Posted by: tireecottage | July 22, 2020

Holiday Day 6

Exploring today. The western side of the island walking along the beach at Greenhill and out an evening drive. Jumping off the sand dunes (has to be done whatever your age!) We found a wee nest in the cottage garden with two tiny eggs. Trying not to disturb it, think it’s been abandoned, being so late in the nesting season.

We’ve been so thankful for a holiday and change of scenery and ensuring some quality family time outdoors after some difficult months. We hope all our guests also have a great time when its time for YOUR holiday!

Planning your staycation for 2021? Check our availability here. Give us a call! https://struthancottages.co.uk/rates/

Posted by: tireecottage | July 22, 2020

Getting Back to Business – Day 6

A ‘dreach’, rainy day, this was a day to get things done INSIDE the cottage. Ahead of our planned re-opening on 1st August, we’ve brought up a new 40″ Sharp Smart TV and pleased to say the cottage now has its own Netflix Account! With loads of genres, our guests of all ages will enjoy all the latest films, box sets and programmes! Entirely FREE for guests, at no extra cost.

Tuned into Freeview Play, the TV no longer has 80 channels, but now has over 250 channels, though granted some of these are regional variations. There’s also catch up TV on demand, all working from just the 1 TV remote control. (previously we had 2 which was a “faff and a half!”
With USB ports on the back of the TV, its ready also for anybody wanting to connect a PC or flash pen.

A new Sony DVD player is connected to the TV in the living room and the correct HDMI port (channel) is automatically detected when a DVD is put in. All very user friendly without having to change ‘source’.

Decluttering, the PS3, controllers and all the games, normally in the living room have been moved up to the 2nd twin bedroom, so the kids can enjoy gaming, even if you want to sit and watch TV downstairs. We’ve more excellent technology upgrades coming soon this week.

Posted by: tireecottage | July 21, 2020

Holiday Day 5

A changeable day here at Struthan Cottage with midday definitely seeing the best, beautiful weather. Our daughter was visiting her cousins for a playdate, so we had a ‘child free’ afternoon. As she had the best time playing over on the other side of the island, we had a few drinks outside, omelette and chips and relaxed listening to music. So peaceful, may even have fallen asleep for a while (does that happen often when you get near 50?!)

We’re certainly getting a good mix of maintenance work done and relaxation in this short break. Was good catching up with family on the island today too. Today was a good day.

Booked your staycation yet? Our availability for 2021 is here: https://struthancottages.co.uk/rates/

Posted by: tireecottage | July 21, 2020

Getting Back to Business – Day 5

Onwards with work outside! This morning was about strimming and whitewashing! A dry day, grass strimmed away from the wall and gates (overgrown through lockdown). Tidied up the verges and garden borders and made a start on whitewashing the garden wall and front of the house. The ‘after’ pictures will be posted later in the week once this work is complete. Filled in some holes in the lawns.

Struthan Cottage re-opens to guests and for the rest of the season from Saturday 1st August 2020.

Posted by: tireecottage | July 20, 2020

Getting Back to Business – Day 4

This morning we were continuing to get things “ship shape” ready for guests coming back. A dry day, it was time for work in the garden. Weeding and weedkilling done, removal of dead foliage and shrubs. Pruning done, cutting plants back clear of the doorway, gate and paths. Cobble borders cleaned and replaced, then a trip to the tip.

Lots of small tasks done today, from changing the rusted screws on our sign with shiny stainless steel ones to permanently cementing in some more of the cobble borders.

Struthan Cottage re-opens on Saturday 1st August 2020. Check our remaining availability for 2020 and 2021 here:
www.struthancottages.co.uk

Posted by: tireecottage | July 19, 2020

Holiday Day 3

We have a saying here at Struthan Cottage- “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Today, was such a today. Getting our jackets on this evening, getting out and about and making the most of being on this wonderful island. We had an excellent meal in the Lodge Hotel, (and the first bar pint in 4 months!). Walking off dinner along the beach collecting shells was a fine end to a quiet Sunday.

Changeable evening weather brought great contrasts of dancing colour, with this beautiful rainbow over Crossapol Beach.

Posted by: tireecottage | July 19, 2020

Getting Back to Business – Day 3

Weather has been a bit of a mixed bag today (Sunday), but we still got out to the garden. As well as getting the grass cut and edged, we got out the paintbrush for some timber care. Outdoor tables and benches got a couple of coats of protective varnish. Hopefully making them last a few more years. Inside, the cottage was ‘decluttered’. It was time to say goodbye to the old VHS player and video cassettes!

Maintenance work around Struthan Cottage admittedly was slower today as we continue to get things ready for guests returning in August. www.struthancottages.co.uk

Posted by: tireecottage | July 18, 2020

Holiday Day 2

Of course, we’re not just here to work and get the cottage re-opened. Our family is also using this opportunity for our own much needed summer holiday. A welcome change of scenery and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else other than Struthan Cottage!

We’d normally be arriving on a Saturday, but having arrived a day earlier due to the ferries, we feel we’ve already had an extra day.

This afternoon, the sun came out and although still breezy, we got out and about. Arms and face are tanning already. Our dog ‘Riley’ loving the freedom of being outside on beaches and playing around the garden.

