- Stoer Bay Chalets, Self catering, Beaches, Rainbows and beautiful skies
- Craft central – Assynt – Stoer Bay Chalets
- Peat track Walk. Clachtoll – Stoer
- Mountains of Assynt – Stoer
- A Happy New Year from Stoer Bay Chalets
- More goings on @ Stoer Bay
- Birthdays & Christmases
- Stoer, Clachtoll , Drumbeg, Clashnessie, Lochinver and beyond
- Our first anniversary at Stoer Bay chalets
- Stoer coastal walk
- Some work and a little play at Stoer Bay
- Another job almost done.
- Autumn in Stoer Bay, Assynt
- Dolphins & Otters
- Stoer Bay Rock (s)
- Highland holidays
- Sunny Stoer Bay
- Clachtoll & Stoer Bay
- Celebrations & Thanksgivings at Stoer Bay
- Heatwave in Scotland
- Enjoying the start of the Summer
- The last few weeks
- A brief respite to recharge the batteries on the NC500
- Heavenly Assynt Mint
- Its a birds life
- Memories and happy days Past and Present at Clachtoll & Stoer
- Clachtoll,the northern lights, stars and Steve
- A Family working together
- Snowed out
- Chalets Upgrade Progress
- First Blog Post
Stoer Bay Chalets, Self catering, Beaches, Rainbows and beautiful skies.
Its been a very busy winter once again at Stoer Bay chalets.
With both Mijbil & Edal almost completly reclad. Just 1 porch to finish, some facings round doors and windows and a couple of snags and all done…..sounds so easy on paper!
Not to be left out Tarka’s new patio dooors have arrived, so thats the next job already waiting, no rest for the wicked!
It has been a unfeasably mild winterthis year, which, as much as I love the snow, has helped us tremendously in even managing to get all this outside work done. We are just grateful that we didnt do this job last winter. That would have been a whole different story.
We also had some lovely friends up for a visit last weekend. They hadn’t been up since we first bought the chalets 15 months ago. It definatly helped us feel on track seeing their faces at the changes since their last visit.
It was also lovely to sit in the evening and chill with a few wee drinks and relax in a place that is so special to us and share it with such good friends.
The warmer weather has of course brought with it the inevitable rain but this brings its own beauty in the form of rainbows.
But, this is the west coast of Scotland, we are not going to let a wee bit of rain stop things from getting done! Apart from stopping to take photos of course.
It is quite astounding the number and variety of talented, skilled craft people living in and around Assynt.
With a great many not even that far from us at Stoer.
Lochinver of course has its well known Pie shop, with pies of every description available and of course the famous Stoneware pottery but look further in the streets and you may find a way to have your own lovely treat. How about a personel massage or pedicure or a visit to the local leasure centre.
Also keep a very close eye out when traveling in the quieter areas all around for small shops filled with many treasures. Some of these discretly marked with a sign indicating a shop at the house at the side of the road. Craft makers such as glass painters, Potters, Knitters, Candle makers, painters and many more making each shop unique.
With opportunities abound to find a special reminder of a very special place. (including of course the pretty pebble you picked up on one of our many beaches). We also have many amazing tea rooms selling mouthwatering homebaking and fresh food, perfect for a wet day, some hidden away in secret gardens or placed perfectly at the end of walks. Bookshops can be found, always a favourite on a less drier day to while away the time.
So its well worth it if you can distract yourself from natures astounding beauty all round to seek out all our other treasures too.
I thought it would be a good opportunity to look back on last year. With plenty work always going on this lovely Autumn afternoon walk was a great few hours gentle stretch of the legs.
Clachtoll to Stoer via their peat tracks.
A beautiful 6 mile circular walk through the old peat cuttings with amazing views at every corner.
Leaving from the chalets I will take you along the road going left through Clachtoll, up the wee steep hill leaving the hamlet until you see the sign for the peat track on your left.
There is a clear cart track with stunning views and looking closely the peat cuttings even though now disused and filled with regrowth of heather are still clear to see. If you are lucky you may spot some red deer on the hills.
The track tapers down further on and narrows into a small path. As you swing round to the left you can clearly seen wooden posts direct the way through this pretty boggy part of the route.
The path goes sharply down briefly to some of the small lochs at the back of Stoer before flattening out and rejoining the Stoer track.
You wander along until you come out behind the small group of houses approximatly half a mile beyond the main hamlet of Stoer.
Once you join the tarred road turn left and enjoy the views until you reach the chalets once again.
