The Admiral’s House is set in an idyllic location in the Braes on the east coast of the Isle of Skye. A former blackhouse, the building was donated to Wasps by the family of Vice Admiral Sir Roderick (Roddy) Macdonald KBE.

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

The Admiral’s House is set in an idyllic location on the east coast of the island. A stay at The Admiral’s House would 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.

about admiral roddy

Ollach House was very kindly donated to Wasps by Vice Admiral Sir Roderick Macdonald KBE. Admiral Roddy – as he was more commonly known – had a distinguished naval career including 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 building to bring it up to a suitable standard, we have retained and restored the individual character of the place to reflect the time spent there by the Admiral.

rents and bookings

A stay at The Admiral’s House can be for the entirety of the property or for an individual studio and room. 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 the grounds. There may be a number of artists staying in the property at any given time helping to foster a unique and collaborative experience. This residency location is bookable for month-long or fortnight-long stays which are predetermined by the lettings department.

If you’d like to stay at The Admiral’s House and want to know more about booking, click the yellow tab below for full details or email if you have any specific questions or concerns.

lady joan’s studio

This beautiful 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’s 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.

being a wasps tenant

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

Tenants of the Wasps community receive the following benefits:

  • An inclusive rent for artists
  • Studio security – all our buildings are either owned or on long term rentals across the estate
  • 24/7 access all year round (excluding hot-desking memberships)
  • Being part of our community of almost 1,000 artists and creatives based in 20 buildings across Scotland
  • Ability to join the Own Art scheme through Wasps – Own Art allows for an artist’s clients to spread the cost of an artwork priced from £100 to £25,000 over 10 months with no interest. Using Own Art can help you close that extra sale – turning a £500 artwork into a more affordable proposition of £50 per month, for example
  • Support and expertise from Wasps’ staff
  • Promotion on the Wasps website (receiving tens of thousands of visitors per month) with an self-managed artist profile and shop through the community page
  • Access to the Wasps Tenant Portal – an exclusive online platform for tenants to find out about updates and opportunities from across the network
  • Exhibiting and selling opportunities through our arts programme including exhibitions across the network, discounted rates for market stalls, Open Studios events and inclusion in art fairs

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.


The Admiral's House
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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