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Exclusive-Use Accommodation Spotlight: Dun Aluinn

By Meike van Krimpen, Content Editor
More by Meike

A Home Away From Home

Dun Aluinn is a rare exclusive-use property that offers the best of both worlds – incredible scenery paired with the perks of small-town amenities. Perched on a hill above Aberfeldy, you can enjoy stunning views down the Tay Valley to the local peak Schiehallion, feeling completely removed from the hustle and bustle. Whilst the expansive views suggest remoteness, the lively Aberfeldy town centre with restaurants, pubs, galleries, bookshops and a distillery are all within walking distance from the Dun Aluinn grounds.

This luxury Highland home-away-from-home sleeps 18 guests in the main house and an additional 8 guests in the adjacent modern lodge, with all bedrooms being en-suite. Most notable is the unique and highly stylized interior design of Dun Aluinn, which has been featured in various UK and European architecture and design publications.

Taking centre stage in the bright and airy dining room is the 5.5m long oak and bronze dining table that seats 20, said to be the longest single-piece bronze table in the world. Other attractive pieces include the bright orange B&B Italia Tufty-Too corner sofa, perfect for lounging upon whilst admiring the sweeping views of the valley below and the 1940s fin de siècle drinks cabinet filled with delicious local spirits.

The Main House

Dun Aluinn house

How Did Dun Aluinn Come About?

Susie Whyte and John Burke purchased this old Victorian home back in 2017 and opened its doors as an exclusive-use luxury property in 2018. The house was built in 1909, and in past lives, it functioned as a hotel and a boarding school for Breadalbane Academy.

Dun Aluinn actually means ‘beautiful hill fort’ in Scottish Gaelic and it’s an apt description. Aside from the handsome main house and the lodge, guests can enjoy 5.5 acres of private grounds.

Owners Susie and John spent considerable time and effort in restoring and refurbishing Dun Aluinn, bringing their experience in business, construction and architecture to the property. A lot of care was put into respecting and highlighting the integrity and history of the building whilst delivering a beautifully modern and luxurious destination suited to large friends and family groups.

House Highlights

  • Sleeps 18 guests in 9 en-suite bedrooms
  • Wood-fired outdoor cedar hot tub
  • Firepit on a splendid terrace
  • Bose surround sound wireless music system
  • Japanese Oforu teak bath
  • Custom oak & bronze dining table that seats 20
  • Cinema room
  • Play den
  • 2 lounges

Service

  • Food catered by award-winning Ballintaggart Farm
  • Butler service available
  • Private airport transfers and helicopter landing
  • Full housekeeping & turn-down service
  • Laundry service
  • Spa treatments

The Lodge

Dun Aluinn Lodge

The lodge sleeps 8 guests in 4 plush ensuite bedrooms and can be rented either with the main house or independently of it, catering to a maximum group size of 26 people. Like the main house, a lot of attention has gone into the interior design, with furnishings being modern and sleek yet comfortable and welcoming.

Although the house and the lodge are adjacent to each other, they’ve got very different vibes and are separated enough in the event of being booked by separate groups. A large hedge separates the two, providing privacy to both. Where the main house offers grandeur, the lodge offers a bright and fresh retreat. The views from the lodge’s spectacular deck are arguably the best in the area, with an uninterrupted panoramic vista across the valley. Another delightful aspect of the lodge is the very Instagrammable wildflower garden as well as the open plan dining and living area where it’s easy to envisage a happy family get-together.

The same services are available to the users of the lodge as the main house.


The Food: Ballintaggart Farm

Ballintaggart Farm food

Aside from the beautiful setting and plush interiors, another highlight of staying at Dun Aluinn is undeniably the food. Freshly prepared, seasonal, locally sourced and tailored to your preferences, the food at Dun Aluinn is catered by the award-winning Ballintaggart Farm.

You can expect exceptional restaurant-quality food and a high level of personalised service. The team at Ballintaggart will pay special attention to creating feasts that showcase your favourite ingredients and flavours.

A Central Location

Aberfeldy is arguably one of the most central towns in Scotland. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow are an hour and forty-five-minute drive away, and Inverness and Fort William are both 2 hours. It’s a great base for exploring all of Scotland, but it also has a lot going on on its own doorstep. There are various mountains, forests, rivers and lochs to explore, and the area is rich with cultural experiences like castles, distilleries, chocolatiers, Highland foraging and shopping. 

Great Activities Whilst Staying at Dun Aluinn

Bag a Munro

If you’re craving a day out in the hills you’re in for a treat. Between a 20-40 minute drive from Aberfeldy, there’s Schiehallion, often hailed as Scotland’s easiest Munro (a mountain above 3,000ft), and also Ben Lawers, the highest mountain in the Southern Highlands. Both peaks feature stunning views and the opportunity to see wildlife, however, Ben Lawers offers a bit more of a challenge with more ascent and varying terrain. Your private wilderness guide will help you choose the best option and tell you all about the area’s history and the local flora and fauna on your hike.

 

Schiehallion Munro

Private Fly Fishing

Master the art of fishing with a local ghillie. The rivers near Aberfeldy are known for their wild trout and salmon and your ghillie will swear you to secrecy as you’re shown the top fishing spots the locals prefer to keep secret. You will receive as much instruction and support as desired. Extend your experience with a private riverside whisky tasting or storytelling experience.

 

Scotland fly fishing

Made in the Highlands – Chocolate Tasting

The famous Highland Chocolatier Iain Burnett is based in Grandtully, a mere 10-minute drive from Dun Aluinn. Visit the factory and shop to immerse yourself in the chocolate-making process. Or you may like to enjoy a private artisan tasting experience at the house and try some of his world-famous truffles, including a whisky or gin tasting for the adults and delectable chocolate for all.

Highland Chocolatier Iain Burnett

Canoeing on Loch Tay & Spa Stop

Explore the sparkling waters of Loch Tay in open canoes. Your expert guides will ensure that you have fun as you learn the basics and explore the loch. Paddle your way to a special lochside spa which is reserved for your personal use so you can spend a delightful couple of hours warming up in the Hydropool, sauna and steam room. Toast marshmallows over the fire pit or sit at the bar with a hot drink. There are cold water dunk buckets for the full refreshment experience, or if you are brave enough you can take the slide and splash down into the loch!

Canoeing on Loch Tay

Foodie Heaven

Head out with an expert forager to see what edible goodies you can find and collect in the local area – you might be amazed at how much there is. Then get your aprons on as you all get creative in an inspiring private afternoon cookery class with an expert chef. Maybe you will create something delicious with the ingredients you found this afternoon.

Foraging Scotland

Meet the Author: Meike van Krimpen

Having grown up travelling across the world I’ve developed an addiction to all things spice and to travel! When it was time to go to university I wandered off to Scotland for a new adventure and have not managed to leave yet!

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