Strathpeffer History

Strathpeffer Community Collage

"Where every prospect pleases"
The material for this entry was obtained from a 44-page booklet, printed in Scotland by McCorquodale & Co. Ltd., Caxton Works, Glasgow. Neither the publisher nor the date is known. The booklet was provided by Mrs Margaret Spark, Strathpeffer (transcribed December 2000,by Kerr Yule).

Strathpeffer Spa booklet

Top:  view from Cat's Back towards Knockfarrel.
Middle:  falls of Conon, Strathpeffer.
Bottom:  Strathpeffer from Knockfarrel.

"The fragrant earth, the sweet sounds everywhere
Seemed gifts too great almost for man to bear."   (William Morris)

A postcard, dated January 1910, addressed to Mr James Gibb
This postcard, dated January 1910, addressed to Mr James Gibb, Bridgeness, Bo'ness, could well illustrate the following booklet.

Strathpeffer Spa - Scale of Charges
Baths etc - Nauheim bath - 10/6;  Peat bath with douche - 9/6;  Aix douche - 7/6;  Vichy douche - 7/6;  Thermal surphur bath - 6/-;  Plombiere treatment - 10/6;  High frequency (10 minutes) - 5/-;  Inhalation 1/6;  Radiant heat - local treatment - 5/-;  Radiant heat - general treatment - 9/-;  Radiant heat - ionization - 6/-;  Diathermy - local treatment 4/-;  Diathermy - double treatment - 7/-;  Subject to alteration - Swedish massage.
During May- Waters to be served in the Old Pumproom at 9d. per day.  June to Middle of July-Waters to be served in the New Pumproom and including admission to Gardens-1/- per day; 7/- per week.  From Middle of July to end of Season-Waters in New Pumproom,
and Entrance to Gardens included-1/6 per day; 10/- per week.  Garden charges include Tennis, Bowls, Croquet and Putting.  
1-Bathing Hours are:-7.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on week-days.  2-Tickets for Baths, Warets, and Gardens must be obtained at the Cashier's Office, in the Spa.
3-To ensure regularity and avoid disappointment, Visitors are advised to book their Baths at the Office early in the morning.
4-The Office is open for Booking Baths and for the Sale of Water and Garden Tickets from 7.30 a.m. to 9 a.m., 12 till 1, and from 4 to 5 in the afternoon.
5-It is expected that the Duration of the Bath shall not exceed three-quarters of an hour, and Cooling Halls are provided for the use of Visitors after they leave their Dressing Rooms.
6-If a Bath is cancelled, Two Hours clear notice must be given, or the price of Bath will, in all cases, be charged.
7-All Vouchers for Baths are to be handed to the Attendants.

The Pumprooms will be Open Daily (Sundays included) from 7.30 till 9 a.m. and from 12 till 1 p.m.

Strathpeffer Spa in the Highlands of Scotland

STRATHPEFFER, one of the most celebrated of the holiday resorts of Britain, is also one of the most beautifully situated. It lies in a cup of the Ross-shire Highlands. Through the fertile valley at the head of which is Strathpeffer runs the Peffrey (Gaelic- the bright and beautiful water), which, at Dingwall, five miles away, flows into the head of the Cromarty Firth, about 25 miles north-west from Inverness. At Strathpeffer the valley narrows and ramparts of hills shelter the resort and dower it with a heritage of natural grandeur. To the north towers the impressive mass of Ben Wyvis to a height of 3,429 feet. To the south runs a ridge of lesser hills of a softer and sweeter beauty, rising abruptly from the strath, the whole range plumed with pine and fir and larch which give a gracious charm to the Southern landscape. To the west are the austere mountains of Central Ross-shire, stretching, billow after billow, to the far horizon, a magnificent landscape at all seasons, but especially so when the heather has clad the bens with the purple panoply of majesty.

"Nature is the art of God"   [Sir Thomas Browne]


Nature has given Strathpeffer a beautiful setting; man has not failed to take advantage of it. The village which is about 200 feet above sea-level, is on the sunny side of Ord Hill, a pine-clad eminence. It is a resort, which largely consists of villas, picturesque in architecture, lit by electricity and provided with every modern convenience. All the houses have well-kept gardens, which impart a delightful spaciousness and natural beauty. Nature even shades the village square and main street with towering pine and fir, the characteristic symbols of this land of forest. The shop fronts are not overlooked in the scheme of aesthetic values, and their green and white decorations emphasise the attractiveness of the resort, where the vernal charm of spring seems to have been captured and retained throughout all the seasons and at all times delights the eye with a clean and trig freshness - in itself an invigoration, mentally and physically.

