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Charming loch-side 1950s cottage transformed into a beautiful retro retreat.   

Standing on the edge of stunning Loch Harport in the shadows of the magnificent Cuillin hills is Number One Carbost - a cosy, retro holiday retreat on the Isle of Skye. 

Originally built for workers from the nearby Talisker Whisky factory (yes, you really can smell the scent of smoky-sweet whisky mash wafting by!), Number One Carbost has been lovingly transformed by owner and interior designer Emma Whyte. Sleeping four - ideal for families - the breath-taking surroundings lend themselves to days filled with exploring, learning and making memories. 

Emma has imaginatively decorated this 1950s cottage with furniture from the era, vintage collectables and - as a firm believer in sustainable living - a range of upcycled items she has made herself.  These re-imagined pieces include the dining table topped with pages from classic Ladybird books, and - our favourite - the handmade wallpaper made from the leaves of old encyclopaedias. 

The effect?  A wonderfully welcoming, utterly unique and quietly quirky home.  Whether it's the Orla Kiely wallpaper stairs-runner or the vintage biscuit tins adorning the kitchen wall, everywhere you look, there is something to marvel at and something that might inspire you to turn your own hand to upcycling.

White walls and floorboards throughout, accented by fabulous retro furnishings, create a homely and welcoming space.  The cosy living room is kept beautifully warm by the large wood-burning stove, which also heats the whole house and hot water system.  In the handcrafted kitchen, you'll find retro crockery and kitchenware, and even the task of washing up is something to savour here, thanks to the stunning views across Loch Harport from the window. 

Imaginative décor and quirky furnishings continue upstairs in the double bedroom and twin room. Children (and adults!) will love the selection of vintage cartoon annuals in the twin room, and after exciting days and long evenings, feather and down duvets and pillows will keep everyone sleeping soundly. 

With such enigmatic scenery and wildlife on your doorstep, you won't need a television, which is why there isn't one at Number One Carbost!  In fact, a stay here is ideal for escaping modern life.  Mobile phone signal is extremely limited and there is no Wi-Fi at the cottage (but there is Wi-Fi at the Old Inn pub a few doors down if you need the occasional ‘plug-in').  Instead, enjoy some good old-fashioned family fun with the wide selection of books and games provided, while listening to the retro-style DAB radio or the iPod docking station.

The converted loft room provides a rare chance to study the night sky through the roof-light telescope, and if you're visiting from the city, you'll definitely notice the stars shine brighter here!  Afterwards, cuddle up all together on the handmade cushions for a film on the HD BluRay DVD Projector - an experience the kids will remember for a long time to come. 

However, in such a beautiful corner of the British Isles, you won't want to spend too much time holed up inside.  Go kayaking on Loch Harport to glimpse seals or even a white-tailed sea eagle, and perhaps take a dip in Skye's famous Fairy Pools.  Walkers are well positioned for many routes into the Cuillin hills, and a 10-minute walk will take you to the rugged beauty of Glenbrittle Beach.  The main town of Portree is only a 20-minute drive, with its bustling harbour, leisure facilities and shops.

The only problem with stepping away from mainland life is at some point you have to step back - but Number One Carbost will be waiting for the next time you need an escape.

Things to note

No smoking permitted. Dogs welcome on arrangement. Minimum booking 7 nights, from £475 per week. No TV or Wi-Fi, limited mobile phone signal.
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The basics

Region: Carbost, Isle of Skye
Cost (from): £475 per week
Sleeps: 4
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Minimum stay: 7 nights
Property ref: 126


Two double bedrooms, antique dressers and furniture, linen and towels, one bathroom suite (shared between two rooms),  heating, electric shower, bathtub, outdoor fire pit, kitchen with gas/electric cooker, fridge, washing machine, Blueray DVD projector, open fire/wood burner, board games, iPod dock, garden.

Please contact the owner directly with any questions.

Local activities

Beaches, harbour, whiskey distillery, boat trips, fishing, bird watching, cycling, walking trails, rock climbing, sailing, scuba diving.

At a glance

  • Sleeps four (double bedroom and twin room)
  • Quirky retro kitchen, fully equipped for self-catering
  • Located on shores of Loch Harport, with local shop and excellent pub within a few minutes' walk; Portree and harbour are a 20-minute drive
  • Wonderful opportunity for families to enjoy nature together, including kayaking on Loch Harport, swimming in Fairy Pools and walking the Cuillin hills

Property enquiry

Number One Carbost
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Company Info:

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Host Unusual Limited
Registered office:
Space 282
282 Leigh Road