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Garden Cottage

Dogs: 2

Sleeps: 2

Exercise Area

Multiple Dogs

Situated on a wooded hillside overlooking the former walled garden, the property was fully refurbished in 2011 and comprises a large double bedroom with king size bed, bathroom with shower and bath, a comfortable sitting room/dining room, and a separate kitchen.

With timber lined walls, working shutters, a feature fireplace with log burning stove, and insulated to the highest level, this cottage offers year round accommodation and is the ideal romantic hideaway.

The outdoor wood burning eco hot tub has been an instant hit. Load up the hot tub with wood, go for a walk to the beach, come back, strip off and jump in with a glass of champagne – perfect!

The modern kitchen has a washing machine, electric oven with hob, microwave and fridge with small freezer. Logs are provided free of charge.

All of our properties are well equipped with kitchen items, crockery and basic cleaning products. We also supply tea towels, oven gloves and enough tea, coffee and fresh milk so you can enjoy a hot drink upon arrival. Towels are provided and there is wifi available.

Dogfriendly Magazine Review

Read our comprehensive review of this listing printed in our bi-monthly magazine.

Name: Torrisdale Estate (Garden Cottage)
Reviewer:   Tracey Radnall

A last-minute late autumn escape. Armed with a promising weather forecast, what further excuse do you need to avoid the Christmas shopping stampede? Skirting the brooding mass of Ben Arthur (The Cobbler), passing through busy Inveraray and stunningly beautiful Glen Croe in the Arrochar Alps. Driving away from the harbour town of Tarbert, the trip takes on all the feel of departing on a ferry crossing and heading onto Kintyre, known as Scotland’s mainland ‘island’. The Kintyre peninsula, both long and narrow, is 40 miles in length and never more than 11 miles at any point from west to east. We’re heading for the sheltered east coast on the Kilbrannan Sound. The Torrisdale Estate sits neatly halfway along the length of the Kintyre Way, 13 miles north of the port town of Campbeltown. Torrisdale and its bay has been on our to-do list for a while – chiefly inspired by the promise of the walking trails and the botanical gin distillery, of course. We’ve made a late booking with Torrisdale Estate’s Garden Cottage lured by both the gin-clear spirit and the wood-fired hot tub. Entering through the sculptured entrance gates featuring a brace of gold boar, we are stopped in our tracks by the most incredible tree next to the main drive. This Monterey Cypress is enormous. Although can’t be certain I’ve ever seen one before. This stunning specimen bears a ‘Champion Tree’ tag with The Tree Register organisation. 

Garden Cottage is tucked away behind the castle – perched above the walled garden which in Victorian times featured a peachery. The stone cottage is so cosy, and comes complete with a private garden. Scotland has the largest area of rainforest in Europe known as the Atlantic or Celtic Rainforest and even rarer than the tropical version. From Kylesku in the north to Kintyre, areas of pristine woodland are home to rare and unique mosses, liverworts, lichen, ferns and fungi that flourish under the temperate hyperoceanic climate. Torrisdale’s on-site ranger Steve is busy building wildlife hides from natural barked timber planks, clearing invasive rhododendron and chipping it to line paths. His team have planted pockets of orchards and ponds which are already attracting aquatic wildlife such as frogs. On a one-and-a-half-mile circular walk guided by the tumbling Torrisdale Burn, the trees are laden with lichen, mosses and other life forms such as Squirrel Nutkin too. The walk from Garden Cottage passing the vast walled garden complete with its orchard of apples, vegetables and fruits, all supplying the fully licensed cafe. Bertie, my working Cocker Spaniel, is eager to sniff out this section of Kintyre rainforest which the owners have cleverly dubbed the ‘Gintyre Way’ – don’t miss the brilliant sculpture, which is also sustainable – made from recycled metalwork found on the estate. The route is halfway along the national Kintyre Way trail at 49 miles from the north and 51 miles from the south. The quality of light is well known this far north and west with creative folk – the proximity of the estate just a stone’s throw from Torrisdale Bay is bound by the shallow arc of the sun at this time of year. We drink in the views as the sun sets over the Isle of Arran topped by lofty Goat Fell with Jupiter clearly visible too. The panorama glowing as though on fire with red and orange hues. 