The route can of course be done the opposite way too. I was in no hurry, savouring the fresh air and freedom. This walk would make a lovely half day wander. A gentle walk, mainly flat with just one very brief steep point.
Last week I mentioned we had our first fall of winter snow. I thought I would share some I managed to capture of the Assynt mountains with their cloaks of snow.
The beautiful mountains of Assynt
We had a lovely friend and neighbour up helping us with renovations last week and are delighted that apart from a couple of wee snags Mijbil is now reclad and Edal has one side done. I am trying very hard to wait till both are complete before showing of the new cladding but here is a peek of both men hard at work.
From this photo you may be able to tell I was up above on the rocks, I (thought I) was surplus to requirements at this point. So decided to wander along to the wee waterfall behind the chalets. Though I seem to have been all around I have never made it over to the waterfall. It is a lovely wee walk…best done in wellies….at least today anyway, even though some of the ground was hard with frost. These photos show the loch in front of the chalets from another attractive view. I was soon spied taking photos and shouted back to get on with some graft…….a womans work is never done!
One of the beauties of this area is the diverse landscape and the ability it has to cater for all. There are mountains to climb, seas to swim but inbetween there are a range of walks that cater for all levels. They can be as easy or hard as you want them to be. A gentle stroll or a days adventure. Its up to you.
A belated but heartfelt Happy New Year to everyone.
We hope you had a lovely time celebrating in 2019. I sadly haven’t been to the chalets for a couple of weeks. David & Ben though have been up and it sounds like all is going well with Mijbil, her makeover is almost complete. Finishing touches are this weekends job before it’s Edals turn .
There has also been our first significant fall of snow of the winter this week. We always look forward to seeing the mountains in all their beautiful winter glory….nothing can look as stunningl as a snow shrouded mountain. Assynt may not be reknown for many high mountains ( there are only 2 munro’s ) but they still make an extraordinary landscape, with fantastic, individual shapes.
These mountains are loved by walkers all over the world and the following are reviews of just a few of them.
Suilven The area’s most distinctive mountain which rises abruptly from the beautiful landscape. The views from its top are stunning. It is not an easy climb as it is remote from any road, so both the approaches, from near Lochinver to the west and near Elphin to the east, are long and are boggy in places. Many nowadays will use mountain bikes for the approach. The summit ridge is reasonably easy once you have finished the tough scramble to the saddle in the middle.
Quinag: a majestic mass looming over the sea loch in the north-west. Superb views.
Ben More Assynt & Conival The only Munros in Assynt, these two rocky mountains are connected by a ridge. Together they give a very rough but rewarding ascent with amazing views, a good, long walk from Inchnadamph.
Stac Polliadh This solo sandstone mountain shows how amazing Scotland’s small mountains can be In a mere few hours you get a fun thrill of a walk. The views all around are gorgeous.
Quinag: a majestic mass looming over the sea loch in the north-west. Amazing views.
To find out more information on these and other climbs, following the link on our website’s Activitie’s page to Walkhighlands.
I do hope you have had a wonderful christmas full of love and laughter.
We have had a lovely break and managed a few days of family time which was so good.
Back to work tomorrow and looking forward to a few extra days at Stoer – always feels more like a working holiday when spent at the chalets. We are hoping to complete the cladding work to Mijbil and make a start on Edal in the new year.
Here is a wee sneak peek of some of what we have done so far.
Beautiful Siberian Larch….definatly needed to deal with the climate of the north west coast of Scotland.
The only thing we are doing to it is a couple of coats of oil based clear stain so that the beauty of the wood is still on show just under a coat of weather proof protection.
One of our neighbours took some ariel photos above our chalets on Christmas eve which just show the back walls new coat on Mijbil. He cleverly edited out the scaffolding and our pile of old cladding that is waiting for us to dispose of this week.
I do love this photo so much, it shows the chalets and their stunning location of to perfection.
If I don’t make it back on before the end of the month, then I wish you all the best for 2019.
May the new year bring you all good health & happiness.
Enjoy your Hogmany celebrations where ever in the world you are.
(Hogmanay is what we call New Years Eve in Scotland – 31 December – the big night that marks the arrival of the new year.)
A very happy new year to you all from Stoer Bay Chalets.
Another productive few days spent working on the cladding of Mijbil. A wee sneak peek can be found on our facebook page. Hopefully we will get Mijbil all done over the Christmas holidays, Then all we need to do is get in her new sitting room carpet, new sofa and a new fridge and she will hopefully be all ready to go for the 2019 season, which we are already delighted with the booking coming in.
