Knock your socks off at this country retreat
Knockderry County House Hotel isn't all that far away from Glasgow but is far away enough, hidden on the far side of the Rosneath peninsula, making it an ideal location for a quick but secluded getaway from the city.
History of the house
Knockderry (meaning ‘hill of oak’ in Gaelic) House was originally built around 1846 as a summer retreat. It's an Arts & Crafts style building, a movement of the late 19th century which attempted to re-establish the skills of craftsmanship threatened by mass production and industrialisation. In the dining room there are some original features from when it was once the Music Room and Chapel. The stained glass by James Guthrie Jnr. and Daniel Cottier is beautiful and worth a photograph.
This hotel was requisitioned during World War II for use as a convalescent home where wounded French troops were sent and visited by no less than general Charles De Gaule!
The interior is like something out of a Famous Five book, the sort of place you would have loved a distant relative to own. There's a selection of books to browse and nooks and crannies to discover, and you can relax in either of the two downstairs rooms.
Both communal rooms are warm and cosy with a mix of seating and there's a real fire in the larger of the two, which was crackling away during our visit.
If you sit by the window, you can relax with unobstructed views of Loch Long outside.
Knockderry House is not only dog-friendly: £10 extra per night for one dog or £15 for two, but there are two border collies, whom you may meet on your stay, and there are also doggy postcards available for sending to dogs or hoomins!
We stayed in a master bedroom (with loch view) for the night which was exquisite: beautifully decorated, comfortable and warm with a large comfy four-poster bed. Should you get chilly there was even a hot water bottle!
It had everything we needed in fact - a TV, internet, drinking water and a selection of loose tea, ground coffee, tea bags and Nescafé. Oh, and as we were visiting over the festive period there were mince pies too!
Quirky Gillian Kyle mugs and some Tunnocks teacakes were also supplied to keep us going until dinner.
The spacious bathroom was just right too. Robes, Arran toiletries and a bath big enough for two - Mrs Foodie was happy!
The ledge beside the bath was ideal for a glass of fizz! The shower was also of the multi-function / raindrop variety.
Breakfast is served in the same room as dinner and we were lucky enough to get the best seats by the window with the view of the loch outside.
There's a small buffet table with a selection of cereals and yogurt.
And some pastries and jams too.
Onto the hot food and I had the traditional Scottish breakfast with a fried egg. This also included Ayrshire bacon, a Cumberland sausage, grilled tomato, flatcap mushroom, homemade tattie scone and Stornoway black pudding. It was a very nicely cooked breakfast.
The Mrs had the Highlander’s Breakfast, which comprised of a slice and a half of Stornoway black pudding with a homemade tattie scone, soft poached egg and hollandaise sauce. It was lovely too!
A splendid stay! After dinner we had a bath and slept soundly. Breakfast was very filing and staff were polite and helpful throughout our stay.
Knockderry Country House Hotel is a small, family-run hotel with a lot of charm that isn't far from Glasgow and the central belt but thanks to being away from a main road it enjoys a great deal of seclusion. It's popular with weddings and they also won Fine dining hotel of the year at this year's Scottish Hotel Awards. Note that you don't need to stay over to dine here. Please check back soon to read our dinner review!
Note also that they usually close for Christmas and most of January.
+ Lovely bedroom with loch view
+ Good in-room tea/coffee/snack selection
+ Massive bathroom
+ Relaxing stay
+ Real fire
+ 2 AA rosette restaurant on site
+ Good quality cooked breakfast
+ Dog friendly
- Takes a long time to get there by public transport!
Standard rooms from £95
Master rooms from £175
EDIT: In winter you can get a room on Sundays from £40!
Tel: +44 1436 842 283
Knockderry Country House Hotel is located on Shore Rd, the continuation of Rosneath Rd, and a 70 - 100 minute drive from Glasgow city centre (depending on route), or 45 minutes from Glasgow airport.
The fastest route by car is to take the M8 then A82 followed by the A817 and Haul Rd to Coulport.
We took public transport and travelled by train to Helensburgh Central and then caught the 316 bus (Operated by Garelochhead Minibuses & Coaches, and Wilsons of Rhu) from nearby Colquhon Square. Although there's not a proper stop at the hotel the bus drops you off and picks up from outside. Total travel time by train and bus is just over 2 hours from Glasgow Queen St.
Come say hello!
Disclaimer: We were invited to stay at Knockderry House to write this review, but Fred vouches that this is true even though they had 2 goggies (dogs)!