Oakworth micro-hostel, organic garden and family home in the heart of Ullapool village.

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Janis Piggott Patterson



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Oakworth micro-hostel, organic garden and family home in the heart of Ullapool village.

  • Marker details
  • DescriptionAs a family, we run a bustling wee ‘micro-hostel’ from our home and garden in the heart of Ullapool village. The property is pretty big (about 1000 square meters) and very versatile in what it allows us to do here. We’ve had a lot of success renting interesting/alternative spaces online for the past two years, and are looking forward to re-opening in 2018 with brand new quirky, luxury bell tents alongside our lovely wooden glamping pod.

    Our organic garden has raised vegetable beds, flower beds, fruit trees, honey bee hives, chickens, guinea pigs, extremely friendly cats and a very welcoming lurcher dog called Polly.
    Music, song and circus skills are always handy things to bring, but some of our most successful hosting experiences have been with Workaways with aptitudes like climbing (we have a fantastic new wall in the village,) reiki massage, yoga teaching and photography. (Did we mention music? :) We are keen for folk that can come and teach the kids guitar and/or inspire them to play their piano and violin for fun more often...having new and interesting people to play music with has really inspired them since we joined Workaway...)
    We invite you to become a part of our home, bringing whatever magic you can to the ever-changing, dynamic mix that is daily life at Oakworth.

    The kids go away for a few weeks every August, so during that time, we also rent out two en-suite rooms inside the house and the work centres almost entirely around hosting tourists, cleaning rooms, doing laundry and keeping up with the varied and interesting demands of a bustling hostel. The rest of the time, it is a balance of property/home maintenance, gardening, supporting family life and just whatever else needs doing to keep the space healthy, happy and welcoming for everyone passing through – be they friends, family, guests or random passing travellers looking for a spot to pitch their tent and hang their hat.
    During the wintertime, things get pretty quiet and we only host occasionally - it is still worth applying, but please bear in mind that it is VERY dark, and can be pretty cold and wet this far North in the winter months. Do have a careful think about what you'd do in your 'down' time, and whether you wouldn't be better saving your Highland Experience for the spring/summer months.

    We’re looking for folk to come and join in with the work and the play. The children are aged 8, 11 and 14 (all girls,) so they are old enough to be fairly independent – they don’t need supervision - we don’t need an au pair. We’re looking for interesting international people to engage and befriend them and teach them about life in other countries – how to see the world in a different light, and how to travel successfully themselves when the time comes.

    The accommodation we have to offer Workaways in the summer is a small, but very groovy wee caravan, situated a few meters from the house. It sleeps 2 people, and has been much loved over the years as a festival home for hippies and (for the past two seasons) as a unique, charismatic guest space. It has running cold water, unlimited wifi, an electric heater, a fridge, microwave, electric hob, kettle and toaster.
    Ideally, we’d like to host self-reliant couples or individuals who are happy to cater for themselves but willing to join group meals in the main house occasionally, depending on what’s happening and who else is around. We offer one less hour of work per day if Workaways are willing to self-cater. As the gardening and fishing seasons progress, we can provide some free fresh herbs, fruit, vegetables and fish.
    (In the winter, we'd offer a space inside the house with meals provided.)

    Ullapool is small and pretty, with a permanent population of less than 2000 inhabitants. But during tourist season it is phenomenally busy, especially with the development of the NC500 route (worth researching this, if you are considering coming to this part of the world) and exponentially rising visitor numbers. The ‘metropolis of the North-west coast,’ it is the proud host of the only Tesco (supermarket) for miles in any direction… As well as numerous other shops it has galleries, a theatre, library, sailing club, restaurants, hill walking, lots of festivals, a very vibrant traditional and contemporary music scene and a spectacular choice of pubs all within ten minutes of our garden gate. Ullapool is the gateway to the Outer Hebrides, with the Stornoway ferry departing twice daily and bus connections from Inverness, as well as the spectacular coastline and more remote areas to the North and South.

    As a destination, Ullapool has a lot to offer and we are delighted to share it with people. Wherever possible, we are happy to try and assist you to get as much as possible out of your experience here, whatever that means for you specifically. If you like hillwalking, we can take you to the start of the trail, if you like photography, we are happy to arrange sunset viewing from the best lighthouse…
  • LocationUnited Kingdom, Scotland, Highland, Morefield

  • Work
  • Type of work Gardening
    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Helping with Tourists
    We are looking for positive, capable, self-motivated people, who can see what needs doing and do it efficiently. This is true most especially for cleaning work, which, at peak season, takes up a fair chunk of each day. Obviously there are lots of other interesting things to do too - but it IS important for our Workaways to be confident that they know how to clean. The accommodation we provide is cheap, clean and friendly - we are vigilant about maintaining consistently high standards for the guests on all three points. To this end, we can teach you most skills, but with cleaning: you either see it or you don't. Oakworth is a team effort: it is important for Workaways to be happy to work well at a reasonable speed, so it all gets done in time for getting out to the hills to play...or whatever else you like to do in your down time!

    Generally, a working day runs like this:
    10.30 - 12.30: room changeovers, bathroom cleaning, laundry etc
    12.30 - 2.00: lunch
    2.00 - 3.30: gardening, building...whatever project your skill and interests fit best with around the place
    4(ish) - 5.30(ish): hanging out with the kids (maybe) or engaging with any last minute preparations for guest check-in.

    We have good links with other hosts and projects in the region, so (if you like) we may be able to find you a space somewhere else if we can't accommodate you ourselves.
  • Hours per day We are pretty flexible, but we aim for 5 hours per day, 5 days per week on average.
  • Work requirements: Happy, friendly, self-motivated, independent, flexible.
  • Host's preferences
  • Availability: Send a message to inquire.
  • Duration of stay: 2-4weeks
  • Maximum number of helpers: 1
  • Last minute requests: Okay
  • Host
  • Languages:English, Danish, Gaelic
  • Has pets? 1 dog
    3 cats
    2 guinea pigs
    4 hens
    100 000(ish) bees
  • Smokes at home? No
  • Accommodation: small, cosy 2 berth caravan with outside bathroom.
  • Additional info