"Merrily, merrily shall I live now, Under the blossom that hangs on the bough"

The Pass of Killiecrankie - on the way to Strathpeffer.

Strathpeffer from Achterneed Station.

 "And 'tis my faith, that every flower enjoy the air it breathes"  [Wordsworth]

The Road to the North

STRATHPEFFER is directly accessible from all parts of Scotland and England by the corridor express trains of the London Midland and Scottish Railway. The trains are the last word in comfortable travel, the compartments being spacious and sumptuous, and there are tea and dining saloons in which meals are perfectly served. The LMS way to the magic North is a path of sheer beauty, and constitutes no small part of the enjoyment of the holiday. From Perth, the natural key to the Highlands, the line proceeds up the noble valley of the Tay to Dunkeld and Ballinluig, thence by the wooded banks of the brawling Tummel to Pitlochry, and then the route enters that beauty spot, the Pass of Killiecrankie, with its historic memories. The scenery is magnificent. The railway line runs along a shelf above the Pass through the bottom of which tumbles the tempestuous Garry. On all sides rise abruptly the mountains, thickly wooded. No more entrancing bit of Highland scenery, at once beautiful and impressive, can be imagined. Once through the defile, the line, skirting the battlefield of Killiecrankie, passes Blair Atholl, and crosses the Grampians at a height of 1,484 feet, to the valley of the Spey, with its string of holiday haunts - Newtonmore, Kingussie and Aviemore - all set amid the inspiring scenery of the Grampians. Then on by Carr Bridge and Culloden to Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands. Northward from Inverness, the LMS line crosses the mouth of the great glen through which is the Caledonian Canal, linking East and West, runs along the shores and around the top of the Beauly Firth to Beauly and then to Dingwall, at the head of the Cromarty Firth, whence a short run of five miles takes the traveller to Strathpeffer.

"The soul's calm sunshine and the heartfelt joy"  [Alex. Pope]

Dingwall, the junction for Strathpeffer

The Climate of the Spa

STRATHPEFFER is fortunate in its climate, which may in a phrase be described as "mild, dry, bracing". The proximity of the Spa to the sea - from various points within the resort the Cromarty Firth can be seen - ensures an equable temperature. The mean daily range in July and August averages only about 12 degrees and the Summer temperature is only a few degrees lower than Greenwich. Owing to the airy situation, the summer heat is tempered by breezes from the sea, which, intermingled with the mountain air impregnated by the health-giving fragrance of the pine-woods, give an atmosphere which braces and invigorates. No one suffers from Summer lassitude in Strathpeffer - fatigue is banished by the tonic air. The rainfall, too, is comparatively small. The south-westerly wind, the prevailing one in the district, comes across the western mountains of Ross-shire from the Atlantic, and so loses much of its moisture before the Spa is reached. The average annual rainfall is only two or three inches in excess of that of London, though the number of rainy days in Strathpeffer is usually less than the number in the Metropolis. Rain, too, is quickly absorbed. The natural slope of the ground and the porous nature of the soil drains the water quickly away, and even after heavy rain the roads and paths are soon dry. Another singular fact about Strathpeffer is that there is little difference between the rainfall in Spring, Summer, and Autumn, a further indication of the sheltered environment. April and May are delightful months; September and October, rich with all the gorgeous colouring of the Autumn, are as agreeable as July and August; June, perhaps, is the best month of the year, when nature is gay in a new dress; while May is the sunniest month. In any of these months the visitor is assured of enjoying a holiday in one of the purest and most salubrious climates of Great Britain, and amid natural scenery unsurpassed in Europe.

"The very pink of perfection"  [Oliver Goldsmith]
"Which not even critics criticise"  [William Cowper]

Electric department, Strathpeffer Spa.

In the bathrooms, Strathpeffer Spa.

