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Wester Ross holiday home crowned Britain’s best holiday let to pick up £10,000 prize

By Calum MacLeod

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The award-winning Shieling near Plockton. Picture: Lynne Kennedy Photography
The award-winning Shieling near Plockton. Picture: Lynne Kennedy Photography

Plockton home owner, Martin Matheson, has been crowned the winner in a nationwide search to find Britain’s Best Holiday Let.

The awards, which were arranged by Sykes Holiday Cottages, saw holiday home owners from across the UK competing to be crowned the winner of Britain’s Best Holiday Let and walk away with a £10,000 cash prize.

Mr Matheson started renting out The Sheiling, located near to the popular Wester Ross village earlier this year.

Despite only being up and running for six months, the two-bedroom holiday let beat off competition to be recognised as Britain’s Best Holiday Let, as well as winning the top spot in the best view category.

The Sheiling is a luxury wooden lodge in a secluded location on the edge of its own loch. It has been carefully designed to seamlessly fit into its surroundings, with a circular grass-topped roof a and a modern contemporary theme throughout.

The luxury holiday let also boasts a lochside hot tub, a large wrap-around deck, and a private pier where guests have access to a small rowing boat.

Mr Matheson, who also owns a building company, purchased Loch Lundie in 2017 alongside his wife Mairi. Spotting the opportunity to build a holiday let in this idyllic spot, the pair went on to design, build and decorate the property over a four-year period with the help of local craftsmen, finally opening its doors to holidaymakers in May of this year.

The expert judging panel included deputy property editor of The Times and Sunday Times Carol Lewis, The Holiday Let Success podcaster Elaine Watt and Sykes’ Chief Executive Officer Graham Donoghue.

Properties were judged on a number of factors, including customer reviews, location and facilities on offer. Judges were also asked to consider if each property would be the first choice for holidaymakers looking for a staycation.

Sykes’ Britain’s Best Holiday Let competition was launched to inspire holiday let owners and celebrate excellence in holiday cottage accommodation across the country.

Graham Donoghue, chief executive at Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “These awards don’t just showcase the very best of Britain’s holiday lets, they also highlight the hard work that goes into holiday letting across the UK to make Britain’s staycation market the success it is today.

“The Sheiling was certainly a worthy winner – it beat off tough competition, but it is clear to see that this holiday let is nothing short of first class."

Sheiling owner Mr Matheson said: “We’ve put so much into The Sheiling to make it a success and since opening back in May, we’ve constantly received great feedback from our visitors, but an award like this really does mean a lot.

“Taking on the project to purchase and build on Loch Lundie was a big decision, but we are so proud of what we’ve achieved. We were booked out over the past summer and 2022 is already filling up fast – with this award win likely to take our bookings to the next level.

“It's fantastic that Sykes Holiday Cottages have taken the initiative to run a competition like this to showcase some of the best places to stay in the UK"

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