crystal clear water and dramatic cliffs.  For the adventurous, find the hidden cave and swim in the sea and lochs. Enjoy the abundant wildlife, and inspiring walks, cycle and horse ride, and generally become involved with the environment.

Dunnet Head is the most northerly point on the UK mainland. It is Caithness in miniature. Being at 58 degrees north, geographically it is the most northerly point on the UK mainland. Historically it is very important as the very pinnacle of Dunnet Head, Easter Head, was a WWII radar station and nearby Burifa Hill was a Gee station. The remains of the two stations can be seen in prevalent positions on the Head. There is an abundance of wildlife and birdlife. some great places to walk, cycle and horse ride, and generally become involved with the environment.

A majestic venue for exclusive rental for large groups and families, this beautiful property has been recently renovated providing elegant and comfortable accommodation for up to 18 guests.  You will feel both welcomed and inspired by the stunning views.

The house was restored between 2018 and 2021. The Queen Mother was a regular visitor in the 1950’s and the house is referred to in the television series “The Crown”.

A truly unique location and a place to really get away from it all.

House of The Northern Gate is available on an exclusive use basis for groups of up to 18 guests.

30 minute drive to Wick Airport
2h 45 minute drive to Inverness

Self-catered Rates:
Low Rate: from £6,000 per week
Peak Rate: from £7,500 per week
Christmas / New Year: £9,000 per week

Short Stays: from £4,500 (minimum 3 nights)

 

We say...

Guests will enjoy the incredible location and awe inspiring views.  A real get away from it all experience.

Accommodation

9 Bedrooms sleeping up to 18 guests in great comfort:

  1. Bushta: King double four-poster ensuite bath and shower (in the turret!)
  2. Hoy: Queen double or twin ensuite shower
  3. Mey: Super king double or twin ensuite bath/shower
  4. Holborn: Super king double ensuite shower
  5. Morvern: Super king double ensuite shower (and day bed that could be used for a child)
  6. Olrig: Queen double ensuite shower
  7. Stroma: Queen double or twin with shared bath/shower
  8. St Johns: Queen double or twin with shared bath/shower
  9. Dwarwick: Super king double ensuite bath/shower

There is the option of converting the TV/Cinema room into a disabled bedroom with a sofa bed (it is on the ground floor with an accessible bathroom down the corridor). Please let us know well in advance if this is required.

There are two fold out beds for children and a travel cot available.

Dining Room: seats 18 guests comfortably or 20 at a slight squeeze. The dining room has a large Marshall Bluetooth speaker.
Drawing Room
Library
TV/Cinema Room: with large comfy sofas, a 75″ TV with Amazon/Netflix/Apple and a Playstation. Board games and Lego.
Boot Room: contains table tennis table. The small store room off the boot room has a washing machine and clothes racks.

Kitchen:
Well equipped kitchen.
Fridges and freezers: The main kitchen includes a large fridge, wine cooler and small fridge. The catering kitchen also has a larger vertical fridge and freezer.
Dishwashers: There are two dishwashers.
Ovens: There are three ovens in the main kitchen: two in the range (plus grills) and a Siemens oven in the vertical unit (the lower of two ovens).
Gas oven and hob: There is a gas oven and hob in the catering kitchen. Unless you have notified us that you will have external caterers, the gas supply will be turned off.
Microwave: The microwave is in the vertical unit to the right of the range and is the upper oven.
Coffee: The main kitchen has a Nespresso machine and an initial supply of Vertuo capsules for your use. Next to the Nespresso machine is a milk frother.
10 children can sit separately for meals at the kitchen table.
The kitchen has a Sonos player which you can connect to over Wifi. You will need to download the Sonos app to play through it.

Fire Pit in Walled Garden:
If you would like to use the fire pit in the walled garden, please ask your host for instructions and a supply of wood. Do not use on windy days – the risk of burning cinders catching fire to the heather is high.
There is an outdoor BBQ available for your use.

Good mobile reception and strong Wifi throughout all areas of the House.
The house has a safe available. If you would like to use it, please let us know in advance.

Dogs: Two well-behaved dogs are permitted downstairs in the house, we request they remain off furnishings. Kennels are not currently available.

Housekeeping by arrangement.
Good local cooks available by prior arrangement.

History
House of the Northern Gate

The House of the Northern Gate (sometimes called Dwarwick House) sits in a commanding position on Dunnet Head, overlooking the west side of the village and at the southern end of the Dunnet Estate which comprises the majority of Dunnet Head (with the RSPB plot and a neighbouring estate making up the northern and eastern most parts of the headland).

​The House of the Northern Gate was built by Mr Thomson-Sinclair of Freswick.  Upon his death, it passed to his nephew, Admiral Sir Edwyn Alexander-Sinclair, who lived at Dunbeath Castle and who also owned the Freswick and Keiss Estates. Building work began in 1894 and was completed in around 1906. It remained in his ownership until the death of the Admiral in 1945, when the crofts on the estate were sold. ​The last croft to be sold was that of Mary Anne Calder. Her cottage is now a museum.

Visit of the Queen Mother
In 1948 the House and Estate were purchased by Commander Clare and Lady Doris Vyner. Lady Vyner was a close friend of Elizabeth, 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, the Queen Mother looked east out of one of the upper floor windows and spied the tower of the recently vacated Barrogill Castle, 3 miles away. Upon enquiring about the castle, a visit was arranged to view it. It was owned by Captain Imbert-Terry and a deal was struck to buy the rather dilapidated castle and Longoe Mains farm. The Queen Mother renamed it the Castle of Mey, its original name.

Later owners
Commander Vyner held the House and Estate for 20 years (nb 1947 to 1967) and since then it has been a hotel, a private residence and nearly became a recording studio for Led Zeppelin. ​In 2018, the house and estate were purchased by a branch of the Dunnett family whose ancestors left the locality six generations ago. They have begun a process of refurbishment to repair the structure of the house and bring the house up to the highest levels of comfort and environmental consciousness.

Sporting

Salmon fishing on the Thurso River, by arrangement. Sea fishing in Thurso (Scrabster harbour) is also possible.

There are a number of estates in the area offering game shooting, wild fowling and stalking.

C H Haygarth & Sons Gun and Rifle Makers in the local village sell tackle and permits.

 

 

Activities

There are enough attractions in the local area to keep you busy for weeks – even within a short distance from the house. There are activities for surfers, walkers, cyclists, anglers, climbers, bird watchers, divers, whisky lovers, archaeologists, golfers, horse riders and seasoned travellers.

Close to the house is surfing and also lots to explore, much of it on foot.

Dunnet Bay has the enormous two-mile long sandy beach you will see from the house. It has dunes to explore, is a bracing walk and is one of the best places to learn to surf.  You can walk from the house if you go down to the beach from The Old Salmon Bothy.

For the adventurous, find the hidden cave and swim in the sea and lochs. Guests can enjoy the stunning white sandy beach with crystal clear water and dramatic cliffs.

Enjoy the abundant wildlife, and inspiring walks, cycle and horse ride, and generally become involved with the environment.

Local Stables for horse riding are Achalone Activities and Horsin’ Around.

Surf school in the bay offers excellent tuition and also hires boards and wetsuits and stand up paddle boards.

Wildlife at Dunnet Head: Puffins Galore! Dunnet Head is home to an RSPB reserve and many puffins. There is a viewing platform where visitors can watch birds in the neighbouring cliffs. Depending on the season, birds may include fulmars, guillemots, kittiwakes, puffins and razorbills.

Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis: On a clear day and with a bit of luck you can sit in awe and watch the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis from the house (maybe huddled around the fire pit).

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House of the Northern Gate

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