Covid 19 Update
GOING FORWARD WITH HEATHERLEA - updated 31 October 2020
Recent announcements by both British and Scottish Governments give us clear guidance for tours in the UK from November 2020. All birding locations for our Scottish holidays scheduled before April are currently located in Tier One, and we look forward to taking you birding with confidence!
Should any tour be cancelled by us for any reason, you are entitled to a full refund or transfer to another departure. Should you be unable to attend any tour because of your local restrictions, we will be both sympathetic and flexible, and seek to transfer 100% of your booking funds to another, later holiday. There will be no admin charge for this service.
We know how vital it is for all our guests and staff to feel safe, and in response to Covid19, we have established new practices and procedures to modernise for the ‘new normal’, and to make sure we deliver high standards of service at all times. In doing this, we are guided by advice from the Scottish and UK Governments, as well as from Wild Scotland (the trade association for activity and nature-based operators in Scotland). This is of course a vitally important development to the Heatherlea service.
Welcome back to Scotland's wide-open spaces!
We are pleased to confirm Mountview Hotel has earned the accreditation 'We're Good to Go', and our home in beautiful Nethy Bridge is open. As many of you know, our Hotel is small and very private; with three large public rooms, and extensive covid precautions in place, we will keep the building secure for our clients and staff. This means our Restaurant/Bar is closed to non-birding clients until further notice. We are effectively operating as an exclusive Birding Holiday Centre, restricted for the exclusive use of our birding clients, yet with all the comforts of a small, licenced Hotel. We are also in arrangement with partner hotels throughout the region to extend covid precautions wherever you travel with us.
In Scotland, Heatherlea have a wealth of holiday choice in 2021 both here at Mountview and around the Highlands and Islands, please contact us for up-to-the-minute status of all departures. Until further notice, our minibuses will carry a maximum of five passengers each, with everyone guaranteed a free seat next to them. Please see our ‘Short Break’ and ‘Birders Blast’ pages for ‘welcome back’ special prices! If you are booked on a tour here in Scotland, please continue as normal unless we contact you, by making your balance payment when due, and rest assured if we need to cancel, then your money will be protected 100% by either re-allocation or refund. Should you be unable to attend a UK holiday which has not been cancelled by Heatherlea, our normal terms and conditions apply, though as above we will be both sympathetic and flexible, and try to reallocate your booking if we can.
Here is some recent feedback from our clients;
Ms AB, Short Break, Aug 2020
'Thank you so much for a most enjoyable Short Break. The organisation and thought put into making this trip safe both in the hotel and while out birding was exceptional. Sanitiser always available, socially distanced dining and small group size all contributed to our being able to relax and enjoy ourselves. I thoroughly recommend joining Heatherlea for a trip to remember in this time of the "new normal". Sincere thanks to Mark for his guiding, Emma and Fleur for answering all our questions, housekeeping for looking after us and for all the lovely food. You have an exceptional team Kevin. See you in May 2021, best wishes and virtual hugs!'.
Ms JS, Outer Limits Adventure, Sept 2020;
'Good morning Kevin and all at Heatherlea. Following the trip last week, I would just like to thank to you all (and especially the guides, Ian and Holly) for a successful and enjoyable trip. Given the very varied weather over the week, the guides were flexible and used their local knowledge to ensure the opportunity to maximise the birds seen. I would also like to add that I was very impressed and comfortable with the arrangements that you all put in place at Mountview and in the field, in response to Covid-19 restrictions and how this was explained before and during the holiday. I look forward to seeing you again in the future. Regards and best wishes'
As part of our re-opening preparations, we were delighted to welcome Edward Mountain, Member of the Scottish Parliament, to Mountview Hotel on Friday 14th August. Mr Mountain took a great interest in Heatherlea, and said:
'I'm delighted to see Heatherlea and Mountview Hotel resume operations in a covid-responsible manner, and to meet so many of their friendly and capable team today. Whether it is wildlife watching or exploring the great outdoors, our region is ensuring safe tourism can happen so that visitors can return with peace of mind. I am passionate about supporting the recovery of our tourism sector in the Highlands and I will continue to press the Scottish Government to address the challenges Highland tourism businesses face.'
Heatherlea fully intend to forge into the future stronger than ever. Our current motto is 'thrive, not survive'!
We look forward to taking you birding again!