Accommodation at Gramercy – a sanctuary for all seasons

for 2 or 3 people

Self-contained flat attached to main house, right on the sea front in the centre of Dunoon, with stunning views across the Clyde and down to Cumbrae, Bute and Arran.

The mostly placid waves call you to swim or kayak or walk along the esplanade, or just sit and listen to the eider ducks gossiping. It’s worth waking for the sunrise or eating supper while you watch the moon lay its path on the water.

“Gramercy”

The name of the flat, Gramercy, is an old word from French, meaning great thank you – for all the blessings we have enjoyed and which I would like to share with you.

Centrally located

1/4 mile to the passenger ferry and 11/2miles to the car ferry at Hunter’s Quay; 5/ 10 minutes’ walk to everything in town including the cinema and eateries, supermarkets and shops.

Dunoon is a great place for walking or cycling along the sea or over the hills, with special scenic spots, like Benmore Botanic Gardens, Puck’s Glen, Bishop’s Glen, Kilmun Arboretum within easy reach, and magic beaches a little further afield. Not surprisingly, loads of artists and makers live and work here.

Although the road in front of the house can be busy, the water gives an extraordinary sense of peace and it’s worth factoring in time just to relax on the sea front or in the garden full of birdsong.

The space

Bedroom

  • Comfortable bedroom with double bed

Lounge/study

  • Lined with an eclectic selection of books gathered over the years with sofa bed, comfortable for 1 but manageable for 2
  • Dining/worktable
  • Armchair and 2 dining chairs (hand-carved 90 years ago)

Kitchen

Fully equipped kitchen and shower room.

Other

Own entrance with key safe, off- street parking as well as
plenty of parking in the street.

Welcome to use the very secluded, sheltered, gated
back garden with peaceful fishpond and space for eating alfresco. Garden seats and table, umbrella and simple barbecue available.

The fishpond is 3 feet deep so children must be accompanied in the garden.

Dogs welcome.

All linen and towels provided.

Basic dry goods to start you off in the kitchen.
Free wifi and Smart TV with Freeview. Books and board games will give you plenty to do if you want a rest day in. Hair drier, vacuum cleaner, iron and clothes drying rack supplied. Shared use of the washing machine available.

There is space at the back for bikes etc.

I am happy to advise you about good walks and, by arrangement, I would be happy to guide you if you wished (with sketch books in hand should you want, and even a simple picnic). You will find more information on the possibility of guided retreats or art tuition.

Prices & Availability

COST for the whole flat for one individual as below. Add £10 per night for a second person.

November to February£35 per night
September to October£40 per night
March to May£40 per night
June to August£50 per night

I also offer art retreats and spiritual / art accompaniment.

For accommodation only bookings, book direct with airBnb.

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Dunoon and its surroundings

Located on the western shore of the upper Firth of Clyde, Dunoon is a town in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It serves as the main hub for villages along its chain: Holy Loch to the north, Sandbank and Kirn in between, and Innellan and Toward to the south.

Dunoon’s early history often features two feuding clans: the Lamonts and Campbells. The Campbell mausoleum can be found in the Kirk at Kilmun, located near the north shore of Holy Loch and is open to visitors. Toward lies the ruined castle Lamont.

When travelling by steamships around the Firth of Clyde was popular, Dunoon was a highly sought-after destination. ..

Glaswegians referred to this as “going doon the watter”, and many grand houses along the sea front were constructed by wealthy Glasgow businessmen as holiday homes. However, foreign travel became more popular and steamships stopped coming – apart from the Waverley, which is now the only remaining sea-going paddle steamer in existence, providing tours during summer months. Many of the big houses have now been divided into pleasant spacious flats (which is how Gramercy came to be!).

Dunoon became a garrison for the US Navy at the height of the Cold War in 1961. However, after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1992 and their Holy Loch base in Sandbank closed down, Dunoon’s economy declined. Since then though, tourism has taken over as an economic source with outdoor activities such as mountain biking and car rallies being promoted along with concerts and plays at Burgh Hall and art events like Cowal Open Studios. The largest event held annually is the Cowal Highland Gathering which began in 1894 while Royal National Mòd is also held there yearly.

Things to do in Dunoon

Dunoon is well supplied with 2 supermarkets (each about 10 minutes’ walk from Gramercy) an interesting collection of shops along Argyll Street including a REAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP!), a cinema, the Burgh Hall with a rolling series of art exhibitions and concerts and plays, and an excellent café, Queen’s Hall, with the library, concerts, and access to a gym.

The swimming pool is just along the road, along with a real live cinema showing the latest movies and live streaming opera, ballet and National Theatre productions.

The Dunoon Community Hospital has an A&E open 24 hours a day.

Explore Dunoon

within walking distance from Gramercy and beyond

East Bay is right in front of the house. Cross the road and if the tide is out go down the steps (they can be slippery!) Have a lovely time pottering about finding beautiful stones, examining the sea weed and finding what little critters there might be.

