Monday, 30 October 2017

Hygge In Tappit

Now that the clocks have changed and the temperature is falling as fast as the leaves,                       a Scottish beach holiday may not be at the top of your list, but think again!

Tappit Hoose is the ideal place to cosy up in for a winter short break. Have a bracing walk along the beach or the Fife Costal Path and then you have no need to feel guilty for snuggling up with a good book or a movie.
Get in touch to hear about our winter special self catering short breaks in Fife.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Twitching in Crail

We are so lucky in Crail to have the exceptionally knowledgeable Will Cresswell writing a column in the Crail newsletter. Crail is a real haven for bird watches with plenty of different habitats to study. So when you are booking your next break in  Neuk Hoose or Tappit Hoose don't forget your binoculars!
Here is an extract from the latest edition of the Crail newsletter from Will.


"On the Sunday of the 10th it felt like it should have been a bit busier than it was: there were quite strong winds after some light easterlies the day before and rain showers all day. But the sea remained the quietest I have seen at this time of year since I moved to Crail 14 years ago. I haven’t seen a sooty shearwater this year, manx shearwaters have been rare since the beginning of August and there are barely any great and arctic skuas passing. And watching the arctic terns far out from Fife Ness I was reminded that
little gulls are also rare this year. There are good and bad years for little gulls, and as I watched a single first winter little gull amongst the terns, it occurred to me that we are heading for a bad year for little gulls too. The stronger wind did bring more newly fledged juvenile gannets. I think they are so heavy when they fledge, they need a good strong wind to get themselves airborne and to carry them out of the Forth.
There was a pulse of waders through the Eden Estuary at the beginning of last week – curlew sandpiper, ruff and little stint – but none made it onto Balcomie Beach. There are still small
groups of dunlin,
ringed plover and
sanderling there. I
can’t tell how much turnover there is in their numbers: perhaps not that much considering that nothing new seems to have come in. There are at least more redshanks there now and many more along the rocky shore to Crail as the juveniles start setting up their territories for the winter. These redshanks will mostly then be here for life, returning every winter that they survive. Each year some of the adults don’t come back from breeding and these territorial “holes” in the rocky shore get filled up with juveniles. How long the juveniles search for a vacant good territory is hard to tell. I think they will go for almost the first thing they find after arriving from the breeding ground. It’s a race against time – if they don’t occupy a
place soon then all the good spaces will be gone. It’s a great advantage to arrive first and so a great advantage for adults to breed early and give their young a head start in life: this is probably true of
Little Gull
most animals. On Balcomie Beach it seems much more fluid with a flock of up to 40 redshanks. They disperse out onto the rocky shore or the lower beach at low tide and do defend
small areas from other redshanks, but mainly they seem less territorial than the birds on pure rocky shore. And it is 2
not unusual to find flocks of redshank even at mid-tide on the beach. Not exactly a tight flock of “friends” like dunlin, but a definitely a group of birds tolerating each other. These are often juveniles so I wonder if they are making the best of a bad job in the absence of a territory.
There were large flocks of seabirds finally at the end of last week,
just out of sight from Fife Ness. I have been able to see only the vague shapes of hundreds of gulls just popping up above the horizon, shimmering in the heat haze – perhaps even a mirage of gulls even further out. Aesthetically pleasing but very irritating. Far too far out to see which species are involved. One flock made it into the Forth between Crail and the May Island last Thursday evening. All kittiwakes that I could identify but still far enough out that there was probably something else among them. I keep waiting for some winds to bring them all closer. "

Friday, 21 July 2017

Pack for Success! Self-Catering holiday packing list.

The holiday is booked, everyone is excited and now its time to pack, with our help it doesn't need to be stressful!

Self Catering holidays offer you the freedom to plan your own day and meal times, if you want to eat out every night thats fine but sometimes you just want to have something simple in your pyjamas and have a quiet evening.

The challenge with self-catering holidays can sometimes be the balance between having to shop for the essentials you could have brought from home and packing so much that you dig yourselves out of the car.

At Neuk and Tappit Hoose we try to help as much as possible and will always leave a roll of kitchen roll, a few toilet rolls, dishwashing liquid and enough tea/coffee/milk so that you can have a cuppa when you arrive. We also provide the bulky children's essentials, travel cot, high chair and stair gate. We are very lucky in Crail to have a fantastic Coop for all your essential, a wholefoods shop, greengrocers with fish counter and amazing wines, an award winning super friendly butcher, artisan local baker and if you come in summer don't forget the lobster shack!

