Which Cottage News

The town of Peebles is just half a mile away from Neidpath Castle Cottage has become the centre of the mountain biking world. However, a mountain bike is not compulsory for a stay in the Cottage. There’s an abundance of coffee shops and great places to eat, a multitude of border towns ready and waiting for you to visit, and, for first-time visitors to Scotland, and a mere forty five minutes away, the fabulous Scottish capital beckons with sightseeing, shopping, visiting galleries, museums and theatres and the world-famous Edinburgh Festival.

The lovely Neidpath Cottage is adjacent to the castle and overlooks the River Tweed below, itself a must for anglers. With three bedrooms, (1 double, 1 twin, 1 single plus pull out bed), 5 (+1) can be accommodated in comfort.

The cottage was once used as the kitchens for the castle after Cromwell destroyed the original one. It features a lovely light-filled sitting room with open log fire and a fully-fitted kitchen large enough to sit in, complete with fully equipped work. There’s a BBQ and seating for 6 outside. And worse-case scenario for those who can’t separate themselves from their social network, complimentary wi-fi is available throughout the cottage.

And if you have a well-behaved dog, bring it along!

Kayaking, archery, quad-biking, horse riding and falconry are among the many activities that can be arranged, with walking, beautiful gardens and of course shopping for the less active.

Should you want a magnificent, rustic Scottish view from your balcony that stretches across rolling countryside, then Strathlachlan Lodge is where you need to take your next holiday cottage! This detached and spacious property sits in its own mature grounds in the hamlet of Strathlachlan on the banks of Loch Fyne.

Everywhere you look, you’ll see the iconic glens, ancient woodlands and lochs that grace posters of and postcards from Scotland.

This recently refurbished property sleeps 6 (3 bedrooms -1 double, 2 twin) ‘plus 2 on sofa bed’, and has all the mod cons you could possibly need while away from home – a large living room with log burning fire, sitting-room with sofa bed, fully-furnished throughout, patio doors onto the terrace with a magnificent valley view, a large garden (furniture, BBQ and midge eater), and large, fully-equipped country style kitchen. And for those who want, TV, Satellite, DVD and PS3, plus a selection of books and board games.

When you’re ready to take to the great outdoors, there’s sea and fresh water fishing, sailing boating and canoeing (also cycling – you can borrow bikes form the Lodge). Needless to say plenty of and hills and mountains for walkers and climbers. And golfers are also well looked after. Or just relax and lazily enjoy the abundance of wildlife as the animals and birds go about their business

For day trips, it’s easy to reach Loch Lomond, Oban, Glen Coe and Fort William. Closer by are Inveraray and Tignabruich, and there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy fresh, local produce in the pubs, cafes and restaurants dotted around, as well as take in some local, independent and very friendly retail therapy.

Maggie’s Croft is the home from home in the peaceful and tranquil Strathnaver. Magnificent scenery covered with trees and wonderful vegetation, home to an abundance of wildlife – including Golden Eagles – is the perfect return to nature craved for by city-dwellers everywhere!

And you don’t even have to leave the Croft’s spacious grounds to spot and hear the myriad of bird species that visit.

The property sleeps seven in four bedrooms (super king size, king size, twin and single), with two bathrooms. It also has a very comfortable lounge (plus great views over the Scottish countryside), with traditional wood-burning stove, fully-fitted kitchen and plenty of leisure accessories (TV, DVD plus library, books and games) to keep even the most active busy.

For the keen walker, there is everything from a gentle walk in the country or along the banks of the famous River Naver, to a trek over the wonderful nearby hills. There is also the Strathnaver Trail which follows archaeological sites as well as the miles of unspoilt beaches at the nearby village of Bettyhill.

Surfing, sea kayaking, sailing and fishing are very popular sports in the area, or perhaps one of the three nearby golf course might take your interest, and for those with their eye on the shops, a relaxed meal or a choice of bars, the town of Thurso is a leisurely hour’s drive from Strathnaver, although there are plenty of smaller hotels and traditional inns in between.

Peace and tranquillity or fun and frolics – the choice is yours! Dashwood House has it all. With room for 10 (4 doubles and 1 bunk beds) and home-from-home facilities ranging from a fully-fitted kitchen to all the home technology you can handle, this beautiful holiday home, set in idyllic surroundings just a stone’s throw from the Galloway Hills gateway market town of Newton Stewart, is the ideal holiday base.

