Knockderry Country House Hotel — Nr Helensburgh in Scotland
Sponsored - we were kindly hosted by Knockderry House Hotel. As always all images, words and opinions are our own.
It takes almost 10 hours to drive from The Black Shed on the Isle of Skye to our home in Sheffield so when Knockderry House Hotel offered us the chance to break up that journey we couldn’t resist. We stayed for two glorious, cosy nights and took the opportunity to explore the Rosneath Peninsula as much as the Scottish near-winter light would allow.
The hotel has a former life as the home of successful wool merchant David Anderson, who employed architect William Leiper to upgrade the existing building in the 1890s (it was originally built in 1846).
William Leiper, a much-celebrated architect and built many buildings in Glasgow as well as some sizeable residential houses in the Helensburgh area where Knockderry sits. He championed craftsmanship and liked to add unique detail wherever he could - looking at the exterior facade of Knockderry we kind of thought he viewed his buildings as a playground to test out ideas… there are bay windows, arches, dormers, turrets and balconies all over that really show off stone masonry and the skilled work of those he employed.
Inside, much of the detail remains and we find intricate wood carvings and stained glass windows that were created by hand.
Upon arrival we were greeted with an afternoon tea of scones and jam (all homemade - even the clotted cream!) and later enjoyed a 3 course meal in the 2 AA Rosette restaurant which was really quite exceptional. The potato rosti was particularly memorable and service was, well, so very Scottish - and by that we mean friendly, attentive and just generally filled us with warm feelings.
With only one full day on the Rosneath Peninsula we didn’t manage to tick off everything that we wanted to see but we found plenty that would be worth travelling back for and we thought it an especially great place to stop en route to the highlands. The view of Loch Long from our window (both in our room and at breakfast) was moody and full of drama and we couldn’t help thinking that the so-called “off-season” is always the prime time to see Scotland. It makes for atmosphere and Makes it perfectly acceptable to sit in front of the fire in the evening with a glass of local single malt. Not that anyone really needs an excuse for that.
We did manage to visit Linn Botanic Gardens which might be THE BEST PLACE EVER. Especially in the soggy late autumn.
We would wholeheartedly recommend Knockderry House Hotel and are pretty sure that we’ll find ourselves back there on our next trip up north.