Hebridean Cottage Holidays first welcomed guests in 1969, to our cottage on the shore at Horve. Harbour Cottage opened the following year. South Bank, a second cottage in Horve, and cottages in Leanish and Brevig followed, Now only Harbour Cottage remains.
The business was started by Calum and Alice Bartlett and Gerard Campbell. Calum Bartlett grew up in Barra in the 30s and 40s, in Cala Gorm, the house at the top of the street in Castlebay, where his father was the doctor. He and his wife Alice came back to Barra every year from the mid-sixties, bringing us, their six children, with them. Gerard Campbell was a Barra man born and bred.
Harbour Cottage was occupied into the 60s. Like all Barra houses they have Gaelic names that tell of their occupants – Harbour Cottage is properly Taigh Churrie (The Curries’ House), and South Bank is Taigh Dhòmhnaill Fhionnlaigh (Donald son of Finlay’s House),
As you can see from the pictures, Harbour Cottage was a house in the modern style, while South Bank was a taigh geal, or white house. The famous island taighean dubha, or black houses, did not have chimney stacks, but white houses did.
The houses were renovated by Michaelty, a renowned local builder. with our father’s help. They have been maintained and looked after by a number of people over the years. Eppa has been keeping the houses clean and looking after guests for more than ten years, Terry has painted them many times, and Marty, Eppa’s brother-in-law, has carried out the most recent renovation and maintenance work.