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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Dune film.

Here is a little film I just came across that was made while shooting this seasons Dune catalogue back in May. Recognise any of it?

Introducing - The Blunder Bus.

The day after the shepherds hut made its perilous journey from the farmyard down toward the March pool (it is now tucked away in the juniper down towards the bothy project - not far short of the new sauna), another project arrived to take its place. Almost immediately christened the blunder bus, this is a 1951 Bedford K type which once upon a time was used to ferry pilots around an airfield. It then spent some time as a school bus and now is pretty much in kit form after languishing partly restored for a decade or so. Apparently it is one of only two left in the country.

As an accompaniment to the Beermoth in the Canopy and Stars stable of oddball rentals the current thinking is that it is going to need some buttoned leather, perhaps a chesterfield style fold out bed, a gramophone, a drinks cabinet and the right lighting. It also needs the body removed from the chassis just to get into the workshop. And it needs a whole heap of metalwork.

What this means is - if plans go according to plan - that in the spring the full Inshriach public transport restoration department will come into operation. At one end of the farmyard the Railway station will be coming together and at the other end we will be restoring a vintage bus. To me, this is a very exciting prospect. Thankfully we have 5 more new and amazing people living around the farm now, all skilled and willing and up for getting involved. When we are back to full strength after Christmas I will introduce them.

Watch this space.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Availability for 2014 and tripadvisor.

The earlier months of next year are booking up fast on the main house, you can have a look at our availability calendar through 2014 over on our Holiday Lettings / Trip Advisor page and if you have stayed here feel free to add to the (so far) extremely positive feedback.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The shepherds hut.

Huge thanks to Tim Westman, who in close collaboration with his daughter Lizzy, has built this tremendous Swedish inspired shepherds hut which made the journey from South Wales to Inshriach a few weeks ago. We are busy fitting it out down in the farmyard and next year it will be available to rent via Canopy and Stars as the fourth installment in the yurt, beermoth, bothy project saga.

You can see more as it develops over on the Inshriach House facebook page.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The solar wood shed.

In order to make way for the Railway station a double garage in the farmyard is going to have to come down. That in itself is no great problem except that it carries 10 not very well orientated solar panels and I don't want to put them back onto the station once it is up. The woodshed that services the yurt and beermoth is also in the station's path so on nice days we have been building something that will perform both functions, and get maximum solar gain both for the panels and for seasoning the wood in the shed. We started with a lot of digging and a concrete pad which cost only £1 more than we got for a trailer full of scrap metal, and the rest is pine logs we felled round the estate pegged together with chunky oak dowels.

If anyone is getting rid of some reasonably straight corrugated iron we can get it finished under our budget (of nothing).

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Dune and Bertie photoshoots.

Back in May we had another shoot at Inshriach, the fruits of which are now creeping into shops and magazines and spreading across the net. The current catalogues for Dune and Bertie, as well as in store and film campaigns are all Inshriach based. They were shot by Esther Hasse, organised by the agent Terrie Tanaka and produced by Location Scotland and I will post more of the pictures and films as they appear.

The eagle eyed amongst you will spot locations in the house, by the loch and down by the march pool in the Dune campaign with the Bertie shoot focusing its efforts at the yurt. To top it all Monty has a new career and a couple of the more unusual vehicles from the Inshriach stable had an outing.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Homes from Homes.

And in a week of full blown press and publication, Vinny Lee's new book Homes from Home 'Inventive Small spaces from chic shacks to cabins and caravans' has just come out featuring the Beermoth. Its a beautifully researched book and full of ideas if you are planning on going down the route of building something small and unusual.

Marie Claire Maison on the Bothy.

For the French speakers out there our second outing in Marie Claire Maison this year has just hit the news stands, this time featuring the Bothy Project.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Magazin Smak

SMAK 4 - Scottish Source from SMAK magazyn on Vimeo.

Here is a wee film made here in June in association with the Polish slow food magazine Smak. You can get a little glimpse of the base camp we had set up at the March pool for the Insider and which kept everyone laid back while the railway station came apart.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

150 years and a day.

Yesterday marked 150 years to the day since the Inverness to Perth Junction Railway (and therefore Dalnaspidal station) ran its first service. It was also my 35th birthday. My very long suffering and architecturally talented friend Hannah Buss spent the weekend here and we have finally reconfigured the station to how we want it and knocked the plans into shape. We have also done the drawings for converting the farm steading and the chicken sheds into houses and come clean on the various off grid holiday nonsense we have built over the last few years. Today all of that has gone off to set the ball rolling for the pre planning process.

Now we just need a surveyor for the barn, an engineer to spec a substantial retaining wall and a pot of money to get things moving so if anyone can help us with any of that we would be very grateful.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Railway Records - The Movie.

