Renovating a historic WWII air base has been a labour of love for husband-and-wife team Justin Hooper and Charlotte Seddon. After a mammoth five-year restoration project, the Category C-listed property is a rustic Highlands hideaway, ready to welcome guests.

Travel News - HMS Owl
Justin Hooper and Charlotte Seddon transformed the HMS Owl airbase into a cosy home.

A four-storey concrete tower might not be an obvious choice for a holiday home. Derelict, cold and a target for vandals, it didn't appear inviting on paper. But Justin and Charlotte saw the potential in the former WWII air base and knew that with a bit of imagination and a lot of hard work, it could be lovingly-restored into something really special.

The couple left London and moved to Scotland, concentrating all their efforts into turning the wartime control tower into a cosy family home. They aimed to completely modernise the property while keeping with the spirit of the historic building.

Travel News - HMS Owl
The living room boasts panoramic views of the landscape.

The four-storey brick building was constructed in 1942 as a control tower for the Royal Navy airfield known as HMS Owl, a base for torpedo-carrying aircraft during WWII. The runway was still used up until recently by private aircraft, but the control tower had fallen into total disrepair and required complete renovation. That's where Justin and Charlotte came in and after five years of toil and trouble it's now one of Scotland's most remarkable homes.

Travel News - HMS Owl
The master bedroom is filled with light.

Located near Tain, close to the banks of the Moray Firth, the location is everything you could want for a Scottish Highland escape: wild, moody and mist-shrouded. It's an ideal base for a Highlands road trip and the extreme beauty of the landscape can be observed from the house, which was fitted with 76 Crittall steel windows to allow uninterrupted views on all sides.

Travel News - HMS Owl
An Aga is the hearth of the kitchen.

An Aga sits in the centre of the dark and dramatic kitchen, as a huddle point for families during winter and the area is filled with natural light that streams in through the windows. On the top floor of the tower, guests can experience even more dramatic views of the landscape. An exposed brick facade features in rooms fitted with antique furniture and king-size beds, which are kept warm with cast-iron radiators.

Travel News - HMS Owl
HMS Owl is a modern and rustic home.

The family live in HMS Owl but a private double room is available to rent on Airbnb for two guests from £76 (€86/$99) per night. Justin and Charlotte also have another property on the site, a hut that has been restored into a cosy, warm and private guesthouse with a large living space, kitchen and en-suite bathroom. Log burners keep each room warm and it can sleep up to two guests from £72 (€82/$94) per night.

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