Self-Catering, Summer 2020
A self-catering holiday this summer may be a slightly different experience to what you are used to …
There are many aspects that remain unchanged; the open views, the landscapes, the independence and, unfortunately, the midge is definitely still here! Anyone planning a self-catering holiday this summer will find it offers a safe environment to relax and unwind within. However, as with every industry and every business, we have had to adapt to the new “normal” in which we find ourselves.
The Highlands and Islands is made up of small communities, each one is in some way linked into and dependent upon tourism. That said, you may notice that not every business has opened for this season. It is still too early to know how many will diversify and be able to adapt their ways so they can welcome you to savour their food or take you kayaking along the coastline, but we hope you will have a great time discovering the little changes that have happened. Perhaps experience some old favourites in a new way.
As you venture around and explore, please respect all restrictions and guidance that is given. Whilst sightseeing, perhaps hit the “hot spots” of the Storr, Quiraing, Fairy Glen, Neist Point and Fairy Pools at a quieter time of day … sunrise or sunset perhaps and capture the most amazing photographs at the same time! If the car parks are busy and you can see a queue of people already there, perhaps drive on and come back another time. It isn’t going anywhere and it will wait for you! But reducing the crowds will be key to a successful summer on Skye.
Remember that though you are on holiday, face masks should be worn in shops and on public transport, have a bottle of hand santiser in your car or pocket and can use it before entering a shop or museum. And if staff ask you to wait to enter remember, that’s OK … you’re in no rush, you’re on holiday!
At the holiday cottages, you will be able to self check-in using key safes. Whilst they will be disinfected before you arrive, do use hand santiser before touching them. When you go inside, you may notice that there are less soft furnishings and ornaments. Books and games may be temporarily boxed up waiting for the guidelines to soften and the kitchen will just have cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery. The niceties of condiments, oil, tin foil and cling film will be removed (so please don’t leave any food or items like these on your departure, take them with you! They will get more use at home with you!).
There is no “one method fits all” for the cleaning and disinfecting of the properties. Instead they have had to find a way that will work for them. For this reason, each cottage will be able to stock different things, to complete same day changeovers or decide to create gaps between bookings. What they have in common is that they are all trying to minimise and reduce the risk of the virus being present within the cottage before you arrive.
We hope that we can work together; guests, owners, housekeepers, residents and staff alike. All being mindful of our own responsibilities and how each of us can help to minimise the risk in our behaviour and actions. We hope together we can show tourism can be responsible and therefore, sustainable.
We look forward to welcoming you to Skye and Lochalsh this summer.