Updated: Dec 12, 2019
(Gift Disclosure: Stan and Grace have been following my blog for awhile, and they gifted me a stay at their stunning Highland Club apartment so I could share with my followers about Fort Augustus, and help them spread the word about their unique chapel apartment that is for sale.)
Fort Augustus is the perfect place to set up a base for a week in the Highlands. It is situated at the foot of Loch Ness, and halfway between Inverness and Fort William. Lovely hills rise up around you, offering the perfect feeling of shelter and rest, with adventure awaiting you in all directions. The village itself is divided by the Caledonian Canal, which can be crossed by a footbridge over each section. You can watch boats go through the locks, shop in gift shops, have coffee or a pint, take a cruise on Loch Ness, go fishing, or canoeing or take a stroll on the Great Glen Way. The bus stop is conveniently located near the Londis which is a gas station and small grocery store. I took the bus from Inverness and it is a stunning route along the loch, giving ample time to look for Nessie, and catch glimpses of Urquhart Castle, where you can get off if you wish.
As if the location wasn’t exciting enough, take a look at the one of a kind place where I stayed! The former St Benedictine’s Abbey is now The Highland Club, divided into luxury holiday homes and self catering apartments for rent. The owners of the St Andrew’s Chapel apartment have followed my blog for awhile now. They have put it up for sale and asked if I might be interested in staying there and telling people about my stay to raise awareness of their home for sale. I was delighted to accept their offer as I haven’t spent much time in Fort Augustus! As a bonus I was able to invite my friend Andrew McAlindon and his family up to stay with me as we hadn’t seen much of each other lately.
St Andrew’s Chapel is the most unique place I have ever stayed. Warm sandstone cloisters greet you when you enter the main living area. An eclectic mix of modern decor is set in contrast with the historic stonework. Standing in the kitchen you can cook on state of the art appliances while gazing up through antique stain glass windows. A juxtaposition of luxury accommodation and the quiet, simple atmosphere evoked by time amid the arches of the chapel. The warm sandstone is enhanced by the strategically placed lighting through the unit. The decor is an interesting mix of modern and historic style. The red accents in the lampshades, furniture and the kitchen wall add a punch of vibrant color and modern flare.
This unit is suitable for both a visit and a home base. I can think of so many things I could do if I lived there. Waking up every day at the foot of Loch Ness, looking out into the possibilities that the loch and the hills hold. In any season, there is fun to be found. And if you are not in the market to purchase a home in the Highlands, I highly recommend you consider renting as a base. Fort Augustus is a prime location for exploring in all directions. The abbey gives a unique environment in which to relax, enjoy the amenities, or strike out for an adventure.
The kids enjoyed the chapel as well. It was stocked with games, a tv and blu ray player, a great play area with swings and slides on the abbey grounds, the loch to skip stones in and of course visits to the pool each day! The amenities available at the Highland Club are varied and fun. Snooker, giant chess in the courtyard surrounded by the abbey walls, a walk around the grounds or up to the village to shop or go to the pub, the restaurant on the grounds at the water, a pool with sauna, a gym, tennis, fishing, boating and archery.
Places to visit on day trips from Fort Augustus:
Cruise on Loch Ness with Loch Ness Cruises
Spend a day in Drumnadrochit - Urquhart Castle, Corrymonie Cairn, Nessieland and gift shops
Fort William - Nevis Gondola, go for a hike, shopping
Glencoe - take in the scenery, take a hike, learn about the local history
Invermoriston - explore nature trails
Great Glen Way - this runs right through Fort Augustus
Inverness - Fort George, Culloden and so much more
I will continue to update this blog with more photos, links and things to see and do in the area. I hadn't spent time here before, but thanks to Stan and Grace and their amazing St Andrew's chapel, I was able to find a new area to fall in love with, and I will absolutely be back :)
Disclosure: I was offered a stay here for free in exchange for an honest review of my stay. Because I was very happy with my experience, I am delighted to share with my readers :)