FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) about the 5 Star holiday cottage accommodation at Crosswoodhill near Edinburgh and Livingston, Scotland.
On this page we try to anticipate some of your questions.
Section 1: Inside essentials
Which kitchen and laundry appliances can we expect to find in our accommodation?
Fridge, separate freezer, dishwasher, double oven and electric hob, microwave, washing machine and tumble-dryer
Any other useful kitchen equipment?
Almost everything you can think of, from a garlic press to a wine cooler, food processor to coffee maker, toaster, kettle and salad shaker. You’ll find a large range of saucepans and cooking paraphernalia and enough glasses, china crockery and cutlery to cope with a crowd!
And in the living area? Do you have a TV, Video-Recorder, DVD player, Hi-Fi, Sonos, telephone and anything else?
Yes, all of these but bring your own DVDs and CDs with you. The TV in the living area has Freeview channels, but the TVs in the kitchen and bedroom don’t. There are also books, games and toys for all ages, a huge amount of tourism information, maps and guide books, and a telephone + access point.
Both Orlege and Craigengar now both have SONOS sound system so it may be an idea for you to download the free Sonos App for your smartphone.
Craigengar has Play station 3 and Wii, with a small selection of games. If you want more, bring more!
How about power showers and baths?
The choice is yours… power shower or a bath to luxuriate in on each floor.
And do you provide towels and bedlinen? And tea-towels?
Yes, no need to bring any of these; they are all included in the rental. Beds are made up ready for you, and towels await you. We know how useful it is to free up space in your car and want you to feel at-home the moment you walk through the door.
So what other useful things do you provide?
A hairdryer, iron and ironing board, electric blankets, clothes airers, a first-aid kit, sewing kit, shoe-cleaning equipment, dog towels, a torch, general cleaning equipment including a vacuum, bin-bags, dishwasher powder and washing up liquid. And much more… However we do not provide laundry powder, leaving our guests to bring the ones they prefer.
With so many skylight windows and the long summer daylight hours in Scotland, can we screen out the light at night?
Yes, every window has a blind, either operated manually, by a switch or remote control.
Tell us more about the heating.
Both the central heating, underfloor heating and hot water are provided by an oil-fired boiler in an outhouse in Orlege. Temperatures can be regulated and timings for the hot water adjusted to suit your lifestyle. Fuel and electricity are charged as extras dependent on usage. Read more.
With Craigengar, heating and hot water come via a ground source heat pump and solar panels and these are not charged as extras.
Peat, coal and firelighters are available for purchase at-cost for the multi-fuel stove. Really there for the ambience, the stove is an alternative or supplementary form of heating.
Is the water safe to drink?
The water comes from a private spring on the Pentland Hills and tastes delicious. It is filtered through an ultra-violet system and is regularly analysed and tested.
Our water is hard which can unfortunately fur up our kettles and shower heads.
Section 2: Policies
Is the accommodation child-friendly?
All ages of children have happily stayed here and loved meeting the Orlege and Craigengar teddies and exploring the toy baskets. We can provide (please request in advance) a cot (travel or conventional), a highchair, baby intercom, baby bath. The stair design does not lend itself to fixing stairgates. Before booking please check the layout plan
(at the base of the Orlege Page and also on the Craigegar pages ), to make sure it suits you.
How about dogs?
We welcome well-behaved dogs (@ £20 per pet per week) as long as they respect our furniture and fittings. We ask that you do not exercise your dogs in the fields where our sheep graze but use the local picnic area instead to give your dog a taste of freedom! Please enlighten yourselves with our dog-house rules.
Guests are strongly encouraged to consider others in their party as well as the guests that follow, and to smoke outside ( ashtrays provided ) and inhale some fine Scottish air. We suspect that the tiny minority of guests who do puff inside would breach the rules in a cottage with a non-smoking policy; we therefore prefer not to promise a totally unpolluted property but instead pleasantly surprise our guests when they almost always inherit a clean-air cottage.
Is there ground-floor accommodation available for the less physically fit?
The downstairs double bed area and adjacent ensuite bathroom in Orlege provide the perfect solution. Just one step into a roomy shower cabinet, otherwise wheelchair friendly. Please ask beforehand about any worries you may have and if we can help, we will.
In Craigengar there are 2 bedrooms downstairs and a spacious bathroom / shower room with a wet floor
What about wi-fi? And is there a phone in the property?
You can now get free wi-fi if you bring your own laptop, though don't rely on this totally, please as there are occasional lapses in broadband service. In Orlege you have unlimited wi-fi usage. In Craigengar it is limited, so please be aware of this. The accommodation has several telephone access points and we provide a phone. Mobile reception here is patchy ( Vodaphone is good though ) but as well as making outgoing calls, guests can receive free incoming calls: 01501 785165 for Orlege and 01501 785087 for Craigengar. Outgoing calls are charged at-cost and call charges can be accurately monitored with a weekly line rental cost of £2.43 added to the cost of your calls.
If we encounter a problem is there someone near at hand to help?
Almost always. We live at the far end of the farmhouse. Customer care is something we are passionate about (recognised by our many awards over the years). Our goal is to exceed guests' expectations, and take the angst out of emergencies.
How close can we park our cars?
Immediately adjacent to the accommodation.
Can we arrive and leave any time?
On your day of arrival your accommodation will be ready for you any time after 16.00 hrs. Occasionally, if you ask beforehand, we can get it ready by 13.30 hrs. Don't worry if you need to arrive very late at night. Everything will be ready, welcoming and a Home File will answer any immediate questions for you. And for real late-comers (those arriving close to midnight) on request we can usually pre-shop your first day's breakfast for you at your expense.
