First visit to Harris
Òran na Mara completed
“A Fulfillment of the Dream for Both of Us”
Òran na Mara really is a dream brought to life. We’ve taken the time to expertly design the interior space; high domed ceilings flood with light during the day and make it warm and cosy at night.
We’ve come a long way from our first visit to Harris to the completion of this truly iconic house.
“Every part of the house celebrates a different part of the culture of Harris” Jane Blanchard, Interior Designer
A Unique House with a Unique Story
Designing and building Òran na Mara has taken us on a wonderfully fulfilling journey. There have been plenty of challenges to overcome, but they’ve led to the creation of a beautiful house. We worked through many different plans over the years before settling on the unique design you see today. On the way, we made a commitment to using the finest local materials and traditional construction techniques. .
Our love affair with Harris began on our honeymoon in 1977. After 10 glorious, cloudless days watching spectacular sunsets blend into velvet nights, we were smitten.
False Starts and Dead Ends
Having a vision and bringing it to life are very different things. Building a house on an island is not a challenge for the faint-hearted!
Finding a way to turn the Òran na Mara dream into a reality comes one step closer. Chartered civil engineer Jonathan Bridge helps us move forwards.
Every Challenge Takes us a Step Closer
When you’re building something that has never been built before, you encounter the unexpected every day. From blasting the foundations to finding the right materials for the thatch, each new challenge led us to a new solution. And to a gloriously unique luxury escape.
Balancing bespoke interior design that reflects the natural environment with our desire to create an amazing visitor experience inspired us through the build process. We hope the outcome inspires you too.
It is surprising how much work (and money) goes into the ground. When you’re dealing with gneiss, the hardest rock on the planet, laying foundations is tricky.
Bringing the Outside In
We decided to work with an interior designer as it was obvious that this unique house needed to be considered holistically. What a great idea that was!
Creating the Experience
From the outset, it was our desire to create an amazing visitor experience. We began by defining the layout, then considered the construction and interior design.
Race to the Finish
Even as this complex design and build process drew to a close, there were hurdles to overcome. Sourcing marram grass and creating curved ceilings were just two!
After owning the land for 15 years, planning countless different designs and spending 2 years on the final build, Òran na Mara was finally finished.
Six months after completing Òran na Mara, we were visited by Charlie Luxton and the house was featured in Channel 4’s ‘Homes by the Sea’. A fitting start for this luxury home-from-home.
Keep up to date with Òran na Mara’s informative blog
Electric Car Charging Outer Hebrides Driving your EV on the Isle of HarrisHow practical is it to bring your EV to Harris? Find out more about Electric Car Charging in the Outer Hebrides For your journey across Scotland, the ChargePlace system has grown to over 2,000...
Dog-friendly Accommodation on the Isle of Harris Enjoy your holidays on the Isle of Harris with your best friend!Oran Na Mara - Dog-friendly Accommodation Isle of Harris Dog friendly holidays mean that you can enjoy your time together with man’s best friend. It's only...
Winter Photography Outer Hebrides Ever wondered how to take photographs of the night sky? Learn from photographer Mo Thomson.This article was written by Mo Thomson, a brilliant photographer who loves Harris and has stayed at Òran na Mara a number of times. We hope you...
Winter Holidays Isle of Harris Isle of Harris - A photographer's paradiseAutumn and Winter on the Isle of Harris are perfect for photographers who enjoy winter landscape photography in Scotland. Winter Holidays Isle of Harris - the Autumn heralds the longer nights for...
Creating Òran na Mara - Luxury Accommodation Isle of HarrisTo us, Oran na Mara is a very special place – and we hope that you agree. To create a house in this location, to take advantage of the views, and to blend into the landscape took years of painstaking planning,...
We are launching a new website at orannamara.com, to coincide with the opening of our 2023 booking calendar. We are taking over our own booking management from our current partners, LHH, for all bookings dating from January 2023 onwards. Oran na Mara tends to book two...