Frequently Asked Questions
Q - How big is the fridge-freezer? - A: The fridge freezer stands approx. 5ft tall; the bottom two thirds is a standard larder fridge and the top third is a freezer.
Q – How well equipped are the cottage kitchens? - A: All the cottages have enough crockery and cutlery for the number of people that the cottages sleeps, plus basic pots, pans and utensils for cooking and an hob top kettle, a cafetiere and teapot. We do not have specialist cooking gear such as woks or tagine, nor plastic tableware for children, but do please feel free to bring your own if you wish.
Q – Can I bring my hairdryer/slow cooker/pressure cooker? - A: Please don’t! Electricity on Shuna is provided by solar panels and wind turbines, with generators for back up only, so all lighting is low voltage LEDs and we ask that guests do not plug in any high drain items that will collapse the system for all of the cottages (One guest didn’t understand and used her hairdryer anyway, she was mortified when she realised she’d caused all of the cottages to have no power until we’d been notified and put the generator on to recharge the system, and she had to be charged for the diesel for the generator).
Q – What’s the best midge repellent? - A: We use a product from Avon called Skin-so-soft Dry Oil Body Spray - it is not sold as an insect repellent, but seems to work better than anything. Sadly there are midges on the west coast of Scotland but, as they cannot fly in anything stronger than a slight breeze or over the water, you can avoid them by wearing repellent and staying out of sheltered areas when on land and going out on the water on calm days – which are the perfect days to be out on the water anyway!
Q – Can I bring my dog on holiday with me and is there an extra charge? – A: Yes, well behaved dogs are very welcome on Shuna. There is no extra charge for cleaning but to facilitate this we do ask that they are either kept off the beds and soft furnishings, or only allowed on their own blankets on such. Obviously they must be under strict control around the sheep and the pheasants but other than that Shuna is a paradise for dogs! For their own and guests’ safety, please keep dogs on leads on the island launch.
Q - Is there a lifejacket for our dog? - A: We provide full adult and child lifejackets (see below), but if you need one for your dog please bring your own. Some breeds such as pugs cannot float to swim because their bone density is too great and so they do need a life jacket. But a handle on a lifejacket can also be useful if a dog is reluctant to get on the island launch too!
Q – My child can be quite fussy, can we bring our own lifejacket for them? – A: Yes, absolutely! This is a great idea as the child can get used to the lifejacket before it is needed and allows you to choose the most comfortable version for their size. We do require everyone to wear a lifejacket on the water and we are not able to offer the slimline gas ones because people choose to go swimming in them and this would cause them to go off all the time, so if any adults would prefer to bring their own lifejacket, this is perfectly acceptable too.
Q - Are there any laundry facilities - A: We now have a washing machine which can be made available on request. Standard laundrette rates apply.
Q - I've got really good quality walking boots, so do I really need to bring wellies? - A: Super-duper SAS ultra-waterproof mega-boots last about 30 seconds walking across Shuna - we do 15 mile sheep gathers in the summer in wellies.
Q - Can we book use of canoes/kayaks?- A: No, Shuna isn't that sort of place - they are just there for everyone’s use all the time.
Q - Are there barbecues? – A: Part of the fun is building your own from available rocks etc - alternatively cheat and bring a couple of disposables.
Q - Is there anywhere we can charge mobiles/ipods/tablets/laptops etc.? - A: Yes, all of the cottages have at least one socket for charging devices.
Q - Is the car parking safe - A: Yes, there have never been any problems with cars at our car park on the mainland.
Q - Do you have any baby equipment? - A: On request we will provide you with Travel Cot, High Chair, Fireguard, Stairgate and special baby Lifejacket.
Q - Are there luggage space restrictions - A: No, bring as much as you think you will need, and we strongly suggest you bring all your food shopping with you on arrival day - this means that you will not have to waste time shopping on the mainland during your holiday. All your luggage is transported to your house from the Pier by tractor or quad bike. EXCEPT if you are at South End where no transport is available and you will have to carry everything approx 100 yards from the pier to the house.
Q - Do I need to pack in any special way? - A: The boat trip over is on largely open-decked boats which means that if the sea is rough or it is raining heavily luggage can get wet - we recommend covering luggage with bin liners to be sure it stays dry. Another tip is to use smaller rather than larger cases as these are easier to handle on and off the boats.
Q - Can I arrive on a non-standard day? - A: Southend House arrival and departure is a Friday and all of the cottages at the north end arrive and depart on a Saturday. If you are not able to make the standard crossing, then we may be able to arrange to make a special crossing just for your party, but this will need to be charged at £50 per extra trip to cover the extra boat fuel and time (e.g. someone arriving on a Sunday but leaving on a Saturday would be charged £50, someone arriving on Sunday and leaving on Thursday would be charged £100).
we hold our
as the otter
His log body floats across the
then with a flick
long tail sliding into darker
like a champagne
on a luckless
We hear bones
There’s snow in the
and the ridges are
A cloud the size of
presses down on the heron’s languid
and a rubber-headed
pounces on a
a toy to play with in its loch-sized
Then hail hits the
A pounding of
Mica Schist captures the
Reflecting the rainbow’s fraying
with eiders whistling in our
the urgent flock of
in the twinkling of our
our heads ablaze
with birds and beasts and light.