Summer 2016

Island Escape

Sandra Powell of Hebridean Alpacas writes about the challenges and joys of setting up a new life in a very different part of the country.

Sitting in yet another meeting back in 2009, I glanced round the room at my colleagues going over and over the same issues, and realised I wasn’t taking it in any more and that I had to change what I did for a living. I was working as an Executive PA for the Senior Vice President in the oil and gas industry, and I was bored rigid. That night I googled “find me a new life”. The first option which came up was for a farm for sale in Shetland. I showed it to my husband later that evening, and although he agreed it was lovely, it was too far away. And anyway, what would we do with all of that land?

A few weeks later he was working away in Edinburgh and sent me a text one evening which said “put BBC2 on”. It was Monty Hall’s “Hebridean Escape” – the one where he spent six months living in North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. A week later, Richard was in North Uist looking at houses and crofts. He found one he loved and so I travelled up to view it. I loved it too and before we knew it our house in Northamptonshire was on the market and we had put an offer in. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be, the lady selling it was slightly bonkers and after months of haggling decided we were, in her words, “not suitable to buy her croft”. We set about trying to find something else, and after months of travelling up and down the UK had an offer accepted on a small croft on Skye. Just seven acres, complete with a house, barn and sea views.

This article can be found on Page 34 of our Summer 2016 edition, on sale now! Click here for subscription and purchasing information.

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