Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas at Kentallen. Lovely photographs by 18 year old Jake Bench




















The were taken by one of our guests, 18 year old Jake Bench. Are they not wonderful?
The Bench family stayed at Bayview at Christmas. They had an up and down time. First the temperature was -11, then they found no water was running - oops bad news. Our Michelle got it sorted with a very gentle heating up towards the attic. Then the element in the heater went so no hot water, but Michelle's husband John got a part, went round there, fitted it and all was well again. Throughout the Bench family were as nice as you can imagine, you cannot get better guests. Thanks Michellle's family from Gillian and I. Above and beyond the call of duty.

This is the entry they posted for us in My Cottage Holiday.
John
We had our best Christmas ever in 3 Bayview cottage.It really is in an excellant location, next to a loch, close to the coast, Ben Nevis, Glencoe and stunning scenery which ever way you turn.We found the cottage very cosy and comfortable with all the facilities a family needs, very good kitchen appliances, comfy beds and everything we needed including Wi Fi.When we did have a problem (freezing pipes, it was -10 when we first arrived) both the owner and local housekeeper (and her family) were both very friendly and helpful and managed to resolve the problem even over the Christmas period.A special thank you to Michelle, John and Michelle's father for being so helpful.We would definitely recommend and hope to return.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Advice on driving on ice and in snow, Glencoe

Fatboy Don has some wonderful ice and snow shots on his flickr account, this is one of them
We've just put up a new page in our Website about Driving in and around glencoe in the snow and Ice.
From this page here are the tips, for the novice.



Four Don'ts
Don't allow the battery to run down. It is very vulnerable in the cold.
Don't use washing up liquid in the screen wash
Don't run on thin tyres
Don't overtake on snow and ice
Don't rev the engine or accelerate quickly


Ten Do's
Drive very slowly, particularly around corners
Avoid steep hills, particvularly those with bends
Go into corners slowly
Accelerate very slowly
Use 2nd gear if possible on ice
Keep the driving wheel as straight as possible
Leave a massive amount of room between you and the car in front
Fill the petrol tank more frequently than usual
Keep your mobile phone topped up
Use WD 40 to ease the door locks
Watch out for extra cold temperatures in low lying valleys, and on tree lined roads
Choose a coastal route if possible rather than an inland route.


Take 11 things with you
Old bits of carpet, clothes, or cardboard for getting the car out of snow
Wellington boots - carried inside the car
Shovel, to dig out the car
Emergency first aid kit
Spare clothes
Scarf
Hat covering the ears
Gloves
Chocolate and something to eat
Flask of hot drink
Charged mobile phone
St. Christophers charm, you never know.


John
The highlands of Scotland
Find holiday cottages anywhere
Gorgeous photographs of Glencoe
Hill walks in Glencoe
Munroes in Glencoe
Port Appin
Barcaldine
Accommodation in Lochaber
Kentallen
Ballachulish
Onich
How to find cottage owners self catering websites
HISTORY PAGES.
The story they don't tell you about the Glencoe Massacre
History around the cottage in Appin
Did the Vikings stage a battle in Glencoe?
The Pictish broch in Lismore
West of Scotland millions of years ago
Robert the Bruce and the Ardchattan parliament
Robert the Bruce and the Knights Templar
The story of the MacDonalds of Glencoe
Ancient roads of the Highlands
Glencoe, the 4th Wonder of Scotland
Castles in the Glencoe area
GLENCOE OUTDOORS
The best walks in Glencoe
Ben Nevis, go climb it
Munros are over 3,000 feet
Some Munros are easy
Glencoe rock climbing
Skiing in Glencoe is excellent again
New cycle tracks around Glencoe
There are lovely beaches and bays around Glencoe
Accommodation Fort William
Golf on the West coast
Tour the Highlands
You can cruise the West coast
BLOGS
Travellers Tales from the highlands of Scotland
Find your ideal holiday cottage anywhere
The most beautiful photographs of Glencoe
The achingly beautiful area of Appin, Scotland
Special offers for self catering in Scotland
COTTAGE ATTRACTIONS
Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
Last minute, late availability Glencoe, self catering cottage
20 brilliant walks around our cottage area
Easy hill walks in Glencoe
Why not walk up Ben Nevis one day?
Easier Munroe walks in Glencoe
Skiing Glencoe and Nevis range, cottage is midway between the two
Video. Skiing on Glencoe mountain
Weather in the West of Scotland
Rock and Ice climbing in Glencoe
Cycling and fishing Glencoe
Spectacular wild life around our cottage
Golf in the Highlands, Dragons tooth golf course, Glencoe
Cruising the islands, using Glencoe as a base
Safe, beautiful beaches and bays in Glencoe area
Touring the Highlands by car from Glencoe,
Spring breaks, March April May Glencoe
Winter breaks, Jan Feb March in the cottage
Autumn breaks November December in the cottage
Our new Appin blog site
FOR LASTMINUTE BOOKINGS
Short breaks in Scotland, Last minute cottage holidays Scotland, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Weather month by month Scotland summer
Weather month by month Scotland Autumn
Weather in Scotland Winter, month by month
Misunderstandings about Scotland's weather
Scotland's rain
Advice on driving in Scotland. Several Scotland driving pages are linked to this.
Honeymoon cottages in Scotland
Scotland for Christmas and New Year
The unofficial Scottish tourist Board
Cottages in Scotland permitting smoking
Cottages in Scotland welcoming pets
FOR WEST OF SCOTLAND SITE
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in the West of Scotland
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in Oban
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in Glencoe
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in Fort William
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in the far West of Scotland
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in Appin
Port Appin and Lismore B&Bs
Barcaldine B&Bs and hotels
Duror b&bs
Kentallen b&bs
Ballachulish b&bs
Onich b&bs
How to find cottage owners self catering websites
MISC
Misunderstandings about Scottish weather
Get off those speeding fines on Scottish roads

