Welcome back to Charming Places — a series in which I talk about the places I stay. From B&B’s, hotels and guesthouses to apartments and farm stays, I’ll give my honest thoughts on these spaces. I’ve found that the accommodation I choose to stay often directly affects how I feel about a particular destination. And how I connect with that location and its people. So I want to share these places with you by dishing out a bit of info and some of my opinions.
As I drove up into the the Northwest of Scotland along the wee roads — some of them single lane roads — I took in the scenery.
It is stunning here in the Northwest!
And views to the sea.
I was definitely excited to spend time in this part Scotland.
And Solas B&B looked like my kind of place to stay for a few days — a small B&B with a just a few rooms in a peaceful location along the water with views to die for.
As I left the main road going through the village of Gairloch…
I went through a cluster of a few more buildings — a sort of Gairloch annex called Strath.
I saw a small grocery store, a coffee shop and a couple of restaurants.
Then you begin a lovely coastal drive with more wee roads and incredible views to the sea, the Isle of Skye and to the Torridon Hills — although you definitely have to keep your eyes on the road.
And keep your eyes posted for the signs for Solas.
It’s well signed — thankfully!
Arriving at Solas B&B
I hit the end of the road and there sat Solas B&B — views out to the sea, the Isle of Skye and south to the Torridon Hills.
I was greeted warmly by Isabell and Graeme, a Scottish-English couple — she being the Scots of the pair.
But Graeme is definitely more Scotsman than Englishman when you get to know him.
The house has just 3 rooms — 2 en suite doubles downstairs and one twin upstairs with a large bath down the hall.
There’s a lovely deck on the back of the house at ground level as well as a yard.
I was staying in the twin room upstairs for the first few nights.
It was spacious and bright with skylights to either side — one back to the wee road from which I came and the pasture land and one out to the sea and the Torridon Hills.
I loved it.
And even though the bathroom is a short walk down the hall, since it is the only room upstairs, I didn’t worry about getting caught in my jammies if I got up in the middle of the night.
I stayed in one of the downstairs ensuite rooms on my last night and the room was just as nice and spacious as the twin room upstairs.
The rooms aren’t fancy.
They’re simple, clean and bright with what you need — towels, toiletries, hairdryer and extra blankets.
In the 2 downstairs rooms you’ll also find fold up chairs to take on the deck so you can sit and watch the world go by on a nice day.
Feeling at home
Graeme and Isabell certainly make you feel like you’re at home because Solas is their home.
Breakfast is served in the large room that is the kitchen, dining room and sitting room (family room to the Americans).
There are views out to the sea and a deck that is accessed from this room or the 2 double rooms on the ground floor.
They each have their own set of binoculars and they are fun to watch as they grab them if they see something out back.
Everyone sits at one table for breakfast as Isabell likes her guests to get to know one another which I think is fabulous.
You’ll put your hot breakfast request in the night before, and there’s always yogurt, fruit and cereals available.
It’s always a delicious meal!
As I sat down to breakfast each of the 5 mornings I was there, I simply felt as though I was in my friend’s house or perhaps an aunt and uncle’s home.
I heard the story of how Isabell and Graeme met, as this was not either of their first marriages.
They’re not bashful of sharing their lives with you.
And this is my idea of great accommodation — and exceptional hosts.
Away from town yet a great location
Now you are a good few miles from Gairloch — probably a 10 minute drive back to the town and maybe 8 minutes to Strath.
Technically Solas B&B is in the community of Big Sand — the name of the beach that is close by.
So you won’t be able to walk to town and what it has to offer.
However Big Sand has a huge campground — Sands Caravan & Camping — that also has a lovely cafe/restaurant called the Barn Cafe with really good food.
And it’s within walking distance across the fields.
You just have to watch for sheep and cow dung!
But if the days are long — as they were for me — it’s doable to make the walk to and from Solas B&B.
And you can certainly drive to Strath or to Gairloch to eat as there are some nice restaurants.
I recommend Spiral Cafe & Bistro in Strath. (no website)
The Myrtle Bank Hotel in Gairloch has a good restaurant as well.
So there are choices, but know that you’ll have to drive.
And if you’re driving the Northwest 500 or are interested in seeing other places in the Northwest of Scotland, Solas B&B is in a fabulous location.
You can easily drive up to Ullapool, one of the bigger towns in this part of Scotland.
It only takes about 10 minutes to get back to the main road that will lead you north or south or east— north to Poolewe, Ullapool and the Assynt region, south toward the Torridon Hills or east to Loch Maree.
Undeniably outstanding hospitality
Isabell and Graeme are some of the best B&B hosts I’ve ever had.
I’ve already remarked on how I felt like I was in a friend or relative’s home.
And this was evident on my fifth and final night at Solas B&B.
I came home from dinner at the Barn Cafe and I was simply going to pop my head into the main room — where we eat breakfast — to say goodnight.
Graeme and Isabell were sitting in there drinking some wine.
The next thing I know I’m sitting there with them chatting.
Then Graeme pulls out some whisky and he and I have some tasty Scottish whisky while Isabell sips on her wine.
We chat about anything and everything — from Brexit to Trump to travel to our families.
They’re both very intelligent and thoughtful people and exceptional conversationalists.
I had some awesome chats with them over the 5 days as we shared our stories and our thoughts and opinons.
This is one of the things I love most about travel — hearing other people’s (from other countries, walks of life) thoughts and opinions on varying subjects.
And with them I felt I could be open without being judged.
And I think they felt the same with me.
Solas B&B is special
Not only is this the best place to stay in Gairloch, but it’s one of the best places to stay in Northwest Scotland.
And it’s one of the best accommodation I’ve ever stayed in — one of my favorites.
Warm and friendly hosts.
And a wonderful value.
I paid only £40 per night.
The rates aren’t listed on their website so they may be different at various times of the year.
But I do know they keep their tariffs at a good value which makes Solas B&B that much more appealing.
I can’t recommend this lovely B&B enough.