The Shore Cottages No 2

Berriedale near Wick, Caithness

About the property

This tiny cottage is one of a terrace of simple fishermen’s dwellings built in the 1840s and sits on the beach overlooking a beautiful cove known as The Shore. The bay is sheltered by high rocky cliffs and is a favourite of birds and seals.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • BathBath
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • Outside Dining FurnitureOutside Dining Furniture
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • RemoteRemote
  • ShowerShower
  • Washing MachineWashing Machine

Beds 2 Twin 1 Double

  • Sleeps 6
  • 4 nights from £236
  • equivalent to £9.83 per person, per night

Experience something of the life of 19th-century fisherfolk

The cottages are reached by a footbridge. The front door opens onto the beach and No 2- three tiny cottages in the terrace we have combined into a single, larger Landmark- has a large boot room for your gear.

Here you can experience something of the existence of a 19th-century fisherman (albeit a warmer one with all the benefits of modern life). Today’s line-fishermen are not the only ones who will understand the attraction of this peaceful cove with its magnificent coastline of craggy cliffs and isolated seastacks studded with ancient towers, in this sea-held region of vast skies.

It is a perfect place to reflect on the heroes and villains of Scotland’s history, and the stoicism and stamina of the ordinary folk whose lives carried on around them.

Next door, our other Landmark is perfect for couples. See all our Landmarks at The Shore Cottages

Floor Plans

‘Sitting in shirt sleeves in gorgeous sunshine watching the waves roll in; what a truly magical place.’

From the logbook

Map & local info

The cottages sit in a peaceful and beautiful cove at Berriedale with a coastline of craggy cliffs and the sea and its wildlife for company.

Whilst The Shore Cottages are perfect for relaxation and escape in this tranquil setting, there is much to explore in this region of Scotland. 

Inverness has plenty of shops and places to eat and drink. Look out for live music nights at The Room, and a fascinating collection of artefacts from the Pictish Kingdom at The Groam Museum. 

No visit to Scotland is complete without seeing the world famous Loch Ness, where you can enjoy boat tours and visit the museum. 

The award-winning Timespan Heritage Centre is close to Inverness and open all year round. An intriguing project which researches and presents different themes each year, all of them centred on nuturing cultural development in the region. 

For more information and ideas of things to do during your stay at The Shore Cottages, take a look at our Pinterest Map

See all our Landmarks at The Shore Cottages

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

The Shore Cottages No 2
Berriedale near Wick, Caithness
Clear directions

‘Sitting in shirt sleeves in gorgeous sunshine watching the waves roll in; what a truly magical place.’

From the logbook

Your questions answered

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes.
  • How is the property accessed?

    Access is via footbridge only approximately 275m from the parking area.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Helmsdale – 9 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There are two parking spaces approximately 75m from the footbridge.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There is an Air Source Heat Pump heating system and also underfloor heating. There is a wood burning stove.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Unfortunately, there is currently no arrangement for the purchase and delivery of logs, however details of local sources will be provided with your order confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.
    There is also an electric cooker, a dishwasher and a microwave.



  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There is one bathroom with a shower over the bath and an additional wc.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    There are no difficult internal stairs.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There are open grounds with direct access to the beach.

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact [email protected]
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.

200 years of Scottish history

The sweep of 200 years of Scottish history lies behind the group of buildings on The Shore at Berriedale on the Langwell Estate. Together, the terrace that was originally four small fishermen’s cottages, the bothy with storeroom beside it and the icehouse behind represent an unusually complete survival of a mid 19th-century coastal salmon fishing station.

Yet the story of The Shore, and of Berriedale’s sister settlement of Badbea two miles to the south, goes back further, to the late 18th century when both were settled as part of the process of economic reorganisation across the Highlands known as The Clearances.

The Clearances were the forcible removal of crofters from the uplands by improving landlords to make way for sheep and better agricultural practice on their land. They remain a deeply emotive subject, debated by those who emphasise the brutality and bleakness of life for the evicted crofters and those who stress rather the improving and even benevolent motives of the landlords. The Berriedale straths (or inland valleys) were cleared of crofters in the 1790s by Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster, who introduced Cheviot sheep in their stead. Sir John had bought the Langwell Estate in 1788 and was a significant figure of his day: improving agriculturalist, roadbuilder, town planner, politician and founder of the (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland. When crofters were displaced from their smallholdings many found a new livelihood on the coast in the herring fishery, which was booming during the Napoleonic Wars.

Sir John settled his Langwell crofters at nearby Badbea (deserted by 1911) and on The Shore at Berriedale where William Daniell captured a picturesque scene in 1819 of fishing boats pulled up on the shingle, nets spread to dry and herring lassies up to their elbows in troughs gutting the fish before they were ‘kitted’ in barrels (packed in salt).