Friday, December 03, 2010

They're all nuts these Munro obsessives. Especially Durham ones.

Great photo by Justin Cormack. This bloke could easily be from Durham. flickr justin cormack link


I asked Graeme what he did in the week he spent at the cottage in November. I tell you the weather was foul, and Graeme was on his own. Are the wiry tyros from Durham particularly obsessed? Yes, I speak from experience.
60 years ago my sport  was rock climbing - our heroes then were names like Joe Brown, Don Whillans, about five years older than me. And who were the little beggars who were out first, out in all conditions, bad weather, what weather? Pitons, what are pitons? Overhangs, why are they a problem? Nerves? Tell me about those. They all seemed to come from Durham University. Graeme lives in Durham, so he's got to be one of them.  
Graeme, if you get any more of your pals who want to go climbing in the winter, tell them to come to us. We give you £200 off, for skiers, photographers and climbers in the winter.
Here is Graeme's initial report. He only managed 7 Munros! Only! He got stuck in the snow - where? In the flattest, most low lying country in Europe. I tell you, nuttiness surrounds these lads. 


Hi John
Everything was great, only managed 7 munros due to conditions slowing the pace and some dubious conditions underfoot but all good. I have just returned from Holland after a 2 day business trip turned into 3 with a seventeen hour delay and a drive to Manchester in blizzard conditions and a drive back today in temps. down to –11!!! 
I have a Christmas doo to organize for a few of us in a bothy in the Pennines for tomorrow night, 4 mile walk with backs of logs and supplies however at the moment the A66 (our route there) is closed with the snow, we have about 18” here.
After this I am flat out until Christmas at work as we just about have the construction site held up. So I intend to pull something together for you but at the moment it isn’t very near the top of a substantial list! To be honest it will probably be over Christmas when I get chance.
Hope this is OK

Graeme, this is more than ok. Thanks. Send another when you have the time. You deserve to be famous - a lot of people read this blog.
John
HISTORY PAGES.
The story they don't tell you about the Glencoe Massacre
History around the cottage in Appin
Did the Vikings stage a battle in Glencoe?
The Pictish broch in Lismore
West of Scotland millions of years ago
Robert the Bruce and the Ardchattan parliament
Robert the Bruce and the Knights Templar
The story of the MacDonalds of Glencoe
Ancient roads of the Highlands
Glencoe, the 4th Wonder of Scotland
Castles in the Glencoe area

GLENCOE OUTDOORS
The best walks in Glencoe
Ben Nevis, go climb it
Munros are over 3,000 feet
Some Munros are easy
Glencoe rock climbing
Skiing in Glencoe is excellent again
New cycle tracks around Glencoe
There are lovely beaches and bays around Glencoe
Accommodation Fort William
Golf on the West coast
Tour the Highlands
You can cruise the West coast

BLOGS
Travellers Tales from the highlands of Scotland
Find your ideal holiday cottage anywhere
The most beautiful photographs of Glencoe
The achingly beautiful area of Appin, Scotland
Special offers for self catering in Scotland

COTTAGE ATTRACTIONS
Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
Last minute, late availability Glencoe, self catering cottage
20 brilliant walks around our cottage area
Easy hill walks in Glencoe
Why not walk up Ben Nevis one day?
Easier Munroe walks in Glencoe
Skiing Glencoe and Nevis range, cottage is midway between the two
Video. Skiing on Glencoe mountain
Weather in the West of Scotland
Rock and Ice climbing in Glencoe
Cycling and fishing Glencoe
Spectacular wild life around our cottage
Golf in the Highlands, Dragons tooth golf course, Glencoe
Cruising the islands, using Glencoe as a base
Safe, beautiful beaches and bays in Glencoe area
Touring the Highlands by car from Glencoe,
Spring breaks, March April May Glencoe
Winter breaks, Jan Feb March in the cottage
Autumn breaks November December in the cottage
Our new Appin blog site

FOR LASTMINUTE BOOKINGS

Short breaks in Scotland, Last minute cottage holidays Scotland, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Weather month by month Scotland summer
Weather month by month Scotland Autumn
Weather in Scotland Winter, month by month
Misunderstandings about Scotland's weather
Scotland's rain
Advice on driving in Scotland. Several Scotland driving pages are linked to this.
Honeymoon cottages in Scotland
Scotland for Christmas and New Year
The unofficial Scottish tourist Board
Cottages in Scotland permitting smoking
Cottages in Scotland welcoming pets

FOR WEST OF SCOTLAND SITE

Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in the West of Scotland
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in Oban
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in Glencoe
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in Fort William
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in the far West of Scotland
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in Appin
Port Appin and Lismore B&Bs
Barcaldine B&Bs and hotels
Duror b&bs
Kentallen b&bs
Ballachulish b&bs
Onich b&bs
How to find cottage owners self catering websites





Wednesday, December 01, 2010

It looks very good for Glencoe Mountain resort. £200 off our cottage for skiers.


