Terms and Conditions
GOUKSTONE SHEPHERD’S HUTS
We would like to invite all our guests to enjoy a relaxing experience with us at Goukstone and to this end we ask guests to respect the site, the surrounding countryside and each other whilst staying with us. We are a ‘quiet’ site, we are ‘off grid’ and we have a no smoking policy in place across this site. This is part of our unique visitor offer, to reconnect with nature and the environment. If this is not attractive to you, then please reconsider your booking. The following conditions of booking should be read before booking a stay with us. Once you have made a booking you are agreeing to comply with the following terms and conditions.
1.1 These terms & conditions apply between you ('the guest'), and us, GOUKSTONE SHEPHERD’S HUTS ('the owner') of Goukstone, Methlick, Aberdeenshire ('the site'). Please read this document carefully, as it affects your legal rights and sets out our obligations to you and your obligations to us. If anything is unclear, contact us so we can explain in further detail to avoid misunderstandings.
1.2 Your booking at Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts includes use of your nominated accommodation along with use of the access paths to and from designated parking area.
1.3 When booking ROWAN you must inform Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts if children form part of your booking party, either via the booking process itself or via email after the booking has been made. There is an additional charge of £10 per child per night in our ROWAN hut.
1.4 Guests are advised that Goukstone is a working croft and is situated in one of the Aberdeenshire designated Local Nature Conservation Sites (LNCS). Please always observe the Countryside Code and consider others enjoying the countryside, close gates and leave them as you found them, do not litter and only light fires in the fire pit provided.
1.5 Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts accepts no responsibility for the failure of services due to weather, nor for any difficulties experienced when accessing or leaving the site.
1.6 We operate a curfew on site at Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts that applies from 9.00pm – 7.30am. During that time we would request that music, parties or gatherings do not take place. This is a quiet rural location and our guests come here to enjoy the tranquillity.
1.7 Fireworks, Chinese Lanterns and disposable BBQ’s are not permitted anywhere on site at Goukstone or in the adjoining woodland or farmland.
1.8 Due to the remote location of Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts, children must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times. Whilst we encourage guests to enjoy the surroundings of Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts, please note that care must be taken as areas may be steep and slippery, particularly when wet and there may be trip hazards. Children must not at anytime climb on trees or fences and should always be careful when playing; this is a rural site and care should be taken when on site.
1.9 Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts always endeavours to provide all the facilities and services promoted on our website but are not liable to pay any refund should any of these fail to meet expectation. Severe and extreme weather conditions are rare, and we will endeavour to keep everything running to the best of our ability on these occasions.
2.0 BOOKING, ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE
2.1 All bookings are considered confirmed only after payment has been received in full. Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts reserves the right to cancel your booking if payment conditions are not upheld. Receipt of your booking confirms your acceptance of all Terms and Conditions.
By making a booking, you agree that: –
a) you have read these Terms & Conditions and agree to be bound by them;
c) you are over 18 years of age and where there may be age restrictions in place, you declare that you and all members of your party are of the appropriate age.
2.2 Please check your booking confirmation carefully and report any incorrect or incomplete information to us immediately.
2.3 Your accommodation will be ready on the day of arrival from 4 pm. Departure time is by 10 am on your day of departure.
2.4 If you would like to book both of our huts together, please telephone Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts directly.
2.5 No group bookings allowed without prior agreement with Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts.
2.6 On departure all huts are to be left clean and tidy and cutlery/plates etc. washed and put back as you found them. Keys must be returned to the main house (GOUKSTONE) or if we are not available should be left inserted in the Hut Door. All rubbish and recycling are to be disposed of responsibly in the bins in the service bothy.
2.7 If accommodation is left not as it was found upon arrival, Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts reserve the right to charge an extra £50 for a full valet clean.
CANCELLATION BY YOU
3.1 Once a booking is confirmed you are responsible for the total cost of the booking as shown at the time of booking. We would always recommend that you take out holiday cancellation insurance.
3.2 If we are notified of a cancellation at any time up to 12 weeks prior to your confirmed stay, we will refund the cost of your booking, minus a £25 handling fee.
3.3 If we are notified of a cancellation, between 3 months prior to and 6 weeks prior to your stay, we will refund 50% of the invoiced cost of your booking minus a £25 handling fee if the accommodation is or is not re-let.
3.4 For cancellations within 6 weeks of the first day of your stay date, you will be responsible for the full cost of your original booking and will forfeit any re-fund.
