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Boath House, Auldearn, Nairn

It’s a relief to know that in an age when hotel chains are expanding as quickly as a politician’s waistline, that there is still the odd bolthole for people who don’t actually like hotels. Boath House, just a short drive from Inverness, is just such a place. Its seriously grand appearance – it’s a curvaceous Georgian house built in 1825 for a fortunate family by the name of Dunbar – belies a warm, relaxed interior of utterly manageable and homely proportions. No reception, no checking in and no fuss.

“We had very young children at the time, so we wanted to create somewhere relaxing so that people wouldn’t feel awkward turning up with children,” says owner Wendy Matheson, who bought Boath House with her husband Don in the mid-90s.

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