Boll Holiday Cottages
About Maria Machin
I grew up in Northern Ireland with my 2 siblings. I finished my schooling and then went and completed my degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. While on holiday in Corfu I met Colin from Alloa in Scotland who is now my husband. Colin is an architect and has had his own practice now for 24 years. We went on to have our lovely girls and lived in Alloa for a while. We bought Boll Farm in Alva then a derelict site in early 2000, where we created our home and our 5 holiday Cottages. I love being here and enjoy meeting all my guests from all parts of the globe.
Maria Machin purchased this Cottage in 2000
Why Maria Machin chose Alva
As I said before Colin and I lived in Alloa for the first few years of our marriage. As Colin was an architect he was always looking for an old building to recreate and put his own stamp on. We passed by Boll Farm many a time and wished that we could buy it. It eventually cam on the market and we jumped at the chance to purchase it. Boll Cottage is the original old farm house and a very lovely cottage.
What makes this Cottage unique
When we saw the farm originally we fell in love with the views and its potential. We knew the site would make a lovely home and also create a business for me to run, hence once our house was built and we had refurbished Boll Cottage we then went on to build a further 4 cottages.
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Not quite as advertised
The description of the house on the VRBO site is somewhat misleading. The title "with Back Drop of the Ochil Hills" and the primary picture showing a view out of a large window onto a green field with the Wallace monument in the background is accurate for only 2 of the 4 available houses. In the other 2, one of which we rented, this view is replaced by a parking lot. Nowhere on the VRBO site is it mentioned that these two versions of the house exist, nor were we made aware during the booking process which of the 2 options we were going to get. In addition, the VRBO site lists a dryer, an oven and a microwave. The dryer is missing completely, which can be an issue if you picked the amount of clothes you packed based on the assumption that you can wash and dry at any time. Relying on the provided clothes line behind the house is risky given the often rainy climate in Scotland. Maria, the owner, suggested that we could use her private dryer, which was a very kind and generous offer but not the same as having your own dryer available at any time of the day. The house does not have an oven either but a microwave with a convection oven function. Again, not quite the same as advertised. Our party had 5 grown-ups and the kitchen and dining area can become somewhat cramped with that amount of people. If a group would use the house to its full sleeping capacity of 7 people, there would not be enough space for everybody on the sofas in the living area. The dining table had to be expanded to seat everybody, which in itself in no problem of course. However, the fold-out leaf was very crusty and sticky with old food residue and needed to be cleaned urgently, which was true for the microwave as well. On the plus-side, the house is located very conveniently to Stirling, Loch Lomond and Edinburgh (easily reachable by train) and overall a nice and adequate place to stay and explore the area for a week. It just did not fully live up to the high expectations we had based on the VRBO listing. Maria, the owner, is very friendly and easy to communicate with. She was extremely responsive to our comments and requests and did her best to address them in a very short time. On the other hand, it is always preferable when those comments and requests are not needed in the first place.
Could have easily spent longer with day trips in area...
Clean, cozy space and friendly host! Walked outside and saw the coos across the street! Just what we needed for our family. Spent time here at end of trip to Scotland and it’s an easy drive to airport in Edinburgh. Spent time at Stirling Castle and same day drove to walk in Callender /Trossach area.
Clean, spacious,well equipped cottage in a lovely area.
Owner couldn’t be more helpful.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a positive review.
I hope we will be able to welcome you again in the not too distant future.
The location could not have been any better. An easy walk into town for pubs, shops, great foods and drinks. The people were amazing and welcoming. Maria was welcoming and if we had any questions or concerns she was happy to help.
Loved every part!
Beautiful setting in the mountains
Our family loved our stay here in Alva. The cottage was clean and set up perfectly for family with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Town was quiet with good food at the local pub. Central location to Stirling and Edinburgh that were easy to get to by car. Host was very helpful and cheerful. Would stay again.
Lovely short break at Boll Cottage
The cottage was well equipped, comfortable & central for exploring Stirling, St Andrews, Falkirk and all the wee places in between. Maria was very welcoming & keeps these properties to a very high standard. We had a super time thanks.
We are located in the village of Alva, 5 miles from Stirling.
We are situated at the foot of the Ochil Hills for walking, hill climbing and para gliding.There is also a dry ski ski slope 2 miles away.
There are many cycle paths for walking and cycling.You can also contact ranger Events & Walks 01259 452 478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There are 9 golf courses in Alva. The closest is Alva Golf Club. In addition there is Tillicoultry golf club, Schawpark golf couse, Brae head golf club, Tulliallan golf club, Sunnylaw, Falkirk Tryst, Bruce fields, family golf & Airthrey golf course.
There is horse riding available at Nowton Fishcross, Devon Equestrian Centre.Alloa.both 2 miles away.
Fishing is readily available in theses areas: Frandy Fishery, Gartmorn dam, Castle hill Reservoir, GlensherrupTrout Fishery, Harviestoun Fishery Alva, The River Devon. these are all located 1-4 miles away.
Other places to visit are Castle Campbell, Stirling Castle, Sauchie Tower, Alloa Tower, Dollar Museum, Wallace Monument, Church of the Holy Rude, Cambuskenneth Abbey, Stirling Smith Museum, The Falkirk Wheel, Callendar House, Bannockburn Center, Bair Drummond Safari Park, Kidzworld, Loch Lomond National Park.
There are plenty of restaurants in the vicinity, Bollinis of Alva, The No. 5 Inn, The Woodsman, Alva Tandoori, Aldos The Birds & Bees, The Meadow Park, Corrieries, Jam Jar, Barga, The Torbrex Inn.
These have all been recommended by ourselves, friends and family.