Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Refurb at Riverbank

Hot on the heels of giving Oak Tree Lodge a complete overhaul, we're now well on with giving Holly Tree and Cherry Tree Cottages at Riverbank Holiday Cottages the same treatment.

Both cottages are due for a bit of a decorate, but we struggle to do things in small measures, and so it's turned into a little more than that. The aim is to bring the cottages bang up to date with a fresh new look which, combined with the exclusive riverside location on the fringes of Glencoe village, will make them the perfect holiday retreat.

Holly Tree Lounge - cupboard removed to make things much more spacious

Cherry Tree - Harled walls covered over and a complete top to bottom overhaul
New floor coverings, new bedding and curtains, completely new bathrooms, and some new furniture are common themes. In addition, we're making the lounge in Holly Tree Cottage much bigger by removing a cupboard in the corridor and modifying the entry door into the kitchen / dining area. The result will be a much more spacious living dining space. The patio door is also being replaced, allowing for ease of access to the lovely riverbank area.

Cherry Tree - New wet walling for the showers

We're also getting to grips with the gardens and improving the access to the river side. It's an absoloutely stunning spot, hidden from the rest of the world. A great place to sit by the river with a beer from the fridge and watch the ducks float by.

Cherry Tree - Ready for the sink

Holly Tree Bathroom - but no bath!

Holly Tree bathroom - completely stripped

Holly Tree bathroom - even the floor is replaced

Holly Tree lounge - the remains of the cupboard about to go

Holly Tree Lounge - a hint of the sense of space with the new configuration

How many toilets?

Cherry Tree Lounge - mind the carpet!

All being well we'll be finished in about a fortnight and ready to roll for the rest of the season. Watch this space or sign up to our eNews and/or follow Clachaig on Facebook.

Better still, visit our Clachaig Holidays web site and book your self catering holiday in Glencoe for summer 2017.

Big Winter Raffle 2017

Each year during Februaryfest we pledge to raise as much cash as we can for worthwhile local causes. This year we’re concentrating our efforts on the provision of defibrillators for the local communities of Glencoe, Ballachulish & Onich. 

Throughout the month our staff have been busy selling tickets for our Big Winter Raffle. Not many folk escaped Katie & Ann Marie who were present during all four lectures, the gin & whisky tastings and on busy Saturday nights. Our frontline team were also on hand to twist a few arms. The swag room this year was bursting at the seams with a cart load of beer, cider, whisky, accommodation, gear, food and activity vouchers along with t-shirts, umbrellas and golf balls galore all up for grabs. 

To give an extra boost to our fundraising we cleared out the attic and held a Yard Sale providing a great opportunity to bag some Clachaig (& Grog) memorabilia

We are very grateful to our sponsor Mammut who pay for the Winter Mountain Safety Lecture Series and also a big shout to our suppliers and local businesses who get right behind our fundraising efforts with incredibly generous products & activities. But the real heroes are our customers & guests who donated generously once again and dug deep for their hard earned cash.

So a big 'Thank You' in no particular order to: 

Mammut UK
Letterfinlay Specialist Foods
Ice Factor
Holroyd Gallery
Dragons Tooth Golf Club
Cairngorm Brewery
Loch Lomond Brewery
Thistly Cross Cider
West Brewery
Strathavon Brewery
Orkney Brewery
Glencoe Mountain Resort
Gordon &Macphail
J M Breckenridge 

Not forgetting Karl from Glencoe Photography for taking the snaps
Ann Marie and Will for assisting with the draw

Special thanks to the lecturers:

Andy Spink
Dave Anderson
Rich Parker
Mike Pescod

 We are still counting the pennies but we have raised over £1700 so far.
.....and the winners are!
Top prize - Rab sleeping bag. cosy cosy!
Careful what you wish for Jess
Will is always good to his mum!
Its all downhill (skiing) from here!
Beer in a bag
My neighbours look chuffed with their haul....must call round
Merlin casts a winning spell
Brolly, whisky & golf sport?
Art attack
Wow!.....suddenly this lucky lady had lots of new friends
Nice!...that will help with the bar tab
You can get a lot of smoked salmon for £50
£50 to spend at Nevisport....and there's a sale on!
 18 holes of golf - he's never been so happy
Well done Ann Marie & Will
And the band played on. Great tunes from HoRo

See you all next year

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

32 years of Winter Mountain Safety Lectures

Well, that's it all done and over with for another year. The 32nd year of Clachaig's Winter Mountain Safety Lectures drew to a close last night with locally based IFMGA Mountain Guide Mike Pescod looking at the Human Factors in Decision Making.

