Home Stay on the Island Virginia McKenna

Virginia McKenna PDF Print E-mail

BBC Wildlife Magazine
January 2004, Volume 22 Number 1

"To be honest, my winter bolthole is my own home. With woods and the field outside and a cosy fire to sit by in the evenings, I can't imagine a better place to be. Sadly, I can't invite you all here, but I can tell you about a place which will hold a special magic for everyone.

Between Kyle of Lochalsh and the Isle of Skye, nestling under the Skye Bridge, is the little island of Eilean Bàn. It's the final home of Ring of Bright Water author Gavin Maxwell, who converted the lighthouse keeper's cottage into his home. It subsequently fell into rack and ruin until 1996, when the Eilean Bàn Trust was formed (of which Born Free is a partner), and house and island received the care they had lacked for so long."

Photo of Skye Bridge & Eilean Bàn by Peter Clarke

photo by Peter Clarke

"I have stayed there often at different times of the year. In winter, the snow on the far Cuillins glistens in the sun, the sea surrounds you - beautiful and thrilling in its changing moods - the gulls swoop and cry and, yes, sometimes otters come up onto the rocks.

And, of course, the famous warmth of welcome in the Highlands never fades. You can walk, climb, read, gaze at the incredible view, sit in the hide to watch for otters, breathe the champagne air and, at the end of the day, dance at a ceilidh or have a dram by the fire. Perfect."

Virginia McKenna

Born Free