New To Colislinn? Please read this carefully
Welcome to Colislinn. We hope you will have a wonderful holiday here. If upon arrival or at any other time during your holiday there is anything you want to ask or there is a problem please give Charlotte a call on +447799053330.
Important. Please let us know in advance how many people are included in the party so that we can make up the correct number of beds.
Arrival & Departure
Unless otherwise agreed in advance, arrival time is 4pm. (We can sometimes be flexible on this, just ask). In any case please let Sheila and/or Charlotte know what time you are planning to arrive as Sheila will be there to welcome you and show you around. Also please keep her updated if you are delayed by phoning the house itself on 01450374 276.
Departure time is 10am. Again, if possible, we can be flexible on this.
Below are some notes for your comfort and safety:
Mobile Phones, Internet, TV and DVD
There is no mobile reception in the house; you can however use the internet for wi-fi texting and to make Skype, Facetime and Viber calls. The router is located in the dining room and the password is printed on the side of it. Borders broadband is notoriously poor so large files and lots of people on at the same time really slows things down.
The TV system is quite eccentric. There are three remotes needed to work the system; one for the TV, one for SKY and one for the DVD player. Please don’t fiddle with the wiring or the sensor mechanism on the TV in the drawing. If there is a problem please let us know straight away.
To work the TV: 1. Turn on the Sky box in the study so that the blue light comes on. 2. Turn on the TV in the drawing room and use its remote to set input control to ‘ TV’. 3. Use SKY remote and press ‘TV Guide’ to activate and change the channels. Use TV remote to adjust volume and picture quality.
Please note that the channels are changed through the little sensor on top of the TV which the SKY remote needs to be pointed at to work. Please do NOT fiddle with the sensor as it is very delicate.
For DVDs use TV remote to select input ‘AV1’ and use the DVD remote controller and/or buttons on the player to play. There are lots of DVDs in the Study (in the chest underneath the TV) that you are welcome to use.
Finally, you can only watch the same channel on both TVs, but you can watch a DVD at the same time.
PLEASE DO NOT FIDDLE WITH THE CABLES!!
Keeping up with the Scottish weather
Heating & Hot Water
We have a very thirsty central heating system that runs on oil, which is charged to you at (ever rising) cost. During the summer it is unlikely that the heating needs to be on, but if it is a ‘dreich day’ we’ll make sure that the wood burning stove is burning in the drawing room.
In winter we make every effort to have the house warmed up when you arrive. This involves turning on the heating 24 hours in advance in order to get the temperature in the hall to 16°-18° C. The wood burning stove really comes into its own here and keeps the drawing room really warm.
The top floor however will still be a bit chilly, because, to get the temperature to 20°C in every room, the heating would have to be on for 24 hours a day, resulting in a staggering fuel bill. So please remember to keep the doors closed and close the curtains at night. It really makes a difference.
Please check whether the times on the time clocks for heating and hot water are suitable to you. We are happy to change them if you wish.
Suggestions to keep the house warm in winter without breaking the bank:
- Light the wood-burning stove in the drawing room in the morning and keep it going all day.
- Light a fire in the dining room an hour before your lunch and keep that going as well if you are planning to have dinner there later. In this way you will probably use about 3 bags of wood a day, which costs about half of what you would have to pay if you were using oil.
- Wear a vest, another jersey, a cardigan or get out your furry gilet.
- Thermostat at 17ْ C in the hall way will keep house warm enough
- Don’t bother trying to get bedroom to 20ْ C – there are at least 10 hot water bottles, and a number of electric blankets (do remember to turn them off in the morning!)
- Wear bed socks and/or a jersey; shut the curtains at night leaving the radiators exposed
- Don’t leave the central heating on overnight ; ‘all day’ is the best setting if the weather is cold
- There are a number of electric heaters. We only use them very rarely as they are expensive to run
- Keep the door from the hall to the front door closed. Close the curtains at night
- Keep the kitchen door closed
- Don’t have massive fires in the study or dining room, as this could cause a chimney fire (fireplaces upstairs are NOT working!!)
- There is plenty of hot water but it comes from a tank so it will run out as the hot water is replaced with cold. It takes at least an hour to heat the water up again. The baths are very large and take about 3 times as much water as a shower.
The water from the tap comes from a spring in the hill behind the house. It goes through a recently installed state of the art filter system thus providing 0 food miles spring water.
NB. For the dedicated self-caterer we have created a whole page on food and local shopping!
