Cottages on Skye are often converted from the houses of so called ‘crofters’. Crofters are farmers, working leased land, a sort of feudal system still employed in Scotland’s West today. Many of these houses were abandoned during the Highland Clearances, some hamlets and villages being ended up entirely depopulated. Today, still many Scots are migrating - and those who stay found a new use for the cottages. You’ll find everything, from modern and renovated to Victorian kitsch. You can even go for accomodations in a repurposed chapel, if that’s your thing. And just as the styles vary so do the prices.
Of course there are new holiday homes under construction as well. Our own cottage was the other half of a newly built family home, with the owner living off the rent. Since we decided on the trip rather spontaneously there wasn’t much time left to look for a cottage. Achnahanaid is located on a dead end, leading from the A87 toward The Braes. The location is ideal for exploring in all directions of the island, and the view on Raasay across the road is spectacular, with the sea in only 250m distance.
The cottage was furnished simply, with all the typical kinds of ruffles on the windows and too much plastic decor.
The lady of the house we saw daily with her hoop - although the walls already have little space left for more embroidery and pictures. We didn’t have to give up on a fireplace either, but it was just an electric one, so not the real deal. On the other side it caused less dirt and was ideal to dry wet clothes in front of it.
We felt right at home on Skye. The people were friendly without exception, including our landlords. And I just love to hear them talk - gaelic is part of their everyday language which is very noticeable, even with their English.
Every house needs a well kept garden. However rough and untamed the landscape may be, cottages are surrounded by an OCD conceived lawn. I don’t think dandelions even exist on this island. The grass always seems perfectly trimmed, as if done with ruler and scissors.