Attentive faces in the Boots Bar
Without doubt, the winter of 2017 has been a challenging season (so far, at least!) for everyone involved with the Scottish winter mountain scene, whether that's skiers, climbers or pubs who serve beer and food to skiers and climbers. However, despite rather fickle winter conditions, the numbers attending the safety lectures have again been very encouraging. Hopefully, when (if!) winter does finally arrive, the topics covered and the lessons learned will still be remembered, and enjoyable days on the hills will be had by all.

Mike in full swing

Once again, there's a huge thanks due to everyone involved. To our team of lecturers, some of whom faced the crowds at Clachaig for the first time, and some who can almost be regarded as old hands on the circuit. These guys live and work in the the mountains, and between them have an incredible depth and breadth of experience and knowledge to share with us. Thank you all.

And thanks once again to Mammut UK, for their continued sponsorship of the series. We passionately believe that to reach the widest audience possible, the lectures should be free to everyone. That continues to be possible with the support of Mammut. So, to you, we also offer our sincere thanks.

Lots of lovely goodies from Nevisport

Fort William (and beyond!) retailers Nevisport come along to each of our presentations. They back up the support given by Mammut with their intimate product knowledge and their enthusiasm for all those bits of shiny new kit that you know you just need to have. Nevisport, you've been troupers through February, and it's been great to have you on hand again.

The Big Winter Raffle continues through until the close of FebruaryFest at the weekend. We've already reached 4 figures raised, and look forward to seeing the final sum when it's all added up. The safety remit broadened slightly this year, with the funds going to help establish heart-start defibrillators in the south Lochaber villages. To everyone who bought a ticket or donated one of the fabulous prizes, another huge thank you.

How winter at Clachaig should look

Read more about the 32 years of our lectures on our web site. Got some ideas or some feedback for us? We'd love to hear it.

There's still time for some of this before spring arrives

We thoroughly intend being back for year number 33. Planning starts in September and we'll be back in the Boots Bar on Tuesday evenings in February 2018. Till then, stay safe out there!

Monday, 20 February 2017

A new look at Clachaig Chalets and Lodges

It's time for the big reveal as our refurbishment of Oak Tree Lodge draws to a close. The popular family lodge has had a top to bottom makeover, and is now ready for letting again for the 2017 season.

Located in the grounds of Clachaig Inn, Oak Tree Lodge has always been an extremely popular choice with our guests. With some privacy from the inn, it is still just a short walk away, offering the best of both worlds; a stunning location in the heart of the glen, and yet just yards away from a pint and the real fire of the Boots Bar.

Master bedroom with en suite facilities at Oak Tree Lodge

The lodge sleeps up to 5 guests in 3 bedrooms; one double with en suite shower and toilet facilities, one twin bedded room, and a single bedroom.

Owned and managed by the Daynes family for more than 3 decades, details of Oak Tree Lodge can be found at Clachaig Holidays. Real time availability and booking can be made through the web site.

Lounge / Dining in Oak Tree Lodge

Finishing touches include some antler lighting, and some hints of plaid in the cushions and curtains, offering a subtle reminder of the setting in perhaps Scotland's most scenic Highland glen.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the view of Aonach Dubh and the magnificent glen
 The refurbishment included redecorating throughout, giving a calm contemporary feel to the living accommodation. The main bathroom was completely replaced with new bath, shower, wc and sink complete with vanity unit, plus new lighting, ventilation and heated ladder towel rail. Even the floor and window blind have been renewed! The en suite shower room in the master bedroom has seen a similar makeover.  

New everything in the bathroom at Oak Tree Lodge

A complete makeover for the en suite shower room
 In addition, we've also been making a few changes to Rowan Tree Lodge. New limed oak flooring complements the rustic look in the lounge while new hanging and boot storage arrangements at the entrance will come in handy when returning from a bracing walk in the fresh mountain air.

Master Bedroom - Rowan Tree Lodge
 Some updated lighting and art in the bedrooms and a few finishing touches in the bathroom and en suite also contribute to a cosy, fresh feel.

