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Provides information about a new luxury self-catering house on the Isle of Harris

Luxury Self- Catering Cottage Isle of Harris

Luxury Self-Catering Accommodation, Isle of Harris, Scotland. Beach view holiday home. 

Chapter Ten - Recognition!

Paul Honeywell

Six months after completing Òran na Mara, we feature as the main article in the popular Coast magazine.

The excellent article was written by Emma Leask, who stayed at Òran na Mara with her family in August.  Photography was expertly done by David Barbour, who also stayed with us at the same time.

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Chapter Nine - Completion!

Paul Honeywell

After owning the land for 15 years, planning the right design for many of those, and actually building for over 2 years, we have finally completed Oran na Mara.

The rush to the finish was exhausting for everyone concerned, with the usual delays, wrong deliveries and technical challenges that are common to building a house, but made much more complex for a house with no square walls on an offshore island!

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Chapter Eight - Race to the Finish

Paul Honeywell

As this very complex design and build process draws to a close, as ever there have been hurdles to overcome.  The roof, for example, uses a huge amount of marram grass, which is not grown commercially in the islands any longer.  Getting the quality and quantity that we needed required some detective work, and Neil came up trumps with a great supply on a small island off North Uist called Kirkibost.

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Chapter Five – Walls and Roofs

Paul Honeywell

Having a curved building (both in plan and elevation) is a pretty challenging thing to build.  Add a thatched roof, to use traditional island materials and techniques, and the challenges multiply.

The walls are mostly going to be of local stone, and lots of it.  They will be very deep, providing a really solid look to the house as well as excellent insulation.  Angus Williams, from Harris, is our stonemason, and as I write he is spending weeks in the quarry selecting exactly the right stones for the job.

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Chapter Two – False Starts and Dead Ends

Paul Honeywell

Having a vision for “a house” is one thing, but what it actually becomes is often quite another!  It is very easy to put up a square, boring box - even with contemporary twists, it’s still a box!  Of course, boxes are relatively cheap to design and to build - usually they come as kits.  And building a house on an island is not the same as on the mainland - materials have to cross the sea, and labour and skills are in very short supply.  So, the easier the better - right?  

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Chapter One – The Dream

Paul Honeywell

Our love of Harris started in 1977, when we went for our honeymoon. In those days, nobody knew it existed (“Harris?  You mean Paris don’t you?”).

 After 10 glorious cloudless days, with twilight nights with the moon hanging in a velvet sky, we were smitten.  We returned year after year, and as our children came along (all 7 of them!), Harris quickly became part of their childhoods.

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