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  • The Decoy - (Ref. 954714)

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The Decoy

Dornoch, Northern Highlands & Cairngorms National Park (Ref. 954714)



Sykes rating Icon/Rating/Sykes Icon/Rating/Sykes Icon/Rating/Sykes


  • Icon/Feature/Off-road parking Off road parking
  • Icon/Feature/Ground floor bedroom Ground floor bedroom
  • Icon/Feature/Open fire Open fire
  • Icon/Feature/Garden or Patio Garden / Patio
  • Icon/Feature/WiFi Broadband / WiFi

Reviews & Ratings

Accuracy of the listing

23 Customer Reviews

  • "The property was clean and tidy."

    It had everything we needed and more in terms of being a self catering property. It was in a lovely location and we enjoyed the closeness of the beaches. We highly recommend this property

    Reviewed by StevenOct 2021

  • "The chalet was excellent."

    Good position, quiet location and spotlessly clean. Felt very safe as far as Covid is concerned, all precautions taken by owners. Would go back without any hesitation.

    Reviewed by RobertOct 2021

  • "The chalet was in a lovely setting and in it self was a lovely comfortable chalet."

    The only reason i didn't give it 5 stars allround was it didn't have a washing machine.

    Reviewed by FrederickSep 2021

  • "The Decoy is in an excellent position for touring the east coast of Scotland."

    Beaches, shopping and historical sites are all within easy travelling distance. The lodge itself is very cosy. The massive bed was extremely comfortable and although small the kitchen is incredibly well equipped. We made coq au vin, risotto, burgers and curry while staying there. The tv has an Amazon fire stick so Netflix etc are available. The site itself is very quiet with walks you can do straight from the lodge. The owners had provided some really helpful local information. Amy the cleaner had prepared the lodge to an excellent standard and clear instructions were left regarding covid.

    Reviewed by EmmaSep 2021

  • "Decoy is an excellent holiday accommodation."

    Very clean - very well equipped ( Could have done with a bigger television - needed to get out of chair every time I wanted to read the programme guide). Would definately recommend.

    Reviewed by GrahamMay 2021

  • "A stylish lodge that appears designed to promote hygge, and does so extremely well."

    . Extremely thoughtfully well equipped lodge, with beautiful quality furnishings; there is everything you need to live here without having to 'make do' in any way. The appearance of the lodge as we arrived was warm and inviting, and the introduction manual written by the owners made us feel welcome and relaxed. Spotlessly clean, faultless in every way. The scenery and wildlife in the Highlands is simply breathtaking, and the quality of the light makes the colours appear more vibrant than we've ever seen anywhere. The location in Embo/Durness means that covering the entire NC500 is possible over a series of day trips, which we loved doing; there is also plenty to do on the doorstep. We could have stayed for months and found something new and exciting to do every day- if we could tear ourselves away from the cosy lodge!

    Reviewed by MichelleOct 2020

  • "A perfect base for us, in a very comfortable cabin."

    Reviewed by PaulSep 2020

  • "We enjoyed a lovely family break at The Decoy recently - very well resourced cabin and the owners were super at getting in touch prior to our arrival to see if we needed any assistance in organising our break."

    Beautiful part of the world and the setting of the cabin was very tranquil. Another great Sykes family staycation!

    Reviewed by LouiseJul 2020

  • "Wow what an amazing break."

    Lovely quiet location, beautiful warm and clean cabin. We all loved every minute of it. The cabin had everything we could need and the owners have obviously but a lot of thought in to ensuring it is perfect for holidays. Close to the beach and the local town. Amazing, thank you so much.

    Reviewed by PaulDec 2019

  • "The holiday we had was excellent, the accommodation was very comfortable and well equipped."

    The owner was also helpful and their were dog bowls and towels supplied to clean the dogs which was a bonus. The only small moan, was that the toilet seat was a bit wobbly, but other than that it was a great place to stay. Their is a road close by that you will hear traffic passing but it did not spoil our holiday at all. The Dornoch area was great for site seeing and walks of all types which is what we wanted and we would stay their again.

    Reviewed by JamesNov 2019

  • "A very good location to stay it enabled us to tour most of the highlands and Dornoch has everything you need"

    Reviewed by MartinSep 2019

  • "Absolutely lovely."

    Homely. Comfortable. Quite. Jc taxi only 5 pound too the pub . Dog friendly. Kristen alovely person to talk too. One of the most relaxing breaks. Highly recommend decoy for piece and quite .

    Reviewed by PeterJun 2019

  • "Such a beautiful property!"


