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Strathpeffer [1] is a village in Ross-shire in Scotland around 30km north-west of Inverness. It originated in the 19th century as a spa village and many of the original hotels are extant.

Get in[edit]

Strathpeffer can be reached by bus from Inverness or by train from Inverness to Dingwall and bus from Dingwall to Strathpeffer.

Strathpeffer used to have a railway line, a branch line of the Highland Railway Inverness to Kyle line. A weekly through train from London and daily connection from Aviemore brought travellers to Strathpeffer in its heyday as a Spa. Changes brought about by two world wars and the rising popularity of the motor car contributed to the station's closure, first to passengers in 1946 and then totally in 1951. The old station building survives and houses the Highland Museum of Childhood, as well as the Museum Coffee Shop, a Fair Trade shop and a picnic area. Other buildings of note are the Pump Room and the Spa Pavilion. Bold text

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

The surrounding countryside of forests, hills and mountains offers walks and trails and in nearby Contin, there is a 16km mountain-bike route. Bikes can be bought, hired and repaired at Square Wheels in Strathpeffer Square (01997 421000).

Do[edit][add listing]

The former Spa Pavilion has recently been beautifully restored and is now a great venue for events of all kinds. On the Pavilion website, there is not only a list of what's on at the Pavilion but also a page of other events in and around Strathpeffer and useful links.

Next-door to the Pavilion, you can taste the spa waters in the Pump Room, also recently restored. The Pump Room houses a fascinating exhibition of Strathpeffer's spa history, as well as the Tourist Information Centre. The Pump Room is generally open mid-May to September.

At the Old Station you will find the delightful Highland Museum of Childhood, open 1st April to 31st October, which is well worth a visit, exploring the history of Highland childhood through audio-visual displays, childhood treasures and a fascinating doll and toy collection. At the Old Station, there is also a coffee shop where you can eat al fresco under the station awning, a fair trade shop and a picnic area. There are a number of other shops in the centre of the village (known as The Square, though it is not a square!), including a pharmacy with window displays of Victorian items, gift shops and a small supermarket.

Strathpeffer also has a very scenic and challenging golf course.

Nearby Castle Leod, the home of the Earl of Cromartie, Chief of Clan Mackenzie, is open to the public several times a year - dates and times on the Pavilion website.

Go hiking - the area around Strathpeffer has some great forest and river walks[2]

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are a number of gift shops in the Square, as well as a pharmacy, and an "open all hours" supermarket. At the Old Station are a Fair Trade shop as well as the Highland Museum of Childhood's own gift shop.

  • Strathpeffer Victorian Gala. A fun day out for everyone on the 2nd Saturday in June. Check out the website.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Strathpeffer now has a wide selection of places to eat.

RedPoppy Restaurant @ the Pavilion

In the Pavilion, as its name implies (entrance on the bandstand side of the Pavilion). Chef Nick Aburrow offers an interesting and varied menu, normally: Tuesday - Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm (lunch, coffee shop and dinner menus until 5 pm, dinner menu only thereafter); Sunday from 12.30 to 5 pm, but times may vary depending on events in the Pavilion. Tel: 01997 423 332

Coffee Shops / Tearooms

The Coffee Shop, in Cromartie Buildings, just off the Square, offers tea, coffee, snacks and holds regular acoustic music sessions.

Maya, opposite the Pavilion. Strathpeffer's famous Belgian chocolate shop, which serves tea and coffee as well as the very rich hot chocolate. You can also buy some delicious handmade chocolates to take home. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10 am to 5.00 pm Tel: 01997 420 008

The Museum Coffee Shop, beside the Highland Museum of Childhood at the Old Victorian Station, offers freshly-prepared traditional Scottish lunches and snacks, homebaking, and delicious ice cream as well as tea and coffee. Open 10 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday, 12 noon to 5 pm Sunday. Tel: 07759 690 459. In fine weather you can eat al fresco under the station awning.

