A highland lodge has been “left in absolute shambles,” says an Airbnb host whose small Scottish bothy was invaded by a party of 34 axe-wielding campers.
The shocked owners phoned police last Friday after finding the garden covered in tents, according to the Daily Record. More disturbing still was the discovery of an axe and a longsword left inside the BnB.
Hosts Martin and Sheri Murphy were tipped off to this illicit highland gathering when they saw an alarming number of cars arriving at the property.
Sheri said her “heart sank” the moment she saw the number of vehicles on the drive.
“We went in the side gate because we didn’t know what was going to happen and saw 10 tents in the garden. It was unbelievable, such a shock,” she told the Record.
The housekeeper who lives nearby had tipped the Murphys off to the fact that the party of holidaymakers may be up to no good.
The keeper contacted Sheri to say he had seen a number of them carrying axes and lifting furniture to the shore of Loch Etive.
“He said, ‘I hate to tell you this but there are 30 to 40 of them.’ He had seen them praying on the beach. There was a big axe on a table outside,” said Sheri.
The Airbnb, which had originally been booked for a party of 7 men, had clearly gotten out of hand.
At the time of booking the group had said they were using the cabin for a religious retreat, and that they would be using the bothy for “prayers”. However, evidence of a PA system and furniture removed from the house would suggest it was not the “calm” prayer group Sheri had expected.
“We called the police and when they arrived the people still weren’t back. The police asked if we wanted them to deal with it and we said we would, it wouldn’t get out of hand.”
The hosts were also concerned that some of the men had come from across the border from Manchester, in northwest England, which had recently seen a spike in coronavirus cases.
“I am just glad we caught them within 24 hours. The house was untidy but there was no damage, apart from outside, where they had lit two fires and burnt the grass and where they had put the tents up,” Martin and Sheri told local reporters.
Glen Etive on Scotland’s West Coast was featured in the James Bond film Skyfall.
Fortunately, unlike the 2012 movie, this dramatic home invasion had a peaceful conclusion.
A police spokesperson reported that they had been summoned to the property to disperse a group of unruly holidaymakers.
“We received a report of a large group who were refusing to leave a property in Glen Etive,” said for Argyll & Bute and West Dunbartonshire Police.
“Officers attended, spoke to those involved and the group were dispersed.”