Isn't this a lovely pic from Flickr?  Glencoe mountain photos on Flickr

We are very lucky in Glencoe in having this brilliant and energetic revival of the Skiing area on our doorstep. It has opened up the winter holiday period for everyone. That's why we are offering £200 off our low season rates for anyone who wants to take our cottage for a week. The cottage sleeps up to 4 and has a drying room and ski store. For details Email us

With heavy snow falling all over the country the Glencoe ski resort looks like it is on track to have it’s earliest ever opening.  For details about the opening date you can go to  the Glencoe ski resort

There is now a brand new beginner's area with a dedicated tow just for the snow sports school. that will make life easier for the learners.

A new terrain park is being created. This will have features for advanced riders and also a new beginner’s area making the park accessible to all levels of skier and snowboarder. The snow sports school will offer freestyle lessons every day.

Hiring gear is not a problem, you can hire skis or a snowboards, most of them brand new. Trespass ski suits also available.

Glencoe offers some of the best off piste opportunities in Scotland, and is famous for having Scotland's steepest black run. The beginners area is kindly as well.

It is all looking really good - I'm amazed at the energy of the management team. It is a lesson to us all in how to get a business going.
John
This is the page about skiing in our website
Skiing in Glencoe is excellent again

Masses of information about the area in our Site map
This is about Fort William
Appin is beautiful
Bed and breakfast and hotels from Oban to Fort William
Walks around our cottage
Autumn short breaks in Glencoe
Ben Nevis walking is a slog, but worth it
Cottage holidays Scotland in the Autumn, Winter, Spring
The highlands of Scotland
Find holiday cottages anywhere
Gorgeous photographs of Glencoe
Hill walks in Glencoe
Munroes in Glencoe
Port Appin
Barcaldine
Accommodation in Lochaber
Kentallen
Ballachulish
Onich



Oban's 4 star Queen's hotel


In one of the loveliest harbour locations in the world, the Queen's Hotel in Oban has been awarded the town's first 4star accolade by Visit Scotland. That's really nice, it has taken a long time for this lovely seafront to upgrade its hotels.  

Raymond and Susan Hymes have put in a huge amount of work since they bought it in a very run down state three years ago. The couple paid a handsome tribute to the work done by the local tradesmen. It is good to hear the whole team praised. Congratulations to them both.

But I have a little niggle. The Oban Times reported the claim that this was the "only 4star hotel between Glasgow and Inverness". It is a pity, because there are several much superior hotels in the area, such as the Airds in Port Appin, with its VisitScotland gold award, and its Relaix and Chateaux accreditation,  the Isle of Eriska hotel with its 5 star award, Inverlochy Castle and so on.

A slip of the tongue no doubt, but I'm surprised that the Oban Times printed it. "Best hotel in Oban" sounds good enough to me. The claim may be factually accurate for the moment, but expect it to be short lasting with other hotels set to come into play such as Barcaldine House, which is awaiting an award.

VisitScotland seem to be upgrading a lot of their properties these days. I'm sure it is merited, but I'm not convinced that they are not moving the target towards the arrow in many cases. Not in the case of the Queens Hotel, though, its accreditation is fully deserved I've no doubt.  You wouldn't bother to make a fuss over three stars would you?

John

HISTORY PAGES.
The story they don't tell you about the Glencoe Massacre
History around the cottage in Appin
Did the Vikings stage a battle in Glencoe?
The Pictish broch in Lismore
West of Scotland millions of years ago
Robert the Bruce and the Ardchattan parliament
Robert the Bruce and the Knights Templar
The story of the MacDonalds of Glencoe
Ancient roads of the Highlands
Glencoe, the 4th Wonder of Scotland
Castles in the Glencoe area

GLENCOE OUTDOORS

The best walks in Glencoe
Ben Nevis, go climb it
Munros are over 3,000 feet
Some Munros are easy
Glencoe rock climbing
Skiing in Glencoe is excellent again
New cycle tracks around Glencoe
There are lovely beaches and bays around Glencoe
Accommodation Fort William
Golf on the West coast
Tour the Highlands
You can cruise the West coast

BLOGS

Find your ideal holiday cottage anywhere
The most beautiful photographs of Glencoe
The achingly beautiful area of Appin, Scotland
Special offers for self catering in Scotland

