Book campsites near Dry Island
Campsites in Ross-shire
Campsites in Highlands
Opportunities to take a holiday on your very own island don’t come around very often. Uniquely situated on Scotland's wilder-than-wild West Coast, Dry Island sits in the tranquil Badachro Bay, who's warm Gulf stream waters attract a plethora of marine wildlife. The Mackenzie family have lived, fished and farmed on this tiny island since the 15th Century, and current owner Ian is a direct descendent, who still fishes for shellfish today. Dry Island is simply beautiful and after a few days breathing in that fresh sea air and exploring the nearby hills and beaches, you’ll come to realise why the Mackenzie clan never left.
Right, enough notional nonsense, because Dry Island is also a fantastically practical place to come for a holiday. Accommodation comes in the form of Badachro Bothy; a large warm, secluded wooden cabin with decking and undercover outdoor seating, enabling guests to enjoy the woodland and sea views whatever the weather. Step inside and you’ll find bunk beds, comfortable sofa beds, a heater and your own private shower and WC. The ‘Otter Cabin’ (one of the islands two self-catering cottages) is nestled away in lush woodlands and comes kitted out with a double bedroom, shower room, open plan kitchen, living room and two (yes two) decking areas. Oh, and did we mention you also get your own private beach!?!
What next? How about a Shellfish Safari? In the summer join local skipper Ian on his traditional creel fishing boat and participate in an activity that’s been part of the family for centuries. Langoustines, squat lobsters, crab, octopus, starfish, scorpion fish and beautiful shells are all hauled from Badachro Bays’ crystal clear waters. Some of Ian's shellfish ends up on plates at Gordon Ramsay's restaurants, but you can sample this delicious fresh food for yourself, so why not take a bucket home for tea? Also, keep your eyes peeled for the wonderful array of wildlife: dolphins, porpoises, seals, otters and sea eagles (the largest eagle in Europe) are all known to frequent the bay.
From climbing the giant sandstone Torridon Mountains, to crossing the sea and discovering Skye, the Isle of Rona and the Inner Hebrides (trips can be booked during your stay), you'll find plenty to do in this remote pocket of north-west Britain. Ian and his other half Jess are the undisputed ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ of Dry Island and are its only permanent inhabitants. They have even given the island its very own currency (the crab), flag (a crab in a Saltire) and legislation such as “all visitors must smile”. And with a big bucket of fresh seafood for tea, you’ll have every reason to smile.
Badachro Bothy is a large warm, secure wooden cabin with a bunk bed (small double and single), and one comfortable double sofa bed. Own private shower, WC, heater and linen and towels can be hired. Decking and an undercover outdoor seating area with a fire pit along with woodland and sea views. The Bothy is completely by itself on the island and is close to your own play-park with slides, swings and football goals. 2 self-catering cottages are also available, the Otter Cabin (nestled in the woods) comfortably sleeps 2 and has its own private beach with sand, recliner and decking 5 metres from waters edge. The Old Curing Station dates back to 1841 and can also sleep 2. Inside, there's a brand new kitchen with: hob, oven, microwave and panini press. Both cottages come with TVs, DVD players, CD/radio system and a ipod docking station. Free WiFi throughout.
Wildlife lovers, glampers, families, small groups and dogs (by prior arrangement) – yes. Tents, campervans and caravans – no.
The loch is circled to the south by the dramatic Torridon Mountains, including the 3,300ft high Beinn Alligin and it’s slightly smaller sibling, Slioch (3,215ft). Being mainly sandstone, the rock here is some of the oldest in the country and treks involve some of the best ridge-walking in Scotland, with scrambles to suit both beginners and the more advanced. Inverness is the nearest city to Dry Island (90 minutes drive). The primary city of the Highlands, Inverness has a great location by the River Ness at the northern end of the Great Glen, with its fun canoe trail. In summer it overflows with tourists intent on monster hunting at nearby Loch Ness, but it’s worth a visit in its own right or take a cruise on the Moray Firth in search of its famous bottlenose dolphins.
Food & Drink
A stones throw from the shores of Gair Loch, The Badachro Inn (01445 741255) looks over to Isle Horrisdale. Come inside for the best in Highland hospitality in front of a roaring fire. Perfect for unwinding after a day on the hills, this cosy pub has a selection of beers, wine and spirits (with an excellent choice of malts). The varied and exciting menu changes daily, with many dishes featuring locally caught seafood. The Independent Inverness Farmers' Market is held in the city centre on the first Saturday of every month. It is a well stocked with a variety of stalls selling quality, local produce including: cheese, fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs as well as crafts and more.
All year round.
Contact Dry Island, Dry Island, Badachro, Gairloch, Ross-shire, Scotland IV21 2AB
Access from the mainland can be made on foot by a rough path and floating bridge. Or Ian and Jess will take you and your luggage over by boat.
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Rated ★★★★★ over 1 reviews
Nothing more ideallic, remote, tranquil and romantic with the safety of a proper roof over your head and shower.