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Glenfinnan, Inverness-shire. PH37 4LT.
Tel: +44 1397 722 235
As you arrive at this wonderful stone mansion house, which dates back to 1755, you feel almost as if you could reach out before you and touch history.
Built just 10 years after Prince Charles Edward Stuart, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie,’ raised his standard to rally the clans to take the crown, the spot is now commemorated with a fine monument and visitor centre just across the bay.
Over the hill and visible from the monument is the Glenfinnan viaduct railway bridge, which was famously used for many scenes in the Harry Potter films — no sign of the Hogwarts Express though! A little further in the distance you can clearly see the magnificent Ben Nevis mountain, the UK’s highest — and all this is just the view from the front of the hotel!
As if this wasn’t enough reason to visit, the owners, along with managers Manja and Duncan Gibson, work tirelessly to maintain a real Highland Country Mansion atmosphere and welcome. If you want to get away from it all and experience the real Scotland then this is the place to go. Thankfully, they haven’t succumbed to the temptations of technology and there are no televisions, radios or telephones in the rooms; however WiFI is available and generally works well.
As you enter the hotel you will instantly be met by the incredible aroma of peat smoke the large open fire in the lobby, which has comfortable seats around it in which guests may warm their toes. Another open fire in the drawing room and superb stoves in the amazing and friendly public bar, as well as the dining room, make for a true country house experience.
Bedrooms are all designed to make you feel at home and all have well-planned and thoughtfully designed bathrooms. If you want to lock your door when you are out remember to ask for a key!
The bar is a great place to meet other hotel guests as well as locals. The atmosphere here will likely surpass your expectations, as there are regular evening gatherings that include live Scottish folk music. As you might expect from such a place, they have a challenging range of malt whiskies, Scottish gins and craft ales.
If all that has whet your appetite, then you’re in for a treat. Food at Glenfinnan House is a real delight, they have a tremendous respect for locally sourced food and the quality of produce and style of cooking is up there with the best.
Either enjoy the food in the ’45 Restaurant or the more relaxed bar — both offer an incredible range of fresh cooked-to-order meals that showcase the very best of Scotland’s larder. The dining room is beautifully designed and quietly nods to the rising in 1745 as there are 45 ceiling panels all squared off with Jacobite roses.
If you really want to take in the whole experience, Glenfinnan House Hotel can be booked for exclusive use for a family gathering such as a wedding. If you like, managers Manja and Duncan can be your witnesses and they can set up a beautiful marquee on the front lawn.
Whatever the reason (make one up if you like), but do yourself a favour and stay here!