Before you go

This page holds all the information you should need to get you to Grianan, and have a problem free holiday. There should be a copy at the house (in the drawer under the phone), however you may want to print this out for reference prior to arriving.

Address & Telephone

Grianan’s address is:

Grianan
Isle of Iona
Argyll
PA76 6SW

The telephone number is 01681 700 355.

Travel

There are two ferries involved in getting to Iona. One from Oban to Mull (Craignure) and another from Fionnphort (Mull) to Iona. There is a bus service between Craignure and Fionnphort, though if you have a lot of luggage, you may want to book your car onto the Oban/Mull ferry, and drive across Mull.

For ferry timetables and booking, see www.calmac.co.uk or call 08705 650 000. For bus timetables on Mull, see www.westcoastmotors.co.uk, service 96 496 or call 01586 552319. If you are taking a car onto Mull it is highly recommended to book on the Oban/Mull ferry.

For timetable details for complete journeys from virtually anywhere in Britain ring traveline (0870 608 2 608) or visit their website at www.traveline.info. For general advice on your journey ring the Tourist Information Centre in Craignure on Mull (01680 812377 or send them an e-mail at info@mull.visitscotland.com).

Parking

If you are coming by car, you will either be leaving it at Oban, or at Fionnphort on Mull (you cannot take a car onto Iona). At Oban, you can park at the free car park at Lochavullin. At Fionnphort there is a free car park at the top of the hill.

Driving on Mull

If driving across Mull, the strict convention which should be followed is to keep to the left when you meet other vehicles, whether a lay-by is to your left or right of the road (i.e if the layby is on the right hand side of the road, pull up opposite it, and allow the vehicle coming from the opposite direction to navigate around you via the layby). Additionally, because the road is mainly single-track only, you are requested to allow following vehicles obviously wishing to travel faster than you to overtake, by pulling in at lay-bys so allowing them to pass.

Taking a car onto Iona

You are not ordinarily allowed to take a car onto Iona.  Special permission can be obtained from Argyll & Bute Council if one of your party is disabled.  See more about Iona Vehicle Permits at Argyll & Bute Council.

If the ground is wet, you may have difficulty getting up the field on your departure. If you have a front wheel drive car, you should reverse out, and you may need someone to push, to avoid wheel spin, and churning up the farmers field.

Finding Grianan

Grianan is the white house standing on its own in the field about 300m north of the Abbey, and is normally easily visible during the ferry crossing. (North is to the right as you cross over to Iona on the ferry.) It is about ½ mile from the pier, a ten minute walk.

Taxi on Iona

To order a taxi on Iona, call Lindsay or Joyce on 0781 032 5990. You might consider this if you are going to arrive heavily laden with luggage and provisions.  For pricing and other information, see www.ionataxi.co.uk.

Shopping

There are two small grocery shops and a post office on the island, as well as various craft & souvenir shops. See www.isle-of-iona.com/shops.htm for a comprehensive list.

Spar (01681 700 321) will deliver groceries.

Cash

There are no cashpoints (ATMs) on Iona. You can get cashback on debit card transactions from Finlay Ross (along the road to the right when facing the ferry jetty) for £2.50 or from the Spar (directly up the road from the ferry jetty) for free if they have the cash and you are making a reasonable purchase. If the Post Office acts as an agency for your bank, cheques may be cashed for free; otherwise there is a charge.

In the house

The key

You will receive an email prior to your arrival with instructions on where to collect the key.

Bedding and towels

Bedding and towels are provided. Please strip sheets and pillowcases from any beds used, and put together with used towels in the porch area beyond the kitchen, ready to be washed.

We do not currently have a laundry service so are not able to provide bedding and towels, so please bring your own sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, and towels. There are plenty of duvets and pillows, mainly single duvets, there are only two double duvets.

In an emergency, there is bedding and towels in the upstairs cupboard, but please launder and dry these before leaving if used.

