Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Friday, 8 January 2010

Coldest place residents 'coping'

Altnaharra shares the record for having had the UK's coldest temperature

Residents of the coldest place in Britain so far this winter said they were coping with freezing temperatures.

About 30 people live in Altnaharra near Lairg in Sutherland where the temperature dropped to -22.3C.

Mandy Smith, who runs a bed and breakfast with her husband Lindsay, said: "We just cope in weather like this and we have very good neighbours."

Altnaharra shares the record as the coldest place in the UK with Braemar after recording -27.2C in 1995.

The same temperature was recorded in Braemar in 1982.

Altnaharra lies 82 miles from Inverness and has about 10 houses, a church and a hotel.


The nearest shop is 21 miles away in Lairg, but villagers driving there in four-wheel drive vehicles have been picking up supplies for fellow residents to save them the journey in difficult conditions.

Mrs Smith, 45, said: "This morning you could feel the temperature had really dropped badly. You can really feel the coldness because the air is very dry and there's no wind.

"The heating has been on permanently since before Christmas."

She added: "But we went out for about an hour yesterday and it's not too bad if you're well wrapped up. You need a good pair of boots and a couple of pairs of socks, and woolly hat, scarf and gloves."


Colin Campbell, 36, manager of the Altnaharra Hotel, said local people were used to cold weather.

He said: "You can feel it in the air that the temperature has dropped.

"But it has been like this for the last month constantly below -10C and and you don't really notice the difference between -10 and -22.

"The roads are still open, though not in the best condition, and people are still getting out."

Mr Campbell added: "Everyone seems to muck in together to help."

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