Walkers, cyclists, anglers, golfers (10 courses including 2 championship nearby), shoppers, diners, cinema goers, photographers, fitness and water sports fanatics, and even those who’d rather just lay about, will be simply spoilt for choice.

Did you know that nearby Galloway Forest has the only park in the UK with Dark Skies status for an unequalled view into the heavens at night? And that iconic horror-film The Wicker man was filmed almost in its entirety around the town? And that Scotland’s “town of books”, Wigtown, said to offer a choice of over a quarter of a million books, is just a short drive up the road?

The pet-friendly house itself is the epitome of town centre convenience combined with the peace and tranquillity of the countryside, from the large garden and lawn (sports equipment available to use), to the private courtyard area for BBQs, the spacious dining kitchen, to the snug where the kids can sneak away to pursue their gaming or on-line social activities (wi-fi throughout the house is included).

And the town is only a two-minute stroll away if you can’t manage without your newspaper!

The design of the house, with its mid-landing separation, makes it ideal for two families to share.

Why add the stress of flying abroad to your honeymoon when there are some stunning honeymoon properties in Scotland. Just imagine no flight delays, just hop in a car or catch a train and arrive at your destination – all stress free!

On the West Coast of Scotland, The Green House is a beautifully designed hideaway for two, perched in a large highlandgarden at Glenelg. With its uninterrupted views over the sea to the Isle of Skye it is an ideal retreat.

From the property you can enjoy a variety of activities from climbing, walking, cycling and fishing to name but a few. All these can be organised locally (and many others too). The owners can organise bespoke adventures at sea allowing you to explore the stretch of coast, anywhere from Ardnamurchan to Applecross, from Kinloch Hourn to the Island of Rhum and include famous pubs, restaurants and hotels, for lunch, dinner or drinks or visit secret beaches, bays and islands for BBQs and picnics. Enjoy the local wildlife with porpoises, seals, basking sharks, dolphins, humpbacks, minke whales, sea-eagles and otters.

Alternatively just relax and read a book on the big deck, hot tub and BBQ heating up, on a warm, sunny evening, a stone’s throw from the sea, a big G&T at your side – you won’t want to leave this paradise.

Another ideal honeymoon destination is Croft 103. This 5 star self catering cottage has stunning open views over Loch Eriboll and the mountains. The property has been created with style and vision combining both traditional and contemporary. Nothing at Croft 103 is off the shelf – from the door handles to the 7ft bed almost everything is handcrafted!

Croft 103 is carbon negative producing more energy than is used through wind and solar generation. Outside the property, the patio has been protected and hand finished in Caithness stone, an ideal place to relax and unwind and enjoy a glass of wine! But to top it all, there is an outside solar tub – the water is piping hot and completely heated from solar power. Just imagine sitting in a deep, piping hot bath, on the loch, secluded under the stars with a glass of bubbly. Sometimes on a clear dark night you can see an Aurora Borealis.

Please be prepared as you will never want to leave! This is a perfect place to stay for a very special break – romance is key at Croft 103!

Often know as the Enchanted Island, Colonsay is one of the most beautiful Hebridean islands. It is small in size yet has a great variety from ancient and cultivated woodlands to peat bogs and raised beaches and tidal flats. The island of Colonsay is situated west of Oban between Mull and Islay and is accessible by ferry. It has outstanding views across the sound of Jura.
Colonsay is known for its white sandy beaches on both coasts with its perfect coves that are ideal for swimming. You might even spot seals and otters on the offshore reefs. The birdlife is also extensive from the magnificent golden eagle and peregrine falcons to the corncrake.

Colonsay also has a unique rough golf course which is cropped by cattle and sheep so challenging and fun at the same time! There is freshwater fishing on an inland loch and excellent sailing and kayaking. Despite the small size of this beautiful island, there is a book shop/publishing house and a brewery on the island. The shop is excellent and should you want the chance to let someone else do the cooking, there is a tea shop and a stylish hotel and restaurant.

The neighbouring island of Oransay is worth a visit. It is linked by a tidal causeway. There you can explore the ancient priory. This is also the location of some of the best oysters.

The pace of life is delightfully slow and  a paradise for cyclists, including children, as there is very little traffic and drivers are very careful of those on two wheels! Have a look at an ideal self-catering property on Colonsay and see if you can’t be tempted!

