WHEN Niall Munro decided he wanted a mural for the outside of his new coffee shop on the Isle of Skye, he didn't have to look too far for an artist.

Before his father Donnie achieved world-wide fame with the band Runrig, he was an art teacher, graduating from Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen.

The 31-year-old took the ambitious decision to open an new coffee shop - Birch - in Portree last year and is anticipating a busy Summer as travel restrictions are eased.

He said some self-catering providers are almost entirely booked up from May.

His famous father chose one of Skye's most recognisable landmarks - and one of the world's most photographed - for the 40m mural.

Part of the Trotternish ridge in the north of the island, The Storr was created by a massive ancient landslide and its pinnacle, the ‘Old Man’ can be seen for miles around.


Working from photographic images of the changing seasons taken over the last six months, he opted for a winter scene, with ominous shades of green, black and blue to represent the dramatic landscape.

"It was an idea that I had last year," said Mr Munro.

"The wall opposite Birch wasn't in the best state and I just thought a mural would be a really nice thing to have.

"The obvious choice was my dad - he was an art teacher before the music thing kicked off.

READ MORE: The Skye ferry set to sail again in memory of the man who kept it going 

"I mentioned it to dad and he was kind of thinking what could potentially work well there and a landscape image of the Storr was an obvious one. Urban graffiti which might be a bit more jarring in Portree and we wanted something to suit the village and came up with the idea of a linear image of the Storr.

"It's such a nice thing to have and will be a great talking point as well."


Mr Munro decided to open the business last year after spending time in Melbourne, where his sister Sarah-Anne lives and taking inspiration from the city's speciality coffee culture.

READ MORE: Scottish hotel company unveils plan to welcome guests back 

"We had a busy spell from June to October , which was great and then the second lockdown gave us a bit of time to focus on creating a roastery, so that's been a bit of a blessing in disguise because in a normal busy season in Skye, the time just flies away."

The hospitality trade runs in the family, his brother Callum owns the restaurant Scorrybreac , above the harbour in Portree, which was initially launched as a pop-up at their parent's house. The brothers are preparing for a busy season.

"Speaking to people with self-catering places on Skye, they are saying they are pretty much booked up from May so that's a great sign.

"It will very much be about domestic tourism this year but I think Skye is still very much a top destination for tourists."