Here is our essentials list:

  • Your brand of tea and coffee
  • Condiments. Jam, honey, tomato ketchup etc
  • Cooking Oil Spray, this is a top tip. It takes up far less space to take home and is less likely to spill, apparently its healthier too!
  • Margarine or butter
  • Cereals, we love the individual boxes of kelloggs, a real holiday treat and again no spillage on the way home!
  • Beach Towels, although we provide lovely big fluffy bath towels, they're not for the beach.
  • A big bag or rucksack for excersions to the beach/picnics/day trips

I always pack more clothes than I need! There is a washing machine, a clothes drying rack and over radiator drying rack!
Another top tip especially if you're travelling with children is to pack what you will need first, last. If you know you are going to be arriving late afternoon/ evening pack the pjs at the top of the bag and think about what you are going to eat on that first night.

Also don't forget you can get in touch with us whenever to find out exactly what we have in either of the properties. We like to think that as we spend time in each of the houses as a family ourselves we have thought of most things.

Friday, 7 July 2017

`"Fife Five" Get inspired, get to Fife!

Looking for inspiration for you next trip to Fife? Let Neuk Hoose, Tappit Hoose and Welcome to Fife help! 
Welcome to Fife have produced the "Fife Five" set of infographics to inspire you to explore all that Fife has to offer. A visual list of inspiring things to see and do in Fife themed around different topics..... and all in lists of five.
They are a fun and engaging sowcase of key themes in Fife such as Fife's landscape and scenery ,food and golf and hopefully will encourage you to discover more about the area.
Have a watch, enjoy, then get in touch to book Fife's best holiday cottages.

Friday, 9 June 2017

A Gardening Holiday without getting your hands dirty!

Can you tear yourself away from your garden in June and July? We think you should down tools and come to Fife to see some of the amazing and rarely open to the public gardens we have.
Our self catering accommodation in Fife, Neuk Hoose and Tappit Hoose may not have their own gardens but you can take the oppertunity to have a break from the weeding and mowing and plan your trip to admire other peoples hard work...

Cambo House, with it's stunning woodland walks and unrivaled walled garden must top the list!

Scotlands Garden Open Scheme has an impessive list of rarely open gardens locally to explore, there is also the Fife Garden Trail in late June/early July a must for any gardener!

St Andrew's botanic garden is also a hidden gem, there is much more to St Andrew's than just golf!

So put down those secateurs a book a break in one of Fife's best Holiday cottages

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Fife Costal Path, a Hoose Lets Guide

Perhaps one of Fife's best kept secrets is the Fife Costal Path, and it should be no secret! With stunning scenery, historical, ornithological and architectural interest we should all get out there and walk the walk.
The Fife Costal Path stretches 117 miles from the Firth of Forth in the South to the Firth of Tay in the North. The path ranges from easy and level to wild and demanding, walking boots are recommended but not a necessity. The path is one of Scotland's great trails and is part of Fife's core path network.

 Neuk Hoose and Tappit Hoose are the ideal place to base yourself from if you are planning on a walking holiday in Fife. 
Our self catering holiday accommodation in Crail is only a couple of minutes walk from the Fife Costal Path.
We are going to be staying in our holiday cottage in Crail ourselves in the next couple of weeks and I'm really looking forward to walking as many of the sections as I can.
The first section obviously will be from Crail to Anstruther, as a complete novice I'm going to play it safe and start from Crail Harbour and hope to get to Anstruther where I'll have a well earned ice cream then hop on the X95 bus back to Crail (Aplolgies to anyone sitting next to me!)

However if you are a pro and you have the time why not try the whole section.
Elie to Cambo Sands 
This section is 16 miles (28.8km) it can be rough in places and there may be muddy bits in winter but it is geographically fascinating with great historical and wildlife interest too.
Allow 5-6 hours, which should give you plenty of time to explore all the hidden gems along the way.
Starting out at Ruby Bay in Elie once famous for Red Garnet gemstones, I'll try and resist the temptation to load up my pockets with them...
Further on there are the ruins of Ardross and Newark Castles, the wonderful Ardross Farm shop has freshly picked veg if your rucksack is big enough. The High tide diversion takes you past the stunning 14th Century St Monans Church. You will go past the restored St Monans windmill, once used to pump seawater into the salt pans. In Pittenweem you will pass the cave used by St Fillan in the 7th Century.

