• Maggi

Happy Holidays opportunities

When we first bought the croft that is An Taigh Ur 6 years ago, our plan was to build a large house that we would use as a guest house and then when all our children wanted to come home for family visits we would have room for them all, plus the burgeoning numbers of grandchildren, to stay. Given that our adult children are spread all over the UK and USA it was essential for us to have ample accommodation. Those of you who know us well will know that the selling of the Buckinghamshire home, which was in large part to fund the new build, hit a hideous setback in terms of HS2. Eventually after 3 years of fighting with them and literally at the 11th hour we won our battle and they bought our beautiful 5 bed 3 bath, big garden, stunning family home that we were unable to sell elsewhere because of the HS2 build programme. However they bought it at a HUGE financial hit to us. It is advertised HS2 buy property at market value. Forget that! Because of the development we can't sell our home however they pay what they will pay and given there are no other opportunities to sell one either accepts or rejects their offer, there is NO negotiation as there would be on the open market. Ho Hum. Never mind we are where we are but it does mean we can't raise enough money to build the original big guest house. And so we went back to the drawing board. Self contained holiday lets with a smaller home for us seemed a good way to go. The holiday lets would give a much needed income and occasional accommodation for the family visits. The smaller home for us gives us a permanent home (current home is a temporary cabin) and accommodation for some of the family. For big family gatherings the holiday accommodation units could be used. And so a new plan was formed........ instantly when the 2nd croft with lots of holiday rental opportunity appeared!

An Croit (The Croft) will be our business establishment. Currently we have one Shepherds Hut that is rented out. What is a Shepherds Hut... ? They were wheeled accommodation used between the 15th and 20th centuries by shepherds during the lambing season as they followed their flocks around the hilly north of England and Scotland. They were designed to support the full living experience and were bedroom, kitchen, dining, sitting room, storeroom. I shall leave the bathroom experience to your imagination.......! Our huts have all the decorative and authentic bits like they are raised up on wheels and have the rounded roof but unlike the originals they are very well insulated and have electricity and hot running water :) We started the holiday business on 01 August and the Hut was pretty much booked out for all of August and September. Obviously bookings are slowing as we move into autumn but there are still a few intrepid tourists out there coming to visit the Misty Isle. The Hut is a cosy and quite romantic wee space. it is set in a wild flower meadow that is during the spring and summer a mass of beautiful wild flowers and alive with the buzzing of insects. Whilst small, the Hut is perfectly formed with a shower room, wee eating area and kitchen area with sink, hob, kettle, microwave and tiny fridge. The double bed is uber comfortable and there is a DVD player, books and games for wet weather entertainment. I provide a yummy complimentary breakfast basket which includes home baked bread, home made jam and home grown eggs (!) For lovely weather there is an outside seating area and the Hut, set in the centre of An Croit boasts glorious hillside views. The reviews so far have been very lovely and we have had some great guests and really enjoyed meeting new folk from all corners of the world. Very much looking forward to next summer season when we will have Shepherds Hut #2 up and running so that we can host even more friendly folk.

The people from whom we bought An Croit, lived in a 2 bedroom static mobile home on site. Their plan was to build a bungalow on the building plot that is on the croft, but for various reasons this failed and they decided to sell the croft and move to England. The static was ancient when they moved it onto site 4 years ago. It deteriorated over the intervening years with the shower leaking so badly that the floor was in danger of rotting away. Many weeks of hard work ensued to clean and restore it to some kind of useable state. This done it was our intention to add this to our portfolio of holiday rental properties............ However, instead we are currently using it to house a homeless man who works on the island and desperately wishes to stay here to continue his job and stay close to his children who live in the next village along the road. Sadly, because people can earn so much more money by using their properties as holiday accommodation, there is a dearth of affordable housing for people who live and work on the island. Hence we have our homeless man who is homeless no more!

An Croit is in the township of Clachamish. Some pics below of the croft, the Clachamish standing stone in the centre of An Croit, the Hut inside and out, some amazing weather views............................ Also the view from An Taigh Ur across the river and up the valley to An Croit. The big barn is ours and the big field in front of it, all the land behind either side of the drive and up to the road.........

For anyone interested the AirBnB listing for the Hut is https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/50768343?adults=1&location=Isle%20of%20Skye&children=0&infants=0&check_in=2021-12-03&check_out=2021-12-05&translate_ugc=false&source_impression_id=p3_1635082242_er9V7FyR%2Fva7s4it

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