I am very excited to share with you the traditional croft house that we have spent this passed week living in. Our destination was Isle of Harris Holidays, Tigh Fionnlagh in the crofting township of Strond, South Harris in the Outer Hebrides.
Even before moving to Scotland this isle has long been on my “to visit” list. As a photographer I have longed to walk the white sandy beaches with their blue sea’s, easily mistaken for more tropical destinations. Now that I have I want to tell you all about it in a small series of posts. Lets start with our home for the week.
Situated right at the very south tip of Harris it took us about forty minutes to drive from Tarbert where we had been safely delivered by a CalMac ferry. The drive across the very luna looking landscape really is something to be experienced. This changes considerably to the west of the island and it took all our will NOT to stop for photographs at every view point and beach knowing that there would be plenty of opportunities during our stay.
Arriving at the croft we are totally in awe of the view but go and let ourselves in. We enter into a small hallway and utility/boot room that leads to the large kitchen with lots of natural light provided by the two windows. On the table we found a welcome basket with some gifts for our stay and an information pack. The dining table large enough for six guests to be seated comfortably at one end. A huge fridge freezer, enough to keep your supplies fresh for your self catering holiday. Plenty of cupboard space and work surfaces for making meals.
This very well stocked kitchen provided us with all the standard kit you would expect to find in any self catering cottage as well as many, very thoughtful, extras. Condiments, sandwich bags, cling film, a cafetiere, cheese grater, oh and lets not forget the bottle opener! During one of the telephone conversations I had with Catherine prior to our arrival I was told about some of these bonus items and it meant that we didn’t have to worry about taking them.
Walking into the living room for the first time we were immediately drawn to the picture windows overlooking the sea. Fantastic. In this room there are two large comfy sofas and with there only being the two of us we were spoiled for choice, so we had one each! Television, Freeview, DVD player all there if you can’t live without your soaps for the week. The next thoughtful thing was that the fire was all set up for us. All we had to do later on was light it.
Into the hallway and we find the first bedroom. Nice size room, double bed, chest of drawers, bed side tables. Really well decorated.
The bathroom was also nice and light. The power shower was the full width of the room and has mobility aid rails should you need them.
There is a small sitting room at the far end of the hallway which again benefits from large windows letting in the natural light. It makes a great silent room. There is no T.V. in here, perfect for reading or even setting up your scope for spotting wildlife (which we did). The comfy chair and foot stool are placed perfectly for catching the last few sun rays of the day. I recommend that you have a look at the family history which is shown in photographs in this room, it really is fascinating and a great idea.
From this sitting room we enter the master bedroom in white and pale blue decor with a clean fresh feel to it. I think it would be easy to go over board with sea side decor and accessories but this is done really tastefully.
There are also bedrooms upstairs, enough for another three people to sleep.
During the week we also found a thermos flask and mugs, great for taking out on walks or trips to the beach. There was a first aid kit and a sewing kit. In the kitchen we also found a box file marked “Tourist Information.” This contained the usual leaflets and booklets that you would pick up from the VisitScotland Information Centre in Tarbert but also OS maps. This is a really lovely touch if you don’t already own your own.
This croft is a great base for exploring the whole of the Isle of Harris & Lewis as we have. We can highly recommend Isle of Harris Holidays, Tigh Fionnlagh if you are planning a trip to the Outer Hebrides. Catherine and Finlay’s attention to detail for their family croft renovation is remarkable. You really do feel the history, love and nature of it. We loved the little extras, the Harris tweed used sparingly as an accent and the family photo’s. The island itself is an absolute gem. If you wish to see more of my photos – either of the holiday cottage or the island itself pop over to Facebook and take a look.