Skirt the golf course past Billow Ness the the four old Burghs which constiture Anstruther. Refuel with some award winning Fish and Chips or delicious ice cream. If you're an Outlander fan you can see the Reaper, a herring drifter buily in the 1900s and used in the famous television series.

Walking through Cellardyke to Crail through open pasture stopping to admire the Caiplie Caves then down the stone steps to the stunnig and historic Crail harbout dating from the 17th Century.

The path to Fife Ness is challenging in places with roughter terrain. It passes through the Scottish Wildlife Trust Kilminning Coast Wildlife Reserve.
Now at the most Easterly point the path passes King Constantine's cave where he was killed in around 874.
Beyond the golf course the route continues along the shore beneath the Randerston Cliffs, wait for low tide. Crossing over the brighe to Cambo burn then continue along the sandy track through the dunes. Alternatively the route follows Kingsbarns beach where you can enjoy a fantastic gourmet cheese toasty!
At the end of this stunning section why not visit  the Kingsbarns distillery for a wee dram to restore the soul.

The next section is Cambo sands to Leuchars, by far the wildest section and yet the most cosmoplitan at the same time........

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Crail Festival 2017, We know how to entertain!

With over 40 events taking place during 10 days, this year's Crail Festival promises to be the biggest and best yet!
The festival started over 3 decades ago as a simple art exhibition and has organically grown into what it is today which would not have been possible without the amazing team of volunteers who started organising the festival last October!
The festival is kicked off on Wednesday 19th June by Horse McDonald in the Crail Community Hall, having supported Tina Turner, BB King and Bryan Ferry over her long career Horse's unique vioce is not to be missed.

From Zoo Lab, to drama workshops and the Crail Folk Club's 30th Anniversay concert there is something for all ages. Wander from Cake decorating to Classical Guitar, head down to the beach to compete in the Sandcastle and Crabbing competition. There is putting, fused glass workshops, street markets and endless live music.
The Festival is closed by the very talented Edwina Hayes for her first time at the Festival. Edwina is described as having "beautifully written songs, compelling stage presence and voice of an angel."

For the full programme and to buy tickets go to the Crail Festival website.
For Self Catering Acommodation in  Crail please have a look at our Tappit Hoose website and for holiday cottages near St Andrews see the Neuk Hoose websites.

Friday, 10 March 2017

24 Hours in St Andrews, a Hoose Lets Guide

So you're based at Tappit Hoose or Neuk Hoose in Crail and you would like to spend the day in the near by St Andrews,  let us help you with our locals guide to the home of golf.


Where to park
Free parking can be found in a large car park at the Petheram Bridge roundabout, on the A91 as you come into St Andrews from the west by the university buildings. You can park here for free all day and you are a quick 5 minute walk into the centre of town.
Alternatively you can park at the famous West Sands Beach and relive your own Chariots of Fire moment.

 On the beach aside from your sandcastle palace building and digging to Australia there is surfing, kite surfing and land yachting. Or a leisurly stroll with your four legged friend.

There is plenty of retail therepy on offer in St Andrews with a good mix of independent and luxury brands to choose from.

No visit to St Andrews would be complete without a visit to the British Golf Museum . 
The museum is a golf lovers paradise and has a stunning cafe with spectacular views back over the beach.
The Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) is a modern, stylish and interactive museum celebrating the 600 year anniversary of the museum.

The Edenmill Distillery and Brewery, book yourself into a tour at Fife's famous gin distillery, need I say more! 

Where to eat in St Andrew's, Tappit's top three!
All this should have worked up quite an appetite so now all you have to do is decide what to eat! There are a wealth of dining options in St Andrews from fine dining to communal fodder!


Here are some of our favourites:
-The Balgove Steak Barn, a fantastic quirky steak house serving locally reared steak all cooked on their open fire BBQ, a carnivore's paradise.
-Forgans, hidden away on the main drag on Market Street this releative newcomer marries industrial chic with good service, excellent local produce and an epic gin collection, what's not to like!
-The Seafood Restaurant, arguably the most stunning location for an eatery, pearched ontop of the rocks looking out across West Sands Beach and a mere 100 yards from the 18 green of St Andrews Golf Course, location doesn't get much better than this. Luckily the food more than lives up to the surroundings.

