Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

We are all learning how precious life is in these difficult times. Life is enjoying a meal with friends and family. Life is roaming in the mountains and glens or relaxing by the seaside. Life is the excitement of exploring a new city or town. No one knows what the future holds, but we are all in this struggle together. We must live apart to save lives, for now. Let this distance bring us closer. This is a time for reflection, heart, and hopefully, inspiration. Although you cannot visit our welcoming country right now, we are with you, and we want you to know that we will be here when things calm down. For those dreaming of a visit to Scotland during these challenging times, keep an eye out for new articles and videos like this one, created at home by the #visitscotland team. Our hearts go out to all those suffering at home and across the world. Stay home, stay safe

World Stone Skimming Championship

Stone Skimming World Championship Easdale Island

The World Stone Skimming Championships 2019 will take place on Sunday 29 September 2019 on Easdale Island, near Oban in Argyll, Scotland.

The Pre-Skim Party

On the Saturday night before the event, there is the Pre-skim Party in Easdale Island Community Hall where there will be a licensed bar, live music fron None the Wiser. There will be hot dogs and veggie dogs available from 7pm until they are gone.


Its that time of year when bluebells are changing the colour of Kilmartin Glen.

Bluebells spend most of the year as bulbs underground in ancient woodlands, only emerging to flower and leaf from April onwards. This early spring flowering allows them to make the most of the sunlight that is still able to make it to their forest floor habitat and attracts the attention of plenty of pollinating insects. Millions of bulbs may exist in one bluebell wood, causing the blue carpets we so keenly associate with spring, and new plants are sometimes able to split off from these bulbs and grow as clones.

World Stone Skimming Championship

Stone Skimming World Championship

A great local event is the World Stone Skimming contest on Easdale island, this year its on Sunday 23 September 2018, with a restriction on 350 entrants.  The event was started in 1983 and resurrected in 1997. Contestants hail from around the world and the championships now attract over 300 participants and many spectators. Anyone of any age and any level of skill can enter. 

Official Rules of the World Stone Skimming Championships are:

  • Skimming stones must be no more than 3 inches in diameter and formed naturally of Easdale slate
  • To qualify, the stone must hit the water 3 times and sink within the designated lane as marked by the buoys
  • Skims are judged on the distance thrown rather than the number of bounces
  • Competitors hitting the back wall are entered into a ‘Three Stone Toss-Off’ which is judged by the cumulative distance of their three tie-break throws.
  • The judges’ decision is final

RoShamBo Podcast on the World Stone Skimming Championship


Booking Websites

River Add looking over to Mull

The UK government is looking into booking websites and its about time. In our experience these sites are nothing but ripoffs and we are trying to stay  away from them, however there dominance in the market is making it hard to ignore them.

At The Old Manse in Kilmartin we presently do not use Booking.com, Expedia, trip advisor etc we only deal with direct bookings except from our airb&B entry. Air B&B charge us a % so guest coming to us through them are paying 9% more than people who book directly via our website. On trip advisor we now come fairly low on the list of recommended places to stay in Kilmartin, not because of the reviews but because we are not on their booking system and they get no commission from us.

We made enquiries regarding charges from booking.com its 18%, and expedia was 20%, with trip advisor being 21% these fees get added to your bill. The following article explains the situation quite well. article

At the Old Manse our booking system is called Free to Book its a small private company that supplies us with the means of an online calendar that we can show on our website and allow customers to book directly, we pay £1 per booking for this service. We also have an addon app to the system that allows us to take credit and debit cards online and at the the guest house.

Bird Feeder

Redpoll at Old Manse B&B

Our bird feeders are outside the breakfast room window and presently you can see gold finches, siskins, sparrows, chaffinch, dunock, yellow hammer,  redpoll , and linett to name a few.