Huge thanks to Fergus Thom for coming along and dealing with our nonsense to put together this great little film of the railway coming apart and also to old pals of Inshriach and long time stars of the Insider, the John Langan Band for lending us some tunes to go with it. Next week our very long suffering architect Hannah Buss is coming to finish the drawings (not just the station, we intend to turn the farmyard into an accompanying complex by converting the steading into a house, kitchen and new bathrooms and turning the chicken sheds into somewhere people can stay) and we have now got only a few weeks before the dream team of Jon, Wolfie and Jacob head north to see how far we can stretch our meagre budget...

Its time for some more Funraising, thank you very much to the people who have already supported this most hairbrained of ideas, we couldnt have done it without you.

Monday, 12 August 2013

More good things - One Pot Borrowed.

Our favourite chef Allan Heaney has now opened up his One Pot Borrowed restaurant in the Old School at the Rothiemurchus visitor centre. Never has a man takn such price in serving up a fine meal. It is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and you should go there and eat something special. For bookings phone 01479780200.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Good things - Inverhall marquees.

After a bit of an early season debacle with a marquee we then got the rest of the year (2 more weddings and the Insider) straightened out with the help of Inverhall marquees. Their tents are lovely traditional canvas tents with all the right details (nice round wooden poles, oak toggles, wooden doors and natural ropes), the prices are spot on considering the quality and their tents were immaculately put up by a super professional team of guys. Use them, and if you would like to know who not to use I can tell you that as well.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Railway Records update.

Thanks to a truly amazing and generous group of friends the Dalnaspidal station is now dismantled, denailed and back in the yard at Inshriach. Thanks as well to the Strathspey steam railway for giving us the building, to those of you who sponsored us, to Fergus Thom for coming by to get some of it on film and Aaron Sneddon for the aerial shots. You can see the entire dismantling over on the Funraiser facebook page.

In a fortunate turn of events the lovely brackets from the front of the station have turned up in amongst the piles of railway ephemera in Boat of Garten, as have the original gutters.

We are still going to need to raise a good sum to get the station back up so we are offering 20% off any bookings at Inshriach House made directly with us and taken before the end of September and we are very, very happy to take further donations. The same crew are off on a benevolent mission of festival organising and house repairing for the next two months, they are coming back for round two.

Late availability - 20% off Inshriach House bookings until the end of September

Between the Insider Festival and the Railway funraiser we have slightly taken our eye off the ball as far as late summer bookings are concerned so we are offering 20% off all bookings on Inshriach House until the end of September. That includes photoshoots but not shotgun weddings. If we are going to rebuild the station we need to fill these weeks and raise some money so please get in touch if you have a reason to take a lot of friends on holiday. That means £2400 rather than £3000 for the full week and a mere £1800 for a long weekend.

And if the weather carries on like this who needs to go to the south of France anyway.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Homes and Interiors on the Bothy Project.

This edition of Homes and Interiors magazine has a lovely article by Gabriella Bennett on staying at the Bothy Project. She happened to coincide with a wedding so finished up Saturday night in the unconventional situation (for a a peaceful woodland retreat) of dancing the night away with hundreds of strangers. Watch out for us in the next edition which is going to have a full feature on the estate and all of the oddball things we get up to. This week you can also find us featured in Trout and Salmon magazine and the Strathy has run a piece on the Railway station move. Press-tastic.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Bringing the Station Studio to Inshriach

On the back of an outstanding weekend with the Insider festival (have a look at my photos over on the Inshriach House Facebook page) we now embark on the next round of quick fire travel related nonsense. The Strathspey Steam Railway have kindly donated what is left of Dalnaspidal Railway station, once the highest Railway station in the British Isles, and we are about to strip it down and bring it back here to rebuild it as a recording studio. Its going to take some help and some money to get this done so If you feel like supporting this scheme you can throw a few pounds at us through the paypal button below and we would be forever grateful. You can go to the Funraiser facebook page for updates from the front.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

2 weeks until the Insider.

This week we have hit the ground running up at Inshriach. It is now 8 days until Charlie McKerron's music school kicks off so the priority is to get the lawn finished. The first tent from Inverhall marquees is up which is going to hold the Painting School Restaurant, Artisan Roast Coffee Shop and the Inshriach Nursery cake shop. Because we prefer to make and recycle everything that goes into the Insider the farmyard is a hive of activity and anyone who swings past with a helpful disposition is roped in. Big thanks to Calum and Jen for the day they spent pulling the floors from the chicken sheds for the deluxe Insider travel hotel, then to Paul Millard of Red Kite Yurts for getting very blue making benches for the painting school. Next up, wiring the hotel for bedside tea and coffee facilities and delving back through the signage department to make sure all departure information and international tourist information is up to scratch.

The Insider is looking like another sell out so don't delay if you want a ticket.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Trip Advisor.