The Spa

WHAT makes Strathpeffer unique among British holiday resorts is, of course, its Spa, the curative properties of the mineral waters of which are known all over the world. The history of the Spa dates back to the end of the eighteenth century, when, in 1777, after the waters had long enjoyed a great local repute for healing, the factor of the then forfeited Cromartie Estates persuaded the Royal Commission to make a geological examination, with the result that several powerful springs of chalybeate and sulphur water were discovered. But it was not until the beginning of the last century that the Spa began to develop on modern lines. Dr. Thomas Morrison, an Aberdeenshire physician, who had cured himself of a chronic rheumatic affection by the Strathpeffer waters, and knew of cases similar to his own which had benefited by the same treatment, decided to make known the health virtues of the resort. He took up residence at Elsick Cottage, now Elsick House. In 1819 he built the first Pumproom, a modest building over "the Strong Well," on the site of the present Bathing Establishment. Subsequently the Cromartie family bought back the forfeited estates and had restored the Earldom attainted when the family went out in the '45, and steps were taken to develop the Spa. In 1861 a stone and lime building for both Wells and Baths was erected on the site of the old wooden Pumproom. In 1871 an upper storey and new bathrooms were added; in 1881 another suite of baths was erected, and the whole system for conserving the waters was completely revolutionised. Since then, however, the Spa has been completely transformed. In 1907 the Countess of Cromartie sold the wells and baths to a London syndicate, which has not only developed the Spa on the most efficient and up-to-date methods, but has done so with an admirable sense of artistic values.
The result is that Strathpeffer Spa now combines all the best features of Continental Spas and is second to none in Britain. The system adopted is the best known to conserve and preserve the natural gases, which give the Strathpeffer waters a distinctive value over those of all other Spas. The various wells are grouped together in a new and beautiful Pumproom. The Bath Establishment is a large two-storeyed building; with modern bathrooms and well-appointed, comfortable dressing-rooms, and a fine suite of cooling-rooms, lounges and waiting-rooms, richly appointed and handsomely decorated. The Establishment provideSulphuric and Pine baths, Douche baths, Nauheim baths, and the famous Peat bath, the most perfect of its kind either in Great Britain or the Continent. Strathpeffer was indeed the first Spa in Britain to introduce this type of bath, which is of distinct value in gouty or rheumatic cases. A complete system of electric treatment is also in operation, and massage is given by a skilled staff.

Vichy bath, Strathpeffer Spa.

Taking the Waters, Strathpeffer Spa.
"Rich with the spoils of Nature"  [Sir Thomas Browne]

The Pumproom, Strathpeffer Spa.

The waters of Strathpeffer Spa are of two kinds - sulphurous and chalybeate. The special feature of the former is due to the large amount of sulphur particularly in the form of sulphuretted hydrogen gas. They are slightly aperient and therefore may be freely used. Owing to the absence of chlorides they are not unpleasantly bitter, while the exceptionally large amount of carbonic acid gas makes them easily absorbed and digested. The waters as they come from the five springs are cold, but are heated both for drinking and bathing. The four sulphur and one iron springs, with their various properties, are in order of strength and potency as follows:-
No. 1.-The Old or Castle Leod Well. Chiefly taken by those who suffer from indigestion or who cannot take the stronger waters. The water is clearer than that of the others.

No. 2.-Upper or Sutherland Well. This is decidedly the favourite spring, especially for the early morning drink. Though the sulphur flavour is stronger than No. 1, the water which acts as a mild aperient is not unpleasant.

No. 3.-The Strong or Morrison Well. The water is clearer in appearance than that of No. 2 Well, but is rather more unpleasant to take, and two or three days are required to become accustomed to it. In its natural condition it has an astringent action, which is counteracted if taken very hot and with the addition of Epsom salts.

No. 4.-The Cromartie Well. A most powerful sulphur spring. It has a large amount of laxative salts and therefore must be taken in smaller quantities than the others. It is useful for those who require the sulphur treatment, but are unable to drink much fluid.

No. 5.-The Chalybeate or Iron Well, the waters of which come from Ben Wyvis, contains iron in solution in its most digestible form - the carbonate - and carbonic acid gas, which aerates the water and greatly aids its absorption. It acts most beneficially in all cases of anaemia, and in many dyspeptic conditions may be used as a tonic after a course of the sulphur water.

The waters, either hot or cold, come direct from the springs to the Pumproom, which is open daily from 7.30 until 9.0 a.m. and from 12 to 1.

"Chords that vibrate sweetest pleasure"  [Robert Burns]

The Gardens and Pavilion

The Pumproom is set amid spacious pleasure gardens, charmingly laid out with lawns, pergolas of roses, parterres of flowers, noble trees and dainty summer houses, while a picturesque note is supplied by a burn which wimples over little falls or broadens out into tiny lakes. The grounds, too, contain tennis courts, putting and bowling greens, and a croquet lawn.

