1 Where do you live?
We live in a bright modern house with conservatory and garden in Crieff, Perthshire, in central Scotland. We have two spacious guest rooms: one double and one twin. There is a study room for lessons and homework, and plenty of room to relax.
2 How do I get there?
You can fly to Edinburgh or Glasgow airport. We can then pick you up from there (a charge applies), or you can take the train to Dunblane railway station from Edinburgh or Glasgow (free pick up). Or you may choose to drive – under 1.5 hours from both airports.
3 What is Crieff like?
Crieff is an attractive small town in central Scotland, 20 kms’ driving distance from the famous Gleneagles Golf Club, 30 kms from the historic cities of Stirling and Perth, and 90 kms from Edinburgh. The Lowlands meet the Scottish Highlands here, and Crieff is surrounded by beautiful, green and hilly countryside.
Central Scotland played an important part in Scottish history, and we have plenty of historic sites.
If you want to see the famous Scottish hills, lochs and castles, and to enjoy the great outdoors, Crieff makes an excellent base. The town has a beautiful park and some attractive walks, in the hills or along the river. It has shops, cafes and restaurants, and a leisure centre with swimming pool and gym. And it has a well known hotel, Crieff Hydro, which offers a large number of outdoor activities for adults and children, e.g. 4×4 driving, horse-riding, shooting, and watersports on the loch, as well as a luxurious spa. And 3 excellent golf courses, which welcome visitors. The local Highland Games (Crieff Highland Gathering) at the end of August is one of the best in Scotland.
4 When should I come?
We accept bookings all year round, apart from Christmas week (New Year week is possible). All seasons are beautiful here. Spring and autumn are ideal for those not tied to school holiday dates, as the countryside is at its best – wild flowers in spring and stunning colours in autumn – and there are fewer tourists. The main tourist sites remain open all year round. The world famous Edinburgh Arts Festival (including the enormous Edinburgh Festival Fringe), and Edinburgh Tattoo, lasts for 3 weeks in August.
5 What wildlife will I see?
We frequently see deer, hares, red kites and herons.
6 What is the food like?
Tasty international food, including Italian and Asian. We can also introduce you to some famous Scottish dishes. If you have any preferences (e.g. you are a vegetarian or have an allergy) please just mention it on your Enquiry Form.
7 How many visitors do you have at a time?
A maximum of 3 young people, or 2 adults. Or a family of up to 2 parents and 2 children.
8 Do you host children/young people and adults at the same time?
No. We would only do this with the consent of both parties.
18 is the maximum age for our child/young person visitors.
9 Can a guest come on their own (no other guest)?
That is very often possible, particularly outside of school holiday times. Please just make that request on your Enquiry Form.
10 Should I bring a laptop to work on?
Yes, please do.
11 Do you have a teaching qualification?
Lydia Paish studied in Cambridge to obtain the respected Cambridge CELTA* certificate, which is available for you to see on request.
* (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
Questions relating to Children/Young People
12 What age range of children do you take?
We currently accept young people from age 10 to age 18. Younger children are welcome to stay in the company of one or both parents – see our family holidays.
13 Do you host same mother-tongue guests at the same time?
We avoid this where possible, but don’t guarantee to be able to do so. We very strongly encourage our guests to speak English only, and they will almost always be in the company of native English speakers.
14 Do you host children who are of a roughly similar age and English level together?
We aim not to have any unmanageable differences.
15 How will you keep my child safe?
Lydia Paish has a recent, clear DBS check (this is the UK criminal records check for adults who work with children). This is available for you to look at, on request.
UK parents have a bit of a reputation for being over-protective, and we will look after your child/young person as one of our own, allowing them an age appropriate degree of freedom, and encouraging them to stay in touch with us at all times.
If you have any particular requirements in respect of your child, please include these on the Enquiry Form.
We recommend that all guests bring a mobile phone with them, usable in the UK, and will encourage them to have our phone number and address on them at all times.
Your child will of course be free to contact you at any time, to discuss any concerns that they may have about their holiday.
16 Should my child bring a smartphone, tablet or laptop?
These are useful, but please discourage your child from contacting friends at home or using social media, as that interferes with a total immersion in the English language and will impede their progress. If this becomes a problem, we will encourage your child to spend less time on their device, or you may wish to inform us of usage limits in advance of your child’s stay.
17 How should I contact my child?
You are of course free to phone and email your child when you wish. If they have no digital device with them, please phone them on our home phone, preferably in the evening, and email them at our email address.
It is best not to contact them too often, as using their home language will affect their immersion in English.
18 How will you communicate with me about my child?
We will email or Whatsapp you when we meet your child at the airport, to reassure you that they have arrived safely. We will then email or Whatsapp you at least twice a week to update you on what they have been doing, attaching photos or videos. And we will keep in touch with you about their return travel.
At the end of their visit we will email you with a report summarising what they have done with us and with a short report on their level of English, the progress they have made, and recommendations for areas to continue to work on.
19 What will you do if my child is unhappy?
We will talk to your child to try to find out what the problem is and what we can do about it. As appropriate we will contact you by email or phone to discuss the situation. We will do everything we reasonably can to ensure that your child enjoys their holiday with us.
21 Do you have a police check?
Lydia Paish has a recent DBS (criminal records) check.
22 Can I talk to you before I make a decision about this holiday?
You are welcome to email us and ask to arrange a phone or Whatsapp or Skype call.
If you have any other questions, please email, or include your questions when you complete an Enquiry Form.