Visited my sister, stocked up at the Co-Op, a walk along Soroby Beach, a home cooked dinner and settling down now for a chilled evening with a few drinks and movies.

More from our working holiday tomorrow. Plan your staycation at Struthan Cottage. See here for more information: www.struthancottages.co.uk

Posted by: tireecottage | July 18, 2020

Getting Back to Business – Day 2

This morning we got to work on the area immediately outside Struthan Cottage in readiness for guests coming back. Whilst the grass around the cottage is relatively short, the carpark area had become overgrown these last 4 months and just enough for one car.

With the sun shining and a dry day ahead, we got the grass cut including the approach verges and (after a hunt for strimmer cable) all the strimming done too. Now we have an area large enough to accommodate 2 parked cars. It’s also looking much tidier.

Planning a 2021 ‘Staycation’? Check our availability and rates here: https://struthancottages.co.uk/rates/

Posted by: tireecottage | July 17, 2020

Getting Back to Business Day 1

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

Posted by: tireecottage | June 26, 2020

Important! Calmac Travel Changes!

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Important Customer Notice! It’s the update we’ve all been waiting for! Calmac have today published the next phase of their timetable – which will be in operation from 1 July – 14 July, including information on the following phase of their timetable (15 July – 18 October), which will be published on 2 July.

It is strongly advised ALL customers existing and considering bookings read through this and see how it fits with YOUR travel plans.

The new timetable for 1 July – 14 July is here:
https://www.calmac.co.uk/oban-coll-tiree-ferry-temporary-timetable
this will have 1 daily sailing from Oban to Tiree on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Bookings will be available for this timetable from 30 June 2020 at 9am. Being at the ferry terminal at least 45 minutes before is important for check in. Late arrivals could miss their place. Due the current Covid-19 situation all the retail outlets on board vessels and at ports will remain closed at this time.

For example:

From 9am on 30 June bookings will open for 1 July – 14 July.
At 9am on 2 July when the next phase of the timetable is published (for period 15 July – 18 October), bookings will be open up to 15 July.
At 9am on 3 July, bookings will be open up to 16 July, and so on.

Capacity

Today’s updated timetable, and the following phase (15 July – 18 October) include more frequent sailings and will increase available capacity for customers right across the network. Calmac are implementing guidelines and safety measures – including social distancing. They’re designed to keep customers and crew safe and they dictate the number of passengers they can carry. Our capacity per vessel is limited because of these safety measures.  An announcement about Social Distancing is to be made by the Scottish Government on Thursday 2nd July, potentially reducing the 2m rule down to 1m. Should this change be implemented, Calmac capacity per vessel will also change. (for the better!)

Customer bookings

This year has been very different to the one many of us might have imagined and the situation for travel continues to be changeable as we prepare for the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Struthan Cottage customers will ALWAYS need to check their travel both outgoing and returning with Calmac in advance of your holiday. Be aware you will require to leave our cottage on your booked departure day, regardless of when your travel is booked, in order for arrival of our next guests.

Existing Ferry Travel Bookings

For those passengers who already have a reservation with Calmac, they are also dealing with those on a rolling two-week basis. Calmac will only make cancellations where they have to, based on capacity.  If your booking is from 15 July onwards, they don’t yet have an update for you. But they WILL be in touch with you in line with the two-week rolling sequence. Those bookings will try to be accommodated and again you will need to confirm your bookings directly with the ferry operator.

Find the full Calmac statement here – along with important customer information on how we they are managing safety measures, vessel capacity and bookings going forward 👉 https://bit.ly/2A9AxQU

Posted by: tireecottage | June 25, 2020

Update: Calmac Ferry Travel

Many of our booked guests are patiently waiting on announcements from Calmac to plan their travel. We have some information to help as follows:

Calmac have announced plans to amend their timetable to coincide with the timings of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown.

Until 30 June Calmac will continue to operate an essential services only timetable on all routes.

From 1 July until 14 July they will operate an increased service. Timetables for this are due to be announced on Friday 26 June, and CalMac will be taking bookings for this service from 9am on Monday 29th June.

The following phase of the timetable will run from 15 July until 17 October which will include a further step up in capacity. This will be published on Calmac’s website on 2 July, and bookings will be available for that timetable from 2 July.

Passenger capacity on all of these services is likely to be severely constrained by Covid-19 social distancing guidance.

Calmac are reminding all prospective passengers to:

Consider your safety and the safety of others by understanding the latest safety guidelines, including the use of face coverings on public transport.

Be responsible when considering travel – your decision to travel could impact someone else’s ability to travel.

When you do travel, plan ahead and be prepared.

When travelling on our bookable routes, we strongly advise you always book ahead.

When travelling on a ‘turn up and go’ route, capacity is constrained, and your first choice of sailing may not be always be available.

Stay in touch – we’ll keep sharing guidance and information on changes to how you sail with us via our website and social media feeds.

Please be aware guests will be responsible for their own travel plans and it is imperative you check your outgoing and return journey dates, as there will be an expectation to leave the cottage on the Saturday mornings in anticipation of the next arrival.

Many thanks for your patience and understanding, we hope you have a safe visit to Tiree and it was worth waiting for!

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