The 15th July saw permission given by the Government for Scottish Tourism to re-open, an important date many businesses like ours was waiting for. Coinciding with additional ferries to the islands, it was time to get back to business, after 4 months of no income, guests or business activity.
Opening the cottage on Saturday 1st August provides the perfect opportunity for us to travel to Tiree and prepare the cottage for guests after it being empty for so long, as well as giving our own family a much-needed holiday.
Heading off from Lanarkshire at 2.30am, the weather was not kind driving up to Oban, though roads were quiet. Those who are used to travelling by ferry with Calmac will see some changes right away, even whilst queueing to board. Scanning printed tickets (pictured), rather than collecting them at the terminal, paying by card only rather than cash are just a few of the new changes. On board, changes are even more apparent, all in relation to social distancing which is at 1m on ferries. Passenger capacity is reduced on each sailing, with rows of three seats each with 2 seats blocked off not in use. It made the ferry feel quiet, not busy even but the car deck bizarrely seemed absolutely full.
With no shops or cafes open on board, it meant taking on board your own food, something we were well organised for with an advance picnic bag and coffee in flasks made in advance. (pictured)
The sailing was fast, stopping at Coll then on to Tiree and we were pleased to see the sun come out and blue sky breaking through. By the time we drove up the pier at Tiree, it was a beautiful day. We’ll be blogging about our time in Tiree over the coming days and posting about the activities we’re attending to for re-opening the full season. Who knows, perhaps even giving you an insight into our own holiday too!
Bookings for Winter 2020 and throughout all of 2021 are open at www.struthancottages.co.uk