The house is designed by local award winning architects to comfortably accommodate four, in light, spacious accommodation. It’s a modern wooden construction which blends more and more into its loch side location as time and weather turn the larch cladding to silver. The deck opens the living areas out to make the most of the sea air from sunrise to sunset.
With modern living in mind the furnishings and equipment are to an exceptionally high standard. The influence of a Danish, chiropractic owner is most definitely evident in the overall interior design and quality of all things to sit or lie on - you won't be able to blame us for any bad backs and are more likely to want to know where you can buy things because they're just so comfortable!
On a practical note:
Changeovers are on a SATURDAY therefore the first and last day of your stay must be a Saturday. Minimum 1 week stay (Sat to Sat).
You may be able to bring your small/medium well behaved dog subject to prior agreement :) - see below for details.
Downstairs you’ll find a vaulted open plan space incorporating the living room, dining area and kitchen. The living area combines a designer blend of old and new to provide maximum comfort and enjoyment of the views. Hand selected pieces of Danish teak, funkily re-upholstered furniture and a smattering of new sit happily side by side and enable you to sit comfortably watching TV, the weather or someone else doing the cooking!
The modern kitchen is equipped to the highest standard with NEFF appliances – oven, microwave/oven, induction hob, large fridge and freezer plus a dishwasher so there’s no time wasted washing up. As “foodies” we love to cook so this is a home-from-home kitchen with everything you’ll need to prepare and serve a simple or gourmet meal. From personal experience, our largest pan will easily take 2 of the largest crabs or lobsters if you get your timing right to meet one of the boats landing at Dunvegan Pier! If it’s fresh oysters you’ve bought at The Oyster Shed, then feel free to “shuck” away (we just hope you don’t need to use the first aid kit!).
The large dining table seats four with ease and for hours as you enjoy the Varier chairs which everyone falls in love with.
Also downstairs you’ll find a shower room, storage and hanging space, utility area with washer/dryer and a double bedroom - the bright green Varier Peel Chair is a focal point and if it’s a quiet reading or snoozing spot you want, this is it!
Upstairs will take you to the larger of the bedrooms which is typically a super-king or can be made in to twin beds on request at booking.
The large bathroom houses a rain and wall shower, double sinks and a freestanding deep fill bath. Enjoy a long hot soak but keep your wine bottle cold in the ice bucket standing within arms’ reach.
The Sealy mattresses were chosen by Mette in a professional capacity to ensure you have a great sleep. The lack of light pollution and just nature’s sounds mean you’ll be well rested. If it’s the long summer daylight hours you’re enjoying during your stay, the blackout blinds will be welcomed. At a different time of year, you may just want to leave the blinds up and watch the light show of the Aurora Borealis.
Communication with the outside world!
We have WIFI throughout. Given the rural location, at times it may possibly be slower than what you are used to. It is however the absolute best you can get on a remote Scottish island ;).
FreeSat TV means you can keep up with what’s going on in the news or with your favourite programmes. Access to catch up streaming channels also enables you to go back and watch some of those you missed.
There’s a good selection of DVD’s spanning a range of genres and ages including recent releases.
The Sony speaker system means you can Bluetooth or plug in any devices to play downloaded music or access your preferred subscription live streaming services.
Environmental and Allergen friendly.
The Backrest has been built to incorporate the latest Eco-technology - heating and hot water is provided by an air source heat pump powering the underfloor heating. The log burning stove can be used for back up heating or to create a cosy atmosphere - 'Hygge' as we say in Denmark :)
Non-allergenic washing and cleaning products are used throughout. The ground floor is tiled and upstairs a combination of tiles and oak flooring is used.
Options on bedding also ensure we take every care to cater for guests with allergies (if you are allergic to down/feather and require a synthetic duvet please make us aware when you book).
Completed in December 2014, our location is respectful of the local environment. We've taken great care to preserve the remains and integrity of those who lived here before us out of respect for the Glendale crofters whose efforts helped persuade Prime Minister William Gladstone to establish a commission that would transform the lives of thousands of people working the land.