Now all that remains to do is enjoy!


Thursday, 2 February 2017

Cambo Snowdrop Spectacular and Half Term fun

With half term fast approaching we are planning our activities while staying in our holiday house in Crail. The aim is to have lots of outdoor fun without breaking the bank and we are so lucky to have Cambo House and Kingsbarns beach on our doorstep.

Neuk Hoose and Tappit Hoose are self catering holiday accommodation properties in Crail, Fife and we are ideally located on the Fife Costal Path, 9 miles from St Andrews and 5 mins by car from Kingsbarns beach. Kingsbarns beach is one of our favourites, it's generally very quiet, great for the dogs and the kids and there is an added bonus of being able to eat one of the best cheese toasties around from The Cheesie Toast Shack.

3 February to 12 March 2017
Snowdrop Festival
Our annual Snowdrop Spectacular!
Open daily 10am to 5pm

Thousands of snowdrops carpet the woodlands – National Collection of over 350 different Snowdrops – Feed the Piglets – Environmental Sculptures – Art / Craft Workshops and lot's more!
Entry - Adults £5.50 Children go FREE!
With over 350 varieties of snowdrop, winter gardens, walled garden, woodlands and wildlife, Cambo is the place for snowdrops and much more! Explore our creative family trails and herald the arrival of spring at our weekly craft activity drop in sessions. Go for a welly walk and play together at our brand-new nature playground. Our Wild Food Festival on 17 February will incorporate cosy campfire cooking and stories and active foraging around the Estate. Cambo Heritage Craft Festival on 26 February will showcase traditional skills and craft inspired by the natural environment in anticipation of the opening of Cambo Heritage Centre later in 2017. Finish with a visit to the snowdrop themed tea room and plant shop bursting with hellebores, snowdrops, aconites and more.

Friday 10 February 2pm
Stables Hard Hat Heritage Centre tour 
Enjoy a sneak preview of the restoration and development of the historic Cambo Stables complex – opening later in 2017.
Meet at the Cambo Stables

Saturday 11 February  10.30 –12.30
Playground launch - The Lost Elf Village
Parade and music making to herald the coming of spring and launch our new playground area.
Meet at the pPlayground.

Sunday 12 February 10.30 –12.30
Snow Drop Welly Walk
Meet at 10.30am for a walk in the woods stopping off for some crafty fun on the woodland journey.

Sunday 12 February 10am – 3pm
Designing the Modern Winter garden
One day course with Head Gardener Elliot Forsyth.

Friday 17 February 12noon – 4pm
Wild Food Festival 
Snowdrop storytelling sausage sizzle and foraging fun for half term.

Friday 17 February 2pm
Stables Hard Hat Heritage Centre Tour 
Enjoy a sneak preview of the restoration and development of the historic Cambo Stables complex – opening later in 2017.

Saturday 18 February 10.30 –12.30
Snow Drop in! 
Join us for imaginative arts & crafts in the woods inspired by a million snowdrops…

Sunday 19 February 10.30 –12.30
Snow Drop Welly Walk 
Meet at 10.30am for a walk in the woods stopping off for some crafty fun on the woodland journey.
Friday 24 February 2pm

Hard Hat Heritage Centre Tour

Enjoy a sneak preview of the restoration and development of the historic Cambo Stables complex – opening later in 2017.

Saturday 25 February 10.30 –12.30
Snow Drop in! 
Join us for imaginative arts & crafts in the woods inspired by a million snowdrops…

Sunday 26 February 10.30 –12.30
Drop Welly Walk
Meet at 10.30am for a walk in the woods stopping off for some crafty fun on the woodland journey.

Sunday 26 February 12noon – 4pm
Cambo Heritage Craft Festival
Trails, activities and displays celebrating traditional craft inspired by the natural environment in celebration of the development of our new Cambo Heritage Centre.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Things to do with the Kids in the Easter Holidays

Although it feel like we have just had the Christmas holidays, Easter isn't too far away and if you would like a week in a holiday house in Fife here is a list of things to keep the littles occupied. In no particular order and a good mix of indoor and outdoor activities all within an easy drive of our holiday cottage in Crail

St Andrews Aquarium  The aquarium has had a massive refurbishment and the new exhibit is due to open at the end of March, we can't wait!

British Golf Museum  Between the 25th and 28th March you can follow the children's trail around the museum find all the bunnies and you could win a prize!