In the bandstand instrumental concerts by a specially selected orchestra are given three times each day. The Tea Gardens, which are open from 7.30 a.m. to 10.0 p.m. on week-days, and 7.30 a.m. to 2.0 p.m. on Sundays contain a handsome Pavilion, a picturesque building - the largest Concert Hall in Ross-shire. In the Pavilion which also includes a Restaurant, an orchestral concert is given each evening, while dances are held every Thursday and Saturday evening during the season.

The bowling green and Pavilion, Strathpeffer.

"There's a joy without canker or cark, There's a pleasure eternally new"  [Andrew Lang]

In the gardens, Strathpeffer.

Tennis and Fishing

THERE are numerous facilities for various kinds of recreation at Strathpeffer, notably Golf and Tennis. In the Pavilion grounds there are four public courts; the Highland Hotel has four courts, the Wyvis Hotel one, and the Spa Hotel two. Each of these hotels has also putting greens and croquet lawns, and there are several bowling greens. Within the beautiful policies of Castle Leod is a spacious cricket ground, in which the Ross County Club play, and matches are frequently arranged with the visitors. Strathpeffer is in the centre of a district noted for its fishing. On Loch Luichart, the source of the River Conon, some six miles from the Spa, there is abundance of trout. The loch is about seven miles in length and a mile in breadth and lies amid scenes of great beauty.

"And add to these, retired Leisure, That in trim gardens takes his pleasure"  [John Milton]

A Glorious Golf Course

THE golfer will find unsurpassed facilities for the game on the Strathpeffer course of eighteen holes. It lies in Ulladale, among the hills, 300 feet above sea-level, and is a little over five minutes' walk from the Square of the village. In respect of situation and environment it is unique among the golf courses of Britain. From the verandah of the Clubhouse one looks down on the whole smiling valley across the upper reaches of the Cromarty Firth and the Black Isle beyond. At the westward end of the course are two striking views. One is of Loch Kinellan - on an island of which are the traces of an old stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie - and the distinct background of the Strathconon hills with the rugged pine-clad peaks of Tor Achilty in the middle distance. The other view is grander - a panorama of rolling mountainous country, dominated by the sugar-loafed peaks of Scuir Vuillin, behind which stretch to the far west the tops of austere mountain after mountain. The course is sheltered on the south side by the pines of Ord Hill, while on the north are the heather slopes of Cnoc Ulladale, on which often times are seen the red deer of the High lands. No wonder Vardon, who, like Herd, Kirkaldy, Auchterlonie, Massy, and other champions have enthusiastically praised the course, described the scenery as beyond anything that he has seen on any golf course. He drolly expressed the opinion that the entrancing nature of the surroundings might in one respect be a disadvantage, for he wrote:- "The eighteenth tee is the picture of the course. Driving from very high ground, you can be forgiven if you top your drive, because you are apt to look to admire the scenery and forget the little ball. The view is one of the most picturesque that can possibly be seen.   "The course covers an area of over 100 acres, and has a playing surface as good as any inland course in the country, and sporting to a degree in its natural and artificial hazards, each hole having its distinctive feature. The fees for visitors are- August and September - Day, 2/6; Week, 10/6. Other months Day - 2/-; Week, 7/6; Annual Subscription, 21/-

"Sport that wrinkled care derides"  [John Milton]

On the golf course, Strathpeffer.

Loch Luichart, Ross-shire - on the way to Skye.

"'Tis beauty truly blent, Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on"  [Shakespeare]

A Radius of Beauty

WITHIN a radius of two miles from the centre of Strathpeffer are at least six of the most charming walks in all broad Scotland, each different, in the variety of landscapes presented, but all equally alluring and delightful. Their situation and natural features, too, allow the visitor to select the walk most suited to the climatic conditions at the time, whether shelter from sun or breeze is desired. The Ord Hill (one mile each way) is a very enjoyable walk over the pine-clad eminence, on the slopes of which Strathpeffer lies. The path twines easily upward and through the wood to the summit. At many places seats have been erected, where visitors may rest and enjoy the vistas, at certain places overlooking the golf course, at others the lovely Strath. No one will have any difficulty in finding the road to the Ord Hill, but the best way, perhaps, is to proceed by the public road branching off at the Parish Church. On entering the wood keep to the path which turns to the left or west until the summit is reached. The return may then be by the path along the summit in the wood or by the side of the wood and the margin of the golf course. The time occupied on such a walk is obviously conditioned by the taste of the walker; but whether the walking be quick or a mere saunter with many rests to enjoy the views, the Ord Hill will always charm.