Lounge / Dining - Rowan Tree Lodge
But it's not all over yet. We've still got a few ideas for improving things further, and will also be embarking on a similarly extensive review of things down at Riverbank Holiday Cottages in Glencoe village very shortly.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

It's like painting the Forth Road Bridge

It's all change at Oak Tree Lodge this week. The carpets are out, the bath is out, even the toilets are out. And before you think that must leave plenty of room inside, think again. Last we looked it was hard to get in through the door for all the plumbers, joiners, electricians, decorators and carpet fitters who were all hard at work. Yes, it's time for a refurbishment at Oak Tree Lodge.

Everything out - ready for a fortnight of chaos

Keeping on top of things at Clachaig is a bit like painting the Fort Road Bridge. Just when you think you're finished, and everything is looking spick and span, it's time to start all over again.

Oak Tree Lodge has served us well. It looked slightly smaller and less well loved back in 1984 when we arrived at Clachaig. By 1988 it was in line for a bit of extending and alteration, although that could probably be better described as a near complete rebuild and a start again.

Preparing for a rebuild circa 1988

It then became a family home for a number of years, and quite possibly a family home with one of the most spectacular views in the country. As we became more established at Clachaig and the enormity of developing the business a little more became slightly less daunting, we were able to move out of the tiny flat in the hotel and take up residence in more salubrious surroundings.

Oak Tree Lodge Lounge (as was)

From 1998 things had changed again and Clachaig Holidays as a self catering business in it's own right came to the fore for the first time.  Oak Tree Lodge came into being as a lovely 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 4 star self catering holiday lodge. The rest, as they say, is history. 

The West Face of Aonach Dubh

The lodge is undergoing a complete makeover, and will be available for letting again as of next week. We'll be back with some photographs in due course. In the meantime, we'll be moving on with some new flooring and some less invasive works at Rowan Tree Lodge before moving on to another major overhaul at Riverbank Holiday Cottages in Glencoe village. Remember, it's like painting the Forth Road Bridge...!

For booking enquiries, please see Clachaig Holidays, with real time availability and ease of online booking for all our 4 star self catering chalets and cottages in Glencoe and Ballachulish.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Clachaig FebruaryFest "Yard Sale"

Over the years we seem to gather a fair few nick nacks. Quite often we'll carry out a refurbishment and give things a fresh look, but decide that the old look was perfectly good and far too good to throw away. But it comes to a point where the office door will no longer open because of the amount of accumulated goodies that we just don't have a home for.

The answer quite simply is that it's time for a clear out. And rather than add to landfill or have a big bonfire, we're passing on the opportunity to acquire a little bit of Clachaig (and Grog & Gruel) memorabilia. Welcome to the Clachaig Yard Sale. And whilst it would be quite nice to use the funds raised to pay for the next refurbishment, we're going to add the proceeds to this year's Big Winter Raffle, and donate to the South Lochaber Villages Defibrillator Fund.
Our local communities would like to initially install two public access defibrillators, with one in Glencoe village at the Ambulance Station and one in Ballachulish at the Medical Centre. If funds permit, a third defibrillator in Onich is also on the wish list.

Purchase and instalation of these life saving machines will cost in the region of £2000 each, plus spare batteries and pads. These units also require hard wiring as the boxes need to be kept at a constant temperature. The Glencoe Ambulance Station will monitor and check them on a regular basis.

To date enough money has been raised for two of the three machines being installed on the area. Clachaig has already donated just over £200 which we raised from Pub Quizes and Pool Competitions over Octoberfest.

Alongside this “Yard Sale” we will be running Raffles every week over Februaryfest with a really big one being held on Saturday 4th March and we will be having a Pub Quiz every Monday night throught FebruaryFest as well. All money raised will be donated to the Community Defibrillators.

How will it work?
Browse our gallery at our website. If you like what you see make us an offer – your best shot. We’ll collate all the offers and come the end of FebruaryFest the best offer wins. All work MUST be collected by 4th March. Failure to do so will result in us relisting the item, possibly for immediate sale.
Send your best offer to with the subject ‘yard sale’. Please ask any questions before you submit your offer.
We reserve the right to sell any item before the conclusion of the sale in return for a ridulously attractive bid, or do with as we so please. C’est la vie.