    Reviewed by HannahJun 2019

  • "Very Cosy Chalet in a lovely location, perfect for exploring the highlands."

    Wouldn't hesitate to book again!

    Reviewed by ClaireJun 2019

  • "Lovely place."

    Really well equipped including nice small touches and cosy. Only thing we couldn't find was a cloth or brush to wash-up with.

    Reviewed by JillMay 2019

  • "Lovely area close to amazing beaches, chalet was comfortable and clean toilet ..."

    Lovely area close to amazing beaches, chalet was comfortable and clean toilet facilities are small and pull for flushing toilet not the easiest to use

    Reviewed by ElizabethMay 2019

  • "The tranquillity of the site and also the area Stunning beach walks Beautiful woodland walks Natural surroundings As much or as little for you to do regarding sight seeing etc Friendly helpful staff in shops and restaurants The holiday was fantastic We took out 2 dogs who may have enjoyed it even more than us!"

    Beautiful unspoilt area The booking arrangements and the information pack in the decoy were easy and helpful respectively Would we return?you bet!

    Reviewed by PeterApr 2019

  • "Easy check in, useful information left about both the property and the surrounding area."

    Trip included my 2.5 year old who loved all the games, toys and books. Shower was warm but not very powerful. Would maybe include a bit in the information about where to park car. It’s not very clear and we were told off by a particularly rude woman in the chalet straight across that we would get thrown out of the park if we didn’t park properly. Overall a great stay though

    Reviewed by PaulineApr 2019

  • "The chalet is situated beside a busy road that leads from Dornoch to Embo."

    .It is also advertised on the NC500 tourist route. Traffic moves at speeds up to about 60mph..All times of day and night...This was not advertised...We would not have booked as we wanted peaceful surroundings. Being woken just after 8 am by the site owner to start mowing the grass..and continue for 7 1/2 hours on a Sunday !! Water pipes banging regularly and loudly 24 hrs a day...The owner left us a note to say they are aware of the pipes but there is nothing they can do about them !?!..awful at night time trying to sleep waiting for them to knock and bang. Water heater was intermittent through out our stay..... Toilet seat very loose. Toilet flush ...had to pull loads of times for it to work properly. Broken blinds..... There are other things but I'm sure we would run out of space. We haven't had a holiday for 2 years since losing our daughter ...This was a suprise booking for my wife as it was our 10yr wedding anniversary. . Seeing her break down in tears through lack of sleep on night 3...nearly made me pack the car and drive 800 miles back home. We can never trust any description on your site again and so will not book again. Yes the owner took £100 off the price as a late booking....and then gave us £25 vouchers for the mad site owner mowing all day.... This isn't about the money...We wanted a relaxing holiday ...and not on a busy road.we wanted to sleep easy away from everything that has can't with pipes banging. So to anyone wanting to holiday at the Decoy. ..wait until the faults are fixed. ..and take ear plugs !

    Many thanks for voicing your grievances regarding this property, unfortunately, due to the size of Syke's portfolio of properties, we can't visit every property on a weekly basis. That said, your words have given us cause for concern with our standards at this property and we are now investigating the matters raised. I can see we have addressed the issues with you and the complaint has been resolved. Property Owner

    Reviewed by NeilOct 2018

  • "We had a fabulous week at The Decoy."

    The cabin was an ideal base for touring this beautiful coastline. A short walk to the beach and other lovely walks. Cabin had a well stocked kitchen and very comfortable beds, good wi fi connection. Would definitely return.

    Reviewed by LindaOct 2018

  • "Having booked the chalet for 5 nights we wished by day 4 we had booked for the entire week as there is so much to do in this lovely area and we enjoyed the comfort of the chalet so much, as had the dogs."