COTTAGE ATTRACTIONS
Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
Last minute, late availability Glencoe, self catering cottage
20 brilliant walks around our cottage area
Easy hill walks in Glencoe
Why not walk up Ben Nevis one day?
Easier Munroe walks in Glencoe
Skiing Glencoe and Nevis range, cottage is midway between the two
Video. Skiing on Glencoe mountain
Weather in the West of Scotland
Rock and Ice climbing in Glencoe
Cycling and fishing Glencoe
Spectacular wild life around our cottage
Golf in the Highlands, Dragons tooth golf course, Glencoe
Cruising the islands, using Glencoe as a base
Safe, beautiful beaches and bays in Glencoe area
Touring the Highlands by car from Glencoe,
Spring breaks, March April May Glencoe
Winter breaks, Jan Feb March in the cottage
Autumn breaks November December in the cottage
Our new Appin blog site

FOR LASTMINUTE BOOKINGS

Short breaks in Scotland, Last minute cottage holidays Scotland, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Weather month by month Scotland summer
Weather month by month Scotland Autumn
Weather in Scotland Winter, month by month
Misunderstandings about Scotland's weather
Scotland's rain
Advice on driving in Scotland. Several Scotland driving pages are linked to this.
Honeymoon cottages in Scotland
Scotland for Christmas and New Year
The unofficial Scottish tourist Board
Cottages in Scotland permitting smoking
Cottages in Scotland welcoming pets

FOR WEST OF SCOTLAND

Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in the West of Scotland
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in Oban
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in Glencoe
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in Fort William
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in the far West of Scotland
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in Appin
Port Appin and Lismore B&Bs
Barcaldine B&Bs and hotels
Duror b&bs
Kentallen b&bs
Ballachulish b&bs
Onich b&bs
How to find cottage owners self catering websites

Thursday, October 14, 2010

VisitScotland should be put into a new network say Liberal Democrats.


According to the Aberdeen Press and Journal, the Liberal Democrats plan for some of Scotland’s biggest quangos to be scrapped and replaced with regional development banks run by business leaders. This would include Visit Scotland the controversial tourist agency.

The Lib Dems said they would replace VS with a new network to stimulate economic growth if the party won the Holyrood election in May.

VS said recently that the earnings from tourism in Scotland have been vastly underestimated so far.

John
Christmas in Glencoe, Scotland

Information about the Glencoe in our Site map
Fort William
Appin is a beautiful area
Bed and breakfast from Oban to Fort William
Walks around our cottage area near Glencoe
Autumn short breaks in cottage
Ben Nevis walking is it worth it
Cottage holidays Scotland off season
The Scottish Highlands
Find holidays anywhere
Wonderful photographs of Glencoe
Hill walks in the area
Munroes in Glencoe
Around Port Appin
Around Barcaldine
Around Lochaber
Around Kentallen
Around Ballachulish
Around Onich

Monday, October 11, 2010

October in Glencoe. Not enough water. Kaykers are strange.

 Gillian and I are here in Glencoe, now, and it is fabulous. The sun is streaming down, well, for to-day anyway, and the colours are in the early days of turning yellow, red, and brown.
We popped down Glen Etive yesterday, to see how the kayakers were getting on. Not all that well, actually, not enough water.
Kayaking is a bit strange when you think about it. When everyone else is gloomy about constant rain the kayakers whoop and head for the falls. They want to go down river, but not far, because they'll have to carry  their canoes on their backs uphill. Ideally they want a road nearby where they launch, then they fall down a few hundreds yards, and they want the road to be there again, preferably with a van on it containing their mother who has done nothing else except sit in it hoping they haven't broken their backs. Mothers are a bit like that.
Odd


It is our day for finding the little things wrong in the cottage, and sorting them out. Got to switch over tv to digital, next week, I think, got to buy a new back door, and get a gate built, light bulb, heater element for bathroom - the really big things. Luckily, Michelle's Dad has done some painting for us, and husband John has fixed the outside light at the back.
Funny thing. If we were living here ourselves these jobs would not get done for months. but because we have guests staying they all have to be done instantly.
The joys of self catering, but we just need to look in the visitors book comments to see it is all worth while.
John
Christmas cottage still availabile in Glencoe, Scotland

Information about Glencoe area in our Site map
Fort William
Appin the beautiful country
Accommodation from Oban to fort William
Walks around the Kentallen cottage
Short breaks in Glencoe
Ben Nevis is a slog, but probably worth it
Holidays Scotland in the Autumn, Winter, Spring
The Highlands
Holiday cottages = how to find them
Photographs of Glencoe
Hill walks Glencoe
Munroes around here
Port Appin is lovely
Barcaldine - two top hotels here
Accommodation
Kentallen the hamlet
Ballachulish looks nice these days
Onich -  pity about the main road there

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Walking in Glencoe. Don't bother with the rain. Just do it.



Lovely email from Alistair, thank you A and for permission with the photos. You know, bothering about rain is a townie thing. True visitors don't bother too much about the weather - of course, it can get so awful day after day that you just get fed up. Yes, we've been there too. But look at this story. If you click on the title to this post then you can get Alistair's photos on Flickr, and they are lovely. I honestly do like pics with people in them. 


