I had a nice surprise today while I was cutting the lawn … a sail past by Chris on the Etive Cruises boat. The boat is based at Dunstaffnage Marina, north of Oban
The old open fire with back boiler has served Craig well for many years, but the time has come for an upgrade. We now have a new multi-fuel stove with boiler to keep the cottage warm, and the bath water hot! Huge thanks to Willie and Will who did a fantastic job of installing it. Now I just need to repaint the wall!
I recently walked to the summit of Beinn Mheadhonach, a Graham that is behind Craig Cottage. Although it was a rather wet day, the views were stunning. These timelapses were looking north up Loch Etive.
I’ve been having fun with a new wildlife camera. It can take videos and stills, day or night, and if the cottage is empty I have been putting it in the garden to see what goes on when there is no one around. So far there have been birds. lots of birds, but I am hoping for something a bit more exciting!
It’s been a stunning day here today, and I made the most of it by getting out with the camera. It’s at times like these that I become aware of how remote the cottages are. They really are an amazing location for a holiday … maybe I should stay there more often!
Today I took a couple of hours out, and went for a walk up to Barrs and beyond (further up the loch than Dail). The view up here are beautiful, and as the loch narrows the mountains seem to close in around you.
I am delighted to have received this lovely review by email, plus some amazing photos of the pine martens at Craig. Thank you so much Cath and Will! “At the beginning of August we spent a glorious, perfectly peaceful week at Craig cottage, beside Loch Etive. This delightful little cottage has an olde-worlde atmosphere and a very cosy sitting-room with an open fire (with a plentiful supply of logs kindling and briquettes). We spent every evening there in the candlelight watching a family of pine martens gorging themselves on peanut-butter and jam from the bird table and window box. Even Read More
The views along the loch this evening were beautiful as I was driving back from Craig.
It’s been a cloudy but warm day, and a good opportunity for me to strim the path down to Dail. Ably assisted by Isla, of course! Our lunchtime wander took us down to the beach (as it so often does!) and I spotted these hare bells along the fence. On the way back down the track we got to meet the neighbours. The highlands have been down at Cadderlie for the last few weeks and are gradually ranging further afield, sometimes getting as far up the coast as Dail, but they always return to Cadderlie.
Above is an overview of the image, and below a scrollable version of it (using mouse or finger!) And below an annotated version of the peaks visible:
One of the great things about the land surrounding Dail and Craig is that you can explore in almost any direction and not have to stick to a path. Okay, it might be rough going at times, but the views and feelings of isolation are well worth it. Isla and I took a detour up into the woodland recently planted above Cadderlie Bothy. From here you can look down across the bay (Camas an t-Seilisdeire) and across the loch.
It’s been a fairly wild day up the loch today, wet, windy and very invigorating!
It feels as if we are spoilt for choice with so many fantastic sea kayaking locations on the West Coast of Scotland, and I expect many people don’t venture into Loch Etive – partly due to the Falls of Lora and Connel. However, the upper reaches of the loch are a peaceful, dramatic and very enjoyable place to explore by kayak. Both Dail and Craig are well placed to use as bases for exploring Loch Etive.
… is that the work is never ending but always varied and interesting. After a week in which I have discovered the wonders of steel wool (which supposedly discourages mice from holes), and expanding foam (top tip: don’t get it in your hair as it doesn’t come out!), I have also turned my hand to slating. I don’t think any of the local roofing firms have much to worry about though, as the top of Dail roof is definitely the highest I want to go. The view’s not bad from there though!
Just come across this video that was filmed just up the loch from the cottages. Lovely to see someone else enjoying the fantastic surroundings as much as we do. The video is very long but worth skimming through if you are interested in seeing the landscape, and has some great bushcraft sections. https://youtu.be/viN_gRVPtkg
It was a beautiful clear night last night, and I had a magical moonlit walk along the loch side. Here are the photos.
We have had a glorious few days weather up here, and it looks like it is going to last! After a day of chopping wood and touching up the cottages ready for the new guests due soon, we enjoyed a well earned bonfire on the beach.
I’ve just come across a few old photos of the burn Allt Easach which flows through Barrs woods down to Loch Etive close to Dail. In the summer it is a great spot for a paddle but can be a raging torrent in the winter!
I have been trying to find out a little more about the history of Dail, Craig and the nearby properties, and today was looking at the Estate Rent Book for the mid 19th century. Here is a photo of the page for rents from Martinmas 1847 to Martinmas 1848.
Rachel was born in Ardchattan, around 1792. On 16 January 1816 Rachel Thomson married Duncan Kennedy at Ardchattan. Their children were: Peter Kennedy 1822 Elizabeth (Eliza) Kennedy 1831 Isabella Kennedy 1832 Duncan, Rachel and family are shown as living at Dail in the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses. Her husband Duncan Kennedy died on 25 June 1877 and Rachel died the next year on 21 April 1878, both at Muckairn, Argyll.
Duncan was born on the island of Tiree (written as Tyree at that time) on 30 March 1871. He had younger siblings Mary and Angus. On 16 January 1816 Duncan married Rachel Thomson at Ardchattan. Their children were: Peter Kennedy 1822 Elizabeth (Eliza) Kennedy 1831 Isabella Kennedy 1832 Duncan, Rachel and family are shown as living at Dail in the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses. Duncan died on 25 June 1877 at Muckairn, Argyll.
I’ve just been talking to Doug Bannatyne who offers boat hire on Loch Etive, and he can provide boats for a few days or longer during your stay at Craig or Dail. Sounds a great service and one we will be using ourselves to explore further up the loch. www.sea-fishing-loch-etive.co.uk
I’ve been having a lot of fun looking at old maps on the National Library of Scotland’s website … here’s a snippet from the OS map of Dail surveyed in 1870.
Today was a day of mixed feelings – happiness that we are starting out on this adventure with Dail, but a lot of sadness for Jan and Geoff who have been the custodians of Dail for the last seven years and who are reluctantly saying goodbye to it after having been holidaying here for over thirty years. They have put so much care and thought into their time here, and made the cottage what it is today, and they will be sadly missed.