'Cnoc an Dudain' (the hill of Dudain) is situated on the beautiful island of Berneray, 'the jewell in the crown' of the western isles. This stone and thatched cottage (or 'blackhouse' as they are known on the islands) was rescued as a ruin in 2008. We have carefully renovated, using traditional materials. The rooms have limewashed walls, exposed roof timbers and solid wood floors. There is an efficient multi-fuel stove in the living room, and with 1. 3m thick stone walls, this cottage is the cosiest place to be on a blustry Hebridian afternoon. The cottage lies 150 meters down it's own drive and has ample space for parking. The walled garden area leads down to a small beach, with the remains of an old harbour wall still visible at low tide. Those of you with a keen interest in history can discover the hand carved 'crusie stone' built into the garden wall. Berneray is rich in archaeological sites, with a stone circle, standing stone, Viking harbour and chairstone to name but a few. You will wake up to the sound of seabirds, especially Oyster catcher, Curlew and Turnstones. Seals are very common and in summer will swim close to the cottage after dusk. Otters can also be seen fishing in the lochan at the back of the cottage (during the renovation we had regular visits from an otter one winter and he left his footprints in the wet concrete floor). With such a lot to see and do on and around Berneray, we have made a concious decision not to provide a television. Please come to enjoy the views, watch the wildlife and tune in to the cycle of the tides.
Cottage on Isle of Berneray (North Uist), Scottish Highlands, Scotland - Newly renovated cottage lies150 meters down it's own drive and an easy 10 mins walk to east beach
- Calendar last updated:
- 16 Jan 2019
About Mark Snellgrove
In the summer of 1972 myself and by brother hitch hiked through the Scottish Highlands and always said we would buy a croft and live on the west coast of Scotland. We never did. Thirty six years later we managed to buy 'Cnoc an Dudain' as a roofless shell and have partially realised the dream.
Mark Snellgrove purchased this Cottage in 2008
Why Mark Snellgrove chose Berneray
Berneray is a beautiful island with friendly and helpful locals. It is a very restful place to be winter or summer, whatever the weather. The photo gallery speaks for itself
100% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date. 50% refund for cancellations more than 7 days before check-in date.
We visited Cnoc an Dudain in September and had a fantastic time. We were warmly welcomed by Ann and Billy, the couple who look after the cottage.
The house is clean and super cozy with ist beautiful views from the kitchen window – we even burnt peat in the stove! The bed is big and comfortable and the kitchen is aquipt with all that is needed.
Bernaray is amazing for experiencing wildlife and nature. It is the perfect place to relax and get away from every day life. We have booked another holiday in the cottage in June 2019 and can´t wait to get back!
Excellent homely cottage
I have read the most recent review and it is so different from our experience I don’t recognise it.
We will be returning to Cnoc an dudain for a 3rd time next year. On both our previous visits we have found it to be comfortable and welcoming. The bed is huge and we find it very easy to enjoy a good nights sleep. Although not huge, the kitchen area is well equipped and all the utensils and white goods were clean and in working order. The location and view is to die for. This is a restored black house that has kept the character of the building. It may not be bright and shiny with all mod cons, but has everything we need for a wonderful holiday.
Definitely no bed bugs
The same clear instructions from the first time we stayed were on the washing machine, I presume someone had neglected to follow them so the machine filled with water. All they had to do was run the spin cycle and if they felt it necessary run it again hot and empty. These things happen in the most expensive of places so I think a bit of common sense could be brought to bear, after all the cost of electricity and water is included in the price.
We found the place really clean, fresh and tidy. The only fault we could find was that one of the hot water bottles leaked but because we didn’t need to use it beyond the first night I forgot all about mentioning it.
There were still road works happening but we found the guys really amenable to moving when they blocked the gate. We just had to be patient for a max 5mins. I don’t think the owner could have been expected to know about these works as to be honest it seemed pretty random as to where they would turn up.
To sum up if the place was horrid we wouldn’t return, as it is we can’t wait to get back and I highly recommend it.
Thank you for your review. So glad you enjoyed your week at Cnoc an Dudain and have already booked for next year. If you love wildlife and the seashore, it does take some beating. Thank you again for your kind review.
