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


United Kingdom

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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    As a family, we run a bustling wee ‘micro-hostel’ from our home and garden tucked into the corner of Ullapool village. The property is pretty big (about 1000 square meters) and very versatile. We’ve had a lot of success renting interesting/alternative spaces online for the past three years, and this summer has also been going really well with our new quirky, luxury bell tents alongside our lovely wooden glamping pod.

    Our organic garden has raised vegetable beds, flower beds, fruit trees, chickens, two guinea pigs, three extremely friendly cats and a very welcoming lurcher dog called Polly.

    We are looking for positive, capable, self-motivated people, who can see for themselves what needs doing and do it efficiently and independently.

    People who can bring music, song and circus skills are always extra-welcome, but we are open to everyone - 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 oboe, piano, ukelele, guitar 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.

    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.

    We’re looking for folk to come and join in with the work and the play. The children are aged 10, 13 and 15: 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, prettily painted, 2 berth caravan in the garden (see pics.)
    We eat very well here - see reviews from previous Workaways! - and we love to share food! The produce in this area is some of the best in the world, and we are passionate about cooking it well and enjoying it all as much as possible, from local seafood, to my mother's home grown vegetables, to beer from our local microbrewery...
    We're happy to be flexible, and if Workaways prefer we are also open to hosting self-reliant couples or individuals who would like to cook for themselves. We offer one less hour of work per day if Workaways prefer to self-cater. As the gardening and fishing seasons progress, we can provide some free fresh herbs, fruit, vegetables and fish.

    I have many years experience teaching English as a Foreign Language to adults - so if you want to work on your language skills, i am happy (and qualified! :) ) to help with that... I speak clearly, with an English/BBC accent, so you don't need to worry about not being able to understand the Scottish accent. However, we do need people who speak enough English to understand instructions about how to change over the rooms, work in the garden etc.
    Please don't apply if you have very low level English - consider, rather, being one of the students for the trainee teachers here:

    Ullapool is small and pretty, with a permanent population of less than 2000 inhabitants. 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. We are home to the only Tesco (supermarket) for many 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. All of this makes it a brilliant Workaway destination, as you can venture out on foot and find all sorts of adventures within minutes of our front door. Easy, independent and fun travelling experiences!

    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… Just let us know, and we’ll try to make it happen.

    We are looking for positive, capable, self-motivated people, who can see what needs doing and do it efficiently and independently. This is true most especially for cleaning work, which, at peak season, takes up much 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.
    This 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 us all to get out to the hills or the beach to play... :)

    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 are not smokers, but we have no problem with other people smoking (outside.)

    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.

    We do ask that Workaways take responsibility for getting themselves to Ullapool. Please be sure you have worked out your travel details (especially Ullapool bus times and whether they fit with flight/train times into Inverness) before committing to a start date.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Babysitting / child care
    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Charity work
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I spent many years teaching English as a foreign language to adults. I can offer support if you hope to improve your English.

    My daughters speak Gaelic and are usually keen to share their knowledge of local Gaelic music, language and song.

    We have access to some of the best natural ingredients in the country up here from the sea and the garden.

    Ullapool is a really popular tourist destination. Everything you need is in walking distance of this house - although we may look remote on the map, the transport links are excellent, so it makes a great base for exploring the rest of the coast.

    We fun, friendly and keen to make new friends around the world.

  • Help


    See main description

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English (kids also speak Gaelic)

  • Accommodation


    2 berth, 4.2 meter caravan

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Ullapool has everything - and we are in the middle of pretty much all of it! :) We need your help about the place, for sure. But we will also do our absolute best to make sure you have as much fun as possible - we are proud of our wee place here and like it when people enjoy it!

    We have: Shops, markets, galleries, music, art, museum, bookshops, theatre, festivals, library, pharmacy, post office, tesco, fuel garage, pottery, bars, restaurants, take aways, butcher, baker, deli, gym, swimming pool, ferry terminal, hair dressers, beauty salon, camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking, sailing, golf and much, much more.

    Getting Around:
    Car, ferry, bus, bike...again, we have it all! :) There's usually a bike around the place you can borrow if you would like to. Ullapool is really compact, so everything is in walking distance.

    Summary and links of transport connections etc can be found here:

    Bus Companies
    Citylink Coaches operate a bus service from Inverness to Ullapool. This runs in conjunction with the ferry service so times should be checked and tickets booked in advance.

    D & E coaches also operate a service from Inverness to Dingwall, through Strathpeffer to Ullapool and onwards north to Lochinver, Scourie and Durness (This also allows for bikes being taken on a trailer during summer months).

    Citylink operate from Glasgow/Edinburgh to Ullapool and onwards to Stornoway.

    Megabus also operate links throughout the UK to Inverness and Stagecoach operates the Jet Bus Service to Inverness Airport with up to a 30 minute service between the City of Inverness and the Airport.

    The Westerbus also operates from Inverness to Gairloch connecting with an Ullapool service at Braemore Junction on a Monday, Wednesday & Saturday.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4 hours a day, 5 days a week - very flexible

If you look really closely, i have labelled our house on this pic...
Janis and girls with Janis' aunt in California, spring 2018. We like travelling, but can't afford it often. (That is a big part of why we do Workaway - we want to hear about your country!)
The interior of the caravan, beautifully renovated summer 2018 by a pair or very talented Australian Workaways... In 2019, this will be the Workaway accommodation in July/August.
Our place from the air - all month apart from July and August, Workaway accommodation is in the wee brown annex on the corner of the building closest to the driveway gate. Own entrance, but bathroom around far side of the house. (The other two houses you can see in the pic belong to the neighbours.)
Fidus and (blurry) Loki - our most relaxed residents...
Mushrooming became a bit of an obsession this autumn...
Our house is one of the ones on the left hand edge of this shot. There's a lot of lovely shots of Ullapool to be found on line. Check out the "Welcome Ullapool" pages, and/or the work of Stephen Gourlay.
The cats: Tatty and Genghis. More affectionate than your average cats. We also have a young stripy grey cat called Noah.
Polly the lurcher enjoying some sunset time out on the loch - Janis' partner Paul is keen on angling, and gets out on the water whenever possible. By summer 2019, we're hoping also to be running a wee charter boat, taking tourists out for mackerel and adventures... :)
The Ullapol. Built by Janis' partner Paul, this is our most popular AirBnB space.

Host ref number: 735613541453