Just across the water from the pretty village of Pennyghael, on the opposite shore of Loch Scridain, lies the Kilfinichen Estate, with Kilfinichen House at its heart, enjoying a beautiful position on a gently rising hill looking out over the bay, with pockets of woodland behind.
It’s a setting you’ll enjoy to the full when you stay at this grand holiday home, with cast iron estate gates signalling your arrival and a meandering private driveway leading you to the property’s grand frontage, where a wrap-around driveway provides ample parking and ease of access as you settle in. For guests arriving after dusk, the antique ice cream lanterns lighting either side of the large, original front door will be a welcome addition.
Built in the 1750s, the property retains superb original features and was once home to Major General Colin Gubbins, the instigator and later director of the Special Operations Executive in World War Two, at the start of the 20th Century.
Kilfinichen House cocoons its guests in a feeling of Highland grandeur. In every room there is fine antique furniture to be found, interesting curiosities collected over the centuries and nods to the property’s traditional role as the grand estate house, with prized stags, catches and antlers adorning the walls. Original features abound, from the cast iron railing that sweeps up the grand staircase, to beautiful stone open fireplaces and original wooden shutters.
The ground floor of Kilfinichen House is given over entirely to enjoyment, whether gastronomic, sporting or musical, with books dedicated to every Highland interest, from wildlife to whisky tasting. In the living room, comfortable sofas and armchairs invite guests to take a seat beside the fire as the house comes alive with the sound of live piano music. The television is cleverly recessed above an antique writing desk to deliver the modern conveniences without compromising on the grandeur of the room, and from each window is a beautiful sea view.
The dining room echoes the ambiance, with an antique table and chairs to seat eight, occasional chairs in each of the large windows and beautiful drapery and wallpaper adding elegant finishing touches. Oil paintings adorn the walls in impressive gold frames and the space is certainly befitting of a banquet.
Across the hallway, a second, more intimate sitting room filled with books and boardgames leads on to the kitchen. The chefs of the party will be delighted by this airy, double aspect space, complete with a beautiful sea view from the double Belfast sink, a large central island and an impressive Lacanche range cooker, which offers total flexibility with two electric warming draws, two gas ovens and a gas grill. With convenience in mind, the kitchen is also fitted with a large American-style fridge freezer complete with ice machine, and not one but two dishwashers, as well as a waste disposal unit. A useful utility with an additional under-counter fridge, microwave and access to the garden leads off the kitchen.
The final room on the ground floor perhaps pays tribute to Kilfinichen House’s heritage the most – in this atmospheric space, guests will find plenty of space to stow their coats and boots among a collection of canes and tweed caps. Antlers are mounted on the walls and in a glazed display cabinet the estate guns are kept. Conveniently, a W.C. and basin are also located just off the gun room.
A lovely wide staircase is the centrepiece to the hallway, with a sweeping patterned stair runner leading you up the curving stairs, with a glimpse to the woodland through the large window and the landing decorated with mounted stag heads and antique furnishings.
From here, the master bedroom complete with en-suite bathroom fills one wing of the property. An ornate chandelier and unique lighting sets off the intricate cornicing in this beautiful and spacious bedroom, with armchairs pulled up around the decorative open fireplace, fine furnishings and sea views making the space feel truly special. Next door, the en-suite bathroom benefits from a W.C, basin, heated towel rail and bathtub with a handheld shower.
Returning to the landing, the remaining bedrooms lie to the other wing of the house and reaching them is a delight thanks to the artworks that fill the walls, inspiring a gallery-like feel with the property’s lofty proportions. Here, a further three bedrooms and two bathrooms beckon, with each bathroom offering a W.C, basin and bathtub and a unique decorative feel.
The second double bedroom will delight with a four-poster bed and lovely sea views from the tall windows, with ample storage space provided in the large wardrobe, and a dressing table and occasional chair to invite you to relax.
The two twin bedrooms also occupy this wing – the first with two four-poster single beds and views across to Kilfinichen Bay, and the second two single beds and peaceful views to the woodland behind the house. Both offer excellent storage to unpack and feel truly at home, furnished in the house’s signature antique style.
Kilfinichen House is set in a pretty lawned garden encircled by iron estate fencing, and guests will enjoy exploring the wider grounds, perhaps discovering the old walled garden, or the myriad tracks trodden by hooves that make their way off into the wilds of the hills in this corner of Mull. To the front of the property, a short walk leads to the shore of Kilfinichen Bay, where seals and otters may be spotted, as well as the white-tailed sea eagles hunting in the loch.
For the wildlife enthusiast, a privately guided tour can be arranged and will be sure to impress, as will the opportunities to enjoy the island and its wild inhabitants from the water. Boat tours to Staffa and Iona depart from Fionnphort a scenic drive southwest from the property, while the sea eagle boat trip and the island of Ulva may be visited by driving north along the shores of Loch na Keal and Loch Tuath. Alternatively, guests may even feel inspired to soak up the sights from the saddle, with trekking available on traditional native Highland ponies just around the coast at Killiechronan.
Tobermory, the island’s harbour town, lies just over an hour’s drive and makes a fine day trip to enjoy the excellent local seafood, visit the weekly farmer’s market and enjoy attractions ranging from a museum to a catch-and-release aquarium. Whether venturing to all corners of the island or searching for somewhere truly special to escape to for the week, Kilfinichen House is guaranteed to delight.
Living Rooms:Main living room with comfortable sofas and armchairs, television with Freeview channels, piano, selection of books and board games and a music system. Additional snug leading to the kitchen with sofas and armchairs, bookshelf and sidetable.
Kitchen:Well-equipped kitchen with an American-style fridge-freezer, additional under-counter fridge in the utility, Lacanche range with electric oven, gas ovens and gas hob, kettle, cafetiere, baking equipment, toaster, food processor, hand blender, microwave, two dishwashers, washing machine, dryer, supply of laundry detergent, dishwasher tablets and store cupboard basics like salt and pepper. Breakfast table and chairs to seat eight.
Bedrooms:Four bedrooms - the master with an emperor bed, a second double with a king-sized bed and two twin bedrooms, each with two single beds. All beautifully furnished with antique pieces and ample storage for belongings.
Bathrooms:W.C. on the ground floor. En-suite bathroom to master bedroom with W.C, basin, bathtub with handheld shower and heated towel rail. Two further bathrooms, each with W.C, basin and bathtub.
Garden:The property is surrounded by a lawned garden. Outdoor table, chairs, barbecue and secure storage for bikes.
Heating:Oil-fired central heating throughout the property.
Open Fire:There is a starter supply of wood and kindling provided, more can be purchased from the estate.
Bed Linen and Towels:Bed linen and towels are provided.
More at this Property:Iron and ironing board, hair dryer. Wifi provided but a very slow connection owing to the location (fine for checking emails but won't cope with streaming, 0.5mbps). EE receives a phone signal in the area and a landline is available for emergency use.
Arrival and Departure:Arrival from 5.30pm. Departure by 9.30am.