Welcome to The Smiddy - a beautiful cosy traditional island home on the idyllic Isle of Lismore. Steeped in history this lovely stone cottage is snug, cosy,comfortable & warm. Originally the Smiddy forge, dating 1800s, it's now a favourite destination, just 5 mins to the pristine shores of Balnagowan Loch, 15 mins to seashore.
Beautifully renovated, this warm, cosy cottage has everything you need for a true island experience, with essential indoor comforts after exploring the big outdoors.
Set in the stunningly fertile, historical heart of Lismore, this traditional small detached cottage sits peacefully in 1 acre of private wild ground, in one of Lismore's most beautiful historic areas, 3 miles from each ferry point. It is surrounded by beautiful scenery, & is just a short walk to the freshwater loch or seashore (beaches/ coves), the Heritage Centre & Cafe, & other historic sites.
Originally 'The Smiddy' to the island's blacksmith & many working horses from the 1800s, it is beautifully & simply renovated. This is a charming traditional cottage with many original features, including thick stone walls to ensure peace & quiet, and with modern comforts such as a woodburning stove & underfloor heating throughout to keep you comfortable & well looked after. Ideally sleeps 2 (1 couple) but can also stretch to 4 if you don't mind being cosy!
The cottage has two reception areas - one inside the main cottage & the other in its adjacent sunny conservatory annexe with open views & separate external entrance. Inside the main cottage is the traditional small cosy sitting room designed around the fireplace. This space opens up this end of the cottage to the full one and half floor height of the building, with exposed roof beams high above the underfloor heated stone floors. Simple whitewashed walls & with simple furnishings - a multi-fuel stove, 2 seater sofa, armchair, a small table & chairs. A basic galley-kitchen runs off this sitting space with fridge, cooker, butchers trolley, kitchen dresser & shelving. Also books about local produced food & island wild foraging. Other features include mantelpiece, spot lighting, lamps, cosy throws. The sash window view opens onto the stone patio & peaceful wild uncultivated garden area, with private parking & well set back from the quiet single track island road. The bathroom is a pretty blue/aquamarine & white mosaic tiled power shower/wet-room, with wide basin & WC. The bedroom has a John Lewis brass ended double bed, simple wooden furniture & sash window again with lovely garden view. Separate & adjacent to the main entrance from outside the building is the lovely heated conservatory (that is easily turned into a second bedroom with fold out double or single bed) that is often used for recreations, relaxing or as an art or music studio - stunning views all round. The stone patio outside has bench seating; & wild uncultivated rough area beyond. Stunning open views across farmland with trees, & an easy walk to the loch or seashore.
After a day's exploring, enjoy a candlelit supper, put your feet up in front of the wood burning stove, & enjoy the small library of books. The thick stone walls & private setting ensure your peace & quiet.
Or, stretch out next door in the larger conservatory space, with open views all round across herb rich pasture & farm land. There is a small range of board & card games, jigsaws & puzzles. Or simply sit back & enjoy the swallows, sunsets, quiet island life & stunning open views. 5 mins walk across the fields is a fresh water loch for swimming, enjoying its rich haven of bird & wildlife, or picnics on the pristine shores. Fishing rods & lines may be provided.
Guests have full access to the full scope of the cottage. This is a private detached building, with its own substantial wild uncultivated garden area.
* Sleeps 4, 1 Queensize bed, 1 double sofa bed and 1 single fold out bed
* Shower wet-room - shower, sink, WC
* Fully equipped galley kitchen - with oven, grill, hob, fridge (freezer shelf)
* Multi-fuel stove with wood/ coal supply by request for a small charge per fuel box. Available by length of stay: Overnight/ shortstay/ week or longer stay. Electricity charged at £5/ night for summeruse; £7/ night winteruse.
* Main sitting room has:
- 2 seat dining table
- 2 seater small upholstered sofa & high back armchair
- multifuel stove (kindling / coal by order)
* Conservatory is separate to the main cottage with external entry & has:
- 4-6 seat dining table
- 3 seater sofa (folding out to a simple double bed)
* Bosch washing machine, clothes dryer frame & pegs
* Ironing board, iron
* Selection of board games, puzzles & book library
* Radio & CD-player, CDs, storytapes
* I-pod speakers/ charger
* Guidebooks: walking & mountain trails (island & mainland)
* Internet access & Wi-fi is available at The Heritage Centre ( 7 mins walk)
3 miles from either ferry point (Achnacroisch to Oban is 45 mins by Calmac car ferry; Lismore Point to Port Appin is 4 mins by foot ferry).
