Hello everyone from a very sunny and warm Craighead. We have been just loving the weather and so have all our visitors!
Derek & April joined us for a week in the Muckle Howf, Derek's day job is driving seriously big tractors and machinery in the South of England - he fell in love with our wee grey Fergie - one of these was the first tractor he drove as a boy!!!
Like everyone else we have loved being able to spend most of our time outside and it has been great to see our visitors outside enjoying the BBQ's. The animals have been much admired too, the kid goats have grown like mushrooms and are making their debut outing to Braco Show a week on Saturday - we will post some photos - bath time first for them!
The Hobbit Howfs have had lots of visitors which is great and the shire is really beginning to mature with the grass growing nicely and the wild flowers we planted have done really well. Ian got the slates on the roof of the wee shed - every discerning hobbit has a wee shed and this now houses the recycling area for the shire! He still has to tackle the walls on the way down to the shire - must get that done or we will be getting notification from Gandalf!
We have had some great photos taken by Mike Dow and some of them are already on the website, he will be back in the next week or so to get some drone pictures and soon we will have a video to put on the web site too.
We welcomed two new kittens to Craighead recently - a little black one with a tiny white mark and then a younger one a couple of weeks later - a wee scruff who arrived hissing and spitting but is now a happy glamper - they are now lovingly known as Bit & Bob!
We do hope you will come and visit us soon, we will get some pictures of the goings on put on a blog soon, keep your eyes on the blog too for pictures of the outing to Braco Show!
Guests that have stayed with us have left some fabulous comments in the books and some great reviews and we are really grateful for those, hoping to gather some of them together for a slot on the web site.
Enjoy the Summer - Heather & Ian
It has been quite a winter here at Craighead.
As you can see from the pictures we really did get a blast from the snow and the Burrow and Bagend all but disappeared. It really was quite something to see! We have managed to keep going with the Hobbits most of the time but the snow had us beat and so we have a slight feeling of been a bit behind at the moment as we head rapidly to the opening.
We have got lots of bookings already which is great and have had a lot of enquiries about more pictures. We will get internal photos on just as soon as we can. Particularly like the little yellow window - looks very cute and once the fascia above it is finished it will be gorgeous.
Hoping to start planting the wild flowers around the outside in the next day or two. The tile floors are just about to go down and then it really will be the home straight as the beds are made and the basins and sinks go in. We have still to bring the highland cows back from their winter grazing, we need to wait until the grass starts to grow a little and the new fence is up - they would be far too curious about the Hobbits! We did some poultry shopping over Easter - very fitting!
We got a lovely mix of new hens to add to the clan, a little collection of ducks and Pete the Buff Orpington cockerel.. He is in the huff in the picture as he has to be inside for a few days until he settles down! He is very grand though.
Once the garden and weather pick up in May/June time we have a photographer booked to come and take some professional pictures, videos and aerial shots of us, we can then put them on the web site and on all the other places we get a mention. Looking forward to that because our photography never does us justice! We had a lovely visit from Quirky accommodation last week to do some filming for their web site, despite it being really too early for the garden the weather was quite kind and we hope they got some good pictures. Scotland on Sunday interviewed us over the phone last week too! Looking forward to seeing what they pull together which is going to be in one of their supplements!
All good fun. Hope to see you at Craighead soon.
We are very pleased to that we have finally agreed on a name for each of the Hobbit Howfs!
They will be The Burrow and Bagend! Descriptions of both and photos as they complete will follow!
We would like to wish all our visitors a very Happy New Year and look forward to hopefully seeing lots of you in 2018. It will be an exciting year here with the Hobbits on track to open early May or maybe sooner! Will keep you posted on here as to the progress.
Thought we would give you a sneak preview of the lovely doors and windows that are now almost ready ready to be fitted!
The weather over the past week has tested the glamping especially the wind! We will now be closing for a few weeks to give us time to complete the hobbits and refresh the other Howfs ready for spring. We might even take a sneaky wee holiday ourselves!
Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2018 Ian Heather & family.
The time has flown in and we are suddenly heading towards Christmas and New Year with everywhere full for both - maybe some mulled wine and mince pies to be had!
Once our last visitors leave after New Year we will be closing down for a few weeks, gradually opening up again from March 9th on wards.
We will be all stations go during that time with Howfs to be refreshed and ready for the new season. Of course the biggest activity is around the Hobbits - work has gone on all over the summer, autumn and now through the winter. They have proved to be a major challenge and have Ian scratching his head regularly! They really are something different, beautifully built and one of a kind. Alongside other woodwork Lewis has created some amazing doors and we can not wait to see them in place, the work inside is fabulous!
It is really hard to believe that the site of the 'Shire' was just a sloping piece of unused field at the start of this year. Once the grass grows on the roofs in the spring it will look as if they were always there! Well of course the Hobbits were always living there - they just have much nicer accommodation now and are happy to share it with guests!
Another big change for us is our new on-line booking system, we took a trip to the Glamping show a couple of months ago and did some research. We were delighted to meet the guys from Camp Manager who have put our system in place for us.
The animals have all now moved around in to their winter quarters, the goats are just home after a visit to the billy! Fingers crossed that we will have two baby pygmy goats in the spring - a first for Craighead, hopefully Nalle our little grandson will be all set to show them at Braco show this year!!! Our three Ryeland ewes are currently visiting the tup - so lambs in the spring too.
The donkeys now happily wear their little bridles, have high hopes of a little cart for them in the new year - perhaps they can help visitors and carry bags to the Hobbits!
Gorgeous day today so took a few pictures of progress on the Hobbits.
HoHello from Craighead!
