- Is the water safe to drink?
A new £5k water treatment system and tank was installed in 2015 to meet EU standards by a specialist water company, and the system is now serviced/maintained every second year by the company that installed it.
It uses gravity to pressurise the system. The water comes from a burn on the hill, and under pressure it goes through a double step down filter to remove the larger particles. All the colour is then removed via a large charcoal filter, and it is then treated by a titration system to kill all bacteria. The water then goes into a settling tank, which supplies the house via gravity. You may have to change a filter if you are staying for 2 weeks, but this is a 5 minute job!
Following the instilation of the new system, the water was tested annually by the council - and the water passed the EU tests as fit for human consumption.
Due to a Health and Safety Review, no Highland Council employee is currently able to travel in a boat that is not a ferry (or has a fully qualified and insured skipper), therefore they are not able to come by boat to Laggan to test the water. Perhaps unsuprisingly they have declined my invitation to walk in to do the tests (6 hours return trip - carring the samples on the return trip in an insulated container). I used to be able to take the samples myself and then take them by boat to the Council employee who was waiting at the pontoon. The Council have sebsequently decreed that I am not fully qualified to take the water samples - so I am no longer able to do this. The water is therefore not tested annually by the Council any longer.
Please contact me if you need any more information.
- Is there an inside loo?
Yes - it is a normal flushing loo in the bathroom. It is behind the door in the photograph of the bathroom!
- Can I get mobile signal?
The signal is patchy, and is dependent on the barometric pressure, however you can normally get a signal by walking around a bit and waving your phone in the air.
- Is there hot water?
The wood burning stove heats the hot water, if it is kept stoked up it will provide enough hot water for one full bath in the morning, and one in the evening. Once you have had a bath it will take a couple of hours to replenish the supply.
- What laundry facilities are there?
None at the house, although you can hand wash items, and there is an airier for inside and an old fashioned washing line outside. I usually take my old clothes wear them and then burn them. For a less drastic option there is a service laundry at Mallaig in the Fisherman’s Mission.
- Is the house fully equipped?
Yes – the house is fully equipped with all non-electrical equipment, the kitchen has a full range of cooking utensils over and above what is normally found in a rental house.
- Are life jackets provided?
Yes – there is a selection of lifejackets for adults and teenagers. Please ensure they are worn when you are in the boat.
- Can I come and leave when I want?
The anchorage at Laggan dries out at low tides (2 low tides per 24 hours). A tide table is provided, so you can plan any trips and make sure that you can get in and out of the anchorage when you plan to leave / arrive.
- Does the house have TV, Video etc?
No – there is no electricity!
- What is the weather like?
Always a hard one – best answer is variable! It can be amazing or 'dreich' - Scottish expression for pretty miserable! It is also highly changeable.
- What are the midges like?
The midges can be a nuisance, especially in August when there is no wind. Please bring midge repellent!
- What do you do in the evenings?
Have a digital detox and actually talk to each other, enjoy each others company, read or play an old fashioned board game - There is no slumping in front of the TV at Laggan!
There are lots of family games at the house (Scrabble, Backgammon, Roulette, Chess, Packs of cards, Coppit plus many many more).
There is also a very good selection of books about the local area.
- What supplies are provided at the house?
The basics are provided: Soap, washing up liquid, salt, pepper and spices and all cleaning products, plus a bag of anthracite or similar (smokeless fuel) is also provided.
- Where is the nearest supermarket?
Arisaig has a SPAR shop for the basics, there are larger ones at The Co-op in Mallaig or a large Morrisons in Fort William.
- Are there picnic materials at the house?
Yes there is a picnic basket, complete with thermos, cups, plates etc.
- Are towels/beach towels provided?
No towels are provided. Please BYO!
- Can I bring my pet?
Dogs are fine, but as cats tend to have a field day with the shrews and voles (as there are no cats on the peninsula) they are verboten.
- Does the house have central heating?
No but there are two wood burning stoves, one in the kitchen (which heats the water) and one in the sitting room.
- Is there local area information - maps, leaflets, activities etc - provided at the house?
There is a large information book at the house (also called the bossy list). This lists not only useful information about the house, but also comprehensive information about places of interest and things to do in the surrounding area.
- Can I build a camp fire?
Yes – feel free to have a fire by the shore, or on a beach, there is normally plenty of driftwood. Please take care to fully extinguish the fire with water. A word of warning – a few years ago 90% of the peninsula was burnt by a careless camp fire which burnt for 3 days and was on national news – so please be careful.
- Where can I get logs for the wood burner?
Logs are available in the woodshed, and inside in the log basket – one bag of coal per week is provided, if you need more coal (we only burn smokeless fuels), you will need to buy some. Most people enjoy collecting kindling from the shoreline.
- Is there a BBQ at the house?
Yes – there is a small improvised one made from an old gearbox. There is also a portable gas cooker (and canisters of gas) and pans etc for fry-ups on the beach, or bring a disposable BBQ.