Welcome to our home away from home in Mellon Udrigle.
About us and the house
My husband’s grandmother Lily Macrae (nee Maclean) was born in Mellon Udrigle into a family of crofters who had been here for generations. The family home was originally the building which is now the small barn just behind 3A. Later they moved into the crofter’s cottage next door which had previously been the local school.
In the 70’s, 3A Mellon Udrigle was built for Lily’s sister Alice Maclean when she retired after a career as the local district nurse. She lived in the area for most of her life and was a well known and much loved member of the local community. When Alice passed away the house was left to my mother-in-law Mary, and then to my husband David and I. The house was extended several years ago and fully renovated recently.
David spent most of his summer holidays here and when we had our own children, we continued the tradition. I can't think of a more beautiful place for children to run around and be free. We spent days building dams, sandcastles and playing on the rocks and beach. We would go fishing in the bay or off the rocks. Many days were spent exploring, sitting on the "Big Rock" behind the house reading books and daydreaming, going for walks, riding our bikes, kayaking or looking at the seal colony close by. We have even been lucky to see the spectacular Northern Lights here.
We can’t spend as much time at 3A as we would like. We live near London and obviously can’t pop up every weekend to use the house, so until David retires and we can use it more often, we thought it made sense to do something with it. I thought we could renovate it and rent it out, but it had to be somewhere that we’d still look forward to visiting, it had to be special and retain its history.
Living so far away, I was determined to ensure that the property was low maintenance and could withstand the elements. I wanted to ensure that everything we did and everything we put in would last, right down to the railings outside, which are marine-grade quality to minimise corrosion from the sea. We went high spec throughout with granite worktops, Amtico flooring and an eclectic mix of antique furniture to add character. The furniture belonged to Auntie Alice and David’s great grandparents and I didn’t see the point of getting rid of it to replace it with pieces from IKEA. It adds something to the house. I also had some of the chairs reupholstered by my sister, who is a designer in London.
With the interior complete, I turned my attention to the outside space and how best to maximise the stunning views. The house is built on a slope and I decided to extend the patio right to the edge of the property so we could fit a garage underneath. It’s great storage for all the beach gear and we now have a huge terrace on which to enjoy the fabulous views of the beach. And, it doesn’t matter what the weather is like, the view is always amazing and so calming. In winter you have the snow-covered mountains as the backdrop; in autumn it’s all orange hues and in summer the sea becomes a gorgeous turquoise colour and it doesn’t actually look real.
Being Australian, I have very high standards when it comes to beaches and the sea and the white powdery sand here are just perfect. The other bonus is when you come here with kids, it’s so relaxing as you can sit on the patio and watch them on the beach or on their bikes because you have a clear view for miles around.
Surprisingly, despite the beach appearing regularly in various Top 10 beach awards and is described as "Heaven on Earth" by Andrew Marr whose family have a cottage nearby,
it’s not a tourist hot spot, we are really off the beaten track; you don’t really get people driving through, which is part of the appeal. Mellon Udrigle is rather special, there’s definitely an aura about it and we’re incredibly lucky to have a house here.
You want to have a wonderful holiday and we want that for you too. We believe that when you are here this is your home for however long you are staying and that you have everything you need and will be relaxed, comfortable and happy.
Welcome to our piece of paradise!