Craig is an amazing holiday cottage and I hope that you grow to love it as much as I do. However, it will not suit everybody and it is important that you are aware of a few points before booking.
Craig has been available for holiday lets since summer 2016 and it is very much an ongoing project to improve it. The photos on the website are being replaced as more work is done. If you have any concerns then please call me (07918 873586) for a chat. I would much rather you were sure that this is the right holiday for you, than have guests come and not enjoy themselves. If you consider having warm duvets on the beds, and pine martens on your window sill as essential elements for your holiday then you should have an amazing time!
There isn’t any mains electricity!
There is a Lister diesel generator which provides power. I provide sufficient diesel for you to run this for around a couple of hours each evening (20 litres). This enables you to use the immersion heater for hot water (in addition to the multi-fuel stove which is normally sufficient), plus have lighting and charge your devices. I find that many guests choose to not use it at all. In addition there are ample led lights and replacement batteries for them available.
Candles are only for use in the sitting room, and I ask that all guests be very aware of the risk of fire.
Heat and hot water is provided by a back boiler running off the multi-fuel stove. By leaving doors open you can spread this heat throughout the house. There are hot water bottles for bedtime plus very warm duvets and blankets on all the beds.
There is a full size gas cooker with oven and hob in the kitchen, plus a full size gas fridge.
The cottage has a multi-fuel stove in the sitting room. This provides heat and hot water. I will provide you with sufficient seasoned logs, wood briquettes or anthracite to keep the fire running each evening. If you are wanting the fire on for longer then you will need to provide extra fuel yourself – either seasoned wood or wood briquettes. These can be bought locally at either the Pink Shop In Benderloch, or at the filling stations in and around Oban.
Some of the flooring is lino or wooden, so warm socks or slippers are a very good idea.
Craig is served by a nearby stream and the water treated by a small chlorination system.
Thanks to the recent improvements to the track (May 2019) most vehicles should have no problems coming up the track, but I am finding that the track through the quarry can be a little lumpy at times. Very low cars would not be suitable.
You can get signal through most networks from just outside the cottages. Texts seem to send okay, and most of the time you can make phone calls but there are odd times when the signal does get weaker. I normally find that if I go slightly further up the track then I get a better signal if needed.
As you can image, there is no wifi, but there are plenty of cafes and pubs in the Oban area with free wifi so what a good excuse to treat the family to a drink or a meal. Oban town centre also has free wifi hotspots.
I live locally and will always do my best to help, especially in a genuine emergency, but I do work full time so may not be able to come out until the evening. There are details in the cottage about calling the emergency services and the location information you would need to give them. There is a very good doctors surgery and pharmacy at Connel.
what is provided?
The cottage is very well equipped, including:
- washing up liquid, tea towels, cleaning products
- salt, pepper and basic condiments
- bed linen
- a reasonable supply of wood, briquettes and kindling for the stove
- fresh air
- tea lights
As we have had issues with guests using excessive amounts of wood, we are now having to limit the amount that we make readily available. There is enough included in the rental for you to be comfortable and have sufficient hot water, but not enough to have fires burning constantly. Please bear in mind that I am trying to be as sustainable as possible, and that I have to transport in all the resources that are available at the cottage.
what should we bring with us?
Warm clothes and waterproofs are essential all year round. Wellingtons are a godsend, as are slippers. Best to bring lots of old clothes for kids so you don’t mind if they get muddy and wet while exploring around the area. The cottage is old and stone built, so may not be as warm as you are used to at home.
Other things to think about bringing include:
- charging cables for phones and cameras
- any medications you may need
- plenty of dog towels
- towels for your own use
- a sense of humour and yearning for adventure
Traffic on the track
Although the cottage is two miles from a road and in a remote area, there is still some traffic passing by on the track. There has been a hydro scheme built about four miles further up the track from us at Allt Easach, and although they have now (winter 2020/21) very nearly completed the build, there is always a chance of some traffic connected with this. Once the hydro is complete, the Forestry Commission will then start clear felling the sitka woodland at Barrs and Cadderlie. This is at least two miles further up the track from us so I am not expecting the work to create any disturbance apart from workers passing the cottage in the morning and evening. All the timber is being taken out by water and the ground then replanted with native species, which is a good thing.
Otherwise, the track is used by walkers and mountain bikers, mainly at the weekend. The cottage is back from the track and still feels private.