Isle of Harris lodge gets boost from ‘storm tourists’

Borve Lodge is attempting to attract 'storm tourists' to Harris. Picture: Jane Barlow

Borve Lodge is attempting to attract 'storm tourists' to Harris. Picture: Jane Barlow

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A holiday lodge in the Outer Hebrides is attracting tourists from all over the world - by playing up to Scotland’s unpredictable weather.

Borve Lodge is situated on the isle of Harris in the Western Isles, where most Atlantic storms make first landfall, and lodge owner Adam Kelliher is seeking to entice visitors to the estate by promising ‘wild weather’.

Borve beach is located near the lodge. Picture: Kirk Norbury

Borve beach is located near the lodge. Picture: Kirk Norbury

The New Zealand native is charging up to £16,000 for a seven-day stay at the former hunting lodge, which also offers fishing and shooting excursions.

Describing Borve as a ‘wonderful place if you are kitted out with a raincoat, wellies and hat’, Kelliher told The Times: “We advise lots of Gore-Tex. It is wonderful to be out in the elements then retreat inside to the warmth.

“Wild weather is almost guaranteed. The next stop is North America [and] all that power from thousands of miles of water impacts on the Hebrides.”

But, Kelliher adds, the weather system - despite bringing an average of 250 days of rain to the region every year - can also bring calm days.

Harris is famed for its beaches, including the breathtaking Luskentyre. Picture: Kirk Norbury

Harris is famed for its beaches, including the breathtaking Luskentyre. Picture: Kirk Norbury

“There might be a squall, blue skies and hail all in one day. It is an intense place.”

A number of tourists, primarily from other European countries, are coming to Scotland because of the weather, rather than in spite of.

And research showed that visitor numbers were up by ten per cent between 2010 and 2014, despite an increase in rainfall during the same period.

The Western Isles were battered by Storm Gertrude in January, with a wind speed of over 90mph recorded on the Uists while the area experienced 113mph gusts in 2015 - the strongest in the UK since 1990.

A VisitScotland spokesperson welcomed Borve Lodge’s ‘storm tourism’ drive, adding: “We welcome this innovative approach to attract visitors to Harris during winter months.”

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