Candles

Except in a power cut, please do not use candles, because of fire risk.

Coasters

Please use coasters under your cups and glasses to protect the furniture in the sitting room and bedrooms (coasters can be found in the cupboards in the dining room). The wooden kitchen surfaces have a varnish capable of withstanding spills.

The Rayburn boiler/stove

An oil fired Rayburn boiler/cooker and ground-floor radiators are installed. The Rayburn may be set to heat the radiators, or not, as per your requirements. The Rayburn is quite simple to operate, and generally should come on at the touch of a switch. Please consult instructions hanging beside it.  Please do not turn the Rayburn off when you leave, but leave it on its standard timer setting.

Hot water

When on the Rayburn will heat up the house’s hot water cylinder. There is in addition an electric immersion heater which is controlled by a switch above the mantelpiece in the kitchen. The downstairs shower is electric, so does not depent on the Rayburn.

Household equipment instructions

The vaccuum cleaner and other household equipment instructions are in a folder in the top draw of the bureau in the sitting room. If the vaccuum cleaner is not picking up properly, it probably needs its filter cleaned. Please check the instructions.

Septic tank

Please only use cleaning products marked as suitable for septic tanks. For instance please do not use normal bleach.

Fuse Box

The fuse box for the house is clearly visible at the top of the north-west corner of the kitchen. In the event of a blow, they are newer style trip switches, so should just need turned back on.

Rubbish

Rubbish is collected on Tuesday mornings some time between 9:00 and 9:30 am, the bin is best put out on Monday evenings. Leave the bin beside the road at the top of the field, on the opposite side of the road. Please make sure you retrieve the bin after it has been collected.

The fire, and what to do with ashes

The ash collects in a bucket beneath the removable grate which needs to be emptied after 3 or 4 days of use. The cool ashes should be bagged (proper bin-bag without holes recommended) and disposed of with regular waste.

There is a spare ash bucket in the porch beyond the kitchen, which you can swap with, allowing the hot ashes to cool before bagging.

Do not on any account deposit ashes anywhere in the garden or over the wall, thanks.

Coal

There is a coal heap beside the oil tank at the front of the house (the front door side).  If this is running low, please let Colin know so that more can be ordered.

On arrival

There are two fire extinguishers, one located by the door to the dining room, the other upstairs by the door to the ‘dormitory’, the large bedroom on the east side of the house. There is also a fire blanket hanging in the kitchen. Please locate these, and familiarise yourselves with their instructions for use. For your safety, and the safety of the house, there are mains-powered smoke alarms, located in 1. the downstairs corridor and 2. above the stairwell. Please check these are working by ensuring that their small green light is on.

The phone

Please see instructions left at Grianan to record any amount that you are due for the use of the phone. These instructions are in the drawer of the table in the hall upon which the phone sits. (The telephone is set up with the BT 1571 answering service. A singsong tone indicates that you have messages waiting, access these by dialing 1571.)

Before departure

Please report any breakages, and state whether you managed to replace.

Please leave the house tidy and clean, as the next guests will find it as you leave it.

Leave the top cupboard to the left of the electric cooker empty, so that the next people may easily unpack and offload any food they have brought on arrival. Do not leave any pershable food in the house.

Leave the house locked, with all windows (including the skylight in the upstairs bathroom) closed.

Contact details

Colin Burn-Murdoch
5B London Street
Edinburgh
EH3 6LZ
Tel: 07971 815 229 (if urgent – please use email for bookings)

If you’re at Grianan and there is a problem, and you can’t get through to Colin, you can also call Alastair & Rose Burn-Murdoch on 0131 448 2041.

Important phone numbers

Coastguard:
01688 302 200
Dentist:
01631 563 006 (Mr Price, Tobermory)
Doctor:
01681 700 261 (Bunessan, Mull – Iona surgery on Thursdays)
Police:
01681 700 222

In the event of an emergency, CALL 999, as you would do anywhere else in the UK.