Interaction with guests
Guests are welcomed on arrival. Tea, coffee & milk & shortbread is provided. If stove fuel has been requested (a small charge for short and longer stays), the fire will be ready-prepared for your first night.
A comprehensive House Welcome Book is provided, together with a folder of local island and mainland Walks & Trails. Outdoor activities include boat trips, restaurants, & places of interest. If you are interested, Tamsin offers guided walks (for a small charge & subject to availability) or can point you in the direction of hidden beauty spots that only a local would know. These lesser known tracks & viewpoints lead to stunning secret coves & bays, & viewpoints normally missed by visitors - right on the Smiddy doorstep.
Guests are also provided with a listing of outdoor activities on the island & nearby mainland.
A full listing of island & local producers is provided to help reduce food miles & support local island produce - this includes meat, oysters, shellfish & prawns, vegetables, berries & fruits.
The Smiddy cottage is small, rustic & cosy - simply & comfortably furnished. It is snug, Warm & has both underfloor heating & a multi fuel stove. Please note that it is not a designer /executive style home. Washing up is done in the sink & cooking is done on the stove. It is designed as a quiet space to help guests get back to the important things in life's - simplicity of living, good sleep, good food, wildlife & nature, the sea & the sky.
Please come prepared with some food supplies as our local shop (3/4 of a mile from the cottage) is open between the hours of 9-5pm, with early closing of 1pm on a Wednesday and Saturday, and closed on Sunday.
Guests are also welcome to come & meet the animals at nearby Baligarve Croft, just 5 minutes walk away down the quiet private farmtrack. This is a stunning 22 acre working croft with herb-rich pasture, breeding sheep, spring lambs, ponies, dogs, cats, chickens & a self-sufficient vegetable & fruit garden.
Tamsin McVean: Alternative Medicine & Complementary Therapies (MBAcC, MSc PDIp Acu, ITHMA, MPACT, Bowen Therapy) is a Traditional Acupuncturist & Clinical Bodywork Therapist, Yoga Siromani & Meditation Teacher of 20 years. Book a treatment on your holiday & take essential time to relax or treat an overdue problem with your back or body. Treatments: Traditional Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupressure & Shiatsu, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Remedial, Myofascial & Trigger Point Massages, Organic & Clinical Aromatherapy, Reiki & Touch Healing. Please ask for more information.
Other services inlude a local island taxi service for guests without a car.
I live & work here on The Isle of Lismore. I run a 22 acre croft with working collie, breeding ewes, native ponies, gun dogs & hens. I am a photographer & writer - featured in The Sunday Times Magazine 'How Does it Feel to Raw Swim' 14 June 2017, & also Radio Scotland & RTE Radio 1. My Daily blog offers a lovely glimpse of the natural wild beauty here on the island, through the seasons, & is posted on both main social media platforms at Tamsin McVean: My Daily Raw Swim, Cold Running Tides & is also online as a website. Alongside I work as an Alternative Medicine & Complementary Health practitioner with 20 years experience, specialising in Traditional Acupuncture, Traditional Oriental Medicine, Shiatsu & Acupuressure, & a full range of Western remedial bodywork including Sports, Remedial, Neuromuscular, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point therapy, Swedish & Deep Tissue. Professional memberships with The Royal Society of Medicine, British Acupuncture Council, The Bowen Therapy Institute, The International Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine & Aromatherapy, & The International Yoga Vedanta Insitute (International Yoga & Meditation Teacher/ Siromani). As well as an ideal base to explore the beautiful island of Lismore, The Smiddy is often used as a quiet space in which to enjoy quality time out & to catch up on restoring your physical health, emotional wellbeing & inner calm. Increasingly, my work informs my life, and my life informs my work. I live very quietly here on my croft, most often out in the sea at dawn, with my camera to catch the best light & stunning moments in the running tide. I do also enjoy good company with friends, most often around a fire in a clear night, meeting new people who come to stay, working gently with my animals & at every possible opportunity, immersing in nature. My life motto is 'Explore to Create' & 'Live with a gentle heart.'