Scotland’s multiple off-grid opportunities

Glorious landscapes and strong community
The sparkling glens and mountains of Scotland boasts a wide choice of off-grid holiday accommodation and if you fall in love with the lifestyle there are many off-grid homes and jobs jobs that could make your stay a lifelong one.

The remote community of Scoraig is looking for a teacher and there are always numerous jobs as gamekeepers, loggers and crofters.

Scotland is the perfect place for those keen to explore the great outdoors. From eco glamping to living like a laird and lady, here’s a pick of where to stay.

Try the island of Tiree

Were it not for the charming croft cottages, the disarming Hebridean accents and the inimitable grass coverage of Scottish dunes, anyone on Tiree might easily imagine themselves on Hawaii. This is in fact Scotland – the most westerly of the Inner Hebrides has long, white-sand beaches, plentiful hours of sunshine and excellent surfing and windsurfing. Being within tickle’s reach of the Gulf Stream means the waters are startling not for their cold but their warmth.

Accommodation is mainly B&B or self-catering.

Traditional Yurts

The Three Trossachs Yurts offer cosy glamping in a picturesque setting.

Each circular dwelling sleeps up to four adults or a family of five and are decorated with thick rugs and soft furnishings.

This experience is all about being off-grid, so it’s self-catering only, but there are plenty of options for cooking your own meals.


Caravan Cavalcade

The six French roulottes that make up Roulotte Retreat can be found in the idyllic surroundings of a wildflower meadow in the Borders.

The roulottes – hand-crafted, Romany-style, wooden caravans – are colourful, stylish and quirky, and come equipped with modern comforts.

The setting is just as impressive, offering easy access to the towns of Melrose, Selkirk, Jedburgh and Galashiels, with the River Tweed flowing nearby.


Life in a lighthouse

Sumburgh Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse on Shetland and featured in the Shetland TV drama.

The self-catering accommodation is sited within the complex of lighthouse buildings on the majestic cliffs and is finished to a high standard.

It’s particularly popular with holidaymakers during the summer months. www.shetlandlighthouse.com ECO PODS

In the shadow of a castle

The two wooden eco pods at Craskie Estate are perfectly placed for stunning loch views and soaking up the beauty of the Highlands.

Efficient insulation and low wattage electrics mean a minimal carbon footprint but there is no shortage of luxury touches.

Sleeping up to four people, each pod has its own decked terrace – ideal for al fresco dining.


Off-Grid jobs

And while you are in Scotland, consider a visit to the remote community of Scoraig, which is currently looking for a teacher for its primary school.

The locals say it’s the least stressful job in teaching but the post has fallen vacant three times in the past five years. The school’s head teacher is based at Badcaul primary, on the southern shore of the loch, and runs both schools, but that post too has been vacant since February (a permanent appointment is expected on Friday).

Scoraig is not a village, but 40 crofts strung out along a sinuous peninsula separated from the West Highland mainland by a sea loch. The community dates back only to the 1960s. Access is by boat, or you can park your car and yomp five miles to find the school.

The teacher’s salary range is between £26,697 and £40,206, and there have been a number of applications for the vacant post, you need special skills to teach in a place like this, according to Chai Jones, 62, who taught on Scoraig from the late 1980s, before he took over the school on Canna island. “Above all you need to be able to keep your own counsel, don’t gossip. Then you need to be able to talk to your bosses and have the support of the people of the mainland. And you must be able to look after yourself.”

Luke Richards, 37, runs the ferry, and says “I have a photo of Scoraig primary when my daughter was in the school. Now one of the guys works for Nasa, another has two Oscar nominations for film editing [Crispin Struthers for American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook], my daughter has a PhD, so does her friend in the photo. All the others in the picture did really exciting things with their lives.” Mr Richards nods. “Children can go on to do great things from a place like this,” he says. Then he fires up the little ferry boat and sets off into the mist.

Applications have closed for the teaching posts at Scoraig and Badcaul.

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