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Keiss Harbour House

Entire villa hosted by Jill
12 guests5 bedrooms9 beds3 bathrooms

Travel restrictions

Due to COVID-19, there are lockdowns in place across the UK, and travel is banned other than in limited circumstances. Failure to follow the law is a criminal offence. Learn more.
Entire home
You’ll have the villa to yourself.
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Self check-in
Check yourself in with the lockbox.
Cancellation policy
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House rules
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Keiss Harbour House (1833) is a stunning Grade A-listed historic property nestled in a quiet fishing village on the northeast coast of Scotland. On the scenic North Coast 500, the spacious house is ideal for entertaining family & friends. With 5 bedrooms (sleeps 12) and 3 bathrooms, amenities include a 750 square-foot Great Hall, large open-plan kitchen, 3 fires, underfloor heating throughout, laundry and steam room. Explore northern highland ruins, beaches, castles, distilleries, golf and more!

The space
Keiss Harbour House was originally the fishing station for Keiss Harbour which was built in 1831 during the herring boom. The building was restored and converted into a house with a dramatic combination of history and contemporary styling.

The harbour was built by James Bremner, naval architect and harbour builder who was born near Keiss in 1784. He apprenticed in a Greenock shipyard before returning to Wick to establish his own successful ship-building business. He was also a well-known as a wreck-raiser, re-floating 236 sunken or stranded ships, including Brunel's famous steam-ship, the SS Great Britain, when she ran aground off Ireland in 1845. Keiss Harbour owes it's longevity to Bremner's clever design of the harbour breakwater made possible by his invention of a new type of crane and pile-driver. Not many harbours are left in this condition today.

The house directly overlooks the harbour, which is still used by fishing boats. On sunny days, the harbour is a delightful place to sit and watch the boats come and go, and the house itself is arranged so that every room takes advantage of the uninterrupted sea views. The reception rooms are located upstairs, to maximise this advantage. The bedrooms are located on the middle floor and all have fabulous sea views; two bedrooms have balcony doors opening to the harbour.

The house is full of maps, old photos, history books and reference guides (walking, whisky, fishing, archaeology and more). Make use of the steam room after a day of exploring the coast, settle into a book from the shelves or pull out a jigsaw, cook a lobster dinner (sea to plate in a matter of minutes) in the well-equipped kitchen while overlooking the sea, and spend the evening around the large dining table hand crafted from the house's original roof beams, or enjoy your complimentary bottle of local whisky around any of the three fireplaces...just some suggestions for using our unique space. And this is just inside the house, wait until you see what's on your doorstep.

Guest access
You will have sole use of the whole house, including one of the ground-floor cellars where extra logs and coal are stored. You will have a key to this space, which is ideal for storing bikes, surfing or diving gear, etc.

Other things to note
Caithness is one of the best places in the UK to see the Northern Lights, between October and April. Follow 'Aurora Watch UK' on your smartphone for alerts and updates.

Summer (May - July) is the best time to spot Orcas (killer whales) as the common seals are pupping. You'll notice more seals sheltering in and around the harbour at this time of year!

While the harbour is a very tranquil and quiet place, during fishing season you will see a few boats come and go, and the occasional fishermen accessing some of the cellars below the house. They are very friendly and knowledgeable so please do go and say hi. You might even be able to purchase crab and lobster straight off the boats - just ask.
Keiss Harbour House (1833) is a stunning Grade A-listed historic property nestled in a quiet fishing village on the northeast coast of Scotland. On the scenic North Coast 500, the spacious house is ideal for entertaining family & friends. With 5 bedrooms (sleeps 12) and 3 bathrooms, amenities include a 750 square-foot Great Hall, large open-plan kitchen, 3 fires, underfloor heating throughout, laundry and steam room.… read more

Sleeping arrangements

Bedroom 1
1 queen bed
Bedroom 2
1 queen bed, 1 cot
Bedroom 3
1 queen bed
Bedroom 4
2 single beds
Bedroom 5
2 bunk beds

Amenities

Free parking on premises
Kitchen
Wifi
TV
Indoor fireplace
Heating
Fire extinguisher
Washing machine
Bath
Iron

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4.92 out of 5 stars from 12 reviews

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Location

Keiss, Scotland, United Kingdom

Keiss Harbour House is uniquely situated in an old (and quietly active) fishing harbour which was built during the 19th-century herring boom. Beaches (both pebbled and sandy) stretch either side of the house. A half-mile walk from the front door will take you back in time through Scotland's history as you explore two Iron Age brochs, the 16th-century ruins of Keiss castle overlooked by the 'newer' 18th-century tower house, and a WWII pillbox.

A southerly walk takes you past WWII anti-tank barriers to the long, white-sandy stretches of Keiss and Reiss beaches where you will find Wick Golf Club (a challenging links course nestled behind the sand dunes of Sinclair's Bay). This section of beach is perfect for surfers, families, dog-walkers and horse-riders alike.

On the opposite point of Sinclair's Bay is Noss Head lighthouse and the remains of a WWII radio station where German radio traffic was intercepted, most of it in the five-letter grouping of the Enigma code. Park here to explore on foot the impressive 15th-century ruins of Sinclair Girnigoe Castle.

Sinclair's Bay is ideally situated for spotting puffins, kittiwakes, guillemots, cormorants, shags, herons, dolphins, and seals - who shelter in the harbour when the orcas are migrating past.

And don't forget that you will always find a warm welcome at Keiss pub, a short walk from the house.
Keiss Harbour House is uniquely situated in an old (and quietly active) fishing harbour which was built during the 19th-century herring boom. Beaches (both pebbled and sandy) stretch either side of the house. A…

Hosted by Jill

Joined in May 2018
  • 12 Reviews
  • Identity verified
  • Response rate: 100%
  • Response time: within an hour
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Things to know

House rules
Check-in: After 16:00
Check out: 10:00
Self check-in with lockbox
No smoking
No parties or events
Pets are allowed
Health & safety
Committed to Airbnb's enhanced cleaning process. Learn more
Airbnb's social distancing and other COVID-19-related guidelines apply
Carbon monoxide alarm
Smoke alarm
Cancellation policy