Glenelg village is a collection of largely white-painted properties set around Glenelg Bay which has stunning views west across the Kyle Rhea to the mountains of eastern Skye. Glenelg has long been the gateway to Skye until the road from Inverness reached Kyle of Lochalsh in 1819. Today there is still a seasonal Glenelg ferry that carries a few cars across the water. The local area is reknowned for its spectacular scenery from Loch Hourn and Britain’s last great wilderness Knoydart, to the legendary hikers’ challenge of the Five Sisters of Kintail.

Glenelg itself has the beautiful The Glenelg Inn which serves delicious food, and stunning accommodation. There is also a shop and post office in the village. Any budding historians will enjoy a visit to the Bernera Barracks, just to the north of Glenelg. They were built in the aftermath of the 1715 Jacobite uprising the Government and were completed in 1723. The barracks can be viewed at reasonably close quarters, but are fenced off for safety reasons.

If you want to explore Glenelg and the surrounding area for longer, have look at Creagan Mhor, an outstanding self-catering property just a mile from the village of Glenelg. This renovated church manse stands proudly at the top of the Sound of Sleite The house looks down the Sound with breathtaking views of Skye, Gavin Maxwell’s Sandaig, Eigg, Rhum and Ardnamurchan point. There are outstanding vistas from every window in the property. Set in nearly an acre of garden, there is a path that leads you straight onto the beach where you have the chance of spotting dolphins, porpoises, seals and even golden eagles.

Merry Christmas to all of you from WhichCottage.com. We hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy the festive cheer with family and friends.

As a Christmas gift, we’re offering FREE advertising for all holiday cottage owners on our brand new, bespoke late availability cottage site Late-availability-cottages.com. This site is dedicated solely to last minute cottages across the UK.

This promotion ends today so be sure to take advantage of it – just enter code xmasspecial at the sign up page to secure your free advertising!

Merry Christmas!

The WhichCottage.com team

We have an exclusive offer available to holiday cottage owners – free advertising on late-availability-cottages.com, our newest project dedicated exclusively to late availability cottages throughout the UK.

The site is dedicated only to last minute self-catering holiday deals – the search function allows holiday-makers to find the property and location they want at the click of a button.

Owners on the site are able to set a number of variables including discount, whether pets are allowed, number of bedrooms, broadband and many more to make the listing as attractive as possible.

Until Christmas day, holiday cottage owners can list their properties on the site FREE of charge, increasing their exposure and connecting them directly with relevant users. Merry Christmas!

Winter’s here, and that means the temperature has plummeted! Home owners and businesses are always being given advice on keeping their properties in top condition over winter and avoiding any disasters. For holiday cottage owners, this advice is just as important; a burst pipe can cause months of missed bookings and loss of earnings – can you afford for this to happen?

Follow these five tips to help ensure your holiday cottage will emerge from the winter in top shape:

  • Protect against frost: frozen pipes can burst and expel water throughout the building, ruining its structural integrity and making significant repairs unavoidable. Maintain the heating at a low temperature when your property is vacant to keep the pipes from freezing. If you do discover a frozen pipe, the safest method to thaw it out is with hot water – simply wrap a towel round the pipe and pour over hot water, using a bucket to catch the run-off.
  • Prune high trees: winter winds can quickly fell a tree, which can cause structural damage. Prune the biggest trees yourself, or hire a tree surgeon, to prevent this happening. Also remove damaged or broken branches as these can easily snap off and be carried by the wind. Be especially careful if using a chainsaw.
  • Inspect roof tiles: broken or damaged water tiles can let water enter the roof, leading to a range of problems including mould. Loose tiles are also at risk of being blown off, causing damage to property and creating a hazard for people standing nearby.
  • Clear drains: clogged drains can fill with water and overflow, particularly when the rains get heavier. Clear all drains of leaves and debris and ensure drainage systems are operating efficiently.
  • Plug any leaks: check all appliances for leaks and plug them – in unattended properties water can pool and cause mould and fungus which can eat into wood and also make the home smell, hardly a selling point when it comes to bookings.

Good luck keeping your property secure over winter! If you own a holiday cottage and are looking for bookings over the festive season, log onto our new website Late-availability-cottages.com, a site exclusively dedicated to last minute cottage rentals. Cottage owners are able to list their properties, and offer a discount where applicable, while holiday-makers can use the simple and powerful search functionality to find a perfect break in the UK.