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,
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
Accommodation in the area

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.

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
Accommodation in the area
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?


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

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
Accommodation in the area

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.

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   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

Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
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