Hi John,
The weather was wet and wild after the first day, but cleared up towards the end of the week. It is definitely Autumn up there now! We still did plenty of walking and other things though.
While the weather was bad we managed to do the Hidden Valley walk in Glen Coe, the Pap of Glen Coe and then a low level walk up Glen Duror to James of the Glen's house that has now been converted to a bothy. A nice walk with an interesting destination to do on a wet or very windy day as it is nice and sheltered in the trees. On the final day the wind died down a bit and we did Bidean am Bienn which was really good fun.
Also while the wind picked up over the summits we went to the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven to have a go on their high wire and do some ice climbing. The staff there are brilliant, really friendly and offered us 2 for 1 ice climbing lessons after we had gone on their high wire. We drove down Oban to have a look around and do some whisky tasting.
We mostly cooked some cosy meals in for ourselves but had a few nice nights out at the Holly Tree restaurant which served very tasty local food. We also had to go to Fort William for our customary battered haggis and chips supper :-)
Thanks for a great week,
Alistair
Nop, thanks to you and your missus Alistair.


Our new web page needs a link to get Google to see it.


Christmas cottage in Glencoe, Scotland

Masses of information about the area in our Site map
This is about Fort William
Appin is beautiful
B&Bs and hotels from Oban to fort William
Walks around our cottage
Autumn short breaks in glencoe
Ben Nevis walking is a slog, but worth it
Cottage holidays Scotland in the Autumn, Winter, Spring
The highlands of Scotland
Holiday cottages anywhere
Gorgeous photographs of Glencoe
Hill walks in Glencoe
Munroes in Glencoe
Port Appin
Barcaldine
Accommodation in the area
Kentallen
Ballachulish
Onich

Friday, September 24, 2010

At long last...we have a marketing executive at the top of VisitScotland


Guinness Shadow
Originally uploaded by Steffe
From Guiness to VisitScotland - a good move at last by the country's tourist body. Malcom Roughbead, the marketing director has been promoted to Chief Executive.
The organisation has been in turmoil for a few years - there have been petitions to parliament about its website, questions asked about its strategy. Members have left in droves. We never belonged, thank goodness, but we benefit from the advertising operation. In return our one cottage alone produces about £100,000 a year for the Glencoe and Highland economy from visitors.
If you can run Guinness brands world-wide, as Malcolm Roughhead has done then you can run VisitScotland. I know Guiness, and I worked with them at senior level years ago. They have a good marketing operation everywhere around the world.
Already, the first move at VS has been to concentrate a lot of attention on the domestic market for visitors from England and the rest of the UK. Hoorah! That's where the money needs to go. Fish where the fish are, for heaven's sake. More than 80% of our visitors are from the UK, we must, must, must keep them sold.
Well done VS, Congratulations Mr. Roughhead. We don't know each other but since we are both Fellows of the Marketing Society, and of the Institute of Marketing we may well run across each other sometime. Doubt it, though. I can't be bothered to go to their shindigs each year, and I'll bet he doesn't either.
John

Information about the area in our Site map
About Fort William
Appin is gorgeous
B&Bs Oban to Fort William
October short breaks in Glencoe
Cottage holidays off peak Autumn, Winter, Spring
BEst way to find holiday cottages anywhere
Glencoe photographs
Walks around our cottage area in Glencoe
Hill walks in Glencoe
You can walk up Ben Nevis one day?
Munroes around Glencoe
Port Appin
Barcaldine
Accommodation in the area
Kentallen
Ballachulish
Onich
Short breaks in Scotland, Last minute cottage holidays Scotland, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Weather month by month Scotland summer
Weather month by month Scotland Autumn
Weather in Scotland Winter, month by month
Misunderstandings about Scotland's weather
Scotland's rain
Advice on driving in Scotland. Several Scotland driving pages are linked to this.
Honeymoon cottages in Scotland
Scotland for Christmas and New Year
The unofficial Scottish tourist Board
Cottages in Scotland permitting smoking
Cottages in Scotland welcoming pets

Saturday, September 18, 2010

To-day Fort William won the Camanachd Cup, for the 4th time in a row


Shaking hands after the game - not true, I made this up
Originally uploaded by ufopilot



To-day Fort William won the Camanachd Cup for the 4th time in a row at Inverness. This is shinty we are talking about - this cup is the tops, the absolute tops in the sport. I'm telling you this, because a key player in the forward line of the Fort William team is John MacDonald, the husband of Michelle, our housekeeper.

John is the nicest, gentlest, softest sort of chap you could meet, unfailingly polite, always helpful. Except on a shinty pitch.

The game of shinty is older than the recorded history of Scotland. Christianity came after shinty and it is reputed that St Columba tried to pacify the players without success so he turned his attention to a lesser target, the Vikings.

Shinty is based roughly on hockey but with a lot of blood added. You can whack the opponents head, er sorry, ball, with either side of the stick. The hockey stick is kept below waist height but in shinty it was found that you can't do enough damage that way so they let you, indeed encourage you, to hit the ball in the air.

To start the game they throw the ball in the air and hit it. If the referee is English they throw him instead.

