Embo House

Embo House


  1. Description
  2. Photos

Full Description

Just a couple of miles from Dornoch Castle, Cathedral and the world-famous Royal Dornoch Golf Club, and standing in 8 acres of private garden, Embo House occupies a commanding position overlooking the Dornoch Firth. Steeped in history, this Grade A listed house dates originally from the sixteenth century and was an ancestral castle of the Clan Gordon, but then benefited from an elegant, Georgian make-over and today it provides contemporary and luxurious self-catering accommodation for large family groups, golfers or indeed weddings.
There are eight, spacious double bedrooms, (7 with views over the Dornoch Firth) with a flexible mixture of double and twin beds – and each bedroom has a private bathroom. Downstairs, there is a fabulously light and well-equipped kitchen, a grand dining room which can seat 16, a beautiful, cedar-lined library, a cosy sitting room and a large, private whisky bar/games room, equipped with Sky TV.
Outside, there is a practice pitching area / small golf hole (complete with water hazard and bunkers) a large BBQ & terrace area, a tree-house and a beautiful glass summer-house in which to catch the last rays of sun, accompanied by good friends and your favourite tipple!

Telephone Number

01862 811409





Wi-fi Internet Access

Available free of charge

Cot and High Chair

Available free of charge


Within a 10 minute drive


Within a short drive

Secure Cycle Storage

Under cover


Within a 10 minute drive


Within a 10 minute drive

Scenic Walks

Direct from the door

Real Fire

Open Fire

Historical Connection

Embo House appears today as an elegant, Grade A listed Georgian mansion overlooking the sea. However, it actually dates from the sixteenth century, and its appearance has changed through time. The original, six-room manor house (which now forms part of the west wing) was home to the Gordons of Embo, scions of the Gordons, Earls of Sutherland for two hundred years, and therefore Embo House is an ancestral Castle of the Clan Gordon. The house still holds an armorial stone, once built into the house, dated 1677 and bearing the arms of Sir Robert Gordon of Embo and his new wife, Jean Leslie.

It is believed the house suffered a very serious fire towards the end of the eighteenth century and the last of the old family to live there was Sir John Gordon, 5th baronet, who died at Embo on January 24th, 1779, with mountainous debts.

The principal creditor was Robert Hume Gordon, who went on to acquire the estate and rebuild / extend the house around 1790. His political ambitions dictated it should be substantial and handsome; it was part of his strategy to win a parliamentary seat against an opponent backed by the Duchess of Sutherland.

Gordon wanted a country seat which would rival the grandeur of the Duchess’ Dunrobin Castle. However, having completed Embo – and no doubt entertained the local electorate in grand style – he lost the election!

Strongly influenced by the fashionable New Town houses in Edinburgh, Gordon’s newly completed house might not have swayed the voters but it clearly made quite an impression on the Rev. Donald Sage who, in 1801, described Embo House as “the most elegant mansion I have ever witnessed”.

It appears though, that from then on, none of the members of the Gordon family ever lived in the house and in 1900 it was first leased and later purchased by Mr John Mackintosh, along with Embo Farm and the villages of Embo and East Hilton.

The Mackintosh family still farm all the land around the house. More recently, Embo House was owned by the Lafferty family, who substantially updated it. They now live nearby in Dornoch.