The plot is fenced, gated and been left to its natural vegetation so a combination of grass and the hardy wildflowers that withstand the Skye weather. Just a couple of metres away from the house are the remaining walls of the original "winter croft", now covered in foliage and inhabited by our resident rabbits.
The visible life on the shore loch always brings a smile - seals are common place to see. Otters also inhabit the loch but our spaniels mean we're unlikely to see them but hopefully you'll have more luck. The bird life is just prolific and quite a few of our guests have been lucky enough to spot an eagle from the armchair!
Sheep have open grazing by the loch and feast on the shore line. Occasionally the grass looks greener on our side of the fence so we ask guests to open the gate and practice their shepherding skills which can be a real talking point for many on their return home.
It's easy to spend a relaxing day in the house whatever the weather - watching the wild life and the clouds come and go through the panoramic windows.
For any artist it's a great spot from which to put brush to canvas or for photographers to capture the stunning views.
The ground level is without steps and offers everything needed to be self-sufficient so it is accessible for guests with mobility impairment. Whilst we don't offer grab rails, with prior agreement we're happy for you to bring temporary ones and use on tiled surfaces.
We've left lots of "local knowledge" details in the house to help you. The Backrest is perfectly placed to explore the island and there's plenty of space to dry out those walking boots and waterproofs if needed. Four out of the five peninsulas on Skye are within just a 20 minute drive (Minginish, Warternish, Trotternish and we're in Duirinish). The furthest away is Sleat (approx. an hour) in the south of Skye but we recommend to make it a day trip or combine it with taking the ferry to Mallaig on your way home.
Our proximity to Uig also means that Harris with its world famous tweed and the very beautiful Luskenytre Beach (in the world's Top 10 beaches) are a possibility if you want to venture further afield. However with access to great walks (for all abilities), biking (on and off road) stunning views, sea life, flora and fauna of all descriptions, wild life, fishing, golf, natural and man-made historic sites, great food, Skye beer and Talisker whisky on the door step, it's hard to see why you would!
Walking on Skye doesn't have to be in the challenging Black Cuillins. There are plenty of walks for all ages and paw sizes - Frida and Floyd (our 2 cocker spaniels) have left you details of their favourites and so have we.
If being on the water is more your thing, the many jetties including our nearest at Colbost mean you can launch anything from a kayak to a small dinghy. Alternatively, if it's just watching the water that you're in to, we suggest taking one of the many boat trips on offer to enjoy the frequent sightings of seals, dolphins, porpoises and basking sharks.
There’s plenty of great sea and inland loch fishing. Permits for Portree Angling Society waters are readily available and you can fish with or without supervision from a ghillie. Boat trips will take the sea anglers to the best spots. The largest recorded catch in the UK was made off Skye - please don't bring back a 208lb skate to gut on the dining table!
The outdoors also inspires much of the arts and crafts produced locally and there are well routed tours on each of the peninsulas so you can stop off at the galleries and enjoy the art with coffee and homemade cake.
Eating in or out.
After a great day out we think you need the option of a great night in and whilst there are many fabby places to eat very close by, notably The Three Chimneys just a walk away, we've kitted out the kitchen so you can prepare your own feast. There are lots of places to either catch or buy your own seafood (including John the fishmonger who visits the house pretty much every Wednesday at 08.30 – his kippers come highly recommended particularly served with a local organic egg picked up from one of the many honesty boxes you’ll see when driving around).
Bringing your dog.
We know that a four legged friend is part of the family. Subject to notification at time of BOOKING and our agreement BEFORE your stay, one small/medium well behaved dog will be allowed. Please advise us on your booking enquiry if you want to bring your furry friend because house rules do apply which need your sign off. We charge an additional £50 as a pet fee.
On a personal note …
It's a pleasure to share our Skye home with you and we're sure you'll all fall in love with The Backrest and have a holiday to remember. It's a great location from which to explore the many outdoor activities that Skye has to offer, the art and craft trails, or indeed a place to relax, unwind and simply watch from a comfy chair the ebb and flow of the loch shore.