Make the most of the golden days of autumn, our pick of the best short breaks in Scotland.
Rugged Romance – Ardanaiseig Hotel, Loch Awe
Third in Conde Nast Traveller’s list of Best Leisure hotels, ahead of Le Manoir and Gleneagles, Ardanaiseig is everything you would want in a grand, Highland country house hotel.
An imposing Scots Baronial exterior with ground rolling down to the shores of Loch Awe, fires that roar vigorously throughout, enormous four poster beds and richly coloured interiors filled with collectables and the occasional flourish of eccentricity. The dining room holds 3 AA Rosettes, an accolade almost as rare as hen’s teeth and you can bet on a heady, gourmet menu featuring seasonal game and local delights.
Good to know: In addition to the sumptuous rooms within the hotel there is a secluded Boat Shed for two, and Rose Cottage, a self-catering two bedroom cottage.
More info: Ardanaiseig Hotel, tel: 01866 988164.
Go Golfing – Ogstons Boutique Hotel, St Andrews
If the Ryder Cup has put you in the mood for sinking a few balls of your own, then head to the home of golf. There are seven public links courses in St Andrews and playing in the crisp autumn air, after the Dunhill carnival packs up and leaves town (final day of play 5th October), has to be one of the truest pleasures of the sport.
Stay at Ogstons, a small boutique hotel on North Street, to get the best of both town and golf. The rooms are comfortably decorated in soft charcoals, the welcome is warm and the bar a cosy nook in which to sink a few post putting pints.
Good to know: St Andrews Links is a central reservation system for all St Andrews courses, you can even enter the ballot for a time on the Old Course from the website. And if you’re taking off last minute and can’t get a time, you can still turn up on the day and play the 9-hole Balgove course, without booking.
More info: Ogstons on North Street, tel; 01334 473387.
Family Adventure – Comrie Croft, Perthshire
Seven miles west of Crieff lies one of the best kept family adventure secrets in the land – though we suspect not a secret for long. Comrie Croft is more than a glamping centre, though you can camp here, and if you do camp, your pitch will be car free with spectacular views and it’s own fire pit.
But as it’s getting towards the chilly season you may choose to stay in the farmhouse, steading or one of the Nordic Katas, a teepee-ish construction mid-way between a hut and tent with wood-burning stove. The highlight for adventurous sorts is a fantastic bike skills park to keep adults and kids entertained, and 6km of blue, red and black mountain bike trails in a truly magnificent setting.
Good to know: There is a cute, vintage teashop and café on site, a shop selling firewood, camping gear and basic groceries, a great bike hire shop that also sells kit and bikes, woodland trails and links to over 87+ km of beauitiful walks and bike routes in the Crieff – Comrie paths network. Very friendly staff.
More info: Comrie Croft, tel: 01764 670140.
Blissful Bolthole – Ardtorna, Oban
Ardtorna is a multi-award winning B&B just north of Oban. The success of this secluded hideaway appears to be down to the charm and effort of the hosts. They’ve created a perfect bolthole that brings simple, Scandi charm to the West Coast of Scotland.
Very often though the downside of being tucked up in a remote idyll is the lack of evening dining opportunities, but not here, transport, described as being a snip compared to local taxis, to a number of famed local eateries such as the Creaggin Inn, at Appin and the Isle of Eriska Hotel, on Eriska can easily be arranged.
Good to know: The breakfasts are legendary so don’t overdo it at dinner and make sure to get out and walk it all off.
More info: Ardtorna, tel: 01631 720125.
Festival Fun – Cowal Festival, Cowal and Bute
The main focus of the Cowal Festival 5th -14th October is a series of walks, runs, canoeing and bike rides around Argyll and Cowal Penninsula. There are over 80 organised walks and also cultural events, including tours of Benmore Botanic Gardens, pop up restaurants and bread making courses, open studios, ceilidhs and music. The programme is packed.
Base yourself at the Colintraive Hotel, where you will lap up lashing of good ale and atmosphere in the bar, fantastic fresh food in the dining room – local langoustine and hand dived scallops and then, when you’re all done in after your day of walking and outdoor fun, you can flop into one of the big comfy beds in the light, stylish bedrooms.
Good to know: All details for the Cowal Festival including detailed brochure are available online: Cowal Festival. There is something for all ages and abilities.
More info: Colintraive Hotel, tel: 01700 841207
If you enjoyed this post and know of anyone in need of a break please ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ using the social buttons.