This page is our ultimate showing-off page. Just in case you are not convinced yet that we are top of the class. We have been awarded the highest possible grading by the Scottish Tourist Board and by the Green Tourism Business Scheme. Which is pretty unusual. VisitScotland's Regional Director Scott Armstrong put it in news-speak, "to achieve such levels of luxury while also adhering to the strictest sustainable practices is truly admirable. It is fantastic to see the Highlands tourism offering enhanced by these innovative and luxurious properties."
When you have a close look at The Brochs of Coigach from the outside, you will see recycled stuff everywhere. For door lintels and posts, we used timber from a dilapidated Victorian pier that we recovered from the sea. We even kept the old bolts and preserved the barnacles. Would you believe that Sheileagh's great-grandfather actually helped building that pier? It's true.
The stones of the walls that are up to 4 metres in height originate from broken-down walls on our land, and from broken-down walls and buildings on other villagers' land. Quite a few of them were pretty helpful with the realization of our project. The opening that you see in the picture is for birds and bats to fly in and out of a void area at the back of The Brochs. The window frames are made from reclaimed pitch pine that used to be floor boards in a 19th century Glasgow warehouse.
We love flowers. These lesser butterfly orchids are one of four kinds of wild orchids that have re-established themselves around The Brochs. In the grounds around The Brochs, you will see quite a few scruffy bits. They are an important source of food for many species within the ecosystem. That's what scientists from the University of Hull, University of Bristol and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology tell us.
Nevertheless, what we called the "grounds" around The Brochs is not some kind of posh garden but a working Highland croft. In spring you can see lambs being born, and in late autumn a tup doing his tupping. And sometimes our sheep are grazing on the roof.
If you can be bothered to listen to us pontificating about eco stuff and ethical tourism until the cows come home, you can do so in English and in German. It's a presentation of the quaint ideas behind running The Brochs at a conference in the famous Audimax of Berlin's Free University, the birthplace of what was to become the modern green movement.
You will have gathered by now that we love art, and we don't just talk about it. The Brochs are stuffed full of high class original works of art. If you are ever getting tired of looking outside, which we promised you won’t, unless it’s getting dark, you realize that you are staying in a little museum all for yourself. We have so many pictures that we have given five major works of our collection on a long-term loan to the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh. They are lithographs by Edvard Munch, the Norwegian guy of The Scream fame.
We also love opera, so we have become supporters of Scottish Opera's Emerging Artists scheme. It's a bit like a cultured person's way of investing into Derby winners of tomorrow. In the past, we also sponsored the An Sùlaire Trust that maintained this amazing sailing boat. Reiner sailed on it a few times across the Minch to the Outer Isles which was quite an adventure. Unfortunately, the boat has been snapped up by a different charity and we have lost contact. It's a pity. But never mind.
Last but not least, every time you use our fine handmade soaps, you support the Calman Trust that offers housing support, training and employment to young Highlanders who've hit the buffers and are looking to get back on the road to independent living.