"Safe in the hallowed quiet"  [James Russell Lowell]

Castle Leod (loud) (about a mile each way), once one of the principal seats of the Earls of Cromartie, lies by the main road east of the Spa. It is a fine baronial pile, erected in the early seventeenth century. The extensive Policies, into which visitors are admitted at certain times, are famed for huge trees, the king of which a Spanish Chestnut, has a trunk with a circumference of 24 feet. The walk may be extended by half a mile to the little clachan of Achterneed, if the road opening to the left a little past the principal entrance to the Castle Policies be followed. Achterneed is a picturesque village of crofters, who are descendants of the men of the 71st Regiment, the Highland Light Infantry, settled there on their return from Waterloo. Another excursion of a little over half a mile from Achterneed Station will bring the visitor to the Raven Rock, rising abruptly from the railway line, which it nearly overarches, to a height of 250 feet. Tradition asserts it once was the favourite haunt of ravens.

Loch Kinellan, near Strathpeffer.
"And all the air a solemn stillness holds."   [Gray]

View Rock (a two miles walk each way) is an eminence only 500 feet high, but commanding a glorious landscape. The way is westward along the main road, past the Spa Hotel, turning along the first opening to the right, over the hill and thence by the side of Loch Kinellan, of exquisite beauty, in its frame of woods. From View Rock a landscape of grandeur stretches westward over Tarvie and the woods of Strathgarve, while to the left (about one and a half miles off by footpath) are seen Tor Achilty and the beautiful loch at its base.

Loch Achilty, near Strathpeffer.
"Beautiful as sweet"  [Edward Young]

Falls of Rogie, near Strathpeffer.
"No sound save the rush of the river"  [Ethyl Lynn Beers]

Loch Garve, near Strathpeffer.

A glimpse is also had of the entrance to Strathconon, with the majestic peaks of Sgurr Vuillin in the distance.

Glencarron, on the way to Skye.
"Calm heights and breadths of vision."  [William Watson]

Among the hills of Skye.
"To climb and seek the mountain view."  [Ella Wheeler Wilcox]

Top:  Knockfarrel from Cat's Back, Strathpeffer.
Middle:  Falls of Conon, Strathpeffer.
Bottom:  Strathpeffer from Knockfarrel.

Knockfarrel (two miles each way) is the rounded Knoll - 720 feet - the eastern termination of the ridge of wooded hills to the south of Strathpeffer. It is easily accessible and from the summit one has a bird's-eye view of the surrounding country. There are three routes - (1) by the main road down past Castle Leod gateway, across the bridge of the Peffery, and thence by the track on the right across the railway and up the slope of the hill - rather a stiff climb; (2) the easiest, shortest and most popular route is by a road leaving the main highway immediately past the entrance to the Ben Wyvis Hotel. It leads past the Hotel stables right up the ridge until the beautiful and well-made path through the lower wood is reached. Thence the way is easy and at the same time offers splendid views of the whole Strath and the various shoulders of Ben Wyvis which makes the northern barrier. (3) The route by the Diamond Jubilee Drive, which begins at the western end and runs right along the shelf of the ridge under tall pines, at every point the eye being delighted by a varied series of lovely landscapes. To reach the beginning of the Drive the visitor must proceed westward along the main road. Immediately after the Spa Hotel, the pathway to the left leads directly to the Drive.

Knockfarrel was, according to Hugh Miller, believed to have been inhabited at one time by a race of giants. Two large boulders beside the Parish Church were, it is said, hurled down by them from the top of Knockfarrel, and the mark of a great finger and thumb is still pointed out on one of the stones, as evidence of the truth of tradition. The summit of the hill is crowned by another memorial - the traces of a vitrified fort which at one time occupied an oval area of about 140 yards long by 40 wide.

The view from Knockfarrel, on which there is a dainty chalet, where tea is served, is one of impressive splendour. The prospect includes the mighty bulk of Ben Wyvis, the peaks of Strathconon, the sparkling waters of the Cromarty Firth, and in the southern distance the hills around Inverness and in the north-east the mountains of Sutherlandshire. In the immediate foreground to the south is Loch Ussie, with its picturesque wooded islets. In the depths of the loch is said to be the prophetic stone of Kenneth Ore, the Brahan Seer, many of whose predictions are said to have come true. Druim Chait (or the Cat's Back) is another part of the same ridge of hill. It is 822 feet high and commands interesting panoramas of mountain and moor, strath and loch. It can be readily reached by the Jubilee Drive or from Knockfarrel.