The game is absolutely splendid to watch, and we are very proud to know John. They have won it four years in a row, and it gets harder every year. Everyone, without exception are after Fort William. They don't win everything in the League, but they do go for this Cup, big time.

Well done, really good result. Could you do it a bit earlier than the last minute another time please lads?

John


Masses of information about Glencoe in our Home page
About Fort William
Hotels and B+Bs from Oban to Fort William
Walks around our Glencoe cottage beside the loch
Autumn short breaks in cottage, £200 off
Ben Nevis walking, a slog, but at least you can say you've done it

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jan Hamilton's pictures around Kentallen are lovely

This is a lovely photograph of our group of 4 terraced cottages at Kentallen. Ours is the 2nd from the right, one of the white ones. It was amongst a group of lovely photographs of the area taken by Jan Hamilton of Duror, our nearby little village. Jan took them for the new website for the Duror community and this link to to the Arts and Crafts page is where she is mentioned with her telephone number.

Thank you Jan for permission to reproduce it, we have put a small version of it on our Home page of the website

John
Cottage holidays Scotland in the Autumn, Winter, Spring
B&Bs and hotels in the West of Scotland
The highlands of Scotland
Holiday cottages anywhere
Gorgeous photographs of Glencoe
Beautiful Appin, Scotland
Walks around our cottage area in Glencoe
Hill walks in Glencoe
You can walk up Ben Nevis one day?
Munroes in Glencoe
Port Appin
Barcaldine
Accommodation in the area
Kentallen
Ballachulish
Onich

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Glencoe Mountain ski resort set to go great guns again this Winter



There is no doubt about the enthusiasm and energy of the new Glencoe Mountain team - the ski resort in Glencoe. These are the winter/summer views. It is tremendous fun there.

They have turned themselves into what is called a Commnity Interest Company. This is a normal trading company but it is created for the benefit of the community and not for private advantage. It ends up belonging to the community. It might make it easier to attract financial support to upgrade the facilities. It already has the total support of the community in Glencoe - they keep us all involved as well.

The first move that the CIC has made is to cap the prices of season tickets at the same price as last year. Early bird season pass prices (Those bought before 30th Nov) are £250 for an Adult season pass & £125 for a junior season pass. Discounted season passes for local children are also available at only £75.

Here is a nice touch though. An example of how the community interest works. They have given us, and others, a set of vouchers so that we and our guests can get 20% off the chairlifts when we use the facilities.

That is the CIC working in practice. Good luck to you Andy, and your team. It is going great guns.

John
Holidays Scotland in the Autumn, Winter, Spring
B&Bs the West of Scotland, Oban, fort William, Glencoe
The west highlands of Scotland
Find your holiday cottage anywhere
Wonderful photographs of Glencoe
Appin, West Scotland
Walks in Glencoe
Hill walks in Glencoe
Do Ben Nevis, we dare you
Munroes in Glencoe
Port Appin, West coast
Barcaldine, West Coast
Accommodation in the area
Kentallen West coast
Ballachulish West coast
Onich West coast





Monday, September 06, 2010

£100 off pretty lochside cottage September, £50 off October


We have the last weeks of September available at the moment, and some weeks in October, so we have made price reductions. Email lochsidecottage@yahoo.co.uk   or click on the headline to this post and you will go through to our website. Lovely email from Hilary.
Hi John
We had a lovely time in Scotland, the cottage was great and in such a good position for exploring.  I wrote a detailed account in the feedback book. Thank you for thinking about just about everything - we borrowed a couple of wet weather items but generally the weather was really good - with 3 days full of sunshine , even had to get the suncream out on one day. Jim got bitten by midges but the boys and I remained unscathed.    Highlight of the week was the trip to the isles of Eigg and Muck with Arisaig ferries. We had brief sightings of porpoises and seals but we had a glorious 3 hours on a lovely beach at Muck shared with cows and surrounded by sheep and horses. Wonderful weather as predicted.  We then drove along the coast road to look at the white sandy beaches at Morar and had a fish supper at Mallaig before the drive back to the house. I took a million photos- quite a few of Castle Stalker in different lights.  The scenery was beautiful.  We were lucky to have a couple of baby red deer pop out of the bushes when driving back  from  Appin on one day. Would definitely like to return, lots more to see.  Good to talk with you.
Cheers Hilary

Emails from families like Hilary's keep us going. Thank you.

Cottage breaks in the Autumn, Winter, Spring
West of Scotland hotels and B+Bs
Holiday stories of Scotland
Finding good holiday cottages in Scotland
The best photographs of Glencoe
Appin, achingly beautiful
Walks in Glencoe
Hill walks Glencoe area
Ben Nevis
Munroes in Lochaber

Thursday, September 02, 2010

You can get to Staffa and Iona from our cottage in Appin. Ask Nathalie.


