Alltshellach

Scottish Highlands

10682_0006 - Alltshellach - Exterior

For a combination of mountain views, olde-worlde charm, and somewhere comfortable to sleep, this stately Scottish house in North Ballachulish has an enviable setting right on the shores of Loch Leven – the largest natural shallow water body in lowland Britain. The walking opportunities here are as every bit rugged and romantic as you’d expect, especially around Glen Coe, the Mamores, Kinlochleven, Bidean nam Bian, and Ben Nevis – the 1,345-metre-high peak towering above glistening lochans and glacial valleys in the north-west Highlands. You can also spend time in Fort William, visit the colourful harbour at Tobermory, and ride the Hogwarts-esque Jacobite steam train as it makes its way through beauty spots such as Loch Eil, the Glenfinnan Viaduct, and Arisaig to the fishing port of Mallaig. 

Designed in the early 1870s by Inverness architect Alexander Ross, Alltschellach was built for Lady Alice Ewing – fourth daughter of the 19th Earl of Morton and the second wife and widow of Alexander Ewing, a former Bishop of Argyll & the Isles. Their daughter, Margaret, married Liberal MP Alexander Crum while their granddaughter, also Margaret, married William Thomson (later known as Lord Kelvin) who was one of the most important physicists of the 19th century for determining the absolute zero on any temperature scale. The house remained in the family thereafter, with notable architectural additions including a private chapel, coach houses, stables, and five cottages built from Kentallen granite to house the groomsman and servants. It has been part of our HF Holidays line-up since 1929 (we purchased the property in 1953) and used as a military hospital during WWII. 

Nowadays, Alltschellach has 38 well-appointed guest rooms in three categories (Classic, Premium, and Superior). Room 23 on the second floor is known as the Bishop’s Room for its small prayer area, but this was most likely to have been the children’s bedroom as the bishop would have slept in one of the larger rooms on the first floor. You’ll find three comfortable lounges (the area with the small stained glass window at the end of the entrance hall was probably the private chapel), a dining room for a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients, and a licenced bar with a superb Scottish whisky selection. Elsewhere, there’s a handy boot and drying room, books and games to borrow during your stay, a Discovery Point offering a wide range of local area maps, route guides, and easy-to-follow information for self-guided walks, and beautiful lawns and wooded grounds leading down to Loch Leven.  

Our Country House: Alltshellach

Open March to November and during the festive season ● 38 well-appointed guest rooms ● Full-board (including cream tea on arrival) ● Check in from 4:00pm ● Free on-site parking ● Free Wi-Fi ● Boot room and drying room ● Discovery Point offering a wide range of local area maps, route guides, and information for self-guided walks Licenced bar Three lounges Books and games to borrow Lawns and wooded grounds leading down to Loch Leven

   

 

Need to know

The safety of our guests, team, and leaders is always top of our list. We will closely align ourselves with the latest government advice and guidance on COVID-19 and implement the best possible hygiene practices across our country houses. We ask that you take sensible precautions to protect other people’s health and would appreciate you informing the house team immediately if you feel unwell. For the latest COVID-19 FAQs, please visit our Coronavirus Travel Advice Page

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Alltschellach has 38 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a 23-inch TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel, shower cap), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses. Please note that an extra charge of £15 per person per night applies for this room type. 

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel, shower cap), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses. Please note that an extra charge of £25 per person per night applies for this room type. 

We love: Room 21 for its extra space, corner position, and gorgeous views across Loch Leven. Equally fabulous is Room 23 (known as the Bishop’s Room) on the second floor. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

CHECK IN & CHECK OUT 

You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments. 

About Your Stay

A WARM WELCOME 
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

EVENING ENTERTAINMENT 
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

WALKS TALKS  
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before and after dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (usually held before and after dinner, so you can join whenever suits). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

THE WALKING DAY 
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear (we recommend anything waterproof enough to keep you dry in a sudden downpour). If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & Drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licenced bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. 

Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day. Most dietary requirements can be catered for, so please inform us of any food intolerances or allergies at the time of booking. Currently, global challenges such as COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine are directly impacting our food and drink supply chain. We thank you for appreciating that menu descriptions are kept flexible to allow for last-minute changes if needed. 