Farther Afield

ROUND Strathpeffer there are many longer rambles, yet quite within the capacity of the ordinary walker. The Falls of Rogie, on the Blackwater, five miles from the Spa, and Loch Achilty, the same distance, are two of the most popular. The route for both lies westward along the high road past the villages of Jamestown and Contin to Achilty Inn, beyond which is the dividing point of the two routes. The road to the Falls of Rogie turns to the right. A short distance along this road the Falls, which are the prettiest and most romantic in the district, come into view. They are reached from the highway by a beautiful path. The falls are not high, but, surrounded by graceful birches and much natural beauty, form an exquisite picture, which one authority has likened to those of Tivoli in Italy. The river in front of the Falls is spanned by an airy suspension bridge, from which the best view is obtained. The return may be made through the well wooded property of Coul, belonging to Sir Arthur Mackenzie, Bart., and across the moor to Kinellan Loch, and then by way of the Ord Hill to Strathpeffer.

The roadway which leads to the left after passing Achilty Inn leads to Achilty Loch, Lying alongside the road, an exquisitely beautiful sheet of water, about three miles in circumference, surrounded by birch-clad knolls. It is celebrated for its trout. A little farther on is the Lily Loch, so called from the abundance of water lilies dotting its surface.

Perhaps the unique excursion from Strathpeffer is the ascent of Ben Wyvis which, with its 3,429 feet, is the dominant mountain in the neighbourhood of the Spa. The distance to the summit is about ten miles, and presents little difficulty to the experienced climber, the surface being mostly covered with grass, heather or moss. This permits the greater part of the distance being performed on ponies with experienced guides, who are always available. In order to obtain the best view from the summit it is necessary to start not later than 7.00 a.m., and for this purpose parties are frequently formed. From the summit, which is covered by a great pile of stone called the Monument, a great stretch of country can be seen. The view embraces the Moray Firth coast from Inverness to Lossiemouth and the Eastern Grampians from Ben Macdhui, over 50 miles distant, to Ben Rinnes, near Dufftown; northward the prospect includes the Ord of Caithness and Morven. The view is of rare magnificence.

Kyle of Lochalsh.
"O'er the wild mountain and the luxuriant plains, Nature in all the pomp of beauty reigns."   [James Montgomery

The Road to the Isles

River Bran, near Lochluichart, on the way to Skye.
"The long, bright river drawing slowly, His waters from the purple hill. [Tennyson]

STRATHPEFFER is the key to one of the most wonderful districts of grandeur in Britain, and there are admirable facilities by rail and road to visit the surrounding beauty spots of Ross-shire, Sutherlandshire, and Inverness-shire. Motor coaches, the fares for which are moderate, leave the Spa daily. One of the best all-day excursions is, however, by rail to Kyle of Lochalsh, the nearest port of embarkation to Skye and the delectable Isles of the Hebrides, glorious region of beauty and romance. The visitor to Strathpeffer joins the train at Achterneed Station. The journey is a wondrous trip through wild glen after glen, along the shoulders of towering bens, past roaring cataracts and rushing rivers, picturesque woods and deer forests, placid lochs, the lone mirrors of lordly mountains - one of the most interesting of railway routes in the country. About five miles from Achterneed the line skirts the southern shore of Loch Garve. From Garve Station, a little beyond the western end of the loch, a motor car runs daily to Ullapool, on the west coast. The next loch is Luichart, the source of the River Conon, shortly afterwards crossed by the railway, from which a fine view of the Falls of Grudie on the River Bran is had. Then comes Achanalt, just within Strath Bran, along which the railway runs for ten miles. At the head of the Strath is Achnasheen, the starting point for motor runs to Loch Maree, 18 miles long, and gemmed by twenty-seven islands, beautifully wooded, and Gairloch, an exquisite fairyland. Continuing westward, the railway passes Lochs Gowan, Scaven and Doule and ultimately reaches the sea at Loch Carron, along the picturesque shore of which it winds until the inspiring vistas of ben and glen and loch and sea culminate in the grand vision of the Coolins, the romantic mountains of Skye, fifteen of which are over 3,000 feet high. Strome Ferry, for many years the western terminus of the line, and the typically Highland clachans of Plockton and Duirinish are passed, and the line ends at Kyle of Lochalsh, about 60 miles from Strathpeffer. Skye is immediately opposite the village, half a mile across a narrow strait, and a ferry is available for those who wish to be able to say that they have set foot on the Isle of Mist.

