... there is such power in this place. Here you will understand what people mean when they talk about “the old places of the earth”. It isn't so much defined by absolute age in years or era, it's the knowledge of being in the presence of a power very much other than those that govern our everyday lives. It is stunning wilderness, remote and awe-inspiring. Mountain landscapes, deep vast lochs, sweeping glens, thundering waterfalls, ancient settlements and local communities. Here, on the edge of reality, nature is very much alive, very much free, and it is fey. It is extraordinary.
We honestly can't describe the experience properly: a failure of vocabulary. But, to a dear friend it’s “Ultima Thule”, a mystical place, remote and distant, beyond the borders of the known world. It is a place of high walls, of deep harbours, of firm foundations in the midst of hurricane, and warmth in the midst of gale and rain. It is a knowledge of real beauty, and real fury, and real danger such as we have almost forgotten. Torridon casts an irresistible spell. The Highland light lends the mountain landscape and island-scattered sea a numinous and haunting quality. Seeing the sun breaking up the rain clouds like fingers of fire shining on the sea; watching it set over the sea and ignite the outer islands perched on the edge of the horizon; reading by a hot, roaring peat fire smelling of bog and freshly-turned earth, safe in four solid walls of stone as the storms come raging in and as quickly are swept out again; ... so many utterly unique experiences rolled into our unassuming cottage by the loch.
This place brings the world back to life, for us. We could spend an age ranting about the depravities of our concrete mecca of a city, but sat here, listening to the murmur of the river as it tumbles over rocks on its way to the loch, or the gentle breeze sighing through the trees; or watching the sunset red fade to blue to grey to black, or busying ourselves creating stew or baking bread, we cannot care too much about the place we’ve come from: how is it meant to compare to the vital, immediate fact that there are pine martens that will come right up to the house to eat the food we leave for them, or the wild deer that will nibble the plants around the window, or the family of sea otters playing on the beach below, or the unbelievable truth of precisely how many different shades of gold, like a good malt, can be seen on the hills across the loch when the setting sun casts its light like a cloak before it retires for the night. These are facts, essential and incontrovertible, they are everything that defines this place. There is that one moment with the sea air in your face like the very breath of God.
Well. Too deep for a little stone cottage on the shores of Loch Torridon? Then you've never been here. All we can say is that it doesn't matter what god, if any, you believe in, or what version of reality you subscribe to: there is power in this place amidst the very edges of the world. We could write another gospel without ever beginning to crack the secrets of what this place does, and we think that is how it was meant to be: this wild world sends you back a little cleansed. Come and try it out yourself sometime, would be our only advice: experience what it feels like, even for a second, to approach this mess of a world with the spark of the divine written in thunder and air across your face. We recommend it.
One of the Torridon Giants, this 3,400' Munro towers over the tiny village of Torridon.
Shieldaig, Highland IV54 8XP
+44 (0) 1445 791444
We will have an online booking and payment page very soon. In the meantime, please call or email to make a reservation.
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