Do you take “any-day” bookings?
Sorry, but in advance for various domestic and commercial reasons we usually only take Saturday to Saturday bookings in Orlege and our other smaller properties. You are welcome to book less than a week but in advance the rental will be the same as that for a full week. Discounted weekly or part-week bookings are occasionally available very last minute and will be flagged up on the Late News/Late Offers section of the Home Page both here and on the Crosswoodhill website.
With Craigengar we are a lot more flexible with our bookings, offering weekends, whole weeks or working weekdays.
Please tell us how we can book and can we pay by credit or debit card?
For Orlege, our 5 STAR, check with the Availability Calendar on the BOOK ONLINE page that your preferred dates are still available and if so you can safely divulge your credit or debit card details on the Secure Book Online form there. For all the other properties at Crosswoodhill, please complete the Availability Enquiry Form on our other website or telephone to check.
Can you re-assure us about your green credentials? We want to stay somewhere eco-friendly.
We passionately believe in doing all we can to reduce the environmental impact of our business.
Inspected by the Green Tourism Business Scheme ( GTBS) we are thrilled to have been awarded the highest level, GOLD. Our Environmental Policy Statement offers you more detail
Section 3: Outside essentials
Where is Crosswoodhill located in relation to:
Edinburgh Airport? About 16 miles or 30 minutes’ drive
Glasgow Airport? About 36 miles or 70 minutes’ drive
Prestwick Airport? About 90 minutes’ drive
How close are the local food shops and when do they close?
Although West Calder has a small supermarket we recommend ASDA WALMART in Livingston 10 miles away. Open from 06.00 hrs until midnight every day, it offers an amazing range of retail needs.
What about local restaurants?
A good variety, although nowhere closer than 6 miles. Seek out the folder on restaurants in the accommodation or look at our LINKS PAGE or ask us for our personal recommendations.
Best ways of getting around from Crosswoodhill?
For rural excursions we recommend using your car. If you are to make best use of your time in Scotland a car really is essential.
For trips to the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, a trio of choices…
Drive into the centre (35 minutes) and park (can be adventurous and expensive)
Use Park & Ride 10 miles from here, hop on a frequent bus (£1 per person each way) which will deliver you painlessly to the centre. Or drive so far into the city on a direct road in ( A70 ), park free before restricted paid parking begins and hop on a frequent no. 44 or 34 bus and perhaps buy a day ticket to hop and off buses.
Take the train (approx an hourly service, leaving your car either at West Calder, or Curriehill, closer to Edinburgh.) Speedy if you get the timings right, but more expensive.
If one of us is away with the one car all day on business, does that mean the rest of the family will be marooned at Crosswoodhill?
No, you can order up a subsidised taxi-bus service to take you into West Calder and link into public transport from there, catch a train to Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Should we do a lot of advance planning of places to visit?
Within your accommodation you’ll find lots of guidebooks, a road atlas, files full of tourist information divided up into various areas within driving distance from here, attractions to visit, activities to indulge in, shopping opportunities, cultural events, and suggestions from guests who have enjoyed a stay here before you. However we would recommend that you browse our See & Do Pages for ideas before you come as this will save you precious time.
Should we bring our golf clubs, fishing tackle or bikes with us? Is there secure storage?
Opportunities do abound in this area for real enthusiasts to enjoy these activities. However quite a few guests lugging such gear here tell us that with so much else bidding for their attention, it was going home unused! As for storage, bikes would need to be stored within our open shed but could be tucked out of sight.
Is it true it rains a lot in Scotland?
Scotland presents a surprise at every turn, including changeable weather! You can sample all of the seasons in just one day. Yes, it can be wet, misty or even bitingly windy, so bring warm and waterproof clothing with you. We provide one large umbrella per property. And if you do find yourself basking in temperatures more typical of the Mediterranean…. well, that can happen too.
Can we explore your farm? And the farm buildings? Meet the sheep and cattle?
Yes, we want you to feel part of the farm. You can explore 1760 acres. We even provide wellies to spare your footwear if it’s muddy. We do however ask that you supervise young children and don’t exercise your dogs in fields with livestock.
Interpretativew boards erected in key spots in our fields can help focus ideas of what to look for on your walks
Can you give us 3 good reasons why we should book a property at Crosswoodhill rather than elsewhere?
Crosswoodhill Farm Holiday Cottages are annually and individually inspected under the VisitScotland Quality Assurance Scheme. Using a scale of 1-5 Stars, this national scheme provides welcome reassurance about what to expect before you arrive. Its detailed objective assessment embraces cleanliness, ambience, hospitality, service and standards in the accommodation. Orlege and Craigengar were last inspected in 2011 and retain their 5 STAR status. More Info
We are the only holiday cottage business to have 3 times (in 2001, 2005 and 2008) won the Tourism Oscar of Scottish Self-Catering Operator of the Year. Entering this award incentivises us to regularly "walk every step of the way" through our business to make sure we continue to conjure up and deliver everything we realistically can for our guests' delight. We were finalists for the 2012 Thistle Awards and in 2013 were regional finalists for this same award.
We invite you to share with us some of the lovely comments made by past guests on our FEEDBACK PAGE
(and enjoy some lovely countryside images at the same time.) And maybe in the future your comment could feature here on this website? Or on Trip Advisor? If you haven't already done so, please check us out on the Trip Advisor website by typing CROSSWOODHILL into the search area.