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Guest blogger: Joanne Austen Brown

21 March 2021

My most recent release, Always Elspeth, is one of my favourite stories. And that is because the first part is set in a real place, ‘Viewfield’ on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

My husband and I love to travel in Scotland, and we are missing it at the moment. Thanks, COVID. Our last visit was in 2017. And we planned to go again in 2020. Of course, that did not happen.

‘Viewfield’ is a lovely manor house just outside of Portree. The owner, Hugh MacDonald was so gracious in allowing me to wander the whole house, taking pictures and notes. He answered heaps of questions about the house and its history. And his cousin did build the castle that lays in ruins now at Armidale.

The scenery is breathtaking, and I hope that I give it clarity in the book. I had the extension to the house built just over 10 years earlier than it actually was, so that it fitted with my story. Poetic license.

You can stay there, as it is a small hotel, more like a home-stay. Hugh is knowledgeable, especially about his vast collection of whiskies. The decor is more Victorian, but he has some pieces that are from the Regency period.

I loved doing the research from the Isle and from the house. I hope that if you get the chance to read my story it will give you the desire to want to visit Skye and the wonderful ‘Viewfield’.

Here is a quote from the book.

Descending from her tower she went and stood with her uncle in the foyer of the new section of the house. She loved this area as it was a big space and her tower sat right above it. It was only a few years since her uncle had it completed. The original house was large by isle standards but was old and need to be refurbished. So, he undertook to make a manor house out of it. And he had, adding extra rooms, large lounge areas and a dining room that was larger than most. The wood-stained features made her feel she was in a manor house in London and not on an isle off the west coast of Scotland.

Here’s the Viewfield website for you to look at, but I’ve also included some of my own photos. I hope you like them.


You can find Joanne here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

One Comment
  1. 22 March 2021 6:09 am

    Great photos – looks like a stunning (and perfect) location.

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