The clocks have changed but the weather still thinks it’s winter: an icy arctic blast, under ominous skies, hits on the route out of Glasgow. Little over two hours’ drive away, however, at Loch Tay in Perthshire, the outlook is altogether brighter. Picture-perfect clouds edge the piercing blue sky and the loch is looking its best: still, glassy and deceptively warm.
This is where Penny Kennedy, her husband Roland and their sons used to picnic – and they never really left. Penny had bought a cottage 21 years ago, just seven miles away from here. Roland, none too keen on the idea originally, fell in love with the place. But each time they visited their holiday home, they would pass a tumbledown cottage on the shore road that Penny couldn’t get out of her head. Eventually she sold their holiday home, as well as their apartment in the south of France, to fund the purchase and restoration of this wreck. “When I told my mother that we were buying a house here, she asked why we’d want to buy a ‘tip in the country’ when we already lived in one!” she laughs.
As well as the old shepherd’s cottage, they got a barn, a pig sty, 50 acres of land and three-quarters of a mile of shore-line. “We waited until our children had grown up and moved out before we moved here,” says Penny.
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Photography Douglas Gibb
Words Catherine Coyle