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Sea of grief over Iolaire – 100 years on from the tragedy

January 2, 2019

Malcolm Macdonald’s father had been harbouring a dark secret for years. One he chose to share with his son when he was 10. The secret was that his father, also called Malcolm Macdonald, had drowned in the Iolaire tragedy, one of the darkest days in Britain’s naval wartime history.

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A hidden gem in the Highlands

March 13, 2018

Renowned traveller and TV presenter Michael Palin described the Inverness to Kyle line as one of the most beautiful railway journeys in the world.

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The great outdoors

April 26, 2017

The combination of loch-side views, spectacular nature shows and luxurious canvas cottages make a visit to the Glampotel at Dundas Castle a magical experience, writes Susan Welsh

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This home is a self-built eco-home that costs nothing to run

August 21, 2016

Challenges don’t come much more daunting than building an eco-friendly house from the foundations up, but for construction enthusiasts Geoff and Louise Cooper, it was a labour of love. The innovative couple hand-built every aspect of their home, Willow House, from scratch, doing everything from laying energy-efficient, wood-pellet fired, under-floor heating to installing solar thermal panels on the roof. Their eco-friendly focus has paid off as the four-bedroom property can be heated for as little as £350 a year. The property also qualifies for an RHI payment which amounts to close to £2,500 per annum, making it free to run as this covers heating, lighting and council tax costs. What was a piece of empty land has been transformed into a stunning, oak-framed detached property, which would make an ideal family home. It’s currently on the market with Bell Ingram at offers over £315,000. With the Coopers both working full-time jobs, the hard graft was undertaken in their spare time and the challenging, but ultimately rewarding, project was completed in five years. Having only previously dabbled in modest renovations on small properties, traditional oak carpenter Geoff, and his wife Louise, sought a much greater and more demanding project when they took on the task of creating a unique energy-efficient home. Louise said: “Every decision we made was with the view of making the house as economically friendly as possible. We know from our experience of living in the area just how expensive running, and especially heating, a property can be so we set ourselves the goal of seeing just how low we could cut those costs. All our efforts have paid off, as the house can be heated for as little as £350 a year. “I can’t deny it was a gruelling task, but the whole project was great fun and the house is looking fantastic. Unfortunately, we are having to move away from the area and have therefore chosen to put Willow House on the market.”

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