The Wee Swally, in White Lodge, the Square (use the side entrance in Church Brae) is a Victorian tearoom with a delightful atmosphere and home baking plus soup at lunch-time. Open Tuesday to Saturday from approx 11 am to 4 pm Tel: 01997 421730

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

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  • Birch Lodge, 01997 420118 (). A comfortable, modern house with two bedrooms: one double en-suite, and one twin bedded room, which have the exclusive use of a private bathroom, literally next door. There is ample parking space and guests may come and go in complete freedom. There is also a self-catering cottage in the grounds.  edit

  • Craigvar, The Square, Strathpeffer, Highland, IV14 9DL, +44 1997 421622 (, fax: +44 1997 421622). Craigvar, a Georgian House, overlooks the Square in the village and offers en-suite rooms and one four poster bed. Superb touring base for the Highlands.  edit
  • Fodderty Lodge, Fodderty, By Strathpeffer, Ross-shire, IV15 9UE, 01997 421393 (, fax: +44 1997 421715). Fodderty Lodge is the ideal destination for people looking for a quiet self-catering holiday exploring the Northern Highlands of Scotland. 4-star accommodation in Honeysuckle Cottage (sleeps 6), and 3-star accommodation in Lodge Barn (sleeps 4) and East Wing (sleeps 2).  edit
  • The Garden House, Garden House Brae, Strathpeffer, Ross-shire IV14 9BJ, +44 1997 421242 (). The guest house has 5 letting rooms, all with en-suite facilities and lounge. Dinner is served at about 6:30 each evening. Having a table licence enables us to serve alcohol. The guest house is located about 400 metres from the centre of the village, overlooking the village church. The house is set well back from the main road, adjacent to the Spa Pavilion Gardens. Off road parking is available for guests. The house was originally set in the Pavilion Gardens, hence the name "The Garden House".  edit
  • Inver Lodge, Strathpeffer, Ross-shire IV14 9DW, +44 1997 421392 (). A Victorian house set in ¾ acre grounds and gardens within walking distance of Strathpeffer's centre.  edit
  • The Richmond Hotel, Heinz and Marian, The Richmond Hotel, Church Brae, Strathpeffer, Ross-shire IV14 9AW, 01997 421300 (). A charming Victorian house built in 1885 with many original features. This licensed hotel offers a warm welcome, comfortable accommodation and a hearty breakfast. Situated close to the Strathpeffer Pavilion, village centre and golf course, itis an ideal base for exploring the North West Highlands and Islands.  edit
  • White Lodge, The Square, Strathpeffer, Ross-Shire, IV14 9AL, +44 1997 421730 (). White Lodge is one of the oldest remaining buildings (Listed Building category B) in Strathpeffer. It is situated just off the main square in the village and was built in 1770. It offers en suite facilities; central heating, lounge, private car parking and is rated Scottish Tourist Board 4 Star.  edit

Other Places to Stay Because of its spa history, Strathpeffer has a huge choice of visitor accommodation. Here are some other options:


Coul House Hotel, Contin 01997 421487

Shearings Highland Hotel 01997 421457

Mackays Hotel & Spa Lodge 01997 421542

Strathpeffer Hotel 01997 421200

Guest House / Bed & Breakfast:

Heatherlie 01997 423220

Linnmhor 01997 423357

Wyvis View 01997 421053


Many of the bigger hotels in Strathpeffer cater to coach parties of pensioners, and compete with each other to provide the cheapest package. For independent travelers, this can mean that, if you eat in your hotel, you end up paying over the odds for dire, overcooked slop that's churned out for the lowest possible price per head. If you drink in the hotel bar, it means that you're likely to encounter dubious "entertainment" in the form of singers and keyboard players, and hotel lounges are full of coach party members slumped in front of gameshows. If this sounds like your idea of hell, then book into a smaller guesthouse.

Get out[edit]

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