CANCELLATION BY US
3.5 Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts reserve the right to cancel a holiday if for unforeseeable circumstances we are unable to provide safe accommodation in a hut due to extreme weather conditions, ill health, fire, Government Restrictions, administration/duplication or any other extenuating circumstance. Under such unlikely circumstances you will be offered a credit against a future stay.
4.1 The named person(s) booking the accommodation is responsible for the behaviour and actions of their guests while at Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts.
4.2 Guests may be asked to leave the premises if it is deemed that they have not adhered to these terms and conditions, their behaviour is threatening, aggressive, anti-social, or damaging in any way to the other residents or to the staff of the premises. In this circumstance your full cooperation is expected and no refund will be payable.
4.3 Pease keep any noise to a minimum after 9pm. Please respect the natural environment and your neighbours. This is a rural location and people stay here for the peace and quiet.
5.0 VEHICLES AND PARKING
5.1 Visitors staying at Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts are required to park in the designated parking space which is set aside a short distance away from your Shepherd’s Hut. PLEASE NOTE YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PARK AT YOUR HUT AND WILL HAVE TO WALK ALONG GRASSED PATHS TO YOUR HUT. Our Huts benefit from being remote from any vehicle access – that’s what makes us unique, your stay peaceful, and allows you to connect better with nature.
6.1 When visiting us and exploring the area please ensure that all gates are closed behind you and please do stay on the paths. We are an operating small holding and there will be livestock in the area.
6.2 There is no lighting on the paths or around the Huts so please do take care if arriving when it is dark. We would recommend bringing a torch if you need to walk between your car and the hut during dusk/night hours and we do not take any responsibility for any personal damage arising from using our paths.
6.3 Our huts are remote so please do bring suitable footwear – it can be wet and damp underfoot and out paths are all mown grass paths. We do this to limit the environmental impact of our business and to provide as natural a location for you to enjoy as possible.
7.0 OFF GRID – WHAT THIS MEANS
7.1 All our Shepherd’s Huts are ‘off grid’ which means that your electricity is provided by solar panels and battery storage, your heating is by wood burning stove and your water comes from a limited pumped and treated supply from our private well. Please use water and electricity sparingly – this is all part of your experience which we hope you will embrace.
7.2 There is no WiFi available at our huts or television but we would recommend you take the opportunity to disconnect from the digital world and tune into nature while you enjoy your stay here.
7.3 Our huts come with their own field kitchens which have some basic equipment including pots and pans, cutlery, glasses and cups and some simple cooking utensils. There is a small camp gas cooking stove and a plumbed sink. The huts are there to provide a simple option for heating food and drinks.
7.4 Due to the rural nature of our huts, they are located a short walk away from the parking area, you will not be able to park adjacent to your hut. The huts are accessed off grassed paths which can be slippery when wet – it is your responsibility to ensure you wear the correct footwear, appropriate for a rural holiday.
8.1 The number of people staying in any accommodation must at no time exceed the number stated and agreed in the booking. The accommodation must not be sub-let.
8.2 The owners of Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts reserve the right to enter the accommodation at any reasonable time, and with reasonable prior notice if any urgent need were to arise (e.g. for health and safety reasons or urgent repair).
9.0 CARE FOR THE ACCOMMODATION
9.1 We aim to provide a high level of quality for your stay and we hope you would wish to return. Please respect our huts. Your accommodation will be prepared for your arrival. Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts expect everything to be left as you found it.
9.2 In the case of any accidents on the premises these must be reported immediately to a member of Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts staff.
9.3 The named person(s) booking the accommodation will be held responsible for paying for any loss or damage to any part of the Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts premises, or to any fixtures, fittings and equipment which are caused by any member of the party.
9.4 The names person(s) booking the accommodation are responsible for and agree to reimburse Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts all costs incurred by the owner and/or us as a result of any breakage or damage to the property which is caused by you or any members of your party or any persons invited into the property by you. We reserve the right to take any extra payment from your credit card to cover any such costs.
9.5 If an exceptional level of cleaning is required after use of any of these facilities the cost will be charged to the named person.
9.6 We ask that you do not bring muddy boots or wet jackets and clothing into the accommodation. We have provided areas for hanging jackets and storing boots in the Service Huts/Field Kitchen.
9.7 All bed linen and towels are provided. These items must remain inside your accommodation at all times. Bedding including rugs must not be taken outside. We have provided woollen throws for outdoor use which can only be used on benches/chairs or on any decked areas. Much cosier to use than bedding.
9.8 It is the responsibility of all guests to return any items removed from any accommodation unit to its original place by the time of departure (this includes cutlery, crockery, utensils etc.)
