Akin to being placed into a history book depiction, our arrival at Clan Cottages, conjured images of returning to the fold, bearing rewards of a days’ hunting, as the five thatched cottages are picture perfect of an ancient Celtic settlement.
Nestled into a glen, a stone’s throw from Oban; Scotland’s ancient Gateway to the Highlands, which still actively promotes the cultivation of Gaelic literature, music and home industries in the Highlands; Clan Cottages pays due homage to the ancient Scots culture.
The allegiance to the old stops however at the front door of each of these wonderfully crafted houses, where modern contemporary kicks in and all the mod cons necessary for an extremely comfortable stay heralds our arrival.
The contrast is welcome however and works well within this purpose built community of five clan houses: MacKinnon, MacKenzie, MacDougall, MacNeil and MacDonald, all named after Scottish clans within the extended family of Mary and John, the proud owners who realized a dream and built all of the Clan Cottages on their land.
They are both charming and luxurious; indulgent toiletries sourced from the locally founded Purdies, grace the sleek, stylish bathrooms and a selection of Scottish biscuits and a very thoughtful bottle of wine make the welcome all the more warm. Views from each window are those of vast countryside and the family small holding and that of either river or loch, where guests are welcome to roam and make use of the little rowing boat and fishing rods, should the desire be to catch your own supper.
An amazing variety of wildlife, not least of all birds, on strategically placed feeders, grace the wildly landscaped gardens and ducks with their chicks waddle between garden and river, creating a dreamy idyll.
With wonderful walking and cycling countryside to explore in the immediate vicinity, outdoor pursuits are well catered for and those looking for something a wee bit different can source from Clan Cottages’ Tourist Information centre, aka the wee garden shed which houses a wealth of information on the surrounding countryside, activities and attractions, restaurants to visit and days out as well as endless children’s toys and DVDs to make full use of during your holiday.
Oban or An t-Oban, is a short drive or hearty walk away with it’s wonderful Little Bay, hosting fishing and pleasure boats as well as the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries opening up the gates to the islands of Mull, Iona, Tiree, Colonsay, Barra and Uist.
A Green Tourism Gold Award holder, Clan Cottages has a strong environmental ethos, understandably, wishing to preserve the outstanding natural beauty which surrounds them and reduce their carbon footprint. Guests are therefore encouraged to use the recycling point within the grounds and the eco friendly products supplied; further information is available in the comprehensive information packs, within each cottage.
A small nod to the clan name is apparent in each of the cottages with a Clan motto and short history, along with the appropriate tartan, giving credence to where you are and offering a sense of identity and shared descent to people in Scotland and to their relations throughout the world.
Clans are not so prominent today but the tartans remain and are a proud representation of our Scottish history and ancestry which is reflected and acknowledged at the wonderful Clan Cottages.