THE OLD HOUSE, 17 NEW TOLSTA, ISLE OF LEWIS.
 

 

This is a unique opportunity to holiday in a stunning location. The traditional stone built crofter’s house commands magnificent views along the north east coast of Lewis and is perched above two of the finest beaches on the island. It is one of the oldest surviving houses in New Tolsta having been built around 1920 using stone from the original farm and adjoining black house. The attached livestock barn below is considerably earlier, dating from the time of the original farm and during the first quarter of the 20th century was used as a shepherd’s bothy and farm steading before New Tolsta was lotted into 18 crofts. More recently the house became the location for a series of twelve children’s television programs called “The Ice-cream Machine”. Although it is the last house on the road it benefits from a remarkable regular bus service to Stornoway being about 15 minutes by car. A local Post Office and village shop is within ten minutes walking distance of the house.
 
 

There is excellent surfing to be had as well as good fishing in the lochs, river and foreshore, while the diverse habitat of moorland dunes and machair beaches and cliffs are a paradise for bird watchers and walker alike. The cliff top and moorland Heritage walk provides a circuit which leads up to Ness and the Butt of Lewis through breathtaking Hebridean coastal wilderness and distant views across The Minch to the mainland as far as Cape Wrath and depending on the sea conditions good whale watching.

 
 
There is excellent surfing to be had on the mile long beach of Traigh Mhor below the house while Garry Beach is steeped in history with settlements dating from Iron Age and a medieval castle, the remains of which are clearly visible on the largest of the stone stacks. The Bridge to Nowhere spans the river above the beach and the old coastal track continues for another mile and featured in Peter May’s book “The Chessmen”.
 
 
No 17 is remarkable in that it retains its original wooden V lined interior and pitch pine doors which give it an authentic island charm. The heating and cooking is still largely by the burning of peat although there is a gas hob and microwave. The cutting, drying, collecting and stacking of peat remains an important part of the cultural heritage of the islands and visitors are welcome during the season to take part.
 
 

The interior comprises a spacious entrance hall and staircase; a light dual aspect kitchen/dining room with Rayburn, Belfast sink and large larder cupboard, a comfortable parlor with original open fire, a utility area and bathroom with unique Ullapool pebbled and corrugated iron shower, two bedrooms with twin beds, plus a small office space off the landing.

 
 

The house sleeps comfortably four people and there is a child cot and camp bed available. It is set in a quarter of an acre of ground giving ample space also for those who wish to stay under canvas and benefit from the long summer nights. The old barn has been converted into a studio for the artist and owner Tom Hickman. Weekly letting is normally from Saturdays but we aim to be flexible and will consider any time periods.

Other points of interest are the standing stones at Callanish, the Broch and Nordic Mill at Carloway, the blackhouse museum at Arnol, the Iron Age reconstructed house at Bostad and the beautiful mountains of Harris.

 
 

Sundays are still special on the island which guarantees time and space to totally wind down and relax for a memorable stay.

 

www.hebrides-cottage-holiday.co.uk

www.tomhickman.org.uk

BLOG:

http://www.hebridean-dreaming.blogspot.fr/

 

CONTACTS:

Marjorie MacIver :

Tel: 01851 890306

E-mail:

john.a.maciver@btinternet.com