- Friday 1st Apr 2016
- Posted in families, green tourism, holiday home spotlight, tips from the locals
- 2 Comment(s)
Bluebell Croft offers luxury holiday accommodation in two self-catering houses near Loch Sunart, Ardnamurchan – an idyllic base for exploring this corner of the West Highlands, with what the Sunday Times described as ‘the best sited hot tub in Europe’. We spoke to owner Chris Morgan to find out more about the accommodation, being green and what the local area offers.
Can you tell us more about the luxury self-catering accommodation at Bluebell Croft?
Bluebell Croft offers understated luxury with extremely comfortable seating, solid oak furniture, log burning stoves, spacious and well equipped kitchens, an Aga in the larger property, quality bedding from a Highland company making hand-made mattresses, and quality bedding much from Sanderson. Underfloor heating downstairs makes the properties very cosy. Bathrooms are equipped with bath sheets and hand towels, toilet paper, individual Highland soaps, and body wash.
We have a giant hot-tub with spa towels and plastic wine and champagne glasses to enjoy the spectacular mountain and woodland scenery.
You are a working croft with a Green Tourism Gold Award. In what ways does Bluebell Croft offer an environmentally friendly holiday experience?
We gained Gold Standard from Green Tourism for our exemplar efforts at being environmental.
- We have a wood burning stove using sustainable wood that provides all our heating and hot water at home and in the cottages. This is boosted with use of pre-heating solar panels.
- We have a 5w wind turbine which helps us to use less electricity from the National Grid.
- We are very involved in the Sunart Community Hydro Scheme.
- The Cottages are very well insulated. We re-cycle all plastic, cans, bottles, cardboard and paper and try to reduce usage whenever possible. We use local shops, suppliers and produce when possible. We encourage our guests to re-cycle and provide Highland Council information and colour coded bins.
- We use Ecover products and E-cloths which allow us to clean using far less chemicals.
- We are fully organic on the Croft using our fowl and sheep manure as fertiliser.
- We have many areas put aside for species habitat and have many bird boxes. We feed the garden birds all year round. We have bee hives with bees to pollinate our crops.
- We offer organic produce from the Croft to guests from eggs to fruit, salads, vegetables, jams and chutneys and honey from the Croft.
We are always happy to chat with guests about our efforts to be environmental and sustainable. We love to show children and their parents the wildlife on the Croft like slow worms, toads, frogs as well as our animals. We advertise with environmentally friendly companies for example The Green Parent. Whenever possible we give information to guests about public transport, bike hire, and walking opportunities.
The views from Bluebell Croft (and the hot tub!) look beautiful. What’s special about this area of the West Coast?
What makes Strontian, Ardnamurchan and the larger area of Lochaber so special is the friendly people and the hospitality. The pace of life is slower, the tranquil and scenic landscapes are second to none. The Sunart Oak Woodlands are a special remnant of temperate rain forest and make the area by diverse in beautiful trees and wildlife. Whatever the weather the colour of the landscape is always interesting.
What are some of the things you suggest to visitors to see and do in the area?
We have lots of interesting walks, cycling paths, loch fishing, scenic routes, and wildlife to explore. There are also lots of guided boats trips for sight-seeing and wildlife spotting; such as seal spotting from Oban, puffin watching on the Treshnish Isles, and Fingals Cave. There are many more things to do within a day trip.
There are resident White-tailed and Golden Eagles on the peninsula as well as red deer, pine marten, red squirrels and seals.
What’s on offer for those looking to get active in the outdoors?
For the more adventurous Ben Nevis is just 23 miles away, Glencoe and skiing can be reached in less than an hour. The National Ice Climbing Centre is a short trip away.
Tell us about one of your favourite beaches
Just 30 miles away is Sanna Beach, perfect for picnicking! Even on a busy day you can find a sheltered spot. The beach is pristine and rarely there are more than a dozen people around.