It was time for something a little bit different and this time last year, no plane was needed to get to our beautiful destination, Scotland! Instead we opted for a hire car from Edinburgh, where we are based, to begin our three day adventure into the Scottish Highlands.
Our first stop was Cromlix Hotel which was about an hours drive from Edinburgh. This stunning 5-star property is owned by Andy Murry the famous tennis player and located near Dunblane his home town. Set in lush green grounds we sat and had a coffee in the sun, while watching a group take part in some Falconry – I don’t think we could have picked a better day!
We jumped back on the road and headed for some retail therapy, to The House of Bruar. A must stop for anyone looking for some posh local nibbles, cashmere clothes, Whisky and wellies! It also has a lovely café situated under a huge glass roof and picnic tables outside, ideal for an upmarket pit stop whatever the weather. Right next door is the fabulous Fonab Castle, with stunning views over the River Tummel.
The weather was just glorious, no clouds and blistering sunshine! We got to Inverness for a quick nights rest, ready for a full day exploring tomorrow!
We woke up to another perfect day, this time to head south towards the famous Loch Ness in search of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster! Our first stop was at Urquhart Castle. These are beautiful castle ruins set above the Loch. It was so pretty, but very busy so be sure to go as early as you can to get the best pictures. We decided the best chance of catching a glimpse of Nessie would be by boat so we drove along the Loch towards Fort Augustus, only about 30 mins.
Arriving at Fort Augustus our sights were set on the large cruise boats, until we caught sight of the high speed rib boats! That was the one, the one that was going to find Nessie for us! We were handed huge boiler type looking suits, at this point it was 29 degrees and rising. We managed to get the prime seats – right at the front, perfect Nessie viewing. Then we were off at great speed, so much so we couldn’t talk, what a thrill! Everyone’s suites quickly came off, it was far too hot even on the Loch, which they say hasn’t happened in over 10 years! The ride lasted an hour, which took us half way up the Loch and back spotting lots of wild life and telling us the history of the area. We loved it, the best way to explore the vast uninhabited scenery! But no Nessie in sight…
Back on the road and the following the sat nav to our next 5-star coffee stop, The Isle of Eriska Hotel. Another beautiful castle style hotel awaited us after just under 2 hours driving to Oban. Set on its very own island, only accessible over a wooden bridge this hotel was an absolute delight in the sun. We sat outside, had a coffee, enjoyed the well kept grounds and watched a family take part in an Archery lesson!
It was time to head back up the road for about an hour to Inverlochy Castle Hotel, where we would be staying for the night – and wow what a castle it was, we felt like princesses! We were also dining here at the Albert and Michel Roux Jr Restaurant so it was time to get ready to fit in our opulent surroundings.
As it was such an lovely evening we sat outside in the grounds and enjoyed a glass of fizz and some canapes looking over the lush fields before dinner – just bliss. Then it was time to move inside to the Gothic styled dining room for our feast! Our food was just beautiful and the service was flawless, we loved every minute of our dining experience. But it wasn’t over there, we stepped back outside to watch the calming sunset with our after dinner coffees not realising it was 11pm, it doesn’t get much better than this!
After our amazing food last night we woke up very excited for our breakfast, which was fantastic what an array of food we had in the most beautiful room. We were fueled up and ready to get back on the road, but didn’t want to leave this tranquil castle – we would have happily stayed longer!
Unfortunately it was time to head back to Edinburgh for us and the hire car, it took around 3 hours with a stop in Callander at Loch Lubnaig, as the weather was unbelievable – 30 degrees!
To find out more about Nathalie and Sarah’s Scotland trip or if you are interested at staying at one of these Scotland hotels give the team a call on 0131 243 8098 or send an email to [email protected]