9.9 Guests must return all furniture within the accommodation and any outdoor furniture to its original position by the time of departure.
9.10 Please ensure that all waste and recycling is stored in the bins provided in the Service Huts/Field Kitchen or take any recycling away with you and use the recycling facilities in the village.
10.0 PERSONAL BELONGINGS
10.1 Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts will not be held responsible for damage or loss to any personal property brought onto the premises or in guest vehicles.
10.2 It is the guests’ responsibility to check for all personal belongings before departure from Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts.
10.3 Any items found after guests have departed can be sent to the guest at their expense (minimum of £20 postal charge). Any items sent by post or courier must be paid for in advance and it is the responsibility of the guest to select a suitable carrier and appropriate insurance.
11.0 FIRES & SMOKING
11.1 Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts take a firm view on managing fires and smoking, and ask that guests are particularly vigilant in this area. The site contains a lot of trees, bracken, gorse and hand crafted wooden accommodation. Our huts are located alongside woodland and open moorland covered in peat, gorse and broom. Even the smallest of informal fires can quickly get out of hand.
11.2 There will be no fires or barbecues other than in the designated areas and with the equipment provided, failure to observe these requirements may result in your party being asked to vacate the site immediately. These include portable BBQs which are not permitted on site.
11.3 Only logs supplied by Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts may be used in the stoves and fire pits and we always ensure that properly dried wood is available. Guests must under no circumstances remove branches or twigs from either the trees or off the ground. Failure to observe these requirements may result in your party being asked to vacate the site immediately.
11.4 The Woodburning Stoves provided in the accommodation are suitable for burning wood fuel only. Coal and other processed fuel types may result in irreparable damage to the stove and accommodation unit.
11.5 All guests that light fires are responsible for managing them safely and ensuring that they are extinguished after use.
11.6 No items must be placed on or over the Woodburning Stove because of risk of fire.
11.7 We do not permit the use of candles, tealights or disposable BBQ’s anywhere within or surrounding the Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts site.
11.8 THIS IS A NO SMOKING SITE. Smoking is not permitted anywhere within Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts buildings or walkways.
11.9 For fire regulations we are required to keep a log of all guests who will be residing at Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts.
11.10 Guests can enjoy the use of a fire pit, but only under the supervision of an adult. Children must not be left unattended by a fire pit at any time. In the event of an emergency, please use the fire extinguisher supplied, but also alert a member of staff immediately. The use of fire pits after 10:00pm is only permitted with the permission of the management.
12.0 DOGS & PETS
12.1 We are sorry that we are unable to accommodate dogs and other pets. Dogs are strictly not permitted anywhere on the Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts site as we are within a working farm environment with livestock and poultry.
13.0 DUE CARE AND ATTENTION
13.1 Whilst we encourage guests to enjoy the public areas, please note that care must be taken; walkways, steps, decked areas and grassed paths maybe slippery particularly when wet, footpaths and tracks may be uneven with tree roots, rabbit holes and rocks.
13.2 Children at Goukstone Shepherds Huts must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. Climbing on the trees is strictly forbidden and we would ask that children and parents respect the private marked areas on site.
13.3 Please note that our Bracken Hut is not suitable for children of any age.
13.4 Nothing in these Terms shall exclude or limit our liability for fraud or for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence (or the negligence of our employees or agents) or where applicable law does not permit us to restrict or exclude particular obligations or liabilities.
13.5 Subject to the above paragraph we do not accept any liability for damage to any member of your party or any of your possessions while on our premises.
13.6 You are liable for all fire, damage or alteration to the huts whatsoever and howsoever caused by any member of your party and we will seek to recover all costs associated with damage or alterations caused by you or your party.
14.1 In the event that you have any complaint about your stay, please notify the Owner as soon as possible. If you don’t follow this procedure, there will be less opportunity for Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts to investigate and resolve your complaint and so make your stay as enjoyable as possible.
15.0 SPECIAL REQUESTS
15.1 If you have any special requests (for example dietary requirements, cots or bed location), please let us know at the time of booking and we will do our best to accommodate your requirements.
16.0 FORCE MAJEURE
16.1 Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts will not be responsible for the failure to provide facilities contracted in the event of it being prevented from doing so as a result of “Force Majeure” or any other event or circumstance beyond its control. This includes industrial disputes, strikes, war, invasion, riot, civil disobedience or disturbance, acts of terrorism, orders or regulations issued by central government, floods, fire, epidemics, pandemics, quarantine measures or travel restrictions. Goukstone Shepherd’s Huts will not be responsible for any loss or damage or costs or refund as a result.