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  • Writer's pictureFirthside House

Before & After

Updated: Feb 1

The beginning

This story begins in a cabin in the Norwegian mountains. It is Covid times, end of 2020, and the world has closed down. We talk about our beloved Scotland and of starting a business together. We search the internet and investigate different properties: Some are too remote, some too large and others are simply too worn down. Suddenly Firthside House appears on the market and we conclude it is perfect. A Scottish house with lots of original details, on the sea front, in the middle of a lovely town with amazing golf courses, historic sites and nature on its doorstep.

We spoke to the estate agency and they let us know that it is already off the market and sold, we mentioned that we look for something similar and we stay in touch.

A few months later, in February 2021, the estate agent calls us back to let us know that the sale had fallen through as the original buyer failed to get planning permission to divide the property to build several new houses. Firthside House is back on the market! Within 24 hours we had put in an offer.

Due to Covid we were not able to view the house since one family lived in Norway, from where travel to Scotland at the time was impossible. The other family lived in England and at the time also the England Scotland border was shut. A trusted surveyor confirms that the house is solid, properly built and would stand another 150 years of time.

As soon as we can travel at end of May 2021, we visited the house for the first time, and we could not have been happier with the house we had purchased. So much to do! So much potential!


We lived in the house during the summer of 2021, to “feel” it, understand its layout, learn what renovations needed to be done, go through all the furniture and belongings that the previous owners left behind for us, and to familiarise ourselves with Nairn and its surroundings.

We spent a wonderful month together in the house, giving us a good sense for what needed to be done to accomplish on our objective: to restore one of Scotlands finest homes and make it available to discerning travellers in the north of Scotland.

The many original Victorian features was a key attraction of the house and something we wanted to preserve from the very beginning of the project. Such features include the leaded glasswork in the main hallway, ornate plasterwork, original fireplaces, hardwood flooring, raised skirtings and wood panelling - all features that add to the character of Firthside House.

In September 2021 we started what would become a two year long, respectful renovation of Firthside House. Balancing our passion for the past with future use and functionality, we decided to maintain as much as possible of its current layout and minimise the change to the original structure of the house. Equally, a substantial investment was required in improving heating and insulation, and we also wanted each bedroom to have its own private or en-suite bathroom with excellent water pressure in the showers. At the same time we have renovated the roof and all windows and also redecorated the entire house with period Victorian wallpapers and colour schemes. If you like to see how it turned out, please read more here.

When we researched the house, our daughter found an original drawing of the property which at the time included a conservatory, which later had been removed. We decided to restore this element of Firthside House and are adding a replica of the original conservatory with stunning views over the walled garden and the Moray Firth. We believe that this room will be used a lot!

On the top floor of the building, we have added an apartment, to accommodate a full time live-in house manager, a pre-requisite for the service we like to offer our guests.

The house is ready for guests-

We are now in November 2023 and two intense years have passed. The house now stands up to its former glory. Please discover more photos here.

The renovation of Firthside House is nearly completed and by Christmas, the house should be ready for you!

The plan from the start was to create a home away from home in the north of Scotland - a perfect base from where guests can explore everything this wonderful region has to offer. We aim to give our guests one of the best homes in Scotland with fantastic social spaces, comfortable bedrooms and bathrooms with all modern comforts, decorated in Victorian style, creating memories for a life time.

Firthside House’s location is unique! Walking distance to the wonderful town of Nairn, direct access to the beach, a 5 minute walk to Nairn Golf Club and only a 10 minute drive to historic sites like the Culloden battlefield.

We hope you will enjoy your stay with us and welcome you to Firthside House.

Warmest Welcome!

The Firthside Team

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