Dear John and Gillian. The sun was shining almost every day! It was just fantastic. We even had the sun shining on our boat trip to the Isle of Staffa and Iona. That was my personal highlight of the holiday for we saw both basking sharks and dolphins on our way to Staffa. The island itself is so beautiful and kind of...scary, dont you think? My mother loved the Isle of Iona, especially the white beach. She also fell in love with Oban and our trips to that town were really really fun. We walked very much and visited both Fort William and Inverness and it was really great. Two weeks are way to little time to see everything we wanted to see but we both want to go back as soon as possible.            Nathalie and Beate




Monday, August 23, 2010

British people. The prime target market for Scotland's tourism


Bit by bit, VisitScotland, the quango which handles tourism for the country, is getting its act together under new management.

They’ve just released some data from market research which shows who visits Scotland on holiday from our own land. Now this is better than the stuff they usually concentrate on, getting Australians back, and attracting Americans.

The old VisitScotland management liked all the junkets in New York too much for my liking. No one said anything about the UK visitors a year ago. Yet the UK accounts for 80% of all the visitors to Scotland.

They have identified several market segments for visitors to Scotland. In the way it has been published it is almost impossible to do anything with the data. Additionally it is four years old!

Anyway, here is a short summary. Warm Affluent southerners, as they call the prime market segment. Mostly professionals, average age 49, they like outdoor activities, and have some kind of relationship with Scotland already, through family or University. They’ve got the most dosh to spend and they use Bed and breakfast and self catering.

Young domestic explorers is the next group, aged 25-45, either couples, singles, or young families. They book at short notice very often. They come from the North of England or Scotland. Rather low on disposable income but high on internet bookings.

Next are the Mature devotees. Often retired, they prefer hotels and Bed and Breakfast and go touring a lot. Usually from the North of England and Scotland, they look for offers but tend not to use the internet.

The 4th group is called Affluent active devotees, those people who are fairly energetic, in their middle years. They like the outdoors, good restaurants, and stay in hotels.

VisitScotland has also identified a couple of what they call “cold” market segments, not so good for Scotland.

These are; Southern travel Junkies, average age 45, who take most of their holidays abroad. They don’t like Scotland too much. The final group is Northern Sometimes. They keep fit, use gyms, are image conscious, not good for Scotland.

Our experience in Bayview cottage.

We have had about 200 families stay with us. All kinds, all shapes, all sizes they’ve been, and all nice bar two. We’ve made some very good friends.

Most of them, 80%, are British, with about of these 20% coming from Scotland, particularly for short breaks off season. Professional people have been very prominent, the biggest concentration of guests. They split into, families with youngsters in their teens, couples, young and middle aged, then families with little ones,

We know what they like to do on holiday, and we know how they find our cottage on the internet. We ask them, they tell us.

They do love the place, even if it rains. But they much prefer it if it is sunnier, obviously. They like the local facilities, the meals out and have no complaints about the amenities. I have not heard one complaint about a restaurant, for example. Well, I did have a couple about an expensive restaurant which closed down.

Our website receives a very large number of visitors each year, one of the biggest in the area. Many are looking for information about Glencoe not necessarily for accommodation.

We have only one cottage to let. So the visitors looking for accommodation are disappointed with us because either we are full up every week except the off peak season, or else they are looking for short term lets, on odd days of the week, and we cannot do that.

Sorry, folks, for late bookings, and short breaks in the peak season you need the big self catering complexes.

Some of these that I know of personally in the area are:
6 cottages above Onich, with wonderful views
A large complex of cottages and chalets on the shore at Onich
Loch Leven Chalets on the shore side
Different cottages owned by the Clachaig

John
Here are some other links
Different holiday cottages around Scotland in the Autumn, Winter, Spring
Bed and breakfast and hotels around our area Lochaber and Lorne
Find Holiday cottages anywhere
Wonderful photographs of Glencoe
Appin one of the glories of Scotland
Walks, 20 of them in Glencoe
Walking hills in Glencoe
Walk Ben Nevis one day?
Munroes mountains in Glencoe

Friday, August 13, 2010

Visitor numbers up in the Western Isles


According to the BBC, visitor numbers throughout the Western Isles are up by between 25% and 40% on the same time last year
Apparently the Scottish government's road equivalent tariff (RET) scheme, which offers lower ferry fares, has been a factor. The scheme was launched on Western Isles routes in 2008.
The subject of Island fares charged by Calmac has been the subject of local outrage for years. Oban has always been a main focus for grumbles. The cost of living on one of the Islands is horrendous, and all services from the mainland are very expensive. Imagine getting building work or contracting from the mainland if you live on Barra. Calmac do have a difficult job in profitably maintaining safe and up to date ships for traffic that peaks for just three months of the year.
But the tourists expect to pay the normal sort of holiday charges, and the accommodation providers are squeezed hard to cover costs.
So it just shows that when the ferry costs are reduced then this works for tourists.

The cost of services is a general problem in the Highlands as a whole. We may grumble about paying 32p for a 2nd class stamp, but this is based upon delivering letters to Birmingham. Can you imagine the costs of delivering even to Ardnamurchan? Or to Glencoe come to that? That is the hang up about privatising the Post Office. Whoever takes it on will be forced to charge the same rate for delivering everywhere. If they are allowed to charge differential rates then expect postal charges in the Highlands to go up to £1 for a 2nd class stamp. Ouch!

