Blackhouse village at Gearranan (Isle of Lewis, Scotland). These thatched-roof, drystone walled houses were still inhabited until 1976.
Image: Dave Rintoul, Summer 2008 [larger view].
On the exposed Atlantic coast of the Isle of Lewis, the blackhouse village of Gearrannan lies steeped in history and sited in an environment of outstanding natural beauty. Since 1989 the local community trust Urras nan Gearrannan (the Garenin Trust) has been painstakingly restoring the once derelict properties and croft land to recreate an authentic settlement offering visitors modern facilities within the surroundings of times gone by. Traditional methods have been used to recreate the drystone masonry and thatched roofing of the original croft houses with the discreet integration of modern conveniences.
Read more -- this site also contains a sound file of a woman speaking in Gaelic. I wish I could speak Gaelic!
I was in a Scots Gaelic folk-singing class for a few months once. That was fun. It's one of those languages that turns out not to be as hard as it looks.
How gorgeous! I wish I could live there. Although, if a certain old coot and his wackaloon get elected, I might make it more than a wish ;-)
My wife has given me permission to accept a job offer in Britain without consulting her, she loves it over there so much. Do those cottages have high-speed internet?
Apparently the "proper" name for the island is the Island of Lewis with Harris. I've just learnt that Lewis isn't actually an island, but rather part of a larger island, one that apparently (originally, anyway) never had a name for the whole island, but that the northern part was 'Lewis' and the southern 'Harris'. (My source on this wikipedia, so I'm happy to stand corrected, but I can't see it getting this wrong: Harris folk would be writing in smartly if they did...)
CyberLizard: I think the better question is if the entire island has high-speed internet! Certainly outside of Stornoway I'd be thinking twice. Even the sea side village I live in has only had high(er) speed internet for a few years!