Daniell did not include the site of The Shore Cottages in his picture and it seems most likely that they were built c1840. Sir John Sinclair sold the Langwell Estate in 1811 to an Edinburgh lawyer, James Horne, who leased the fishing at Berriedale to Aberdeen brokers. Berriedale was already renowned as much for its salmon as its herring, the salmon being netted at the mouth of the river as they returned from the sea to their spawning grounds in rivers inland. Horne’s nephew Donald inherited the Langwell Estate in 1831 and by 1840 salmon fishing had been given precedence on The Shore. Larger herring stations were by then well established at Helmsdale, Dunbeath and Wick. Donald Horne decided instead to focus on the higher value salmon and built the cottages and (probably) the icehouse and storeroom/bothy. The annual salmon season ran for a couple of months only, the fish being despatched to lucrative markets in the big cities, packed in ice harvested from winter lochs and stored in the icehouse.

The cottages are first mentioned in the estate records in 1846 and the 1841 census records four households on The Shore, supporting a construction date of around 1840. These would have been model cottages compared to the traditional turf-roofed byre dwellings of Caithness, necessary to attract and keep reliable fishermen for the short salmon season.

In 1856 the 5th Duke of Portland, of Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, bought the Langwell Estate. During our own restoration, we discovered that under the 6th Duke in 1884 (we know the date from a scribbled record left by joiner Marcus Ganson on the reverse of some panelling) the cottages were given a comprehensive refurbishment. The floor levels and roofs were raised some 300-400mm, probably because of inundations from exceptionally high tides. The principal rooms were finished with matchboard panelling, no doubt from the newly opened sawmill on the estate, and were given suspended timber floors. Under one, we found a battered woman’s shoe, perhaps hidden to ward off evil spirits. No. 3 was extended to the rear at the same time, two sheds added as shared privies and a footbridge installed. No. 4 was similarly extended in the 1930s and given a lean-to at the end of the range, since lost but whose floor remains, beautifully made of pebbles from the beach aligned for drainage.

Last inhabited in the 1950s

The cottages were inhabited until the 1950s when, lacking electricity or mains water, they fell out of use. Their isolated position and foot-only access meant it was not economic for the estate to refurbish them. They stood empty and at the mercy of the elements until 2006 when someone who used to play on The Shore in his youth brought them to Landmark’s attention. The cottages’ plight and beautiful setting made us keen to help and a lease was agreed with the estate.

It was decided to keep No. 1 to its original floorplan to recreate as closely as possible the experience of living in one of these tiny cottages, and to combine the remaining three for a larger group of up to six people (the two can also combine).

The restoration was carried out by Stuart Leavy and Carl Dowding of Landmark’s direct labour team, who worked with numerous local subcontractors and consultants through the course of the project. Materials were brought to site using a specially constructed barge on a fixed cable across the river. A first phase of work was carried out in summer 2010 to re-roof the cottages and make them weathertight. The original lime mortar was carefully matched to repoint the walls and fill voids where the earth mortar used for their core had leeched away. Lichen was removed from the exterior using a high pressure hose and the traditional limewash finish reinstated.

With full funding in place work began in earnest in spring 2011. Surviving floors were lifted and most of the original flagstones found still in situ at the primary floor level. Enough were salvageable to use as the floor for No.1. Underfloor heating was installed throughout that uses mostly renewable energy harvested by Air Source Heat Pumps. Windows and doors were reproduced using the remains of the originals as references. Partitions were re-created on the line of original central subdivisions, once for sleeping areas, today for bathrooms.

The Shore has always been a marginal settlement, its eventual desertion reinforcing this essential character. Today this very isolation is part of its magic and all who stay here will help perpetuate its story and the wider history of Caithness.


Supporters of Shore Cottages

We are hugely grateful to those who supported the restoration of Shore Cottages, including:

Guardians:
Mr P Clayton, Ms V Dyer, Mr R Eaton, Mr Jo Elliot, Mr C Giles, Ms A Gloag OBE, Mr and Mrs F Ledden, Mr H Leishman, Mr J Miller, Mr A Salvesen, Mr B Sealey CBE, Ms S Whitley and Mr G Whyte

Patrons and other generous supporters:
Mr C Andrews, Mr G Archer, Mr G Ball, Mr F Dewberry, Mr J Fell, Mr B Foord, Mr D Haunton, Mr F Hitchman, Dr W Hopkins, Mr and Mrs R Isaac, Mr and Mrs S Jordan, Mrs C Lockyer, Mr D MacDonald, The Rt Hon the Lord Francis Phillimore, Mr J Ransom, Mr P Webber

Gifts in memory of:

Donald Mackay of Caithness, Mrs J Macqueen

Charitable Trusts and Foundations:
Amber Trust, Viscountess Boyd Charitable Trust, Dalyrymple Donaldson Fund, Dunard Fund, The Englefield Charitable Trust, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Stuart Heath Charitable Settlement, The John Liston Scottish Charitable Trust, The Monument Trust, Tam O'Shanter Trust, The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, The Tulip Trust, UYEA Trust, Miss Hazel M Wood's Charitable Trust

We are also grateful to the generous supporters who have chosen to remain anonymous, and numerous other donors who supported the appeal.

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.