IF boots are made for walking, the debut collection by Lucinda Norreys is exactly what Sienna Miller and Kate Moss might stride out in, tucked into expensive designer jeans or teamed with bare legs and gypsy skirts.

With their sturdy Cuban heels, suede, nubuck and velvet uppers and decorative tooling and tassles, Lucinda's boots have been featured in Vogue magazine and this month will go on sale in Harrods and Harvey Nichols in London, and Pam Jenkins in Edinburgh.

But for all their modern appeal, the story behind the boots' creation spans five countries, five centuries and countless generations. There is a bit of Spain, Cuba, the US and England in each handstitched pair. But they are Scottish right down to their expensive leather soles - and not just because they were designed at a kitchen table in Ayrshire, or because a new style will soon appear in waterproof Harris Tweed woven by Donald John Mackay of Luskentyre.

A clue to their Celtic connections lies in the distinctive crest stamped on the leg and sole of each boot. Its capital N, topped by a crown, signifies the long, noble history of the Norreys family into which Lucinda married in 1989, becoming a baroness. Her husband is Henry, Lord Norreys of Rycote, also known as Baron Norreys. As well as being a first cousin of the writer Toby Young, he is a descendant of the Farquhar family that has owned Gilmilnscroft, the "ancient mansion in Kyle Stewart", almost continuously since it was built in the sixteenth century, apart from the period between 1938 and 1980.

Nestling among the woods that frame Mauchline and Sorn, the house and its outbuildings and extensive grounds lie in the heart of Burns country. The Norreys moved here from Spain with their two young sons, Willoughby, nine, and James, seven, three years ago to be close to Henry's mother, Norah Farquhar.

Henry's grandmother Norah FarquharOliver created their charming family home by converting three adjacent buildings in the grounds of the main house in which Henry's mother lives. The original dairy, dairymaid's cottage and carriage house, built in 1884, are now one big rambling family home that has no fewer than four entrance doors, each with its own breathtaking view to the gardens and Wedder Hill beyond. The front door is accessed from the driveway to the main house, while a pair of French doors open out from the lounge to the front garden. Two further doors to the back of the house lead directly on to a secluded garden, with a sun room leading out from the kitchen.

Inside, the house is a mix of DVDs, Star Wars books, Dracula paint - and priceless antiques. In the living room, originally the carriage house, the boys play medieval battle games with wooden swords and voluminous heraldic capes, darting behind Lucinda's Spanish Ortiz Cusso upright piano, complete with candlesticks. The room also boasts nineteenth-century silver gilt Guatemalan light fittings, intricately carved 100-year-old silver ankle amulets bought in Thailand in 1923, the death mask of a four-year-old Farquhar ancestor, and Henry's aunt's 1776 Adam Burger inlaid piano.

Looking down from the yellow-painted walls are sixteenth-century oil portraits of one of the first Lord Norreys and his wife.

He looks heartbroken in his old age - by the time it was painted in 1585 he had lost five of six sons to war, and his father, who had been master of the bedchamber of Anne Boleyn, had been accused of sleeping with the queen and executed by Hennry VIII.

But the boys are blissfully oblivious to the weight of history bearing down on them. "It's important to teach the children to live among antiques and to respect them, " says Lucinda. "It's no good roping them off and not allowing them to touch the pieces, because they'd just see them as fusty old objects rather than appreciating them for what they are."

The Gilmilnscroft Farquhars also had a significant part to play in Robert Burns's life. In 1777 Henry's ancestor Jane Farquhar, at that time the sole heir to the house, married John Gray, a justice of the peace. He performed the marriage ceremony of Robert Burns to Jean Armour in Mauchline in 1778.

There is also a connection to Robert Burns on Lucinda's side. Her late father Christopher Moorsom, a renowned PRprofessional who counted Salvador Dali and Francis Bacon among his close friends, was half-Scottish, his mother being from Tarbolton - making Lucinda a quarter Scottish, as well as a quarter Cuban, a quarter Spanish and a quarter English.

"My grandmother Thomson's greatgreat-grandfather married Robert Burns's cousin, " she says. "He was a schoolteacher in Tarbolton and was a member of the Bachelors' Club in Mauchline so he knew Burns very well.

"I'd thought I had no connection to this part of the world, but now I realise I am very much part of it." Willoughby and James attend Sorn Primary School, and she is obviously delighted they have acquired "roaring Ayrshire accents".

