CC BY, Michael

Location: Applecross and Loch Carron

The Dunachan's House

To visitors, it is ‘the thatched cottage’, but for locals it will only ever be the Dunachan’s house. It was the last inhabited thatched house in Applecross and one of the last of the old-style thatched houses in the Highlands in which someone lived full-time.

The Dunachan’s name was Duncan MacKenzie, and he lived happily in Lonbain until old age. He was a scrupulously honest man who used to walk to the old shop in Camusterrach, eight miles to the south. One wild day, someone who was newly working in the shop felt sorry for him and slipped an extra tin of meat into his pack. The Dunachan returned with the tin the following week as he hadn’t paid for it.

This house is a listed building now under the care of the National Trust for Scotland. Looking down at it from the road, it is easy to get an idea of how challenging life must have been for residents of the coast in days gone by. When the Dunachan moved away in his old age to a care home it was said that the nurses were amazed at how soft his skin was, something he himself put down to years of living in a home filled with peat smoke.

More information on visiting the area can be found here.