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
Top 10 things to do on the Isle of Harris in WinterPublished on 26 September 2022If you're thinking about visiting the Isle of Harris (Outer Hebrides, Scotland) in Winter, we have put a list together for you of the top 10 things to do in Winter. We can only recommend...
Harris Weather -Winter climate & temperatures (and where to find a forecast)Learn about Harris Weather - especially the winter months to plan your winter holidayPublished on 8 Sep 2022Harris in winter is brilliant! Want to know why? You've got the island, the...
The best beaches on the Isle of HarrisFind out about the best beaches on the Isle of Harris (Outer Hebrides). Which one is your favourite Harris beach?Published on 8 Sep 2022The Isle of Harris - part of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland - is undoubtedly known for it's...
Top 10 rainy day activities on the Isle of HarrisPublished on 22 August 2022If Harris is known for one thing - then it's the weather and the unpredictability of it! The weather in the Outer Hebrides can be "interesting": blue skies and then gail force winds at the...
Electric Car Charging Outer Hebrides Driving your EV on the Isle of HarrisPublished 29 June 2022Where can I charge my EV on the Isle of Harris? Just as petrol stations are more sparse on the Isle of Harris and the Outer Hebrides in general, so are electric vehicle...
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...