NEW HOLIDAY COTTAGE NEAR NAIRN

We bought Pisces caravan secondhand in 1992, and although it is still comfortable, we feel that it is coming to the end of its life as a holiday home at Hiddenglen. Demand has been strongest at the upper end of the market so we have started building a cottage with many genuine eco credentials to provide 5 star family accommodation to sleep 6 in 3 bedrooms, all ensuite.

To those who know us, the cottage is built into the south facing bank between Hazelwood, the turf roofed house, and our own home. At road level the cottage entrance is directly on to the first floor with all the living area and a master bedroom. Two more bedrooms and the utility room are below, built into the bank with only the southerly aspect exposed. More details will be posted soon, but for now here are a few photos.

Highland holiday cottage

The ground floor which is now mostly hidden

Stone walls

Faced with secondhand sandstone from a long abandoned Nairn quarry.

Scottish Country Dancers

Nairn Scottish Country Dance Club test out the “roof”, which will become the first floor when the upper walls are built!

BEWARE! Monsanto vs. Mother Earth

MonsantoMonsanto, a profit-hungry multinational biotech company, has found a way to exclusively ‘own’ something that freely belongs to us all — our food! They’re trying to patent away our everyday vegetables and fruits like cucumber, broccoli and melons, forcing growers to pay them and risk being sued if they don’t. They already own 49% of cauliflower varieties registered in the EU along with many other vegetables.

But we can stop them from buying up Mother Earth. Companies like Monsanto have found loopholes in European law to get away with this, so we just need to close them shut before they set a dangerous global precedent. The Avaaz community has shifted governments before, and we can do it again.

Many farmers and politicians are already against this — we just need to bring in people power to pressure these countries to keep Monsanto’s hands off our food. Sign now and share with everyone to help build the biggest food defense call ever:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_vs_mother_earth_loc/?bUbLieb&v=23908

But luckily, the European Patent Office is controlled by 38 member states who, with one vote, can end dangerous patents on food that is bred using conventional methods. Even the European Parliament has issued a statement objecting to these kinds of destructive patents. Now, a massive wave of public outcry could push them to ban the patenting of our everyday food for good.

RECYCLING IN NAIRN

Nairn Recycling CentreWe are passionate about recycling. Having provided recycling containers for our self catering holiday cottages since we started in 1990 we have become experts on what is thrown away and by whom. There are no class or wealth correlations as to what people waste and whether they recycle, in fact wealthy professionals can be the worst recyclers. They are well educated and can understand the environmental impact and should do better!

We are next door to the Nairn Recycling Centre which is clean, tidy and well run. However the Highlands of Scotland are a long way from the factories able to process the useful stuff. My only complaints are:-

  • The Highland Council does not allow local reuse of stuff.
  • It is 3 miles from the centre of Nairn and quite a bit blows off trailers enroute! All these journeys must reduce the environmental benefits.

I leave you with one thought, “However big the pile of sugar, however small the teaspoon, the sugar always runs out one day!”

BEER FESTIVAL? IN NAIRN? 29th MAR – 7th APR 2013

Nairn Bandstand

Nairn Bandstand courtesy of VisitNairn

What is this small Highland town coming to??? Well Nairn is growing to be one of the best holiday destinations in the Highlands of Scotland, expanding for several festivals and sporting events every year. This 5th annual event is the largest beer festival in the Highlands with a 100 real ales, dozens of malt whiskies, and seven live music gigs. Wow, see you there!

SCOTTISH OPEN GOLF AT CASTLE STUART 11-14 July 2013

CASTLE STUART

Courtesy of Castle Stuart

The Scottish Open returns to Castle Stuart for a third year. It is a great course for spectators and only 15 miles from Hiddenglen Holidays at Nairn. Castle Stuart is a very popular course with those taking a golf holiday in the Scottish Highlands. The Open is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management.

WALKING HOLIDAY BASED NEAR NAIRN

Walking in wilderness

Walking in wilderness.

Thérèse loves walking, nature, poetry and helping people, and she is an excellent cook of all things Organic. She now combines all these skills by offering to guide guests on walks, be it just for an hour or two, a whole day or even to include camping out in the wild. It will be tailored to those taking part on the day, from an easy-peasy amble along a level riverside path to a marathon mountain adventure. A healthy organic picnic can be provided. Thérèse has walked all over, and even right across the Highlands, but because she has no safety certificates there will be no charge – guests will be welcome to make a donation towards costs at the end of the day. This is open to anyone, not only those staying at Hiddenglen.

This started casually when Thérèse guided a regular guest (24 weeks here in 6 years!) who loves waterfalls, but doesn’t have the confidence to go out on her own – her husband has a demanding job and is a bit of a couch potato when on holiday. Thérèse and this guest now go out for a day every time the couple holiday here.

WALKING IN GLEN AFFRIC

Glen Affric

Glen Affric

Glen Affric is a gem amongst four Highland glens opening to the River Beauly, less than two hours drive from Nairn. We were lucky to spend the weekend staying at a B&B in Cannich and miss the rain and snow that fell elsewhere. With deep snow on the tops we walked up the track pictured above and Thérèse carried on right around the base of the hill behind Glen Affric Lodge.

In the evening, while having a meal beside the log fire in the village pub, we fell into conversation with Iain from Cougie Pony Trekking Centre. He had a wealth of stories about riding across the Highlands using the ancient drove roads. If you want to see wild remote places riding at Cougie must be one of the best ways to do it.