The Admiral’s House has three studios in its grounds, all suited to different practices and intents.

Allocations are made in advance of your stay and we take your practice into account before allocating a space to you.

Wasps would like to invite visual artists, makers, designers, writers and performers to apply to stay at The Admirals House in Skye.

The Admiral’s House is set in an idyllic location on the east coast of the island. The Admirals House is a former black house donated to WASPS by the family of Vice Admiral Sir Roderick (Roddy) Macdonald KBE. As well as serving as a naval officer, Admiral Roddy was a keen amateur artist. The location comprises of 3 bedrooms, a large communal living room and kitchen area, and 3 separate studios in the grounds. The Admiral’s House is available to all kinds of visiting artists and creative practitioners such as visual artists, designers, makers, writers, musicians, and others from the performing arts that may need the time and space to develop a piece of work in an inspiring location. This residency project will appeal to both creative people living on Skye as well as artists based nationally and internationally. The project itself allows artists the time and space to develop their own practice whilst engaging with the local community and getting the chance to meet other creative people that are using the facility. It is an ideal location for retreat, reflection, review and creative renewal.

Rents and Bookings

If you would like to stay at the Admirals House, an individual booking consists of renting one bedroom which includes an individual studio space. Each of the three studios has its own character and artists can select their preferred studio for hire at the time of application. All tenants will have access to communal areas and property grounds.

Bookings run for four or two weeks. There may be a number of artists staying in the property at any given time helping to foster a unique and collaborative experience. An individual booking is £1,000 for four weeks or £650 for two. All bookings at the Admiral’s House may be subject to a £150 cleaning fee. A 10% discount is available for current Wasps tenants. There is opportunity for creative groups to rent the whole property. Please enquire directly to

Lady Joan’s studio

This beautiful new build studio is a recent addition to the site and boasts incredible views across the Straits of Raasay. A timber structure, the studio is completely white with good interior lighting and large picture window. The space itself is around 161 sq ft and has a desk, chair, easel and some shelves. This studio would lend itself to creative people such as painters, clean practices such as writers or those working on a smaller-scale, that are seeking a more quiet and contemplative experience to develop new work.

Admiral Roddy’s studio

The former Admiral’s original painting studio is a purpose built, wooden panelled studio with plenty of natural light. It is a large space of approx. 307 sq. ft. with a timber coloured interior and flooring, windows across the entirety of the right hand wall, sky lights and strip lighting. It contains two desks that belong to The Admiral, a long work bench and easel. The studio would suit a number of creative practices including writers and performers. Although directly in front of the house, there are three steps leading to the entrance so visitors with disabilities may require some assistance.

Alan Macdonald studio

This converted garage is a large, airy space. Although there is a small window to the left, this space is bright, with good lighting and whitewashed walls and includes a work bench and two tables, chair and easel. The washout area, including Belfast Sink, is attached to the back of the studio. The space is around 266 sq ft with good heating and a timber workbench which can be moved around the space. This space would be ideal for messier practices such as sculpture or ceramics. The large garage doors can also be left open in summer months (hopefully!) to maximise light and working space. This studio sits next to the house and is probably the most accessible workspace on the site.

Aims and Objectives of this project:

The project itself allows artists the time and space to develop their own practice whilst engaging with the local community and getting the chance to meet other creative people that are using the facility.

Future activities and programming will be developed in partnership with Atlas Arts to support all visual artists. However, bookings will also be welcome from individuals who wish to embrace the solitude.

In all, the dominant and ‘ever present’ landscape provides a strong sense of place animated and supported by the Braes community and the peoples across Skye through deep connections in language, oral and social histories, music, and Gaelic culture.

About the Admiral:

Ollach house was very kindly donated to Wasps by Vice Admiral Sir Roderick Macdonald KBE.

Admiral Roddy as he is more commonly known, had a distinguished naval career including, variously, working for NATO, a secondment to the US Navy, acting as Aide to the Queen, as well as more than his fair share of maritime adventures during wartime and throughout the Cold War.

While adapting and modernising the various buildings to bring them up to a suitable standard we have tried to retain some of this memorabilia and the individual character of the place to keep some essence of the man and his interests within the building.

being a wasps tenant

With over 40 years worth of expertise, we are the UK’s largest provider of affordable studio space for artists and creative industries.

Tenants of the Wasps community receive the following benefits:

  • Affordable studio prices with no hidden costs – utilities and Wifi are all inclusive in artist studios (rates apply for creative offices)
  • Building security – all our buildings are either owned or on long term rentals
  • 24/7 secure access all year round
  • Part of our community of almost 1,000 artists and creatives in our 20 buildings across Scotland
  • Exhibiting and selling opportunities through our Arts & Enterprise programme including:
    • Exhibitions – over 50% of artists exhibited in our gallery programmes are tenants
    • Makers Markets
    • South Block shop
    • Open Studios
    • Art Fairs
  • Ability to join our Own Art scheme
  • Support and expertise from Wasps’ staff team
  • Promotion on our website with an artist profile

accessibility & getting here


The Admiral’s House is wheelchair accessible, with a ramp at the front door. One of the toilets within the property has turning space for a wheelchair and both bathrooms have walk-in shower facilities. Of the three studios available, the adapted garage space would be the most suitable for visitors who need assistance with accessibility due to its proximity to the house. The house sits on rural terrain meaning that the track from the main road is uneven underfoot, as is the land between the house and the studios. When booking the Admirals’ House please make us aware of any assistance you may need.


4 Lower Ollach
Isle of Skye
IV51 9LJ

getting here

The Admiral's House sits in 0.5 acres of ground and is roughly 15 minutes drive from Portree. The house itself is in Ollach, a very small village in the Braes area of Skye. The Admiral's House itself sits back from the road, right on the coast with views of Ben Tianavaig to the north east and the island of Raasay to the east. As such it sits roughly half way between north and south of the island, and can potentially play a role in helping to link the creative communities across the island. The environment is rugged and beautiful, changing rapidly with the weather. On a clear day the Old Man of Storr, the Cuillins and other Skye landmarks can be seen from nearby viewpoints.

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