The SpaceMost of our time is spent in the beautiful green and brown woods of the Catskill mountains. However, every summer for the past 25 years we have packed up and migrated north to Heather Beach on Northumberland Strait where it is exquisitely blue!
This rustic cottage has electricity, hot running water with an outdoor shower with a view of the ocean. There are two tiny bedrooms - one with a queen sized futon bed, the other with four single bunks. This is a terrific place for little kids, gentle ocean, warm water, bike riding, exploring the beach - gathering a bounty of clams and mussels for dinner! And for grownups who like it quiet, reading, painting, baking bread, and contemplating the deep blue sea. At low tide there are 3 or 4 sandbars out, you can walk for a couple miles on the edge of the world! This is not blanket to blanket, umbrella to umbrella beach but wild and authentic.
There is an efficient air-tight wood burning stove for the occasional chilly evening and a lovely large covered porch overlooking the sea and incredibly beautiful sunsets almost every night!! That’s the Northumberland Straight with Prince Edward Island just barely visible 10 miles distant.
The regular season is summer-only. July and August have the best beach weather. We have owned this since 1990 and enjoyed a few weeks every summer there, it’s our favorite place in the world! Late spring and early fall can be wonderful there, but you might have a chilly day or two. Both June and September may be available for booking even though not marked open on the calendar, if you are interested in the booking during those months, contact us.
We never thought about sharing it until we discovered Airbnb. So when we decided to offer it, we saw it through new eyes - hey, we need to do work! It had been fine for our family, but not up to par for sharing. So in the summer of 2014 we got to work - cleaning, painting, wallpapering, etc(URL HIDDEN) For the past 25 years, it’s been our very rustic beach retreat – with just an outhouse. That was fine for our family. In summer 2015 we had our first few Airbnb guests, and it was fine with them, too, we received favorable reviews. Nonetheless, we decided the time had come to invest whatever it took [a lot] to install a flush toilet. So now there is one - not luxurious, its located in an adjacent storage shed.
The cottage still feels like a throwback in time. For example, In the photo of the wood stove, you will see that on the floor of the living room we have kept the antique linoleum, which probably dates back to the 1930's or 1940's. We have kept the wood shingle siding despite the headache of continual need for painting. Most other cottages along the beach have gone to vinyl or aluminum siding.
There's an airtight wood stove. A month earlier or later than the summer season can be great, or can be a bit chilly for swimming. Even in summer, once in a while the north wind blows in and a fire is welcome. We keep a supply of firewood for the wood stove.
It is beachfront. The beach is red sand, the water temperature in summer often gets up to 72 to 74 degrees. In 2015 one day the sea was 78 degrees. It varies quickly, and can be 76 one day and 68 the next. You have your own beach in front of the cottage, and, there's a public beach with a lifeguard a 5 minute walk to the east. The cottage is about 25 feet in elevation above the beach, so one can climb down the steep slope to the water, or walk 300 feet down the road to a public stairway.
The shower: It's an outside shower that we find delightful - when the sun is high in the sky, the water spray makes little rainbows around you. And you're looking out across the Northumberland Straight to Prince Edward Island - heaven.
Getting there: We usually drive one of our Royces - 750 miles from our home in Woodstock, New York. Our favorite way, but more costly, is to take the overnight sleeper coach on Via Rail Canada. One drives to Saint Lambert, a few miles outside of Montreal, [free safe parking there] catches the sleeper coach about 7 PM. Dinner is served in the dining car. Sleeping in your suite on the train is most refreshing. You arrive Amherst, Nova Scotia the next morning [about 20 miles from the cottage] and pick up a rental car. If you're a train buff, and have the time, you can take the train all the way from Manhattan – Amtrak connects to Via Rail Canada in St. Lambert. If your time is limited, you can fly into Moncton, New Brunswick, 50 miles from the cottage.
One now needs a passport to cross the border.
(URL HIDDEN)We host 7 properties in Eastern North America from Florida to Nova Scotia, ranging from off the grid “camping cabins” to upscale converted barns. All of them are retreats we originally purchased for our own use, because we loved the location and the cottage or cabin. Only later did we discover we could share them through Airbnb and other websites. It has been most satisfying to get the feedback from guests when they too, love staying at the properties. Here at Heather Beach, we received the ultimate positive feedback – one of our guests purchased a cottage on the same cul de sac after staying at our place.
Having said that, we want to emphasize the cottage is simple, plain, not at all fancy or modern. We have been told it was brought to the current location on a barge from Pugwash, Nova Scotia in the 1930's.
While we have installed a flush toilet, it is located in a separate storage shed that does not have electric going to it. You will need to bring your own bed linens and towels. It is not practical for housekeeping to deal with linens, the nearest laundromat is a 45 minute round trip.
Trash, recycling, and composting must be separated, instructions will be posted.
The bedrooms are small. The one with four single bunks works fine for our 4 grandchildren, but best for not more than 2 adults.
There is a twin size sofa bed in the living room. The TV has a DVD player built in - for rented movies - there is wifi but not cable TV. Guest AccessIt is beachfront. The beach is red sand, the water temperature in summer often gets into the low to mid 70 degrees. You have your own beach in front of the cottage, or, there's a public beach with a lifeguard a 5 minute walk to the east. The cottage is about 25 feet in elevation above the beach, so one can climb down the steep slope to the water, or walk 300 feet down the road to a public stairway. We had our own stairs [in one of the photos] but a hurricane removed them.
The shower: It's an outside shower that is one of our favorite experiences - when the sun is high in the sky, the water spray makes little rainbows around you. And you're looking out across the sea [Northumberland Straight] about 14 miles to Prince Edward Island - heaven.
The outhouse: It's a separate little shed that also houses the hot water heater and water tank. When we purchased the cottage in 1990, most cottages near Heather Beach just had outhouses, now it has become gentrified and most have flush toilets, as cottage prices have risen about 8 fold since then. We like ours the way it's always been. For example, In the photo of the wood stove, you will see that on the floor of the living room we have kept the antique linoleum, that must date back at least to the 1940's. Many cottages have gone to vinyl siding. We have kept the wood shingles despite the headache of continual maintenance of painting.
The increased market value doesn't boot us, it has made the property tax 5 times higher than when we bought the cottage.
Getting there: We often go by car - 750 miles from our home in Woodstock, New York. Our favorite way, when we can afford it, is to take the overnight sleeper coach on Via Rail Canada. We drive to Saint Lambert, a few miles outside of Montreal, get the train about 7 PM, have dinner in the dining car, have a restful sleep in our suite, then arrive Amherst, Nova Scotia the next morning [about 20 miles from the cottage] and pick up a rental car. If you're really a train buff, you can take Amtrak from NYC to Saint Lambert, but that adds time to the journey. For us, that simply doesn't work, since Amtrak doesn't accept dogs, and our 2 Yorkies love the beach. If time is important, you can fly into Moncton, New Brunswick, a bit more than an hour from the cottage.
One now needs a passport to cross the border.
In September, 2012 we organized and hosted a tour for the Rolls-Royce Owners' Club. In preparation for that, we did extensive research on the places of interest in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Airbnb doesn't allow us to send any links to guests before they book, but when you book we can send that information along. Other Things to NoteNote:
We live in a mountainous area where there are many places where we don't get calls on our cell phones. For anything time sensitive, text messages [to both of us] are more likely to get through than a phone call.