I am a humanist celebrant – which means that I marry people for a living. It is one of the most wonderful jobs anyone can have and I adore every single minute of it. This year I married my first couple in Scotland. The law is slightly different in Scotland, which means that you can have your legal humanist ceremony in any location. You simply have to agree the location with the celebrant and make it known to the registration authority. This means you can pretty much get married anywhere! Outdoors on the shores of somewhere beautiful; atop a mountain (weather permitting!), or in one of the many large houses that can be found throughout the country. In Scotland, these options are glorious and limitless. This made me very excited. I needed to explore…

But one thing this job doesn’t let me have is a weekend off or, a summer holiday. So I have learnt how to accommodate this with holidays in the UK in November…fully embracing whatever weather this temperate isle has to offer us. Sometimes I am rewarded for this bravery, other times, not. As I turned off the A835 from Inverness and took the coastal road towards Poolewe, a road which has been voted on many occasions to be one of the most scenic routes in Europe, I was the unfortunate victim of my own proclamation. “Whatever this temperate isle has to offer” offered me visibility of just under 5 metres. There was a glorious vista all around me, but my fate was to witness none of it.

(I did however witness the glorious views on my return home in the other direction and they were more than breath taking. Snow capped mountains that rise up out of seemingly nowhere and drop to the sea in one fell swoop. Sandy beaches, waterfalls, gorges and rivers all begging you to stop by the side of the road and soak them up. It is a road to take your time on and a road that makes you wish you were ultimately never returning home. And a road that offers up ceremony location opportunities a plenty!)

I had called ahead to Elizabeth, the lucky owner of Stardust in Poolewe and her first words were “Poor you! I hope you’ve bought your wet weather gear and a book.” As it turned out, I had. But as with all of Unique Homestay’s properties, if the weather means you’re trapped indoors, this is never a bad thing.

Stardust in made up of an exquisitely designed boat house which wraps you up in elegant tartan charm and doesn’t want to let you go. Until, that is, you need dinner and then you have your own perfectly constructed kitchen in a shepherd’s hut next door. The Boat House looks out upon Loch Ewe and the Shepherd’s Hut rests along the side of the River Ewe, providing a stunning surround sound to a candlelit dinner.

As I ventured out for the first time from the house to the kitchen I was joined along the waters edge by a friendly seal. He bobbed and dove and made a wonderful show of himself which I like to think was his way of saying, “thank you for braving the weather, I am one of your rich rewards!” My seal (as I liked to call him) bobbed by pretty much every day of my stay and never failed to make me draw breath in wonder.

Over breakfast the following day, I gazed out over the Loch and realized that this was indeed the most perfect destination for a mini moon. As I sipped my tea (as ever, provided by the hamper of goodies that had been there to greet us upon arrival) I daydreamed about couples marrying upon these shores, spending time with all of their loved ones and then waking up here, for the first time alone as a married couple and gazing across the waters edge directly at the Isle of Ewe and saying it aloud...

‘I love you’ rolls off the tongue almost by accident here. What a perfect destination. If you have the opportunity to marry in Scotland, or for that matter anywhere in the UK, I can certainly recommend Stardust as the ideal destination to spend the days after your wedding, reminiscing, reflecting, relaxing in the perfectly placed hot tub, essentially wallowing in each other whilst the natural beauty of the west coast of Scotland lulls you back to normality. ‘Isle of Ewe’ Stardust ;-)