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OUR LODGE IS BANG ON; Couple fell instantly in love with house that reminded them of an old shooting lodge, complete with fantastic countryside views.

Byline: EMMA GRACE SMITH

The stunning views from thebalcony of Ghoirtein immediately won over Fred and Vicky Pidcock and convinced them it was the perfect home for them.

The distinctive architect-designed home in Balnain, Drumnadrochit, is elevated above Glenurquhart and has its own pond.

The couple, who moved in 1998, instantly fell in love with the location and the picturesque woodlands surrounding the house.

Vicky said: "The house struck me as a shooting lodge so I deliberately kept turning it into one. When the woodwork had to be painted first time around, scaffolding had to be put up for many days. It was expensive so I suggested that we had most of the house clad with cedar wood, which does not need any maintenance, and at the same time it would add to the look of a lodge."

Fred said: "I love the beautiful views from the balcony and the surrounding countryside.

"We have two dogs so the location has been great for them. We never set out to go for any particular house but this ticked all the boxes.

great for them. We never set out to go for any particular house but this ticked all the boxes.

"I love that it has a Scandinavian touch with its long balcony and glass screens. It's a lovely spot to sit outside with a gin and tonic and enjoy your surroundings. We also decided to extend the balcony, which now has 11 glass panels. This is one of my favourite places to relax."

"I love that it has a Scandinavian touch with its long balcony and glass screens. It's a lovely spot to sit outside with a gin and tonic and enjoy your surroundings. We also decided to extend the balcony, which now has 11 glass panels. This is one of my favourite places to relax."

The house, which was built in 1994, has five bedrooms and has lovely open aspects over the " The house, which was built in 1994, has five bedrooms and has lovely open aspects over th countryside. The tranquility of the location and the privacy has made this the ideal Highland rural retreat for the couple.

The house has an attractive open-plan design which includes the drawing room, dining room and kitchen. This was purposely built to maximise the views and natural light.

Fred added: "Since we moved in, we have extended the property, built a summer house and created a large pond. My wife paints and she made a stunning mural in the sitting room behind the wood-burning stove. It's a Scottish loch but it also reminds me of Lake Como.

"A lot of the furniture came from my family and other pieces are from Vicky.

"We got our fantastic dining table from a shop in Inverness and it's French in a modern style. The chairs are really comfortable."

Vicky added: "My favourite piece of furniture is the writing cabinet to the right of the wall painting. It is Danish, it's of elm wood and it's the first piece of furniture I ever bought."

One of Fred's favourite rooms is his study where he practises playing the piano. He added: "I love my study as it has a great view of the hills. I retired 11 years ago and I took up playing the piano. This is my practice room."

Vicky added: "I love the dining room as I have my desk and all my classic books - I call this my Greek Corner. I like to sit at the desk in front of the window, writing essays, looking over the mountains on a winter's afternoon. In the dusk it's very inspiring."

The pretty garden is full of mature trees, plants, vegetables and even a feature pond.

Fred added: "The steps from the summer house lead down to the jetty where I can launch my inflatable dinghy and row my grandchildren around the pond. They love it. We have so many happy memories here. Last August I celebrated my 75th birthday. Five guests stayed with us. The large open-plan feel makes this house ideal for entertaining. It's such a wonderful place to live. We will be really sad to leave but the garden is a bit big for us to manage now."

Ghoirtein is on the market for offers over PS395,000. For details, please call Strutt & Parker on 01463 568033.

'IT STRUCK ME AS A SHOOTING LODGE SO I TURNED IT INTO ONE'

CAPTION(S):

STEP THIS WAY Summer house

SCANDI PLACE TO RELAX Beautiful balcony

GREAT OUTDOORS Beautiful garden wraps all the way around the house

FOUR FACTOR Fabulous bed dominates bedroom

ROOM TO ENTERTAIN Open-plan kitchen/dining room

LOOK-OUTS Fred and Vicky love to sit and admire the stunning views from their front garden
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 19, 2015
Words:790
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