Recently I returned from an eight-day Scottish adventure, where me and my partner Tom travelled all along the Scottish coast up to the Isle of Skye and through the Scottish Highlands.
It was an epic adventure where we filled our days absorbing as much of the surroundings as possible whilst staying in some wonderful hotels, wigwams, Airbnb’s and one special place, Knockomie Inn.
Situated in the highlands, Knockomie Inn has had a very colourful history. On the grounds once stood a villa which housed judges who visited the area. Then, in the late 1800’s the villa changed hands from the Earl of Moray to the Fraser family, whose wealth came directly from tea plantations in India. The building was then purchased by the Ellis family in 1987, who turned it into a hotel, but recently the family chose to rebrand as an inn, removing the stuffy corporate feel and embracing a more honest, cosy approach.
The Ellis’ wanted to focus on the traditions of an inn keeper, where the food must be wholesome and a good reflection of the local produce on offer and more importantly, must leave customers wanting to return and to be honest they have succeeded, because I have not stopped thinking about Knockomie since the day we left.
During our two-night stay, we came to know Gavin (the owner) and his staff very well. They were informative, attentive, friendly, honest and they would bend over backwards to please us. This lovely honest approach quickly made Knockomie our home from home and we loved returning to the inn after a long day spent along the picturesque coast. We just could not wait to freshen up and enjoy some wholesome food and a good catch up with the staff.
The inn’s décor seemed to be a collaboration of solid traditional pieces (like good quality dressing tables, cupboards and drawers) mixed with random more contemporary pieces, such as the large neon sign in the bar. I personally enjoyed this juxtaposition of old and new and I felt their random cosy décor just added to the inn’s charm.
During our time at Knockomie we sat on their beautifully mowed lawns, sipping on chardonnay in the sun (our dog Marlin was even brought a lovely little bowl of dog treats too). We enjoyed a delicious breakfast each morning which was simple yet more than enough to set us up for the day ahead, (the Scottish oats and local honey was a huge hit with me). We ate our way through the dinner menu (which offered a perfect selection of meat and vegetarian cuisine) and we spent both nights lit by warm candlelight, indulging in the chefs creations whilst sipping on cocktails and chatting with the staff long into the night. It was just gorgeous.
While the Inn ticked all our boxes, we were also blown away the surrounding area and beauty on the doorstep. Situated in Forres, Moray, (slightly between Inverness and Aberdeen), the Inn has so much stunning coastline to explore, which means you’ll never struggle for things to see and do. We spent a whole day walking along the bluest waters we have seen in Scotland, we spotted sealions, paddled in the crystal-clear waters and ate and drank in some gorgeous Scottish pubs, all of which were recommended by Gavin.
Since leaving the inn we think about our trip regularly, we created some fantastic memories, and we cannot wait to visit Gavin and his team again soon for more laughs and to experience their heart-warming hospitality. If you are ever in this part of Scotland, make sure Knockomie is on your list to visit, and you’ll be guaranteed to make some incredible memories too.
Words and Review by Luke Williams (@stanleydru)