Winter, when you have to button up and do the daily commute through rain and wind, with cold hands, is grim. And if you cycle, you can triple that grimness. All of which is why a winter getaway somewhere even colder than where you may live, to properly celebrate winter – rather than fight it – is a joyous thing.
In dreaming of wood burning stoves and blustery (but – importantly – leisurely) walks, I came across Callakille near Applecross, in Scotland’s north west Highlands. It is a newly refurbished croft run as a holiday let, by gorgeous Scottish craft and design company, Papa Stour.
If you'd like to rent the croft, you can find out more at the Papa Stour website, or go direct to book via Wilderness Cottages. It sleeps four (in one double and one twin) and the price (for a week) ranges seasonally from £465 to £745.
I also really like the locally designed and produced products that the company sells. Here are three of my favourites...
From top: Ceramic Jug by Karen, Ceramicist, £36; Ship's crew Russian dolls, £125, by Allistair, Designer – this set of seven hand painted wooden Russian dolls includes the Captain, the First Mate, the Mechanic, the Cook, the Cabin Boy, The Ship's Dog and even a Sea Gull; Day off at Crail print, £30 (A3), by Adrian, Illustrator – A print of an ink and watercolour artwork depicting the harbour at Crail, an East Coast Scottish fishing village in the early morning.