Lucinda's own colourful upbringing has influenced the style of both her home and her boots, an intriguing mix of classical and bohemian. Her mother, Maria del Pilar Sanches y Betancourt, is a Cuban heiress and socialite who met her father in New York. "My parents were considered the most beautiful couple in the city, " she says proudly.

They lived in Havana, Cuba, although they left for London in 1958 when Maria was eight months pregnant with Lucinda. Her parents split up in the 1960s and her mother has remarried Bayard Osborn, a New York sculptor.

They now live in Andalucia.

Lucinda was thus brought up in both 1960s Chelsea by her Protestant father and Andalucia by her Catholic mother.

The twin cultural influences are visible everywhere: on the mantelpiece in the study an old Dutch oil painting hangs behind a huge brass crucifix that was salvaged from a decimated church in Belgium during the First World War by a soldier. He gave it to a previous owner of Gilmilnscroft, who in turn gave it to the Farquhars when they bought the house in 1980.

Conversely, the kitchen table where Lucinda draws the designs for her boots and shoes cost just GBP50 through a small ad spotted in the Ayrshire Post. The kitchen is the former milking parlour - although it's been updated to include a massive Aga, an antique French dresser, double sinks and a huge collection of old wicker baskets.

Lucinda has vivid memories of visiting her mother in London before she moved to Andalucia to run a minimalist studio and art gallery with her husband.

"I can remember being mortified that they had bamboo furniture, Astro turf and water fountains in their Kensington living room while all my friends had Colefax & Fowler, " she says. "Though my friends thought it was fantastic and very avant garde."

Her design influences also include the Amish community of Pennsylvania, with whom she lived briefly in her 20s.

She has also been a quilt maker as well as a consultant to upscale jeweller Aspreys. "I learned that the Amish deliberately include an imperfect piece in every quilt because they believe only God is perfect, " she explains.

She also has a big interest in heraldic symbols, evident from the patterns of the hand-made quilted cushions that sit along the window seat in the lounge, and the hand towels in the red-painted downstairs loo.

In Andalucia, where Lucinda and Henry lived for 12 years, she absorbed the classical dress colours of dark olive greens and maroons, together with the more flamboyant reds, pinks and yellows that swirl around in her Cuban blood.

These colours are in her current collection, together with intricate toolwork taken from traditional Spanish saddlery.

For her collection of suede, satin and crushed shot silk boots and peeptoe wedge espadrilles for spring/summer 2006, she is using acid greens, oranges, fuchsias and turquoises.

Lucinda is delighted at how things are progressing with finding a market for her boots. But while pleased with the quality of their manufacture by a thirdgeneration bootmaker in Andulacia, she wants to bring back the traditional art of bootmaking to Britain.

"In March last year I didn't know anything about designing or selling but I'm learning fast and would like to expand the skills base here, " she says. She has been guided by two of her best friends, the fashion accessories designer Lulu Guinness and Serena Bute, the wife of Johnny Dumfries, owner of Anonymous fashion boutique in Notting Hill.

She has also had invaluable advice from Business Gateway in Kilmarnock, which has advised her on all aspects of running her own business - including how to trademark her goods.

Lucinda prefers to remain in a niche market than to go for mass production.

"I'm fed up with fashion being generic in the UK. Yet craftsmanship is the best it's ever been. We make the best tweed and the best damask in the world. The UK is very good at bespoke interior design and I see no reason for us not to do the same with fashion, " she says.

"I'd love to help revive the art of bootmaking in the UK, and have found a shop that makes fabulous lasts. I'm also going to visit Horace Bateman, the best bootmaker in Northampton. These are just the first steps - I still have a lot to learn."

Inspiration is all around her. A glazed wooden frame hanging in her bedroom contains a fragment of the dress given to Bonnie Prince Charlie by Flora Macdonald when he was in disguise as Bettie Burke in 1745. It was inherited by Lucinda's father's grandmother, a direct descendent of the Earl of Seaforth, and its pretty floral design might yet be replicated on a Norreys boot. She is also working on a style taken from the portrait of another of Henry's ancestors that hangs in the hall.

Looking around her garden, radiant under the blaze of the Scottish summer sun, she adds: "It feels so right that I have ended up living here."

To find out more and to buy online from next month, visit www. norreys. net