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Alltshellach

What's on?

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Discover Scottish Highlands

Local Area

Alltshellach is situated beside the shores of Loch Leven. This is a spectacular location with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

About two miles away, across the loch is the village of Ballachulish. Here you’ll find a post office, food store and bank. A much wider range of facilities can be found in Fort William, about 14 miles to the north.

As the adventure capital of Britain, the Lochaber region is a popular destination for all outdoor enthusiasts. During your stay in Glen Coe you may enjoy visiting the following activities and places of interest:

Jacobite Steam Train

Ride the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig. This stunningly scenic line includes the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, featured in the Harry Potter films. Steam trains run every day and early booking is reccomended. 

Isle of Mull

Reached by car ferry from Oban, or Lochaline, Mull is one of the most popular Scottish islands. You could visit the colourful harbour at Tobermory or the abbey on Iona. 

Isle of Lismore

The peaceful Isle of Lismore is ideal for a relaxed exploration. You can hire bikes at Port Appin, about 30 minutes' drive south of Alltshellach, then take the short ferry crossing to the island.

Oban

The bustling harbour town of Oban, about 45 minutes' drive south of Alltshellach, is a popular destination. There's always plenty of activity around the harbour and it's well worth the walk up to McCaig's Tower, a remarkable folly built in the style of a Roman amphitheatre, with commanding views over the town.

Eilean Donan Castle

Nearly 80 miles drive north from Alltshellach is this romantic and much photographed Scottish lochside castle. Located on a small island just offshore, the castle is isolated by the sea at high tide, only accessible via a stone bridge. 

Ice Factor

Try your hand at ice climbing on the indoor wall at nearby Kinlochleven. 

Getting to Alltshellach

Travel Details

Our address is: Alltshellach, Onich, Fort William, Invernesshire PH33 6SA
Tel: 01855 821357

Group coach transfer:

If you are travelling to or from Alltshellach on Saturdays from 30th April to 29th October 2022 you can join our group coach transfer from Glasgow. Places are limited so booking is essential – please call our Customer Success Team at least 14 days before your departure date on +44 (0)203 974 8865 or email customer-success-team@hfholidays.co.uk to book your place on the coach. £50 per person for a return transfer or £31 per person for a single transfer.

Outward journey: depart Glasgow Buchanan Street bus station* at 16:15 or depart Glasgow International Airport at 16:45; arrive Alltshellach 19:30.

Return journey: depart Alltshellach 08:30; arrive Glasgow International Airport at 11:30 or arrive Glasgow Buchanan Street bus station* at 12:00.

*Buchanan Street bus station is about 15 minutes’ walk from Glasgow Central station (buses available) or 5 minutes’ walk from Glasgow Queen Street station.

By train:

The nearest station is in Fort William but many guests take the train to Glasgow and take the Scottish Citylink bus from there or join our group coach transfer to Alltshellach – see above. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.

By air:

Many guests opt to fly to Glasgow International Airport, then make their way to Glen Coe. From the airport you can take the Citylink bus (see below) or join our group coach transfer to Alltshellach – see above.

By bus:

The journey from either Glasgow Buchanan Street or the airport can be made using the Scottish Citylink bus, numbers 914 or 915. See www.citylink.co.uk for the timetable. Ask the driver to stop at the north side of Ballachulish Bridge - from here it is a 400-metre walk to Alltshellach.

By car:

From Glasgow take the A82 towards Crianlarich. Continue on the A82 towards Fort William. Head for Ballachulish keeping the village on your left. Go straight on at the roundabout over the steel bridge and take the second right B863 to Kinlochleven and the seafood restaurant. Alltshellach is 400 yards further on, on your right.

Travelling from overseas

Ideally book a flight to Glasgow Airport (see By Air above).

The next best option is to fly to Manchester Airport, which has a better range of long-haul flights. There are trains from the airport to Glasgow (some direct, others need 1 change). Allow 4 hours to get to Glasgow, from where you will need to transfer to Alltshellach. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.