"Here at the Quiet Limit of the World"   [Lord Tennyson]


The Highland Hotel, Pavilion and Gardens, Strathpeffer.
"Hospitality sitting with Gladness"  [Henry W Longfellow]

At Strathpeffer there are all kinds of accommodation. The visitor has a choice of well-managed and modern Hotels and Boarding-Houses or of private rooms in comfortable Villas. The Hotels and Boarding-Houses are as follows:-

Ben Wyvis, Highland Hotel, Spa Hotel, Strathpeffer Hotel (Mackay's)

MacGregor's, Craigvar, Kildonan, Tarbat 

BOARDING AND LODGING HOUSES - Public rooms / Bedrooms
Ardival House (Mrs. Ramsay) 2, 6
Brookside (Mr. Ross) 2, 7
Bydand (Mrs. Monkhouse) 3, 15
Caberfeidh House (Mrs. Cross) 3,12
Camuserrochd (Mrs. Cameron) 2, 8
Fern Cottage (Mrs. Ross) 1, 4
Hamilton House (Miss MacKenzie) 3, 10
Highfield House (Mrs. Campbell) 2, 6
Holly Lodge 3, 11
Kinnettas Cottage (Mrs. MacLean) 1, 2
Maybank (Miss Davidson) 2, 7
Midhope (Mrs. Bodell) 3, 6
Newton Villa (Mrs.Asher) 2, 3
New York Villa (Mrs. Mackenzie) 2, 6
Parkhill Cottage (Miss Finlayson) 1, 4
Ravenscroft (Mrs. Anderson) 3, 8
Rose Cottage (Mrs. MacLeod) 1, 3
Rowan Cottage (Miss MacKenzie) 2, 6
Stanley Villa (Mrs. Clark) 2, 5
Strathbran (Miss Finlayson) 3, 8
The Bungalow (Mrs. Purdie) 2, 5
Victoria House (Mrs. MacIver) 2, 10
Viewfield (Mrs. MacDonald) 2, 4
Windsor Lodge (Mrs. MacRae) 3, 12
Woodlands (Mrs. Fraser) 2, 10

" We will all the pleasures prove That hills and valleys, dales and fields, Woods or steepy mountains yields"  [Christopher Marlowe]

Strathpeffer Spa Hotel, Ross-shire
Patronised by Royalty.  Oldest Established and Leading Hotel

Highest situation overlooking the Strath.  Fine Public, etc., Rooms.  Private Apartments en suite.  Electric Light.  Perfect Sanitation.  Invalid Dietary a Speciality.  Adjacent fo splendid golf course.  Music and other entertainments in Recreation Hall in the evenings.  Motor gargages, petrol etc supplied.  Cars on hire.   Officially appointed by S.A.C.  Hard tennis courts, Croquet, Golf putting course.
Telegrams: "Spa Hotel' Strathpeffer".  Telephone 25.  For terms:  apply  The Manageress
[Later note:  this hotel was destroyed by fire in the 1940s and was not rebuilt.]

The Ben Wyvis Hotel

The Principal Hotel at the Spa.  Finest situation, with private walk to the Wells and Baths, and to the Pavilion and Spa Gardens in which a splendid Orchestra plays daily.  Stands in its own Grounds amidst magnificent Scenery, in full view of Ben Wyvis and the policies of Castle Leod. 
Self-Contained Suites available.  Spacious Lounge and Reading Room.  Music, Billiard, and Smoking Rooms.  Perfect Sanitary Arrangements.  Electric Light and Passenger Lift.
Tennis and Croquet Grounds.  Near excellent Golf Course ( 18 holes).  Spacious Motor Garage with Lounge for Chauffeurs.  Headquarters of the Royal and Scottish Automobile Clubs.  Convenient centre for Motoring to some of the grandest scenery in the Highlands.  Trout Fishing.  Private golf course within grounds.

Telegrams:  "Ben Wyvis Hotel, Strathpeffer"

Mackay's Strathpeffer Hotel

THE STRATHPEFFER HOTEL is situated within one minute's walk of the Railway  Station and is the nearest Hotel to the Mineral Wells and Golf Links.   THE HOTEL is well furnished and has accommodation for seventy visitors. There is a first-class Billiard Table, and the Hotel is lighted by Electricity throughout.

