Steading Holiday Cottages

Enjoy the spirit of Ardnamurchan

The Blackening

The Blackening

This unfortunate couple are enduring a ‘Blackening’. An old tradition, which involves capturing the bride and groom before their wedding day, putting them in the back of a pick-up, then parading them in a noisy and merry procession around the village while the locals coat them in flour, treacle, eggs and generally as much unpleasant slop as they can forage from their kitchen. The Blackening is an old tradition found only in some parts of Scotland including the Western Isles, the west coast, and Aberdeenshire. A similar practice is also found in Northern Ireland where it’s called ‘a doing’. Nobody’s quite certain of its origins but it’s thought to perhaps have evolved from an earlier, pre-marital, feet-washing tradition, in which the groom had his feet washed. This evolved into having his feet firstly blackened with soot before being cleaned again. Eventually the blackening part, which let’s be honest is a lot more fun, took over entirely. The washing part has lost its importance somewhat and is now usually an unceremonious hose down at the end. It is also thought that the general clatter and mess is to scare the evil spirits and fairy folk away, preventing them from causing mischief on the wedding day. Many thanks to my lovely sister for the photo and for enduring this weird and wonderful...
Return of the Corncrake

Return of the Corncrake

Sitting down by the shore, enjoying the fading evening light, the stillness and peace of the moment was suddenly broken by the unmistakable ‘krek krek’ of the corncrake, an almost forgotten sound in Kilchoan. These delicate looking, chestnut feathered birds are related to rails; however they live on dry land, enjoying the shelter of high grasses. Due to their secretive choice of habitat they’re rarely seen but are often heard with a rasping call which can by heard up to 1.5k away! Historically they were very common across rural Scotland but suffered massive decline due to changes of agricultural practices in the 20th century. A 1991 conservation programme sought to protect and encourage the population and they have just recently seen some re-emergence. However you’ll only find them in very isolated spots, such as the Hebrides and now western Ardnamurchan, which has a remoteness akin to the Isles. People say corncrakes are ventriloquists. If that’s true we may never know if there’s one distant corncrake calling for a mate, or three very nearby. The calls were later joined by the melancholy hooting of an owl from Meall mo Cridhe. At around 11pm twenty five or thirty deer trotted onto the shore, their silhouettes nimbly and elegantly negotiating the marshes and rock pools. They stood still for a moment when they spotted our campfire then headed on east, the sound of pebbles crunching underhoof. Kilchoan may not be known for its nightlife but sit out on a still evening and you may be surprised just how lively it...
Calmac boat sailings now on sunday to Kilchoan

Calmac boat sailings now on sunday to Kilchoan

Calmac are now running Sunday Sailings from Kilchoan to Tobermory. Great if you are looking for a weekend away from the Isle of Mull. You can rent one of our self catering cottages for a long weekend and enjoy the walks and beaches in Ardnamurchan.  

Where in the Scottish Highlands is Channel 4’s Eden?

Radio Times Where in the Scottish Highlands is Channel 4’s Eden? It turns out paradise is an often wet and windy peninsula on the west coast By Claire Webb Monday 18 July 2016 at 5:45PM Four months ago, Channel 4 marooned 23 strangers in the Highlands. Until March next year, they’ll have no contact with the outside world as they attempt to build a society from scratch. Right now, they have no idea of the outcome of the Brexit referendum or that Britain has a new Prime Minister. Although we asked nicely, Channel 4 are being coy about their whereabouts. Fortunately – unlike their contestants – we have access to the internet, which has revealed that Eden is a 600-acre estate on the Ardnamurchan peninsula in Inverness-shire. This 50-square-mile peninsula is halfway up Scotland’s rugged west coast and home to half a dozen small communities. The nearest village to Eden is Acharacle, which sits on the edge of Loch Shiel and boasts a bakery, hotel and GP surgery. The loch is popular with hikers and naturalists, and it’s easy to see why. The Glenfinnan monument on the shores of Loch Shiel, Ardnamurchan peninsula The contestants are less than five miles away on an uninhabited private estate that the Ministry of Defence used as a training ground during the Second World War. There’s no chance any holidaying hikers will accidentally stumble onto TV because the Highland Council has temporarily revoked the usual “right to roam” access rights. Just in case, a 6ft fence has also been erected on three sides of the estate. The fourth is bordered by the sea – stunning Cul na Croise...

More contestants quit Channel 4’s Eden as boredom, tiredness, hunger and midgies bite

Quote from the Press & Journal The Eden Project A TV series – billed as a unique social experiment to create a new, self-sufficient community in the Scottish wilderness – has seen more than a third of participants quit. Cut off from the outside world, 23 strangers tried to ‘start again’ on Channel 4’s new reality show Eden. However, it would appear the Utopian dream is already in tatters as more than a third of the participants have walked out. Eight of the original group have left the programme, which is based on the Ardnamurchan peninsula in Inverness-shire, including the camp’s two doctors, the paramedic and the fisherman. With no medical professionals left, the mass exodus has called the future of the radical television project – which is set to run until next spring – into question. The gender balance has also been skewed, with only five women left on the show with ten men. However, Channel 4 has rejected any concerns and stated: ‘The health and wellbeing of contributors is closely monitored.’ The show, watched by more than two million people, found itself embroiled in a bullying row last month after the first participant walked out, with comparisons made to William Golding’s celebrated novel Lord Of The Flies. Viewers watched as life coach Tara Zieleman, 34, exited the gated community after she was branded ‘lazy’ by some of the men in the camp, who also plotted to limit the rations of the weaker members. Yet only a few weeks later, one of Miss Zieleman’s most outspoken critics, 25-year-old outdoor instructor Tom Wah, has also quit. Junior doctor Jenna...

