This place is an old Highland township - cleared of people and turned into a sheep farm during the infamous Highland Clearances in the late 18th and early 19th century. By the mid 19th century it was unable to maintain its independence even as a sheep farm and became part of the neighbours' property being abandoned for habitation in 1906 when the last shepherd and his family left.
During the 1960s all the surrounding land was sold for forestry. By the early 80s we had resettled and recovered Monachyle Tuarach itself and sheep were back - in corridors among and above the trees- run by my husband, Basque, Juan. This enabled us to earn a living here.
By 1990 I was running a Gaelic animation studio. Unfortunately this folded by 2010 due to changes in government cultural policy, so, helped by a multi-talented Hungarian joiner and builder, our animators' facilities became tourist cabins and our Hostel was born.
This venture has been highly successful, since the place - though remote- is extremely beautiful, next to water and surrounded by mountains - here you have the Scottish Highlands in miniature! We are only two hours drive from the urban centres and airports of Edinburgh and Glasgow. The area is also now part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park which has a conservation and tourist agenda.
All students of Highland history and of English are welcome - in particular Basques (My husband Juan, the sheep farmer, is from there.)
Help with Eco project
Being in the Scottish Highlands brings a new perspective to the English language and culture since here there is also Highland Gaelic culture. Find out about our ancient culture, the 1745 rebellion, the consequences of the subsequent defeat and subjugation of the Highlands by the Redcoats and the Highland outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor who used our place as a safe house for his wife and family.
Despite/because of our history this is a good place to improve your English - you can practice with your co-workers and guests. This is also a good place for language/engineering students who need a certificate of work abroad for their course qualifications.
This host offers accommodation and payment.
The Hostel work involves housekeeping, bed-making, taking bookings and welcoming guests to both the huts/cabins and the Hostel itself. There are a total of 30 beds though there is only full occupancy in July and August.
There is also plenty of outside landscaping and maintenance work to be done. You will be part of a team.
Helpers are responsible for organising the shopping and the cooking of their own meals. Food can be ordered on the computer and delivered right to the door by supermarket ASDA.
We are happy to take totally unqualified/urban students and train you and we are also interested in people who already have experience at either housekeeping and hotel work or any other kind of useful skills (sewing/decorating/plumbing/electrical/inside and outside building /forest work etc).
We are ready to offer a wage in line with the minimum wage. In which case you will pay for your own food. Accomodation (in shared caravans), internet, heating etc are all free. We can discuss the details when you apply.
One month minimum stay.
Please make sure you have the necessary visas/ permits.
English, Spanish, French, Scots Gaelic, Basque
Accommodation is in two caravans - the largest adjacent to the Hostel. In July/August we erect tents as well.
We are very happy to accept couples - especially if one of you has outdoor skills and the other housework skills, (or both can do both.) Also friends are welcome. Last year we successfully hosted parents with two young children.
The caravans have shower, toilet, cooking facilities and beds. The upstairs of the Hostel is the work and play area for all staff - the washing machine, the booking system, extra electric shower/toilet/ snack area and video projector and large relaxation room are all available for your use. Everything is in walking distance.
Even though this ex-Highland township is remote (ie no noise of cars) , It is possible to get to Edinburgh or Glasgow, or indeed visit the rest of the Highlands in your time off. There is a subsidised bus service which comes near to the Hostel and buses regularly go up and down the main road. Michelin starred hotel and restaurant Monachyle Mhor is on the 'other side of the water' and can be visited for drinks and various organised social events.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day 5 days a week