Plenty of seabirds- eiders, guillemots, oyster catchers, turnstones, occasional heron and more. When the tide is in the beach disappears and the sea comes half way up the sea wall. I swim there quite often and launch my kayak from there.

Swimming pool (Riverside Leisure Centre): 25m 6 lane pool with health suite (sauna, steam room and spa bath) and cafe.
Open normally Mon – Fri: 0700 – 1300 & 15.30 – 1900; Sat/Sun 1900 – 1600.
Contact: 01369 701170 / riverside@liveargyll.co.uk

Gym: Queen’s Hall on the right-hand side just about opposite the foot ferry

Library: Queen’s Hall

Coffee kiosk near ferry and a public toilet.

Bus stances for all the local routes (Toward via Inellan, Inverary via Benmore Botanical Gardens and Glen Branter, Ardentinny via Kilmun, Strone and Blairmore , Lochgoilhead and Carrick Castle, Rothesay, Isle of Bute (West Coast Motors: www.westcoastmotors.co.uk or www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/bustimetables)

Calmac Passenger Ferry. When they are in a good mood the boats (the Argyll Flier and the Alicat) run every half hour to and from Gourock Station. However they aren’t keen on bad weather and recently each boat has been giving trouble so there has only been an hourly service. It is wise to check the Calmac website for times.

Mini Putting course with a couple of fiendish holes. Sticks and balls obtainable from the Boat House Café for a small charge

Boat House Café: Seats inside and out on the sea front at the start of West Bay

West Bay: Lovely to walk along here. The beach is always accessible, even at high tide.

Children’s Playground at the further end of the beach, and public toilets.

From here you can turn inland at Kilbride Road to go up past Holy Trinity Church to Bishop’s Glen (woods and merry burns and wide open hill tops) – brilliant cycling routes including the 15 mile Corlarach Loop

Alternatively you can carry on walking or take the bus towards Inellan (another 4 miles). Inellan has a community store, the Lido, and the Osborne Hotel which does good food and has lovely views over the sea.

Toward is 2 ½ miles further on, with its lighthouse and sailing club and rocky beaches with great views to the isles of Bute and Arran (fantastic sunsets there). It has no shop or eatery so you need to bring your own refreshments as you explore.

If you are driving, the road from Toward leads on to the lower end of Loch Striven – another great base for walks.

Turn left along the promenade and look down at the extraordinary rock formations – last remnants of the Highland Fault Line where millennia ago the southern and northern continents collided and pulled apart. You can scramble all along here when the tide is out.

At Kirn ( a good half mile along) is a friendly little café, Java Walk, and over the road an outlet for Black’s Bakery – lovely bread and good pies, and an excellent haberdashery shop, Ginty and Ba’s for all your crafty needs.

At Hunter’s Quay (a mile and a half from Gramercy) is the motor ferry run by Western Ferries. The sturdy boats run every 20 minutes and it takes a lot to disrupt the service. When the weather is bad they take the passengers from the Calmac ferries and a shuttle bus sometimes runs between the 2 ferry terminals. There are frequent buses from McInroy’s Point in Gourock where the ferry lands, to Gourock Station. Remarkably, a ferry crew is on call every night for patients who might need taking from the Community Hospital to the Inverclyde Hospital.

Another mile and a half brings you to Holy Loch Marina, home to many private yachts, as well as Majestic Cruises which travel around the Hebrides, and Wreckspeditions which take people on diving trips. There’s a pleasant café there, and Croots, which sells country products, good pet food, country clothes and arty bits, and Holy Loch Pottery, with a range of lovely goods all made right there. Pottery classes are often available too.

Queen Street: left out of the gate and first left. This leads you past a pub and a take away and a hairdresser and about 10 minutes’ walk up the road to the Co-op Supermarket. Turn left here, past the Lorne Hotel (a good eatery) and you will be in Argyll Street which is the main shopping street. Various pubs and restaurants, gift shops, clothes and outdoor wear and an outlet shop for clothes, hardware etc. Don’t miss the Burgh Hall, a community owned and run centre for arts, with regular art exhibitions, music and plays (check the website – www.dunoonburghhall.org.uk) . There is a little shop selling goods made by local artists and an excellent licensed café, dog friendly, serving home-made food. Towards the bottom of the street is Bookpoint, an independent bookshop which sells really interesting books of all kinds, including guides to the area. If you walk right down Argyll Street you will come out at Queen’s Hall and the sea front.

John Street: Turn right as you come out of the house and walk along the sea front to the roundabout where you turn right. On your right is Morrison’s Supermarket (about 5 minutes from the house. On your left is the Studio Cinema, an independent cinema that shows most of the newest films including child-friendly movies and live stream opera, ballet and London plays. Check their website – www.studiocinema.co.uk. John Street leads you into Argyll Street. If you cross Argyll Street and continue to walk (another10 minutes or so) you will reach Alexander Street and the start of a network of walking and cycle trails up the hills behind the town.