Visitors will find every comfort and freedom combined with moderate charges * * Special Reduced Terms during the months of April, May, June and October * *  
Salmon and Trout fishing.
ANGUS MACKAY  Proprietor
Telegraphic Address:  "Strathpeffer Hotel, Strathpeffer."  Telephone No. 7

The Quality of our Goods is never sacrificed for the sake of quoting a low price,  but every effort is used to maintain our reputation for selling goods of the finest quality.
High-Class Grocer ..  Tea and Coffee Merchant

Agencies:  Lyon's famous cakes, Swiss rolls etc.  Melrose's tea and coffee.  Finest Wiltshire bacon.  


Murdo MacGregor, High-Class Butcher, Poulterer and Licensed Game Dealer, Strathpeffer Spa.

Only prime quality of meat stocked.  Purveyor to all the leading mansions and shooting lodges.  Delivery vans to all parts daily.

Keppoch Farm Tel. No. 47.  Telegrams:  "Excellence, Strathpeffer" Telephone No. 44.

KILDONAN HOTEL -  First-class Hotel 

Situated on Hill with Southern exposure and commands the best view of surrounding district.  Convenient to Mineral Wells, Baths, Golf Course, Tennis Courts and Bowling Greens.

Telegrams:  "Kildonan, Strathpeffer"    Miss Forbes Proprietress

M'Gregor's Hotel
First-class Hotel, nearest to Wells, Baths, Public Gardens, Tennis Courts and Bowling Greens.  Five Minutes from Golf Course.

Terms on application.  Mrs Mackenzie Proprietrix.

First-class Boarding House
Beautifully situated.  Every home comfort.  Moderate terms.  Special terms for Winter months.
Telephone No. 39.  Mrs. F. Smith

Goldsmith, Jeweller and Optician, Strathpeffer.  Also at Victoria Buildings, Tain, and High Street, Invergordon.
Unusual artistic articles at superlative value.  Just the Article you want in rare goods.
Scotch pearls, Highland jewellery. Antiques in silver, glass, china, pewter and jewellery. Don't leave Strathpeffer without procuring a Souvenir of the Highlands and the County Palatine of Scotland.
Repairs in all departments of the trade skilfully done on the premises.

Burnett Brothers
High-Class Bakers and Confectioners.  Luncheon and Tea Rooms, Strathpeffer.

The Spa Pharmacy, Strathpeffer

Dispensing - Prescriptions prepared from purest ingredients with Accuracy and Dispatch.  Analysis - Urinary and other analysis undertaken at moderate fees.
Sick Room and Toilet requisites always in stock.
Photography - Cameras, Spools and all Materials in Stock.  Developing, Printing and Enlarging undertaken for Amateurs.  High-Class Work Guaranteed.  Panoramic Photographs of District a Speciality.

Telegrams:  "Maxwell, Strathpeffer"
T. Wellwood Maxwell, Pharmaceutical Chemist, Strathpeffer Spa.  Telephone: Strathpeffer 14.

Windsor Lodge
First-Class Boarding House beautifully situated, southern aspect and eminence over-looking The Strath.  Private Parlours.  
Terms, etc., apply to Mrs.Macrae, Proprietrix.

A. and S.  F R A S E R

Drapers, Clothiers and Outfitters.
Ladies' Costumes, Coat frocks, Jumpers, Underclothing, Stockings, etc.
Gentlemen's Suits, Raincoats, Shirts, Underwear, Socks, Knocker hose, etc.

Cromartie Buildings, Strathpeffer.


Stands in its own grounds.  Southern Exposure.  Commanding one of the  finest Views in the Strath.  Two Minutes from Wells and Baths. Near Golf Course.  Excellent Cuisine.  Under Personal Supervision.  Boots attends all trains.

Mrs J G Young.  Telegrams:  "Tarbat House, Strathpeffer"  Phone: Strathpeffer 36

Reduced Tariff for early season, viz , April , May and Winter Months



The Square, Strathpeffer
Telephone:  Strathpeffer 23

First-class Lodging and Boarding House splendidly situated close to Pump Rooms and Public Gardens.  Convenient to Golf Course.  
Hot and Cold Baths.  Electric light.  Apply:  Mrs. Cross.
The Pavilion (Licensed) Restaurant, Strathpeffer.  If you want a tasty  
LUNCHEON or TEA while at Strathpeffer, look us up.  PARTIES and DANCES catered for at Moderate Terms.

Visit Strathpeffer Dairy.

For Enquiry:  Phone No. STRATHPEFFER 28

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