Two comtemporary Iron Age style stone lodges with fantastic sea views in the wilds of the Highlands
As we stop the car in front of a stone building that seems to grow like an ancient fort out of the hillside, there is silence. Just a few birds twitter in the branches of wind-twisted rowan trees and birches, and a light breeze rustles in their leaves. In front of us, there is the most amazing view of the Scottish Highlands one can think of only in one’s wildest dreams. In the field below The Brochs of Coigach, black Hebridean lambs jostle round there mother. Beyond, rocky crags frame the sea. To the right, there are the Summer Isles. A lone creel boat furrows a wake into the shimmering water. Beyond the sea and to the left, majestic mountains raise into the sky.
And not another habitation to be seen. Brochs are Iron Age roundhouses peculiar to the northwest of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, such as Jarlshof in the Shetlands and the Brochs of Glenelg on the mainland. Reiner and Sheileagh took these ancient buildings as a starting point to design the probably most unusual holiday accommodation we have come across – and that in one of the remotest spots of the British Isles on a peninsula in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland.
Gille Buidhe and Scàl were two brothers who are said to have been the first people to settle this peninsula that forms part of the Assynt and Coigach National Scenic Area and a UNESCO designated Geopark. The smaller Broch is named after Scàl. It is a one bedroom refuge from everyday life. It has an open plan kitchen and a huge dining and sitting area that is 8 meters long and 6 meters wide. The luxurious bathroom contains a wonderful sauna.
The larger Gille Buidhe's Broch contains two bedrooms and two sitting rooms. The main room is 11 meters long and 10 meters wide. Everything is on a larger scale than in the smaller Broch. Gille Buidhe's Broch is suitable for couples, for two couples or for families. It is available from two days up to any period you wish.
Once inside, we realize that The Brochs are as much works of art as they are the most luxurious holiday lets one can think of. The walls are adorned with the most exquisite art, large oil paintings by John Bellany, the recently deceased foremost exponent of contemporary Scottish art, a sculpture by his famous contemporary Sir Eduardy Paolozzi, even a lithograph by the great Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. And apart from that, the most extraordinary installations including whale bones, antique artifacts and quaint collectors pieces.
We receive the most overwhelming reception from our hosts who have put all this together. There is a home baked cake waiting on crockery specially manufactured for the Brochs by Lochinver Pottery; there are green eggs from their flock of freely foraging Araucano hens; there is a nightcap decanter filled with amber malt whisky.
As the full moon raises over the mountains and its light is reflected on the dark sea, we definitely feel like we have escaped to another world.