Its been an extremely busy start to the year here, our best yet by some margin, and coming into wedding and festival season the next few months are pretty much full but there is space in July and August so we are taking a few listings to try to drive bookings. We were selected for the 100 Best Self catering website and have now taken a listing with the international behemoth that isHoliday Lettings. That means we now have a Trip Advisor listing. If you have stayed in the house or in the yurt, the Beermoth or the Bothy, or been to the festival and (hopefully) enjoyed it, it would be amazing if you could take a few minutes to tell everyone about it.


I have been a bit quiet up here of late purely because we were building up to an enormous month. First up was a shoot for Dune, 3 days of mixed locations, product and models, with stills and filming all around the estate. Their Autumn Winter campaign across film, catalogue and billboard, is going to be heavily Inshriach, with three of the more unusual cars, the yurt, the house and even Monty the dog making their appearances. Location Scotland managed the shoot and did a fine job but the listing for Inshriach isn't up on their site yet, if you want to see a portfolio of location images for Inshriach you can have a look at JJLocations page. This just happened to coincide with a wedding, of which more later.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Charlie McKerron Music week - one day classes.

In true Insider festival form we have waited until we had the full line up of tutors for Charlie's music school before telling anyone about it. It's an absolutely stellar line up too, there is Charlie himself, Lauren MacColl, Dezi Donnelly, Adam Sutherland, Duncan Chisholm, Gordon Gunn and one more surprise tutor waiting in the wings to cover the fiddle, then Ross Ainslie and Tim Edey on whistle and guitar and box respectively.

We are now doing day courses with all of them for £75 per day or you can sign up for the full 5 day extravaganza for either £300 (local non camping) or £350 with food and camping.

To promote the music school we are going to give away one day with each tutor, simply head over to the Inshriach Music facebook page, share it and leave a note saying which tutor you fancy winning a day with and we will draw all the names out of the hat on 28th April. Over at the Insider tickets are selling fast so don't delay if you want one.

Monday, 15 April 2013

The Beermoth (aka the press-monster) strikes again.

Through the post this morning came two copies of Marie Claire Maison containing a feature that went together last year. The editor, Catherine Ardouin, travelled over specially from Paris with photographer Benedicte Ausset and they shot a full 6 page interiors feature on the Beermoth in what turned into an unusual meeting of French fashion, English machinery, and Highland scenery.

If anyone was wondering why we have been a bit quiet up here of late it is because we have had to get out heads round a financial restructure. The long and the short of it is that as of later this year it is going to cost us a great deal more to stay here and continue doing what we are doing. That means generating a load more business so if anyone is of a mind to take Inshriach House, or any of our more unusual holiday options, now would be a very good time to do it. We have hardly any availability on the main house until July but would very much appreciate the custom thereafter.

True to form however, the best ideas seem to be the most outlandish, and we have something really special up our sleeves. Later this week we ought to be able to announce perhaps the silliest (and therefore most pressworthy) project we have ever undertaken. And the full line up for the Insider Festival.

It's brewing away in the background but now the sun is out it is all going to happen at once, and it needs to. Watch this space.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Insider Festival 2013.

The Insider Festival 2013 has officially set sail.

The website is live and the first line up announcement is up over at The Insider Festival website. Dates this year are 21st - 23rd June, full weekend tickets are £110 and the musical board of fare is shaping up so fine you would be a fool to miss it.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Meet Freimuth.

Freimuth is a Zimmerman. He was over from Hamburg and staying in the yurt with his girlfriend Aedin for a couple of days. Except that he stayed on an extra day and once he had split a heap of wood and we had spent 2 afternoons sorting out the shingle roof on the game shed, there was no possible way I could charge him for the holiday. That roof would have taken me a week between distractions (in fact it has been 2 and a half years since i started stripping it). So - if anyone fancies bartering off some of their holiday against helping me out, just try me.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Inshriach Music - The Charlie McKerron fiddle week.

We are delighted to have added Dezi Donnelly to the tutors for the fiddle week taking place here from the 17th to the 21st June (the week before the Insider).

You can see more details of the week on or follow us on facebook.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Last dates before August.

There are still a few weeks / long weekends left but they are going fast and going late so if you are thinking a big house holiday is for you, get your booking hat on. These are the dates available between now and August.

1st April - 8th April - £2200 the week, £1650 for a long weekend.

25th April to 29th - The last off peak long weekend comes in at £1650.

9th May to 13th or 13th to 20th - £2200 a weekend or £2800 for the full week.

6th June to 10th - The last weekend before the music school kicks in. £2250 for a long weekend.

Then there are three weeks of music school followed by the Insider festival and life returns to normal for 1st July.

1st July to 8th July - £3000 for the week.

25th to the 29th July - £2250 long weekend.