Property very poor but uist a truly beautiful Island
Uist is a beautiful island with very friendly and welcoming people , beaches are absolutely gorgeous with stunning torquise sea but unfortunately our stay at cnoc na dudain was very disappointing and not to be rated at five star . We arrived to find that our wood stove had broken but repaired the following night , two seater sofa not very clean quite smelly and uncomfortable the fridge freezer compartment had mouldy frozen raspberries in it . The superking bed that was advertised as having three single beds put together only had two and unfortunately had an infestation of bed bugs . The washing machine could not be used as it was half full of undrainded water no hair dryer . The access to the property was blocked on two separate days for road and electrical maintenance surely we should have been told about this. On the whole we think the property does not meet what it advertises would certainly return to Berneray but not to this property .
A beautiful setting
We spent 2 weeks here. Very attractive blackhouse, easy to find, clean and tidy with, helpfully, fire laid. Although the weather very fine temperatures dropped in the evenings and the fire was welcome. Space inevitably small, simply furnished but quite comfortable and kitchen facilities ok for simple cooking. Outside areas nice but a few nettles! A nice bench overlooking sealoch. Hot water plentiful when needed. We loved the lochside location, watching birds, abundant seals and occasional otter. We were there for Berneray week which involved cailidhs, quiz night, sandcastle competition and more, and enjoyed talking to very friendly locals. The Nurses house in the village has a great little museum and goodish internet for a donation. Mobile signal hard to find! Berneray and the Uists have spectacular beaches and great walking, especially some of the remoter headlands and uplands. Its worth buying a decent book of walks. Machair in July is spectacularly rich, including huge marsh orchids. Eagle spotting a regular event. Balranald bird reserve highly recommended. Fantastic scallops, lobster etc available from Kallin Seafoods on Grimsay. Excellent dinner at Langass Hotel and great lunch at Westford house. The best supermarket is the Coop on S. Uist. We would recommend Cnoc an Dudain for walking, nature watching, and seafood!
That place where magic meets the sea
We arrived at Cnoc an Dudain in the dark as the ferry was running late. Luckily the owner had emailed us with brilliant directions. The place was clean, cosy and well-maintained. The fire had been laid ready for lighting and the bed was the most comfy I have ever slept in. The following morning we realised just how special a location in which the blackhouse is set. I was truly sorry to leave at the end of our week. Although we spent a lot of time visiting various beaches and dog-walking we also really appreciated time to sit and watch the variety of birds visiting the nearby sea-loch. Nine seals swam across the bay one morning to watch our two dogs paddling in the shallows. Berneray's local shop/tearoom is a very welcoming place to stock up on essentials (food/fuel/wine etc) or to eat breakfast or lunch. I would certainly recommend this place if you like walking, bird-watching, reading. Thankfully no tv or wifi at the blackhouse so plenty of time to shut out the world, relax and enjoy your surroundings. Thanks to the Snellgrove family for the opportunity to experience a traditional blackhouse in comfort.
So glad you enjoyed your holiday and experienced the magic of Berneray and 'Cnoc an Dudain'.
Wonderfully restored gem!
This cottage has been simply but sympathetically and effectively restored by the owner and makes a very comfortable place to wind down and recharge your batteries. It has all the facilities you need, but they pale into insignificance compared to the setting - right by the sea with a lochan ahead from the dining room window. On chilly nights the log burning stove will keep you cosy and on a warm evening you can take your aperitif on a bench watching the birds and seals. It can't really be faulted!
Yes, the setting is very special. We visit three times a year and never want to return home - and we live in North Cornwall !!
Berneray is renowned for it's shell-sand beaches and internationally rare machair flora. East beach is 10mins walk away along the shore, and west beach 30mins walk across the machair. The famous surfing beach of Hosta is 30mins away by car.
Benbecula airport is 25 miles. The ferry ports of Lochmaddy and Lochboisdale are 12 and 50 miles respectively. Berneray is served by a reliable bus service from the airport and ferry terminals. The car/passenger ferry to the isle of harris leaves from the southern end of the island.
Internet access is provided at the 'Nurses Cottage' - the home of the Berneray Historical Society - which is 0.5 miles from the cottage.
The village shop/tearoom is one mile from the cottage and the post office is 0.25 miles.
Visit the Berneray Community website to get more information about the island and community.
Additional pricing information
Booking Notes: For more information or to place a booking, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Mark or Audrey Snellgrove on 01288 341105 Please pay a 50% deposit to secure a booking with the remainder due 4 weeks before the start of your holiday. Changeover Day: All bookings are from Saturday to Saturday. Please arive after 16. 00 and vacate by 10. 00 leaving the cottage in the same clean condition that you found it.