Remote control

Remote control

The phrase ‘getting away from it all’ could have been made for North Sutherland, a remote area on the north coast of Scotland where the beat of a distant wind turbine and the bleating of sheep are the only noises likely to disturb your day.

It is here, beside a loch, that Fiona and Robbie MacKay have created two ultimate escapes for couples who really, really do not want to be disturbed. And there’s no need for a sign on the bedroom door.

The MacKays have built Croft 103: two low-energy eco-cottages (they are carbon negative), powered by their own wind turbine, in a spot that could accurately be described as ‘the middle of nowhere’.

The trip to Croft 103 may take you closer to the North Pole than you’d anticipated; Google Maps tells us the cottages are a 283-mile drive north from Glasgow. Southerners should head instead to Inverness (EasyJet flies from Gatwick, Luton and Bristol), which cuts the drive-time by more than half.

The seclusion is perhaps best illustrated by The Hill Cottage. It has two baths, both big enough for two people, one of which is situated outside the cottage, without so much as a screen to save your blushes from passers-by – because it’s extremely unlikely you’ll see any. It mixes traditional features like Anta tweed flooring, with a state-of-the-art entertainment system and WiFi.

The Shore Cottage has many bespoke features, including a bed designed by a local blacksmith, ceramics from a nearby pottery, and an outdoor barbecue.

Stone for all the external walls and dry-stone dykes was sourced on site. The use of sheep’s-wool insulation and wood-fibre sheathing results in breathable, highly insulated, durable buildings. Tyre bales, produced from used car tyres, were also used in the build. Solar power provides hot water and heating, the turbine provides electricity.

From ?200 a night or ?1,000 a week.

Croft 103, Port na Con, Laid, Durness, Sutherland, Scotland ( )

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