Hello from us all here at Craighead!
This winter has been a bit different for us. We generally try and have a holiday in the winter for a couple of weeks but this year decided to stay home and get some much needed work done in our own house! The time has flown by and the weather has let Ian get out and about in the garden, getting ahead of the spring growth. We have had a long list of jobs sitting on the worktop in the kitchen all winter - great satisfaction crossing them off - but more keep going on the list!
Another change this winter was our decision to keep the Whisky Howf open as well as the Muckle Howf. We have had some lovely winter visitors and the Whisky Howf has proved a winter hit with guests really enjoying cosy nights by the wood burning stove. Watching the weather over the pond come rain, hail or shine! We had some very pretty snow days too.
This last few days has been all about cleaning out animal and poultry housing - taking the opportunity while it is dry.
The cows are still on their winter holiday in Comrie - hopefully you saw the fab picture of them on our social media, they even made it in to a calendar. We love our trips over to see them, they will be returning as soon as the grass starts to grow. It is amazing watching them come back, they trundle out of the trailer and wander straight over the the garden side of the field to check and see if anyone with bread is waiting for them. They immediately know they are home again.
The donkeys and the goats have done really well over the winter and are looking great - a bit muddy - but great. The donks just love to roll in the muddiest spots they can find - generally as soon as you have brushed them. With all the animals and poultry we have it is always someone's turn to have something done - this week it was the cats - oh do they see us coming with that jolly worming medicine! Donkeys, Goats and Alpacas on the list for next week! We are hoping to add some more hens and some ducks to our collection over the next week or two. Perhaps a couple of a different breed of sheep to, but we don't mention that to Gareth and Homer - wouldn't like their black noses to be out of joint and they definitely think they rule the roost!
We are really looking forward to the bulbs coming up - the snowdrops are already out and look gorgeous - my personal favourites. Last year Ian planted lots of additional bulbs ahead of Hayley and Matts wedding - they were lovely and we are really looking forward to seeing them all come back up this year.
We opened the Hobbits back in 2018 and their bright doors and windows are due for a spruce up - the paint is ready, so just prior to opening it will be all hands on deck - or paint!
If you have stayed with us before you will know that we have managed to attract a lot of birds into the garden and grounds. We often see Red Kite here, generally in pairs. A few weeks ago we went along to the Red Kite Centre just across the hill from us to see them feeding and find out much more about them. It was really interesting and gave us a much better insight into these magnificent visitors who spend so much time with us. Another great day in terms of our visiting birds is always the arrival of the swallows. They never fail to amaze -flying all those miles and coming back to exactly the same spot each year - it is quite a spectacle watching them as they arrive and find their way to their old nests, some to the stable, some to the tractor shed and some of course to the Ash Tree Howf! We need a spring watch type camera to record the hatching of the chicks! This year in the wee shop we will have a board where visitors can record what they have spotted in the garden and when. We also have a bat detection kit that you can borrow to listen for the bats at sunset.
So it is full steam ahead now to prepare for the main opening on March 24th. Spring cleaning, stocking up, fixing, mending and improving has already started. We have also started writing the history of Craighead, the story of how we came to be here, the back history of the house itself and the story of the 34 years we have been here, including the animals too. We have been gathering up information from various places and old diaries etc so have lots to work through! We have lots of photographs of the changes and life here over that time so are hoping to get those into some accessible form so people can have a look. It is very much work in progress but we are hoping to have at least some of it started for this years guests! No going back now - we will need to get this done!!
Hoping to see lots of you this year!
Heather, Ian and family.
Craighead Howf is a collection of self-catering accommodation styles from a 5 star luxury stone-built cottage to quirky glamping cabins. All are completely secluded and are designed by the family who lives at Craighead Farm. Craighead is located near Dunblane, Stirling and Perth and is perfectly located to access Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Highlands of Scotland.
Craighead Farm, Braco, Dunblane, Perthshire FK15 9LP, United Kingdom Tel: 01786 880321