    The chalet is dog friendly and we were holidaying with our two dogs. On arrival we collected the key from the safety box and were delighted to find a cosy welcoming chalet, that was exceptionally clean and in no way suggested any previous residents had been dogs, no hair, no chewing and certainly no eu-de dog. The chalet is clean, bright and emits a sense of peace and tranquility, situated in a small chalet park, it is quiet, with few vehicles entering or leaving. There is electric heating throughout, which we didn't require until later each evening as the building is cosy, tea lights are provided along with holders throughout which adds to the ambiance of the chalet and its surroundings. The location is ideal for visiting the surrounding area and provides an abundance of walks both on beaches and in Scots pine forests. For those staying with dogs the owners have even thought of this too, they provide towels for drying your canine companions after a walk and dog dishes for eating and drinking from. A very minimalist layout works well in the chalet and the kitchen not only provides you with cooker, fridge and microwave but a lovely built in dining table. In the main bedroom there is a "Giant" bed, chest of drawers and built in hanging space. There is another bedroom that would be suitable for up to 2 adults and a child. All linen was supplied, including, bedding and towels, as were additional towels should you decide to go to the beach, there is also a picnic basket should you decide to take a picnic along. The "Giant" bed, which you can read about in the chalet information is comfy and there is an excellent working shower in the bathroom. TV and DVD player are available if you find the tranquility too much! And there are DVD's in abundance as are books. I begun reading one and purchased it locally so I could finish it once home. We really enjoyed our trip back to my husbands homeland and the choice of this chalet was a wise move, we would readily return again. If your looking for somewhere central to stay with your canine companion, return to a slower way of life or take some time out from technology, then I'd thoroughly recommend The Decoy, it certainly ticked all our boxes - and the dogs loved it too.

    Reviewed by MoyraSep 2018

  • "Really enjoyed the setting."

    Certainly a retreat from everyone and everything

    Reviewed by JanMar 2018

  • "Brilliant cabin, loved the fire."

    Perfect distance from town so you can walk or drive. Great location Would love to stay again

    Reviewed by GayleMar 2018

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The property

A traditional, homely wooden cabin near Dornoch in Scotland.

The cosy living and beautiful location make this cabin perfect for a family break in the north of Scotland.

The open plan living area in The Decoy is warming and cosy, complete with rustic wooden furnishings as well as comfortable seating, TV, radio and a woodburning stove to make it that extra bit welcoming.

The kitchen is also predominantly wooden with some vintage-looking fixtures and fittings adding a real nostalgia to the cabin.

To the back of the cabin is two cosy and warming bedrooms as well as a shower room.

Outside of The Decoy to the front is a delightful decking area with furniture and views to the surrounding trees and scenery, the perfect place to enjoy your morning coffee.

The seaside resort of Dornoch sits under 2 miles away, it is an incredible town offering everything you need from shops, cafes, delis and restaurants to a castle, golf course and a beach, it really does have something for everybody.

Enjoy a spot of whisky and gin tasting, or discover gift, art and antique shops.

Nearby Embo is home to a children's play park, tennis courts and an indoor pool.

There are three stunning beaches within a two mile radius of the chalet, as well as forest walks.

An easy drive takes you to Golspie where you can visit the stunning Dunrobin Castle with its falconry displays.

Dornoch is in a fairly secluded location, however the stunning city of Inverness is just over 40 miles south and if you really want you could visit the world famous John o'Groats, the most northern point of the U.K is just over 70 miles away.

The Decoy is one of a number of individually owned Norwegian chalets set in 5 acres of privately owned Scots pine woodland.


  • All ground floor
  • Two bedrooms: 1 x king-size double, 1 x family room with a triple bunks (double below, single on top)
  • Shower room with shower, basin and WC
  • Open plan living area with kitchen, dining area and sitting area with a woodburning stove.
  • Electric central heating with woodburning stove
  • Electric oven and electric hob, microwave, fridge with freezer compartment, HDTV, WiFi, radio, iPod dock
  • Fuel, power and starter pack inc. in rent
  • Bed linen and towels rent
  • Beach towels inc. in rent
  • Ample off road parking
  • Front decking with furniture and lawn
  • Two well-behaved pets welcome
  • Sorry, no smoking
  • Shop and pub 1.5 miles
  • Note: Single bunk bed is only suitable for a child
  • Note: Max 4 adults
  • Note: Property is near a country road and some noise may be heard.

View on map

About the location


Inverness 43 miles

Translating in Gaelic to 'pebbly place', Dornoch is a delightful seaside resort in the North of Scotland. It is a beautiful town with so much to see and do, it is full of history and culture. Dornoch is home to a 13th century Cathedral and a majestic castle and has a golf course that was voted the 5th best outside of the U.S. Aside from the beauty and history, Dornoch has so much to do with a good range of pubs, bars and shops to go around and enjoy at your leisure. Of course you cannot forget the beautiful sandy Dornoch beach.

Note: Max 4 adults

This property offers the following short breaks:

  • Winter
  • Off-season
  • Last minute
  • Christmas
Book with confidence
If your booking can't take place due to a COVID-19 lockdown in the UK or Ireland, you can request a change of date or receive a full rental charges refund.

Owners may request any evidence that they reasonably require before making a refund. Sykes Holiday Cottages is not agreeing to pay or guarantee any refund from the Owner to you under this Book with confidence.
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