Nibbles n Giggles This is a great new cafe with play area for children, dress up fun and lots of toys. We haven't been yet but it is next on our list.

Cambo Estate  The annual snowdrop spectacular is from the 3rd Feb - 12th March. Boring, the little people may cry but this is anything but, the lighting is indeed spectacular and if you go by day the children can follow the fairy map to run around the woods, rummer has it there are also some new baby piglets. This is honestly one of our favourite days out.

Craigtoun Country Park is another firm favourite, with the miniture train, pedal car area, awesome play area, paddle boats this is a great place for the kids to let off some steam. There is an easter event happening on Sat 15th and Sun 16th April.

Scotlands Secret Necular Bunker Hidden 100 feet underground, are you brave enough to descend the 450 ft tunnel and through the blast doors to reveal the secret bunker the size of 2 football pitches. Fascinating and well worth a visit.

Scottish Deer Centre  There's more than just deer! You can have a guided tour, trailer ride, Indoor play, adventure play, Kart track, Treetop and woodland walk.

Muddy Boots If all of the above still haven't tired them out yet head to just outside Cuper, its a winner! Jumping Pillow, soft play barn, pig racing, grass sledging, pottery painting, zorbing and adventure play. A really great shop and delicious cafe with an open fire, need I say more.....

Sat 8th April Dinosaur Detectives at the Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline
Sat 22nd April Justin's Party at the Alhambra Theatre Dunfermline

Hopefully there are lots of ideas here to keep your little darlings amused while you are staying at our self catering holiday accommodation in Fife.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Digital Detox

So we all know how important it is to be connected, with more of us than ever working remotely and expecting to be able to log in wherever we are. We have had a wifi connected holiday house for a while as we recognised how important it was for people to be able to keep in touch with work, perhaps that could even buy them a couple of extra days "working from home" or just to keep the teenagers happy, but at what cost?

Maybe it's time to schedule some swithched off time? To be honest Crail doesn't have the best mobile phone signal in the world but with wifi you can use wifi calls and there is no problem. What we are going to offer, (only to those who want it!!) is a digital detox holiday . Come and enjoy the fresh air, read a book, watch nature, take a step back from it all to properly recharge and unplug.
Picure yourself in front of the wood burning stove at Neuk Hoose, relaxing after a walk along a stunning beach, cup of coffee or dram of whisky, at peace.

If it all gets too much I can always tell you where I've hidden the router!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Crail Food Festival 2017

The dates have been announced for the 2017 Crail Food Festival this year it is on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th June.
The full programme will be released in April so keep an eye out for what's going on, its a really great weekend and well worth a visit.
If you would like to stay locally for the festival, Neuk Hoose is already booked but  our new wee holiday house in Crail is availiable.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

A Romantic Getaway

Earn some serious brownie points by booking a holiday cottage in Crail, Fife for Valantines Day.
Our holiday house in Crail is the perfect place to stay for your romantic costal getaway.
With a luxurious kingsized double bed in the spacious and tranquil bedroom and an open plan kitchen and living room Tappit Hoose really is a special place to get away to and show someone how much you care.
There are beaches to have romantic walks on, a plethora of fantastic restaurants for intimate meals, or  just enjoy soaking up the vibes of St Andrews together.

Ahh it all sounds like bliss to me, my darling beloved would probably be feeling rather pleased with himself for booking a Valantines break away and somehow sneak off to have a romantic walk along the golf course with his clubs. Oh well, a girl can dream.........
If this sounds more like your reality it is worth mentioning that Kingsbarns golf course is only a few miles away as is the totally amazing spa at the Fairmont hotel, everyones a winner!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

How would you like a hamper?

Here at Neuk Hoose and Tappit Hoose we are thrilled to be teaming up with Ardross Farm Shop with the idea of supplying locally sourced and grown on the farm, meat, veg and fruit.

"Arrive to a mouth watering display of freshly picked vegetables straight from our farm. Our cabbages are so fresh they squeak, our broccoli sparkles with the morning dew and our freshly dug carrots perfume the air with a sweet earthy smell" There is freshly baked bread, local cheeses, biscuits, chutneys and much more besides. Please do get in touch if this is of interest to you and we can design your bespoke hamper ready for your arrival.

Just another thing we do to try to be Fife's best holiday cottage, so if it is a foodie holiday you are after, Neuk and Tappit Hooses are the ideal place to base yourself at.