Grid Reference: NB987125 HILL HOUSE is an old croft house built of stone. There are stunning scenic views inland to the hills of Wester Ross and out to sea to the Summer Isles, Skye and the Outer Hebridees. A recent Automobile Association article stated: "North-West Scotland's scenery is about as good as it gets…majestic mountains sweep down to a wondrously wild and miraculously unspoiled coast". It is one of the most unspoilt corners of the British Isles. There are abundant walking opportunities both along the coast and in the surrounding hills. Shop within 2 miles and pub within walking distance. The price reflects the fact that it is not up to the standards set by Tourist Boards (No TV, no fitted kitchen,no wall-to-wall carpeting). It retains some of the ambience of a crofter's house in the mid-20th century, but has basic mod-cons (electric cooker, fridge(s), two bathrooms - each with flush loo and basin, one of the bathrooms has a bath), electricity. There are storage heaters in each of the downstairs rooms and thermostatically controlled heaters in the two bedrooms. The owner's family have been using it for holidays for the last 40 years. Although we let the house so that it pays its way and for improvements, it is very much a "lived in" home and not an impersonal rental house. Downstairs - kitchen, bathroom, sitting room, large comfortable porch with views to sea/islands/mountains. Upstairs two bedrooms and bathroom. Each bedroom has two single beds that can form a double bed. It is somewhat basically furnished. Some of the furniture is made of driftwood and herring boxes. But it has one or two elegant pieces of furniture as well (See photos). The house is not suitable for the infirm or very elderly.
HOW TO GET THERE
ALTANDHU is 2 hours drive from Inverness and 45 minutes from Ullapool. From Ullapool take the A835 Ullapool to Durness road and turn off after about 10 miles north of Ullapool to the left. Follow sign to Achiltibuie (15 miles). First junction - go straight ahead (right is to Lochinver). Fork right at second junction signed to Altandhu and Reiff. Fork left at third junction signed Altandhu (Reiff is to right). Look out for red phone box on right-hand side; uphill track to Hill House starts approx.35 metres further on on left-hand side just after next passing place sign you come to. If you reach smokehouse you have overshot the track by about 200 yards.There are three houses above the road behind the Smokehouse. It is the one in the centre with black metallic roof and white-painted walls and a wooden porch with large picture windows.
The house is situated about 200 metres above the Achiltibuie-Reiff road. There is a steep rough track up to the house which is OK for most cars (you may have problems if your car is very low-slung and/or has long wheel base). The track starts on the non-seaside of the road and about 50 metres east of the public phone box (see photo). It is not sign-posted. There are 4 gates to contend with to get to the house. You can also get to the house from the road by climbing uphill over a field. Whichever route you use to get to the house, PLEASE CLOSE ALL GATES AFTER YOU AND KEEP THEM CLOSED AT ALL TIMES.
ARRIVAL - Do try to ensure you arrive in daylight. It is essential to have a torch if arriving after dark to enable you to turn on the "NON-HEATING" electricity (see below).
PARKING - There is parking for two cars. (See photos).
DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOUSE
ELECTRICITY - There are two systems - STORAGE HEATING (three storage heaters - sitting-room, hall, kitchen) and OTHER (hot water, kitchen equipment, lighting, ring main, heaters in bedrooms):
STORAGE HEATING - don't touch heating fusebox -- each heater has ON/OFF switch at floor level and has two controls on top of heater - INPUT and OUTPUT - turning each control clockwise maximises, counter clockwise minimises. Switch at floor level lights up when heaters are loading (that is provided heater in question is switched on at floor level). Heaters are loaded at any time of day or night depending on the whim of the electricity board. But a certain minimum of power is guaranteed every 24 hrs. Heater in hall will be ON when you arrive - other two heaters OFF. WHEN YOU LEAVE PLEASE ENSURE HALL HEATER IS SWITCHED ON (Input at max, Output at min) AND OTHER TWO HEATERS ARE SWITCHED OFF (ie as they should be when you arrive).
OTHER - switch on main switch on arrival; off on departure. There are in fact two BIG RED switches at right hand end of fuse box marked "Non-heating".
WALL-FITTED HEATERS IN BEDROOMS - switch on at wall socket; use thermostat to control output.
METERS - Please read BOTH meters (heating and non-heating) on arrival/departure and pay us for what you have used when returning key. (As of August 2008 rate is: non-heating £0.1496/unit; heating £0.0861/unit)
DOCTOR - comes from Ullapool. He has a surgery in Achiltibuie and there is also a district nurse (information in desk drawer).
SHOPPING - Shop at Polbain; shop, petrol and post office in Achiltibuie. Tesco supermarket in Ullapool.
RUBBISH There is a wheely-bin at foot of track - collection on Mondays. MAKE SURE THAT NO PERISHABLE FOOD OR RUBBISH IS LEFT ON DEPARTURE. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE EMPTY CARDBOARD BOXES IN HOUSE!! HELP YOURSELF TO ANY FOOD THAT YOU FIND IN THE HOUSE.
LETTERS - you are in hands of postman. I think he delivers to house.
BREAKAGES - replace if possible - nearest hardware stores in Ullapool and Lochinver or let us know so that a replacement can be sent up with next tenant. Not always easy to buy things locally.
SITTING-ROOM FIRE - burn only coal and peat briquettes (both obtainable from Polbain Store). PLEASE DO NOT BURN WOOD - danger of sparks but more importantly the chimney flue we had to install after lightning strike in 2007 is not suitable for wood fires.
FRIDGE - Please clean and leave door open on departure. Unplug from socket.
LINEN - There is a double and a single duvet 2 or 3 blankets and some pillows. Take your own sheets, towels, teacloths, bathmats, duvet covers and pillow cases. The mattresses are foam with no cover so you should take your own undersheets. King-size undersheets and fitted sheets are ideal.
PETS (ASSUME ONLY DOGS) are welcome with their own beds but please have them deflea-ed. It is essential that they don't chase sheep. If they do, they may well be shot! Please do not let them pad around inside house with wet/dirty feet - especially not on the rug in sitting-room. They should not be allowed to go upstairs. Do not let them sleep in sitting-room. Please clean up after them and dispose of their excreta (neither in the garden nor outside the sheep-proof fence that surrounds the garden - use some sort of air-tight container and place in rubbish). THEY MUST NOT SLEEP ON FURNITURE.
WATER - It should be on when you arrive. In an emergency water can be shut off by turning valve in pipe at back of house.
DEPARTURE/CLEANING - Please leave house clean (as I hope you found it on arrival). There is an excellent hoover. We do not have anyone to clean the house. We rely on you. Please leave all interior doors (excluding the door from the hall into the porch) open on departure. This allows warm air from the one storage heater in the hall that is left on to circulate around the house.
STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU PRINT OUT WHAT YOU SEE ON THIS SCREEN AND TAKE IT WITH YOU.
HOW TO GET THERE
DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOUSE
© Hill House - Altandhu | created at www.mrsite.com