My childhood home. Cullen is one of the most beautiful villages on the Moray coast. Lovely beach, breathtaking views, old harbour, golf, spectacular cliffside walks, pubs, antique dealers, fully equipped, walled garden. 3 double beds, 3 single. One bathroom (shower over large bath), plus two separate toilets (upstairs and downstairs) plus washbasin in one bedroom. Separate laundry room with washer, dryer and sink.
Visitors say the house has the feeling of a ''real home''. Built in 1939 for Sandy Duffus, a retired ship's engineer with the British India company and his wife Ealasaid McKenzie - aunt of the present owner - ''Claigmar'' has a roomy feel with high ceilings and good soundproofing. Plenty of breathing space. Enjoy a late night around the fire while others sleep in peace.
The house is all yours during your stay. The key-holder, a neighbour, will be there on arrival but you'll see her again only if you call for help. There's a phone and internet wi-fi with unlimited broadband. Two TV's also. And there are usually a few novels around, in English and in French, should you be short of reading material.
Interaction with guests
The owner, who grew up in Cullen, lives in Canada and is happy to chat with future guests - in English or en français - by phone or by e-mail. The people of Cullen are discreet but easily approachable.
Other things to note
To be absolutely precise: There are three large bedrooms with double beds; one of them also has a single bed; in addition, there is a small boxroom (with a window) with two superposed, adult-sized, bunk beds. Also a ''Graco'' baby park/bed and a baby high chair. There is a kitchen plus a "scullery" including a cool larder (if its door is kept closed!) Both these rooms are old-fashioned in style but fully equipped with modern appliances. The owner has deliberately resisted suggestions for a cosmetic, bungalow-style renovation along the lines popularized by some UK television programmes.
The house is on a double lot with an elevated patio at the back, and extensive lawns. There's no problem parking in the street. If preferred, visitors can park within the back yard although the entry gate is narrow and should be negotiated with care. Dogs can run free on the beach but should be kept on a lead in rural areas. LET US REPEAT: ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING.
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Born in Scotland, Robert McKenzie is an M.A. graduate of the University of Edinburgh and holds a translation diploma (French/English) from the Université de Montréal. A lifelong journalist specialized in Quebec politics, he was also based in Paris for a major Canadian newspaper and has worked in Algeria and the Congo.