Great British Boltholes: A review of Shepherd’s Cottage, Eilean Shona

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Great British Boltholes: Shepherd’s Cottage on remote Eilean Shona is the ultimate off-grid hideaway

  • Eilean Shona is a private Scottish island owned by Sir Richard Branson’s sister
  • Shepherd’s Cottage is a one-bedroom home a mile and half from civilisation 
  • There’s no TV, phones or electricity, which makes it the ideal place to switch off 

No TV, no phones and no electricity. No wonder Shepherd’s Cottage on remote Eilean Shona is the place to really get away from it all.

The tiny private Scottish island, owned by Sir Richard Branson’s sister Vanessa, has a newly refurbished one-bedroom stone home for rent – it’s a mile and a half from civilisation, but it does boast splendid views of nearby Eigg and Rum.

There’s a cosy lounge with a coal-fired, water-heating stove, a bathroom with roll-top bath and a bedroom with a king-size bed.

Remote: The cottage on remote Eilean Shona is a mile and a half from civilisation

Remote: The cottage on remote Eilean Shona is a mile and a half from civilisation 

The kitchen has a gas oven and a fridge, and there are gas lamps everywhere. I found them a tad tricky to light, even after tuition from caretaker Stuart.

He also transports your provisions and luggage by quad bike on arrival. Essentials such as washingup liquid, coal, kindling and firelighters are supplied but not food and drink.

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Bring everything you’ll need for your stay because cars are left over the water in Doirlinn and Stuart collects you by boat.

Bring boots too, for this is a walkers’ paradise. Even better, bring a dog. With no cars and a smorgasbord of strange smells to enjoy, our Yorkipoo Pippin was in canine heaven.

Exclusive: Eilean Shona is a private Scottish island owned by Sir Richard Branson’s sister

Exclusive: Eilean Shona is a private Scottish island owned by Sir Richard Branson’s sister

During walks, we admired gorgeous scenery and looked out for seals, otters, eagles, red squirrels and pine martens. In the evening, we watched red deer galore and teeny wrens flitting about through the lounge window.

And at night, we slept the best we had for years.

The USP: Off-grid, remote and romantic cottage, plus fantastic walks.

The rooms: Just one bedroom but it does have a king-size bed.

The food: Shop in Fort William on your way in. Eilean Shona’s Wee Shoppe sells essentials, but it is open only twice a week.  

TRAVEL FACTS 

Shepherd’s Cottage, Eilean Shona. A week costs from £900, plus a £50 cleaning charge. For more information visit eileanshona.com.

 



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