An Glowdgie ('Rain shelter' in cornish)
An Glowdgie is named after the bungalow I was born in over a thousand miles away in Cornwall. We built An Glowdgie ourselves, living in The Eyrie Byre while we did it. In the photo above it is not quite finished. Previous to that, the wee Byre was the only building Daryll had built, so An Glowdgie is simply a scaled up version, designed to be much lighter and more spacious, really making the most of the incredible views that surround us here at Miabhag nam Beann.
Having lived simply in the Byre for nearly four years before moving into the house, we felt we were finally rejoining the 21st century, but there were elements of simple living we wanted to retain. The house does not have a television, although we do have a license, so you can watch BBC iplayer on your own laptop or device. There is a wireless router and speeds are adequate to stream. There is also a nice Denon amp and speakers that you can connect to using blue tooth. And a telescope. That is the extent of the entertainment system! We still prefer watching the ceaseless changes of light, wind and tide during the day, and star gazing at night. I sometimes think we should have named the house 'Moonlit House' as the high windows and skylights let moonbeams penetrate, and the moonlight reflecting off the water outside lights up the whole glen. You must turn off all electric lights to see this. We learned this by living without electricity in the Byre.
The house is designed for two to live together happily with plenty of space. There is a double bedroom and adjacent bathroom downstairs. Upstairs is an open plan mezzanine with both mountain and sea views. This can be used as an additional sleeping area (I have had a family of 5 staying up there!) but essentially it's an ideal yoga studio or creative space. In the eaves with a glass balustrade, it feels cosy while you are treated to all the visual spectacles the weather can create for you. If you use it for yoga you will notice dramatic mountain views reflected in the balustrade for you as you sit on the floor facing the sea. Furnishings include a comfortable double sofa bed and single futon sofa bed.
The main living area is open plan. The central feature is the log burner which is very efficient. It has the whole house warm in about half an hour and the house retains the heat as it is well insulated. The kitchen is divided from the living room by a real wood breakfast bar. The kitchen has a built in waist level oven and eye level microwave. There is a ceramic hob and large built in fridge and freezer. There is no dishwasher, but the view from the kitchen sink makes up for that! There is a washing machine in the entrance lobby.
The entrance lobby is designed for wellies, walking boots, wetsuits, paddles, coats, waterproofs and usually has a bike or two in there as well! We should have made it twice as big! I swim in the sea loch a lot, and Daryll spearfishes, so we like to come back to the lobby to strip off our wetsuits before making straight for the shower. The bathroom is the first room you come to for this very reason.
We are inviting guests to let An Glowdgie for the last three weeks in March and the first two weeks of April 2023. There will also be weeks available in late September and during October 2023. Change over day will be Wednesday. £980 per week. 10% discount per week if you book 2 weeks or more.
OUT OF SEASON CHALLENGES
These are times of year when just being here is an adventure! It is not for the faint hearted. You will certainly experience gales and hail. You could be snowed in (only briefly as the snow always melts quickly here) or just as likely be basking in sunshine as it pours in through the large windows heating the house beautifully. The great thing about An Glowdgie is it is like living in a hide, so you can watch the otter family behaving absolutely naturally in the sea loch without setting foot outside . Golden eagles and sea eagles often soar by, and there are whooper swans, merganser ducks, and three types of diver to look out for, as well as the resident herons, curlews, snipe and hundreds of wheatears, twite, and my beloved starlings. Oh and I mustn't forget the mystical but comical ravens.
The other aspect of visiting Harris out of season, is that you will find out for yourself what it is like here without all the other visitors. It is VERY quiet. No cars on the road, no cafes open. You need to be content to amuse yourselves, and be ready to really relax. Read, write, listen to music, write music, take photographs, hike, swim, knit. Do what you always meant to do if you could ever get away from it all.
Go on, I dare you. Book a week off. Or even two.
We are not planning on allowing dogs, but this can be discussed if you have a very well behaved dog that is not allowed upstairs or on furniture. There would be an extra charge.
The changeover will be seen to by our neighbours Hannah and Rob. They will be on hand if you need anything or have any problems.