Its the usual hectic chaos that ensues at this time of year and with our eldest turning 18 on the 22nd it seems even more so and I’m delighted at his choice of birthday treat…he is taking us all rock climbing. Though this time we will be indoors, his love for outdoor adventure and his unquenching dream of making a carreer from this love grows in no small part to his childhood holidays spent exploring the land and sea in this amazing part of the world that is the North West coast of Scotland, ASsynt, Clachtoll , Stoer and Lochinver in particular.
This will be the last blog this side of christmas, lol whether anyone reads them or not I dont know, but if you do thankyou. To everyone, old friends and new, we would like to wish each and everyone of you a merry and fun christmas and a prosperous and very happy new year. All the very best for 2019.
Karen & David
After a wee break last week it was good to get back to Stoer this week. We even managed to make a start on the exterior recladding of Mijbil we are delighted with.
No photos yet, we will wait for some more to be done first but even the little bit done looks so good. I cant wait for it all to be done, though poor hubby once again with me as his gopher has pretty much got his hands full.
There are so many talented people in and around Stoer, Clachtoll and Lochinver and nearby local crofts and hamlets. From bike hire, candle making, glassware, Pottery and so much more, as well as massage, tea rooms, so even on a rainy day there is still so much to do. We have asked local to pop any leaflets into our letter box so hopefully we will have an array of up to date leaflets in 2019 of places that you may want to visit, as well as the mountains, lochs and of course the sea.
We are going on a few night time walks at the moment…not hard at this time of year with the much shorter and busy days. The night sky still takes my breath away every time, with no light pollution for miles. The stars feel so close and as ever I await seeing the northern lights. Scotland is also one of the few places where the milky way can still be seen and it is truly breath taking. I can sit in front of the chalets wrapped up warm for hours and just stare up at the sky, never growing tired of its immense vastness.
The beauty of this area is that there is something so remote and peaceful to see, feel and soak up all year round, not just through the summer. Our beaches are only the start of the north west of Scotlands beauty and magic.
We never made it to Stoer this week, instead we had a catch up with family at a mini reunion (still a couple siblings missing) in Fort William and a lovely walk with my mum along the river Spean.
The chalets were not far out of our minds however, as it is 1 year this week since we became their owners. Our first anniversary at Stoer Bay chalets.
What a year it has been. We must give so much thanks to all the physical, emotional and verbal support that friends & family have given to us not just in the last year but also in the rollercoaster of a year which led to us finally purchasing the chalets.
From gifting beautiful signs, photos for our website, giving up so much of their own free time to help at the chalets, lots of hugs and tissues and much much more. Words cannot express how much everyone’s support has meant.
We also want to say a big thankyou to all our wonderful guests. It’s been a pleasure having you all stay and meeting you all. We are so delighted that everyone of you has had such a great time whilst you have been staying with us.
A final but just as heartfelt thankyou to all the locals who have offered us so much kindness & support throughout this year.
Here’s to many more years of adventure ahead.
Thankyou all Karen & David 💕💕💕
A snowy morning in January A cheeky wee guest eyeing up the muffins
from the welcome pack
The local otter was spotted several times in the loch This wee chap and his family
in front of the chalets this year. entertained our guests on many
Sunset over Stoer from the chalets.
One of the several brown trout caught in the loch at the chalets this year.
Another week for managing to squeeze in a wee coastal walk to make the most of a lovely Saturday. Apart from the downpour half way round. Though it did produce a wonderful rainbow.
This weekends walk was along the coastal path from Stoerhead lighthouse back to Stoer Bay. Not too strenous a walk though a short part around half way was steep. You could go along the top ridge to making it a little easier if you wish but then you may miss seeing the cormorants on the rocks below.
The whole walk including plenty beachcombing and photo taking took around 1.5hrs. I was in no hurry and was taking my time……..hoping that all the wood cladding that had been delivered for Edal & Mijbils exterior walls would be safely and securely put into storage by the time I arrived back at the chalets.
……….hadn’t counted on hubby & Ben generously waiting on my arrival back to help. They are both so thoughtful, I must walk slower next time.
Two wee notes to be aware, there are cattle and sheep grazing along most of the route so dogs must be kept under control at all times. The second is there is no distinct path in places but its easy to find your own route. As long as the sea stays on one side and the land is under your feet then your doing grand. A beautiful route well worth doing.