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Aultbea Hotel in 1890

Hotel with horse and cart, circa 1890

Loch Ewe featured in both World Wars as a naval assembly point of great strategic importance. It was from here that the great convoys set off for Murmansk, West Africa and North America. Indeed, the Aultbea Hotel is fondly remembered by those who survived and still come to visit with their stories of drinking beer from jam jars, due to wartime rationing and shortages.


Built originally in 1850 as a hunting lodge by Lord Zetland, the Aultbea Hotel has evolved over the years into a comfortable, friendly hotel comprising 8 en-suite bedrooms, two bars, two restaurants and a residents lounge.

Aultbea Hotel in 1940

Hotel and Loch, circa 1940

"We solved the problem of beer glasses by buying an empty sweet jar from the little shop with the rusty tin roof. The lady at the bar would fill the jar and the three of us would sit on the beach, taking turns to drink it empty. I don't recall how many times we emptied it!"

Source unknown

A series of photographs taken circa 1890, depicting a family holiday at the Aultbea Hotel. This first image is thought to have been taken en-route between Inverness and Aultbea.

The hotel proprietor at this time was a Thomas MacRae. This still shows Loch Ewe and the emerging village on the left.

This still shows the men folk enjoying a fine day's fly fishing, accompanied by a local ghillie.

Returning home from the Loch with catch in hand.

A family boat trip on Loch Ewe. This still shows the village of Aultbea in the background, which at that time comprised of just a few houses and a single church.