Cottage Breaks Scotland

We can offer fantastic cottage breaks in Scotland so whether you’re looking for a cosy romantic retreat, a fun-filled family getaway or somewhere large and filled with luxury, you’ll find a great selection of cottage breaks to choose from. Unlike larger agencies that offer cottage breaks in Scotland, we are a small, successful and efficient business who are able to offer a personal touch. Our cottages have the benefit of being supervised personally by the owner or housekeeper and ourselves, who know each of our cottages well and visit them on a frequent basis. Our reputation is central to our success which is why we strive to ensure that your experience with us is a pleasurable one. We do this by making sure that the cottage is of the highest standard and by making sure that it offers you great value for money. There are places that you can eat out along with shops that you can buy your food shopping from.There is also loads of outdoor activities, arts and crafts and places that you can visit for example Tobermory and the Ardnamurchan lighthouse. We regularly have some special deals on our cottage breaks in Scotland, allowing you to save money by coming to us. Our special deals are regularly posted on our homepage. We are able to answer any questions that you may have about our cottages. All that you have to do is contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible....

Coastal Cottages Scotland

Have you been searching for a cottage in Scotland? Here at Steading Holiday Cottages we have a range of picturesque coastal escapes to choose from. From cosy coastal cottages for two to fantastic family friendly and dog friendly cottages, we have a cottage to suit everyone. We pride ourselves in offering cottages that are of an exceptional quality and we often visit our properties to maintain that quality for all future customers. There are some great things to see and do in Scotland, with there being places that you can eat out, outdoor activities, arts and crafts and the Ardnamurchan lighthouse that you can go and see. You could also plan a boat trip. There are shops that you can go to for your shopping during your stay. We regularly have special deals on our coastal cottages, so if you decide that you do want to stay at one of our cottages in Scotland then you can save money by booking with us. Our prices are also substantially cheaper than what other places are charging, allowing you to make further savings. There is loads of information on each of the cottages that we have available for booking and our team would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have. So if you have a question or two then feel free to contact us by filling out our contact form. One of our staff will then get back to you as soon as they...

Baby Friendly Holidays Scotland

What we can offer Holidays should be an escape from the stress of everyday life which is only possible if you’re confident that you can relax. At Steading Holiday Cottages we know the needs of babies are very different and we know what will make a great holiday. We offer baby friendly holidays in Scotland and have a wide range of houses/cottages to choose from. Each of our houses/cottages are supervised personally and we visit them regularly to make sure that guests are arriving to a cottage/house that is of an excellent quality. Places of interest There is loads for you to do on our baby friendly holidays, with there being outdoor activities, boat trips, places that you can eat out and arts and crafts. You can also go across to Tobermory and can even visit the Ardnamurchan lighthouse. There are shops nearby that you can buy your shopping from too – all of which combined make our holidays perfect for any family. Our prices Our baby friendly holidays are competitively priced and we regularly have special deals on each of our properties in Scotland, so you don’t have to worry about our holidays costing you large sums of money. For more information/to ask us a question To find out more about the cottages/houses that we can offer in Scotland all you have to do is get in touch with us. Simply fill out our contact form with your questions and one of our team will get back to you as soon as they’re...

Self Catering Holidays Ardnamurchan

Our self catering holidays offer flexibility and freedom for everyone, regardless of how many people are going on the trip with you if any. This is because self catering holidays allow you to eat both in or out when you want. We offer a range of self catering cottages that are in Ardnamurchan. Our cottages are close to shops for essential food and other provisions that you may need during your stay. As well as being close to the shops they are close to golden sandy beaches that are within easy reach of dramatic mountain heights. Ardnamurchan hosts many rare plants and wildlife including otters, pine martens, wildcats, deer, seals, dolphins, whales, sea-eagles along with a range of other types of birds. There are loads of places that you can eat out along with outdoor activities and places that you can visit for example the Ardnamurchan lighthouse. So, you’ll never be stuck for things to do on your holiday. Our self catering holidays are a lot cheaper than what other places are charging and we often have special deals on our cottages. Although they are significantly cheaper they are of an exceptional quality and we visit them regularly to ensure their quality. If you are interested in the self catering holidays that we can offer then all you have to do is either book through our website or fill out our contact form with your questions and one of our team will get back to you as soon as they...

Dog Friendly Holidays Scotland

Have you been looking for dog friendly holidays in Scotland? If so you should come to us, we will welcome dogs to our cottages/lodges which means that you don’t have to worry about leaving your dog behind or at the kennels. Many people think that travelling with their pets can be difficult because there is a lot of places that won’t accept dogs, thanks to us we are able to offer holidays that will offer comfort during your stay. There is spectacular views available at each of  our cottages in Scotland, this makes walking your dog an absolute joy. There is a number of different cottages/lodges that you can choose from, with us having properties available to suit both larger and smaller party sizes. Our dog friendly holidays are very affordable and our customers regularly tell us that our cottages/lodges are extremely good value for money. Our properties are checked regularly which is beneficial because it means that you don’t ever have to worry about turning up to a property that isn’t of an exceptional quality. So if you are looking for a dog friendly property then all you have to do is book with us! We would recommend early booking to avoid disappointment, this will secure the dates that you want to go to one of our cottages/lodges. Should you have any questions about our properties then feel free to contact our staff, they would be more than happy to help in anyway that they...