We reckon our AGA is at least 40 years old, but its technology is tried and tested and it works fine as long as you observe the following rules:
- Have a look at the Aga cookbook if you are unfamiliar with the concept
- Thermostat – This is located behind the bottom left door of the AGA. Crank it up to maximum if you are cooking for a large party. We sometimes use the electric rings (provided) as a backup for cooking vegetables, pasta etc.
- The left plate is much hotter than the right
- Keep lids closed, especially if you need a hot top oven
- The top oven is perfect for roasts, the bottom oven is for keeping things warm.
With the invaluable help of Scottie and Sheila we keep the house looking good, but there are a few scratches and patches. Please don’t worry if you if you spill or break something (within reason!), but please let us know so that we can replace things.
Rubbish and Recycling
Please make sure that when you leave all rubbish is taken to the bins by the bridge and all recycling has been taken care of. Glass can only be recycled at Morrison’s in Hawick. We prefer you to take care of this yourself and will charge a £25 fee if we have to do it for you.
Things to do in and around Colislinn
Our website goes into much detail about things to do while at Collislinn, but please also look at THIS page, which provides general tourist information for the Scottish Borders.
- Games; a large selection available
- Sardines; there are some good hiding places, (this game is also popular with children!)
- Walks up the hill – All you need to do is put some decent shoes on and head out, especially during the unbelievably long balmy evenings in June when it is light till 11pm. There is however one thing we would like you to remember: be careful to avoid stock and crops, especially during the lambing season. Our otherwise very friendly neighbour farmer David McTaggert will not be happy if your dog worries his animals.
- Do not take your dog up on the fields during the lambing season between the end of March and the beginning of May. Not even on a lead!!
- Do not go into fields with cows with calves and/or young steers as they may charge you, especially if you have a dog with you. If you have to cross a field stay close to the fence. In case they do charge, let go off the dog!!!
- Table tennis and Table Football; we endeavour to have a ready supply of balls and equipment. However, please replace what you lose/break and let Ann know if anything is missing.
- Croquet and Badminton. All the equipment should be there. Please do not leave rackets, mallets and balls out overnight but put them back on the veranda as they are very expensive to replace
- Swimming in the river. We enjoy a quick dip when the weather is hot, but beware the water is very cold. There is a deep bit (about 4-5 feet) halfway down the drive with a pebbled area which we call ‘the beach’. Please supervise young children and use the dark towels that are kept in the laundry rather than taking the white bath towels from your bedroom.
- Sledging (last in April 2012 but before Christmas 2002) Just to the south of our grounds is the perfect hill…
- We have an enormous paddling pool out between May and September. This pool should only be used with Adult Supervision. Please read its instructions carefully and use the test strips to test the water. They are located in the sun porch in a box with all the pool paraphernalia. Please don’t add any chemicals as Scottie checks the pool once a week and adds the necessary, but if you think there is a problem in the meantime, contact me on 07799053330.
- Trampoline. Please be careful and read these instructions before use:
Trampoline Safety Rules
- Use the trampoline only under mature, knowledgeable supervision. Inspect the trampoline before each use. This includes the frame assembly and the springs.
- Tears in the jumping bed can quickly grow and become unrepairable if continually used.
- DO NOT allow more than one person on the trampoline at a time.
- DO NOT attempt stunts. Somersaults and other dangerous manoeuvers can cause serious injury or death, even if you land in the middle of the bed.
- DO NOT jump off the trampoline. Always climb on and off the trampoline.
- Avoid jumping too high.
- DO NOT use your trampoline when feeling ill, tired, when using medication or under influence of alcohol.
- Protect your trampoline from unsupervised use. Make sure that a young child can’t climb on to the trampoline whilst unattended.
- Only use your trampoline when the surface of the bed is dry.
Please be aware that you should not climb on any structures in the grounds as they are not safe. Furthermore, the river Slitrig, although usually no more than a foot deep and great fun to explore, can be dangerous when in spate after sustained rainfall. That said, the river is a good 150 meters away from the house, but due to this proximity to water small children and toddlers should be supervised at all times when playing outside.
We really hope that you and your children will want to explore the grounds, build dens, swim in the Slitrig/the pool and jump on the trampoline, etc, etc. It must however be pointed out that these activities are entirely at your own risk and we cannot take any responsibility for any injury, loss or damage that may occur.
Finally we also love well-behaved pets, but not their excrement. Please bag it and bin it!
For reference here is the MAP again ….
… and some useful phone numbers:
Our house keeper will meet you on arrival:
Sheila Ball: 07534 390 323
Scottie Farmer, our handyman and fixer of most mechanical devices: 01450 218 192 or 07725 443 302
Please also feel free to call Charlotte on 0131 553 1931 or 07799 053 330 if you have any further questions, worries or suggestions.