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"Fate decreed that my first visit to Crubenbeg House was while acting as a personal guide on a whistle-stop tour of some of Scotland's finest scenery. I randomly selected it as an overnight break on a return journey from Skye and was very impressed by Irene and John's hospitality, the beautiful house and Rajah.

Dan_Chisholm-crubenbeg-house-newtonmore-guest houseSeveral months later, I returned with walking boots to explore - completely spoilt for choice; so many places to visit, but only one venue in mind as my base. I loved everything about the area, the people and Crubenbeg House.

So much so, that I booked it for my forthcoming 50th birthday celebrations - inviting best friends from across the country. It required a significant effort; Ally and his wife Jules both work at Radio Two – and she was heavily pregnant. They flew up for the weekend, as did my partner. Long-standing friends Andy and Pauline flew in from a business trip in the Far East, and my musician friend Tony undertook a journey which Michael Palin would've been proud of. Friday morning, he cycled from his London home to King's Cross before taking the train to Leeds and pedalling home to Ilkley. On Saturday, Tony set off for Leeds and the long rail journey to Newtonmore station. John greeted him (and the bike) and soon the party was underway.

I doubt I have ever felt so happy in my life. My very best friends had gone to extremes to attend the celebration, despite it being close to Christmas. I could truthfully have died of contentment; the food, the celebration, the company, the scenery was exceptional.

The hardest part is trying to keep a place like this secret. On one hand, you want to tell the world ... on the other, you'd like to be able to book when you want to visit.

Oh, the dilemma. My friends loved the place; some have returned. Others told friends and family who have visited.

Me? It's my second home. I love the place.

And you will too."

Dan Chisholm, England

"To see more of what I think about John, Irene, Rajah & Crubenbeg, Why not take a quick look at a short video I've done. I hope that you enjoy it. Dan" (link opens in a new window)