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wildlife camera

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!

remote cottage snowdops

Winter on Loch Etive

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!

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Pine martens at Craig

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

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strimming, hare bells and meet the neighbours

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.

view above Cadderlie

Off the beaten track

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.

kayak loch etive

Kayaking on Loch Etive

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.

Rosy on roof

The joy of old buildings …

… 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!  

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Great video of Loch Etive

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

beach bonfire

beach bonfire

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.

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Allt Easach

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!

rent book 1847

Estate rent book, 1847

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.

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Local boat hire for guests

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

OS six inch 1870

old maps

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.

Jan and Geoff

Mixed feelings

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.

isla Dail

A dogs view of Dail

We took Isla up to Dail for the first time today. She didn’t seem too impressed with the suspension bridge at first but soon got the hang of it. She approved of the interesting smells in the field around Dail, and was keen to see that the natives look very much like her – brown and hairy!