We have had a busy summer so far with lots of great people coming to stay.
Work on the Hobbits glamping units have been really coming along - Ian even talks Hobbit language now and seems to be really up to speed with the needs of his Hobbit friends!!
We are aiming to open them by March next year. The inside work has begun and is really looking quirky and full of interest. Ian and Lewis (keirjoinery) can often be seen scratching their heads as they craft lovely stone and wood in to crooked and quirky shapes - the wooden bowls, sinks, round windows and doors are right up there on the to do list now! Not your every day joinery tasks....
The external work to create the landscape of our little 'shire' has begun, there is much more to do, the machinery is rained off at the minute but as soon as it comes back it will be full steam ahead. Ian has spent a lot of time researching the grassing over of the roofs!
We were delighted to host Lewis and Gigha's wedding this year - a real family event and the sun shone on us from start to finish!
The animals are doing well, Uig and Beag are growing nicely and love meeting people and posing for pictures. The donkeys have gone in to training.... not sure they are impressed but time to learn!
The wildlife and bird life has been really good this summer with lots of visiting birds, the pond is wearing its green summer blanket, we have tried barley straw bales to reduce it, at the minute no change but the moor hens were delighted and have taken them over to build nests, great to sit and watch from the Wee Howf door.
If you have stayed with us please do pop a review on here or any of the other social media sites.
Have popped a few pictures on here of the summer, more of the Hobbits to follow as their development picks up a pace!
Hope you will come and stay with us soon.
Where is May going and the sun is back out. We have been so lucky with the dry weather, we are now of course fully open with lots of lovely people coming to stay. We have done a lot of catching up outside and in the garden. The two highland calves from Uist have really come on, they have settled in well and are thriving. Of course the big news as far as they are concerned is the end of the naming game - so they have their new names. Their Gaelic background won through and the shortened version of their 'posh' pedigree names was the winner so they are Uig (sounds like youigg) and Beag (sounds like BeeAg A as in apple)
Beag is the white one! They love bread!
The sheep have also had a hair cut - didn't seem too amused!
Goosy goosy of the goosy goosy gander goose trio has come off her nest, sadly no goslings but the nest was very impressive so added a picture of it. She was really like the queen when she was on her thrown.
The biggest flurry of activity of course has been the building work on the Hobbits - the dry weather was just incredible in terms of getting the work done. A Hobbit blog with pictures to follow this!
Its been a busy weekend and a lot has been going on today! Have added some pictures of today's sights. This morning collecting the eggs yielded an amazing variation - check out the picture. By 8am the very large tractor and trailer were here to start the job of moving tons of earth - removed from the Hobbit Hole sites, the donkeys were not that impressed about the 200 horse power! The Red Kite came a visiting at one point today and got into an amazing battle for the supremacy of the sky with three oyster catchers, only phone camera to hand so no fantastic pictures am afraid. Our Tree Howf guests left this morning and sent us a lovely email - made our day so have added that here too.
Despite the chill in the air the garden is coming along and the swallows returned this weekend, we love it when they come back!
Hi Ian and Heather
Just a little mail to say thank you so much for having us at Craighead. The place is amazing and you should be so proud to have created such a gorgeous sanctuary for people to make such lovely memories. We will never forget our visit! Domenic and I absolutely adored the Tree Howf, it was some what magical and super cosy! We will definitely be back for another stay maybe in the Wee Howf which looked fabulous too!
Domenic has some amazing footage from the drone which once he has edited i will get him to email to you. You can maybe use on your website or just keep for yourself. Honestly its incredible!
Thank you again
Jodene & Domenic x
We are delighted to be open again and this weekend we had our first visitors of the season enjoying the Tree Howf.
They left a lovely message in the book this morning - a couple of snipits are "What a place.. it didn't disappoint, what a beautiful design and place to stay. Surroundings are beautiful and its not far from places when we needed to nip out... although the wintry weather outside the Tree Howf heated up quickly and we enjoyed relaxing by the fire for the weekend and hardly moved! Will definitely be recommending the place to family and friends, planning another trip ourselves in the Summer."
We have just returned from a brilliant trip to New Zealand to see our son and of course travel the lovely country. We were very excited to receive our planning permission while we were out there for our Hobbit Houses - so off we set to Matamata to visit Hobbiton - the Lord of the Rings set. We had a fabulous trip round it and came back inspired to create our own little bit of Middle Earth at Craighead. Just as we got back the Courier newspaper picked up the story and Ian enjoyed a full spread and pictures on page 3! We generated interest also with Radio Scotland and other papers so that was a great start.
With the Tree Howf already open we are concentrating on the Wee Howf, it has been painted and is having a make over and will be open in a weeks time. We think it is going to look lovely.
Today work is going on to do some alterations to the Wash Howf courtesy of Lewis of Keir Joinery and we will be stocking up the wee shop for our customers to enjoy.
The animals are looking forward to sunny spring days, they seem to have fared well over the winter but it is always nice to see them enjoying the early spring sun.
We have some new arrivals - last night we took delivery of three Zwartble lambs, they are delightful and seem very settled already. Our goose from the Goosie Goosie Gander team is sitting on eggs, the birds are busy nest building and we are hoping before too long to get our two highland calves from North Uist. We have a regular 6.30am visit from a fox at the moment, so that is keeping us on our toes. Out and about there is a lot of wildlife on the go including a good number of hares.
We will be keeping everyone up to date with progress on the Hobbit Houses here on the blog. We hope to start work in the next week or so! Looking forward to seeing lots of visitors here this year, thank you to those who already have your bookings made, am sure you will love it.
Heather & Ian