George Stark and his wife Mary Flight were lucky not to miss out on the plot of land where they built their home.
The couple had travelled up from their former home in Surrey to look at some potential sites.
“We got a bit lost looking for Loch Tummel and ended up driving round Loch Rannoch,” George laughs.
“Of course we couldn’t find the plot so we ended up going home without seeing it. A year later I happened to notice it was still for sale so we went and had a look.
The couple bought the site, which stretches to just under an acre and is tucked behind the Inn at Loch Tummel.
“We wanted to move somewhere one of us had a connection with and George is from Perth,” Mary explains. “In fact his grandfather was a coachman at Kinloch Rannoch.”
They sketched out the design they wanted, gave it to Greenside Architects in Alloa to realise, then employed Comrie-based Rob Roy to construct the timber frame kit, before employing local tradesmen to finish it off.
Gannochy Lodge was completed in 2012 and the couple moved their in 2014 once they’d sold their home in England.
Although there are neighbours to both sides and below, the house is cleverly designed not to be overlooked, to retain privacy.
A set of double doors opens into a dining hall. “We often have these doors completely open because no one can see in,” George says. You can sit and eat and it feels like you’re outside.”
The main rooms all face south to get the sun all day and make the most of incredible views across the loch and to Schiehallion in the west.
Designing their own house allowed George and Mary to take advantage of the best light conditions. “We put the kitchen in the east end of the house to enjoy the morning sun at breakfast time and the living room in the west to pick up the sunset,” Mary says.
The living room has an open fire in one wall. “The house is so well insulated that we don’t need it but we love the look of it,” George adds. There are two bedrooms downstairs, one facing out to the rear garden and the other, which George has made an office, looking over Loch Tummel.
The kitchen has a utility room and walk-in pantry, and there’s a family bathroom on the ground level.
The stairs lead up to an expansive landing which has French doors out onto a balcony. “We sit out here all the time,” George continues. “Even if it’s raining you’re well sheltered. It’s one of our favourite spots.”
There are two bedrooms upstairs, both with en suite bathroom and in-eaves storage. “We have blinds for the Velux windows but there’s no light pollution here so we never use them,” Mary adds. “I love being able to see the moon and stars while lying in bed.”
The garden was levelled by the builders and has a stile at the top to access the fields and pine forests beyond.
“I’ll miss the walking here almost as much as the views,” Mary says. “You can walk over the hill all the way to Blair Atholl, or go out the front and be at the waterside in a few minutes.”
Gannochy Lodge, Loch Tummel, is on sale through Savills for offers in the region of £550,000.