The Old Ferryman’s House

Boat of Garten, Highland
Bed & Breakfast
+44 (0)1479 831370

This characterful place has been with Sawday’s from the beginning and guests love the good food and great setting


3 rooms


Rooms sleep 1 – 2

Children welcome
Pets welcome

The Experience

This 200-year-old former ferryman’s house is small, homely and well lived-in. Mountain views, the river Spey close by and a garden with a tray of tea and homemade treats… Plants tumble from whisky barrels and pots and there are woodpeckers and otters to spy. The sitting room is cosy with the wood-burner and brimming with books. Elizabeth, a keen traveller who has lived in the Sudan, cooks delicious breakfasts: eggs from her hens, homemade bread and preserves, heather honey and sometimes herbs and veg from the garden. There’s no TV – no need here: it’s an unmatched spot for explorers and nature lovers. Good value too.


  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Oven
  • Parking on premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Spa
  • Central heating
  • Limited mobility
  • Wheelchair access
  • Mobile reception
  • Hob
  • Bar
  • Barbecue
  • Licensed premises
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Washing machine
  • Tennis court
  • Microwave oven
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Dishwasher
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Books and toys
  • Children welcome
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair
  • Cot available


  • Pub/bar within 3 miles
  • Restaurant within 3 miles
  • Shop within 3 miles


  • Bikes available
  • Food courses
  • Kayaking
  • Other courses
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Wild swimming

& pricing

Booking information

Occasionally in winter.
No smoking
Smoking not permitted anywhere in the property.
Hotel/bistro within 10-15 minute walk.


Nightly price
from £43
1 Single
From £43
1 Double
From £85
1 Twin/double
From £85



We had to leave our campsite a day early due to high winds and travelled to the Cairngorms on a whim. Stopping here on the off-chance. As soon as we walked in, we felt completely at home- the sitting room had no TV, a wood-burner, loads of books and was full of interesting and lovely things to look at. We ended up sharing a fish and chip dinner, first outside in the pretty garden and then by the woodburner. Elizabeth was a fantastic host, we could have talked to her all week! The breakfast was outstanding and home-made- just the best! We will definitely return.

Mandy, Wymondham

Elizabeth was a wonderful, welcoming host, keen to make our stay enjoyable. The breakfasts were delicious and substantial. Elizabeth generously shared her extensive local knowledge with us which enabled us to explore the area fully. Set in beautiful surroundings, this lovely house decorated with craftwork is a real gem.

Gill and tim, Aylesbury

Wonderful 2 nights in Elizabeth's home. We had been on a mountain bike tour & rewarded ourselves 2 nights B&B on a whim. We hate starchy, formal, tick box places. Elizabeth was most helpful from first enquiry the evening before, recommending things to do on our drive over from Blair Atholl, we saw an osprey soaring over Loch Insh as a result! If you don't like books or can't comprehend sharing a bathroom then don't stay. The cottage and gardens exude character and afternoon tea & breakfast were sublime. The best part of the stay was Elizabeth herself, thank you for your hospitality.

Fiona, Bristol

Great location, we were spoilt for things to do in the local area. Bedroom was on the small side but comfortable, although the low eaves can be a hazard for tall people. Other rooms and garden were comfortable and welcoming. Elizabeth is a very enthusiastic hostess, generous and welcoming and obviously much travelled herself. The meals were all excellent and my husband loved the row of whiskies available to sample in the evenings for a very reasonable price. There was plenty of wildlife both in the garden and nearby, we saw both otters and hares within yards of the property and many birds.

Hilary, St albans

An exquisite and unique establishment, five star in every respect except price. Beautiful cottage on the banks of the Spey, 10 mins walk from the RSPB reserve, an ideal base for exploring Abernethy, Rothiemurcus, Cairngorms and further afield into Moray. Run by the excellent host Elizabeth Matthews who is keen to share her extensive local knowledge. Her welcome with tea and home-baked cakes in her beautiful garden is memorable. Breakfasts (eggs from Elizabeths's hens) and dinners (choice of menu, local ingredients where possible) are stunning, inventive and delicious. Don't hesitate, book now!


What agreat host which is the best thing when on holiday food was delicious menu planned while booking an absolute delight.


We are fans for anytime we want a splendid weekend. The food is produced by a food lover and perfect host.


Lovely welcoming homestyle accommodation with exquisite cooking from the very freshest, often home-grown, produce. Jams, yoghurts and more. Beautiful craftwork in evidence, and lovely company with wise attitudes. We would visit again, thank you!


Elizabeth greets us with tea, home made cakes and a warm log fire - Bliss. Easily found via her prominent sign, this wasn't our first delight - the happy hens amidst her beautiful garden boded well on our arrival. The care didn't stop there. We'd booked in for dinner as Scotland is still not well- renowned for its cuisine. After a civilized sherry, Elizabeth served us an extremely tasty 3 course meal - she has been mentioned in Routiers.... Our bedroom was comfortable - electric blankets just in case? Elizabeth makes everyone welcome - families as well. Walks from the door also excellent.


Read more reviews Down arrow


The neighbourhood

Local points of interest from Elizabeth Matthews

  • RSPB Abernethy Reserve is just at the end of the road, with the Osprey Centre at Loch Garten less than 2 miles away.Some of Britain's best birdwatching, from the high tops down to the Caledonian pine forest,with its lochs and moorland
  • Stay in the Cairngorms National Park with lovely walking and biking even from the the house
  • Watch whisky barrels being made by hand at Speyside Cooperage. Take a tour of one of the many Speyside distilleries
  • Drive across the Dava moor (famous for the witches of Macbeth), to Cawdor Castle and gardens.March into spectacular Fort George, Bitain's biggest artillery fortressGo back in time at ancient chambered cairns at Clava, just near Culloden Battlefield