John
Local accommodation around our area
Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
Short breaks in Scotland, Last minute cottage holidays Scotland, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in the West of Scotland
Travellers Tales from the highlands of Scotland
Find your ideal holiday cottage anywhere
The most beautiful photographs of Glencoe
The achingly beautiful area of Appin, Scotland
20 brilliant walks around our cottage area
Easy hill walks in Glencoe
Why not walk up Ben Nevis one day?
Easier Munroe walks in Glencoe
Port Appin and Lismore B&Bs
Barcaldine B&Bs and hotels
Duror b&bs
Kentallen b&bs
Ballachulish b&bs
Onich b&bs

Thursday, August 05, 2010

People sometimes drive too far in Scotland, and exhaust themselves


This is the climbing wall in the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven. Good for a rainy day just to go, have coffee and watch. Also they serve food very late in the evening, - no they don't anymore, I've just checked. Why do places need chefs to be on duty for a late snack? Microwave baked potatoes sound all right to me and even I can do that. 


We do get guests from Europe who find us by searching around the websites. They are all really nice. They tend to do too much driving very often. Petar and Jurgen did the right thing in staying in Skye. It is too far to go there and back in a day.  People do it, though. We always advise against it.

Advice on driving in Scotland. Several Scotland driving pages are linked to this

Hallo John,
We had wonderful holiday in Glencoe. The weather was not so bad. Sun and rain change very quickly, sometime it was very warm. 
Now we are on the Isle of Skye for one week and then we want to go for one week to Inverness and Loch Ness. 
The cottage was o.k. for us and we say thank you. 
Petar und J├╝rgen


John
Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
Short breaks in Scotland, Last minute cottage holidays Scotland, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in the West of Scotland
Travellers Tales from the highlands of Scotland
Find your ideal holiday cottage anywhere
The most beautiful photographs of Glencoe
The achingly beautiful area of Appin, Scotland
20 brilliant walks around our cottage area
Easy hill walks in Glencoe
Why not walk up Ben Nevis one day?
Easier Munroe walks in Glencoe

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

FISHING AROUND GLENCOE MONSTER LANDED BY 13year old GIRL

Fishing off the old pier by tghe Stone holuse, Kentallen, Appin

Fishing story Glencoe, fishing Oban,  fishing West coast of Scotland,  fishing Loch Linnhe,  fishing Firth of Lornbe, fishing Mull
Eat your heart out fishermen of Glencoe. Bet you've never caught anything like this.

A 13-YEAR-OLD girl has landed a monster skate weighing 225.5lb on a charter boat from Oban – one of the largest caught by rod and line.

Fishing story Glencoe, fishing Oban,  fishing West coast of Scotland,  fishing Loch Linnhe,  fishing Firth of Lornbe, fishing Mull
Erin Cherry, who was on holiday with her family from Lennoxtown, near Glasgow, was fishing from the Gannet in the Firth of Lorn between eastern Mull and Easdale when she hooked the huge fish.

The female skate, caught using mackerel as bait on June 19, measured 91in from its snout to the tip of its tail and 70in across at its widest point. It was caught at a depth of 425ft.

Fishing story Glencoe, fishing Oban,  fishing West coast of Scotland,  fishing Loch Linnhe,  fishing Firth of Lornbe, fishing Mull
Adrian Lauder, owner of the Gannet, who comes from Barcaldine in Appin said: “She was very young to land a thing that size, 235lb is the biggest ever landed by a rod and line".

“I was telling her to let it run when it needed to, I didn’t want her to tire herself out. It was a good two-and-a-half hours she did landing it.

“The poor wee soul was exhausted, she staggered off the boat. Her legs must have been like rubber. Any well-built man would be doing well to land a thing that size. The pressure they put on the line, it’s like fighting a grand piano down there.”

Fishing story Glencoe, fishing Oban,  fishing West coast of Scotland,  fishing Loch Linnhe,  fishing Firth of Lornbe, fishing Mull
Erin said: “I knew it was going to be a real big fish by the tug and the gear I had to use as I’ve never used a harness to catch a fish before.

“Reeling it in was the best bit. When I saw the skate I thought, wow.

“It would be better to have more girls take up fishing,” she added.
Fishing story Glencoe, fishing Oban,  fishing West coast of Scotland,  fishing Loch Linnhe,  fishing Firth of Lornbe, fishing Mull
Mr Lauder has submitted all the information about the skate, which was released back to sea, to the Scottish Shark Tagging Programme and the Scottish Sea Anglers Conservation Network scheme

John
Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
Short breaks in Scotland, Last minute cottage holidays Scotland, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Holiday accommodation, B&Bs, hotels in the West of Scotland
Travellers Tales from the highlands of Scotland
Find your ideal holiday cottage anywhere
The most beautiful photographs of Glencoe
The achingly beautiful area of Appin, Scotland
20 brilliant walks around our cottage area
Easy hill walks in Glencoe
Why not walk up Ben Nevis one day?
Easier Munroe walks in Glencoe
 
Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Short Breaks Glencoe
  • Stories about Appin villages blog