Beautiful scenes across Loch Lomond to Ben Lomond from the southern shore of the Loch. You can walk to this view point from the cottages, downhill through the village of Gartocharn, across the fields on the Aber Path and continue your stroll along a country lane to the shoreline footpaths leading to the Endrick Mouth, National Nature Reserve and RSPB Loch Lomond’s estate. A perfect way of exploring the local vicinity and leaving the car at home, you are likely to see deer, buzzards and geese en route but you might also be lucky to see osprey on their summer vacation. You walk through a mix of woodland and fields so there is plenty of bird life to enjoy as well as the range of flora and fauna. Last weekend our guests spent some time watching a stoat scamper in and out of the red sandstone garden wall, wildlife to enjoy form the comfort of the sofa!
We love that our guests can enjoy the National Park throughout the whole year and, as you may have appreciated, the cottages are warm whatever the weather outside! Underfloor heating, very comprehensive insulation and air tightness in the buildings and free top ups of the log basket ensure that 😊.
We are so pleased to share the great news that we have won the Success Through Sustainability Award of the 2018 Working4Business Awards.
Do awards matter? Perhaps I mean, WHY do they matter?
It is all about recognition.
When you own and operate a small business you’re right there at the coal face, dealing with enquiries and bookings, marketing the properties, constantly reviewing what works, what doesn’t, being social media savvy, organising cleaning and laundry, undertaking maintenance, repair and renewal. And, oh so much more.
Guests love to experience a smooth and friendly service so (we try very hard) to ensure that is what happens. Meanwhile, like many businesses, we are achieving that beautiful gliding across the surface of the lake thing whilst frantically paddling beneath the surface. So, being selected as a finalist for an award offers a moment to pause, reflect and enjoy telling the story of what we’ve achieved in the past 6 years of business. We actually enjoyed our interview and presentation to the judging panel! It’s a great feeling that we have won this award but, even if we hadn't, it has been rewarding to stop and appreciate what we have achieved. These were derelict farm buildings when we settled here, they are now wonderful places to be on holiday in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park which have been designed, built and managed to a really high standard of comfort, demonstrating environmental and sustainable design excellence.
It is with great thanks to Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and award sponsors Group Saur that we at East Cambusmoon Holiday Cottages were selected to be winners in the Success through Sustainability Award of the Working4Business awards. Steve had the joy of attending the awards presentations and dinner on Friday and bringing home the fabulous trophy, certificate and champagne. It is also truly a great cause for celebration that 60% of all employment in the UK is with small and medium sized enterprises.
Sustainability runs through everything we do, and it’s absolutely brilliant to be recognised for it.
Great sadness to see a tree felled to the ground in an overnight storm on Christmas Eve, the branches scattered across the field, some sticking out of the soil spear-like, others disintegrated into ready made kindling for the fire. The tree was dead when we moved here 11 years ago, it has provided a home and habitat to all sort of birds and beasties, an excellent vantage point for owls and buzzards, the starting point for many a starling murmuration. However, there was never any real sense of continuing life of the trunk and branches of the tall tree at the junction of two fields. Some magnificent gothic fungi have grown on the trunk for years and, hopefully, these will continue to flourish as the tree lies prostrated on the ground. We shall tidy the strewn branches, create logs to fuel the wood burning stoves in the cottages and our own home, gather the kindling and build up wood stocks for the year ahead, but we shall also leave the larger part of the main trunk for the birds and beasties to enjoy, and for the children to play on, or just for any of us, adults and children, to sit on and watch the world go by. Sometimes we just need to stand and stare.
The wonderful poem ‘Leisure’ by William Henry Davies is well worth a read and, perhaps, in this busy, busy world the words provide a great reminder for the year ahead.
What is this life if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep and cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
Earlier this year we commissioned local company Head for the Bed to create two upholstered headboards for one of the twin bedrooms in Curlew Cottage. We loved their work so much we offered to host the photoshoot for their new website. It is a really important consideration for us to support local business and we were able to work with them in selecting the perfect fabric for the bedroom in terms of colour, design and finish and, of course, the fabric has to comply with fire retardant standards. The finished products are first class and have received many positive comments from our guests.
We are really pleased to see the recent launch of Head for the Bed's website and the various pictures taken in Curlew Cottage and The Old Dairy. Their online store with so many great choices is now live and, great news, they are now fully able to provide their upholstered headboards across the UK. Have a look at their website. There are so many wonderful fabrics to choose from as well as styles. We chose the Kintyre Clementine 100% wool in the Fruin style headboard for the twin bedroom in Curlew.
As we live on site we continuously review how the cottages are presented and really strive to make them superbly comfortable. When we go on holiday ourselves we love to stay in places that have that 'wow' as you walk in the door. The new headboards are a great asset to the room which is also looking good with fab new popcorn bubbly throws and new lighting. Perfect for Autumnal cosiness.
We had the great pleasure to meet Tilly the Westie and her owners Richard & Angie Aspinall a few weeks ago. They stayed in Curlew Cottage and really enjoyed the 'wow' factor this cottage offers, they enjoyed their get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, were blown away by the style and size of the cottage and, very kindly, commented that 'it was like something from a glossy magazine on stylish living'.
Angie and Richard have written a wonderful article in the current issue of Dog Friendly magazine so, if you subscribe to and are lucky enough to see a copy of that, do enjoy the story of their stay.
We welcome up to two dogs in each cottage, there are some superb walks from the front door as well as the fun of exploring all that Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park has to offer. We certainly have enjoyed many 'dogs with well behaved owners' staying and enjoying their time here. As the ground floors of both cottages are slate and wood they are very easy to keep clean so dog owners can manage muddy paws and our subsequent guests know that they will arrive to thoroughly clean accommodation.
The 'scruffy mongrel' pictured is our special four legged friend, rehomed with us from the SSPCA, a great companion and perfect excuse for enjoying a walk down to the Loch or up The Dumpling.
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- @3_Chimneys @GoodFoodGuideUK @ScottDaviesChef @scotfooddrink @SeafoodFromScot @tastelocalaward Have booked our trip… twitter.com/i/web/status… … 12 hours ago in reply to 3_Chimneys
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