The estate dates to 1815 when General Keith Macalister began construction of the castle designed by James Gillespie Graham, one of Scotland’s leading architects known for embracing the Scottish Gothic Style. Constructed from sandstone quarried in Wigtownshire and positioned on an idyllic elevated ha-ha, a spot attracting the sun all day long even this late in the year. Fine views stretch across the Sound to Arran and beyond. By 1850 the estate population numbered some 150 made up of fishermen, crofters, foresters, gardeners and household staff. After General Macalister died it was acquired by Colonel Buchan of the adjoining Carradale Estate, who in turn rented it to Peter Hall founder of the British India Navigation Company. His son William inherited the business and bought the estate, since passed down within the family. Niall and Emma Macalister Hall have completed much work including installing a hydroelectric system in 2015 to power the sustainable gin distillery in a former piggery. The estate farmhouse now houses a tasting room, shop, gin school and fully licensed cafe. A biomass boiler means the castle enjoys central heating for the first time in 200 years. For the younger visitors every Wednesday throughout July and August, outdoor sessions provide nature-inspired activities in the woodland explore areas. Local children get hands-on making rafts and racing them along the Torrisdale Burn, a scavenger hunt, nature bingo, making leaf mandalas and compete to build the best den. Each session is themed to inspire the children each week. For adults there is a guided wildlife walk twice a month with the ranger – so bring your bins. Every holiday property on the estate has a nature diary to record your sightings too.

Craft Botanical Gin was established in 2017, named after the highest hill on the peninsula, Beinn An Tuirc, meaning ‘hill of the wild boar’, which stands at 454 metres. Powered by hydro and utterly sustainable, the distillery produces 30,000 bottles a year across a range of products. Twelve botanicals are used, all of which are sustainably sourced. The gin consists of 10 commonly used botanicals, with the addition of two which are unique, namely Icelandic moss and sheep sorrel, both grow on the estate in abundance. Through maceration and vapour infusion, these produce a gin described as ‘both earthy and spicy, deep in flavour and a pleasant floral aroma’. A taste of Kintyre. The distilling process produces a by-product in the form of Hogg-Wash hand sanitiser. Even the wooden bottle stoppers are sustainable. The brilliant branding and packaging was created in the family too by Kenny, Niall’s younger brother, under Emma’s art school trained eye. It has been recognised with a number of national gin awards in recent years. The proximity of the estate, just a stone’s throw from its own beach, attracts the localwild swimming group (no, I didn’t join them). Head alchemist Lynsey who runs the distillery is one of their number. Turns out Lynsey is also a Stone-Skimming Champion, celebrated with her own batch of gin bearing a handwritten signature ‘skimming champ’ on the neck label. Taking in the guided gin tour with owner Emma, I spy a 40kg barbell that Lynsey uses during distillation breaks to keep her arm in. Her record, by the way, stands at 43m. She can often be found skimming stones on Torrisdale beach, watched over by Ailsa Craig from where the granite was hewn for Scotland’s curling stones. Torrisdale has all you need and more for a relaxing break. Whether you are coming or going along the Kintyre Way, refrain from doing things by halves – go the whole hog with a G&T ratio of 50/50 accompanied by ice and a slice and a dip in the hot tub.

 Garden Cottage Reviewed by Tracey Radnall and appears in DogFriendly magazine issue 83.  For more information on the DogFriendly magazine visit https://www.dogfriendly.co.uk/magazine


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Listing Updated: 13/06/2024

Changes to businesses do occur. Please do double check this business is still dog friendly before you make a booking


Listing Address

Torrisdale Castle Estate
PA28 6QT

Listing Details

Can Leave Dog Unattended


Exercise Area


No. Of Dogs Welcome






Dog Welcome Pack


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Unit 4 Bramley Road
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