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!

104867336_10157490189028660_7251243192773656403_n

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!

1

Posted by: tireecottage | June 25, 2020

Covid Update 25th June 2020

** COVID19 Update 25.06.20 – Following closure since 23 March due to the global health pandemic, the Scottish Government has now announced that it will be safe for Self Catering units to re-open on 3rd July ahead of Tourism and Leisure re-opening on Wednesday 15th July 2020 (subject to health advice). It means we can now thankfully plan a structured and careful re-opening of our business.  For islands like Tiree, it’s a little more complicated as travel restrictions need to be lifted too. An announcement is expected from Calmac on 30th June. The current situation is:

  • With immediate effect, we’re now taking NEW BOOKINGS for 2020 again, though first available date for is 17th October 2020. Bookings for 2021 remain open as usual.
  • This finally provides certainty for EXISTING BOOKINGS for the coming month meaning existing bookings prior to 3rd July 2020 are now unfortunately cancelled. We’re be in contact with those customers in the coming days either moving their holidays to alternative dates or issuing refunds. As promised all throughout this crisis, no customer of ours will lose out financially.
  • Struthan Cottage will RE-OPEN again on Saturday 4th July 2020 with all existing bookings from that date going forward operating as normal. Amendments to our cleaning regimes will be in effect.
  • Ferry travel is still a concern. Calmac are expected to announce a new timetable on 30th June which will still have reduced capacity. Another timetable will ramp up the number of sailings on 15th July. Customers are reminded they are responsible for their own TRAVEL PLANS and should be mindful of any possible Calmac and Loganair restrictions. There will be an expectation to arrive and leave the cottage on Saturdays, regardless of when you can get ferries booked. It is hoped social distancing measures may be reduced soon allowing more capacity on ferries. Thank you for your patience, loyalty and understanding during what’s been some challenging times.
Posted by: tireecottage | June 10, 2020

We’re Re-opening in August!

** COVID19 Update 10.06.20 – Following closure since 23 March due to the global health pandemic, the Scottish Government has now announced that it will be safe for Tourism and Leisure to re-open from Wednesday 15th July 2020 (subject to health advice). It means we can now thankfully plan a structured and careful re-opening of our business.  For islands like Tiree, it’s a little more complicated as travel restrictions need to be lifted too. An announcement is expected from Calmac during June. The current situation is:

  • With immediate effect, we’re now taking NEW BOOKINGS for 2020 again, though first available date for is 26th September. Bookings for 2021 remain open as usual. New bookings must contain members of the same household.
  • This finally provides some certainty for EXISTING BOOKINGS for the coming month meaning existing bookings prior to 15th July 2020 are now unfortunately cancelled. We’re be in contact with those customers in the coming days either moving their holidays to alternative dates or issuing refunds. As promises all throughout this crisis, no customer of ours will lose out financially.
  • Struthan Cottage will RE-OPEN again on Saturday 1st August 2020 with all existing bookings from that date going forward operating as normal. Amendments to our cleaning regimes will be in effect. We’ve chosen this date carefully to give us time to ensure the cottage remains at the high standard you expect and to give further time for the island community to readjust to tourists and visitors again.
  • Customers are reminded they are responsible for their own TRAVEL PLANS and should be mindful of any possible Calmac and Loganair restrictions
  • Thank you for your patience, loyalty and understanding during what’s been some challenging times.
Posted by: tireecottage | May 30, 2020

Update 31st May 2020

** COVID19 Update 31.05.20 – Due to the global health pandemic, as with all holiday lets, our successful self catering business has been significantly impacted by the mandatory temporary holiday cottage closures and subsequent travel restrictions imposed by the Scottish Government. The situation evolving beyond our control. 

We’re only taking booking for September 2020 onwards and for 2021. Existing bookings for 2020 are being reviewed frequently, 6 weeks in advance and will follow advice given by the Scottish Government and Calmac. We’ve contacted all our customers right up to mid July, advising of cancellation, rebooking, or to provide assistance with requirements for their travel insurance. It is still hoped that tourism can recommence in Summer 2020, but this will be dependent upon the Governments advice. Please be patient and understanding at this difficult time.

Bookings for 2021 are currently unaffected. You can see which 2020 bookings are so far cancelled here

Posted by: tireecottage | March 31, 2020

Covid19 Update

** COVID19 Update 22.03.20 – Due to the global health pandemic, as with all holiday lets, our long established, successful self catering business has been significantly impacted by the mandatory temporary holiday cottage closures and subsequent travel restrictionsimposed by the Scottish Government. This is a worrying time for our customers and ourselves, the situation evolving beyond our control.

No further bookings for 2020 are being taken until further notice, though you can still book for 2021.

Existing bookings for 2020 are being reviewed frequently, 6 weeks in advance and confirming to official government news.

We’re in the process of contacting all our customers 6 weeks ahead of their booking to advise of cancellation, rebooking, or provide assistance with requirements for their travel insurance. We’re trying very hard to ensure none of our customers lose out financially, even though government aid for Scottish self catering businesses looks uncertain at present. Please be patient and understanding at this difficult time. Bookings for 2021 are currently unaffected.

You can see which 2020 bookings are so far cancelled here

Posted by: tireecottage | March 22, 2020

Coronavirus Update – Cancellations

Following the National news today from Nicola Sturgeon, now asking for holiday cottage closures all over Scotland and further restrictions on Calmac travel, we regrettably but understandably have decided to temporarily close, cancelling bookings until further notice. Actually we made the decision last night.

We will never put profit before the health of people on Tiree or our guests. We have already made arrangements to close down the cottage with immediate effect, taking the opportunity to deep clean.

We have this morning already contacted all our immediate guests travelling before 9th May 2020 and discussed their bookings and re-bookings for 2021.

We’re looking to ensure our customers can be moved and don’t lose out financially where possible and will provide documentation to assist their travel insurance claims.

Bookings from 9th May onwards will be reviewed on a rolling basis until such a time Scottish Government restrictions are lifted and Tiree is deemed safe.

This was shaping to be a record year of bookings for us. The decision will deeply impact our business. The whole travel and tourism industry has been affected, and though some people will be disappointed, we ask for your understanding and patience at this difficult time.

Make no mistake, our business will be back once this global pandemic passes and guests can once again get to visit this beautiful, vibrant island. We’ll post news on our website and on facebook as it impacts us further or as the situation improves. Be safe. Take care of each other.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories