Welcome to Colislinn, our much-loved family home. We hope you have a truly wonderful time here.
This note is meant to cover the most important things you need to know – but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0779 053330.
There is further information available on the website: http://colislinn.com/arrival-information
Wifi: The router is in the dining room, and there is a booster in the hall. The network is BT-RJA3MH. The password is on the back of the router and kitchen noticeboard: puPxK3fK6XvMf4 The signal is very weak and deteriorates noticeably if lots of people are using it. If it gets too weak, turning the system off for a few minutes to reboot it usually helps.
Phones. The landline number is 01450 374276. EE is the only mobile phone provider that currently works in the house, though you can usually pick up the others by walking into one of the nearby fields.
Rubbish, Recycling and Compost . Please dispose of your rubbish carefully. Recycling: Please recycle as much as possible but note that everything has to be clean and should be put loose in the bins: paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, plastic food trays, juice cartons, carrier bags, NO BLACK bin liners.
Green waste and uncooked /unprocessed kitchen waste can be put on the compost heap. PASTA, BREAD, RICE, etc, ANY MEAT, FISH, BONES etc must go into landfill AS IT WILL ATTRACT VERMIN.
Landfill Collection is every second Monday and Recycling every second Tuesday. All 4 enormous bins by the bridge at the beginning of the drive are for your use.
GLASS can only be recycled at Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s.
The new AGA: We are very proud of our brand-new electric AGA. The control panel is behind the top left door. Please have a quick read of the AGA User Guide in the folder, even if you are familiar with AGA cooking. We keep it on the slumber setting (the half filled in circle button) then put any ovens we want to use about half an hour in advance, to warm up. We turn the hot plates on 5-10 minutes before we need them.
The oven temperature guidelines are as follows: Top right oven = 230c; Bottom right oven = 120c; Bottom left = 170c. With all ovens on standby they can still be used to warm plates or for slow low heat items such as meringues. The hot plate on the left is the hot one, for frying etc, and the one on the right is the cooler one for simmering etc.
Please be very careful not to scratch the top of the metal hob covers or the AGA enamel – use the hob cloth covers or the wooden trivets to place hot pans on. Please also wipe off any spills as soon as possible so they don’t get baked in.
Please save electricity by turning off the hobs and putting the ovens back to slumber mode overnight and between meals.
BEES! There are two beehives behind the hedge in the paddock to the right of the kitchen garden. There is no practical need to go near them and they should not cause any danger, but are best avoided. In any case please keep your distance and make sure children don’t play nearby. Please call if you have any questions or concerns. It’s possible that I’ll come down to do some beekeeping while you’re staying – I’d be happy to provide a bee suit and an ‘introduction to beekeeping’ if anyone is interested.
Use the trampoline only under mature, knowledgeable supervision. Inspect the trampoline before each use. This includes the frame assembly and the springs.
The Trampoline. To be used at your own risk. Please be careful and read these instructions before use:
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 manoeuvres 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.
Hot Water and Heating. If you need extra hot water at any time, the best thing is to press the +1 hour button on the control panel at the top of the stairs to the basement on the left-hand side of the porch. The heating can be very thirsty so we’d suggest keeping it to no more than 18 degrees and using fires to warm the house.
- Logs & Woodpile. Scottie will have filled all the wood baskets and there are extra bags of logs available in the basement at a cost of £4 each. Please don’t take logs from the woodpile outside and make sure children don’t play on it.
- The team: Scottie, Ulla, Anna and Tim are the amazing people without whom we couldn’t run Colislinn. Scottie is usually here on a Thursday, mowing lawns etc, and more than happy to help with questions etc. Their phone numbers are on the kitchen noticeboard.
- Games room. This is in the basement, there is ping pong and table football.
- Water pump (sticking). There is a water pump in the pantry that supplies hot water to the first and second floors. (The pantry is locked as we keep our food and other supplies in there). You can hear the pump when it’s running and it should only run when a hot tap is being used. For reasons we’ve not yet worked out the pump very occasionally doesn’t turn off when it should: Turning a hot bathroom tap on and off sometimes helps unstick it. If it doesn’t turn off please give us or Scottie a call.
- Kitchen garden. Please help yourself to any of the veg or fruit that is ready to eat (you’ll be doing us a favour).
- Please avoid blocking the loos. Use thebins for sanitary pads, tampons, nappies, make-up wipes and any other items that you have not produced yourself. The sewage system is very sensitive!
- Breakages and damage. Please let us know if you break or damage anything. We’re very understanding and it means we can replace or mend things as soon as possible without other guests being inconvenienced.
- TV. There is not enough broadband signal for Netflix, BBC iPlayer etc, though we have a lot of DVDs. The TV in the drawing room ( poor quality) can only show the same TV station as whatever is playing in the study (much better quality). Switch on the TV and Skybox and use the Sky control to change channels (only non-paid for channels available).
- Things to buy
and do – some of our favourites and potentially subject to Covid restrictions:
- Hawick has a Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, Lidl and Aldi. The Morrison’s is pretty good for everything and the Lidl has excellent value wine.
- Going Native, the butcher, is run by the wonderful Mary in the Sandbed (turn left down the hill when you get into Hawick and her shop is on the first roundabout). Her locally produced meat, scotch pies, haggis and bacon are all to die for.
- There are lovely walks straight up the hill behind the house. Please be careful to check for ticks afterwards on any humans and pets. There is a tick remover on the notice board that you can use but please replace. Please observe the Countryside Code and be careful to keep your distance from cattle, especially if you have a dog with you. If you are here in Spring please don’t go into any fields with young lambs.
- Golf. Hawick is only 2 miles away (by the back road) and a very decent course, if you don’t mind a bit of a climb. Lilliesleaf is extremely relaxed and for people of all or no ability – it describes itself as ‘for the less discerning golfer’. The best course in the area is the Roxburgh, about 30 minutes away.
- Eggs. There is a farm on the way to the Lilliesleaf golf course, (about a mile on the A7 in the direction of Selkirk turn right, farm is on the left after 500m), that sells delicious fresh eggs. Bring cash for the honesty box and go for the Very Large (£3.50 per dozen) if you like double yolkers.
- Swimming in the river. If you want to brave the cold and the water isn’t too low or high, you can take a dip in our bit of the Slitrig river in a pool just below the back drive. The water there is 4-5 feet deep. Swimming is at your own risk. Please make sure that young children are not left unattended and are aware of the dangers from the river and burn that run through the grounds. Please use the dark towels in the cupboard in the laundry (i.e. not the ordinary bathroom towels).
- Cashmere. Hawico and Johnstons of Elgin in Hawick can be great sources of keenly priced cashmere. There are other outlets that are sources of even better bargains. Lovat Mills sells wonderful tweed and rugs etc
- The Borders Distillery in Hawick is worth a visit – the first whisky distillery in the Borders. Its malt is not yet ready but it sells delicious blended whisky and gin.
- Born in the Borders for a decent meal and to see the ospreys
- Harestanes Visitors Centre: A nice outing for families and children with lots to do, sweeties, crafts, adventure playground etc. Wilton Park in Hawick also has a good children’s playground.
- Hermitage Castle (very spooky) – about a 30 minute drive through empty moorland and just before Newcastleton, where you can get a decent pub meal or go mountain biking.
- Abbotsford House – Sir Walter Scott’s recently renovated home.
- Rugby. Hawick Rugby is a great club and a great afternoon out. Hawick has produced more international players than any other town in Scotland. If you’re lucky you might even get a glimpse of local hero Stuart Hogg. The various Borders Sevens tournaments are also a lot of fun.
- Fishing. Trout fishing permits for Barnes Loch and Acreknowe (fly only) can be bought in Hawick. If you have a car with decent ground clearance Barnes loch is worth a cast for the wonderful views alone. You can use any kind of bait on Williestruther loch. See Hawick Angling Club website on Facebook for more info. The Buccleuch Estate has two boats for hire on a loch at Bowhill (near Selkirk): 01750 20753. Fishtweed and Fishpal have information about salmon beats on the Teviot and Tweed. There can be some quite good last minute deals available.
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 extremely dangerous when in spate after sustained rainfall. That said, the river is a good 150meters away from the house, but due to this proximity to water, small children and toddlers should be supervised at all times when playing outside.
Finally we love well-behaved pets, but not their excrement. Please bag it and bin it!
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…
- 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.
We really hope that you and your children will want to explore the grounds, build dens, swim in the Slitrig 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.