We are going to be on a bit of a fundraising drive this year (of which more later) so it would be a great help to us if we can fill these weeks.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Another motoring misadventure.

Leads to an unexpected instance of west coast hospitality.

In searching for a not entirely necessary travelling companion for the Beermoth, there were not that many suitable options. It had to be four wheel drive, old and cool and a lot harder than a VW camper, ideally it should sound very fruity and it had to fall within my meagre budget (that being the value of one argocat, sold for £1500). Ebay brought this oddity to my attention, a Land Rover 101. It is a late 1970's, mid engined, V8 powered. left hand drive artillery tractor, and it was in Tobermory, unseen, and finishing in a blizzard on a Monday afternoon, and what I thought was a hopelessly cheeky bid ended up topping the competition by a tenner.

So I mobilised the slow train and borrowed a huge trailer. The long route and the direct ferry to Tobermory is a stunning drive out through the Ardnamurchan peninsular but I arrived at Kilchoan to find the ferries cancelled with high winds. That meant doubling back to the slightly more sheltered port at Lochaline to catch the last ferry to Fishnish before they too were cancelled, and I ended up stranded on Mull for the night. Fortunately the 101 was housed at Sgrio-Bruadh farm, the home of Isle of Mull Cheese, and Garth who runs the place (but wasn't even the owner of the 101) gave me the use of one of their extremely pleasant cottages for the night. It might sound a bit odd taking a holiday cottage right up close to a working dairy farm but I couldn't hear anything and if I was heading back there and needed a place to stay, this would be very high on my list.

Now the 101 is home and the work / expenditure and skinned knuckles have started and next time Garth is in Aviemore he has somewhere to stay.

Easter Availability.

Due to a change of dates with one of our regulars the week up to Easter Sunday (25th march to 1st April) is now available on the main house and we can offer it at the low season price of £2200 for the full week or £1650 for a long weekend. Email if you are interested.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Winter Re-Stove.

First the bad news. The Rayburn that took pride of place in the back end of the Beermoth has had to be pensioned off. It was very pretty indeed and an important part of the unlikely decorative scheme that made the 'moth quite the media darling over last year. However, a Rayburn weighs 350kgs, its really designed to go in a house and this one was sitting on a 2" deep snooker table slate weighing most of that again. Having all that weight hung out the back rendered the truck virtually unusable on the road. There was certainly no danger of the truck bumping its way onto a remote beach in the western isles.

A little barter took place mid way through the year which left us this Quebb stove, now cleaned and painted and rebricked. That's going out to the yurt (which has stayed open for the winter and has a string of bookings but which could always go with more warmth). Then the little Windy Smithy stove from the yurt is getting a refresh and will go into the truck and I have built a matt black steel surround and replaced the super slate with slate tiles on a ply bed, thereby bringing the levels up and the weight down.

So - going from a totally over the top stove to a really small one will save at least half a ton, it will also see the moth holiday ready and (all things being relative) handling like a sports car. In the process the truck will inevitably lose a little of the decorative implausibility that was its hallmark. On the bright side it will free up a wood fired Rayburn and snooker slate (I have another 4 around here somewhere) for some other whimsical and weighty kitchen project.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

It looks like SNOW.

We usually get into our stride quite gently with a couple of repeat bookings through February but this year, with some ambitious plans requiring funding, it seems like a good plan to let the world know that we have availability between the 4th and the 18th February and again from the 25th to the 4th March. £2200 for a full week or £1650 for a Thursday to Monday weekend. And its a beautiful day, carpeted with snow and with more forecast.

Anyone fancy a ski?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The game of squash.

This is the Edwardian squash court, or at least one of the versions of it that are kicking about. Its a tremendous building and a huge rarity and at the moment it leads the race to be the next building to be converted. There is no doubt it has the potential to be something really special and give accommodation somewhere between the two people in splendid off grid woodland isolation that the yurt and bothy offer, and the 15 or so people in country house comfort than the main house provides. Also as we get moving with the music schools we need buildings that are both livable and workable and nothing we have now is suitable.

Each clever bunch of people to pass by add another layer, some very good ideas and some well meaning but less well founded. We are filtering through interpretations from builders, architects and anyone else who pops in for a cup of tea and it is improving as and end product all the time. We are debating whether we can keep the original staircase to the gallery, whether the lobby can stretch to take a bathroom, does it get a second bedroom or is it an uber honeymoon suite? What is certain is that there is going to be a lot of glazing and a lot of insulation and underfloor heating, that I have just pulled nails out of 750 square feet of reclaimed oak parquet and it will have big views across the valley. It must hang onto its identity, its volume, its purpose and its height, and as much of the original detail and material as possible.

At the same time as this we are thinking of putting a recording, rehearsal and even performance studio down in the farmyard, and that's a whole other set of drawings.