Looking for a winter break in Scotland? Look no further!
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan. It’s a difficult time of the year to navigate. So why not consider treating yourself to a well-deserved Winter break in Scotland. Forget lengthy treks to warmer climes. Instead, immerse yourself in the beauty of a Winter Staycation. By Tracy Mukherjee
I have for some time believed in the adage that, to survive a Scottish Winter, one required some “Winter Sun”. Come 10th Jan each year I’d be sitting in a questionable beach side restaurant in Spain, in barely 18 degrees heat. With waterproof on standby, for the scattered showers and sunny spells forecast, I’d brave a paddle in the FREEZING Mediterranean. I WAS enjoying this Winter Sun. No, I wasn’t.
What I later came to understand was what I needed through the winter months didn’t lie in a tepid Andalucian long weekend. It lay way closer to home. I embraced staycations. Lodges with crackling fires, hotels with beautiful pine forests for a gorgeous winter walk, open air spa whirlpools looking over the Scottish mountains. What I needed was just to relax. And my goodness we do that to a World Class level here in Scotland. So, to give you a taster of what’s on offer, here are 5 of the best ideal destinations for a Winter break in Scotland.
Riverside Lodge Seasgair
Situated in and around Aviemore and the Scottish Highlands, Seasgair have the most beautiful selection of lodges. Most of the lodges have wood burners or open fires. Some also have saunas and/or hot tubs which are lovely ways of keeping cosy in the winter months. In terms of activities, this is the centre of the universe for Scottish skiers and snowboarders. After a four year wait, the funicular railway on Cairngorm Mountain is reopening this winter which is a fantastic boost for Snowsports lovers. You may not be a skier or snowboarder, but sledging is a brilliant activity for all the family and there are lots of fantastic sledging spots near the lodges. The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre is great fun too in the winter months. Nature is utterly beautiful at this time of year. Judith Thurlow, owner of Seasgair Lodges adds “It’s great that the Scottish Highlands is a year-round destination, just as much fun in winter with Snowsports, hot tubs and cosying up in front of the wood burner as they are in the summer.” Aviemore, here we come!
Crieff Hydro Hotel
The stunning exterior and vista of Crieff Hydro Hotel
So many of us will already be aware of Crieff Hydro – the hotel, the lodges, the facilities, and the stunning location. At this great resort there is just so much to do – especially with the February break coming up. Kristian Campbell is the General Manager at Crieff Hydro Hotel – “Crieff Hydro Hotel is the perfect choice no matter the type of staycation you’re looking for. Whether it’s an action-packed family adventure or a relaxing getaway for two, the hotel has a fantastic selection of amenities and activities to enjoy, you’re sure to create wonderful memories during your stay.”
In fact, in terms of a cosy couple’s getaway, the Memories for Two two-night break is a great minibreak, with breakfast each morning and dinner on one of the nights. There’s even a sneaky little 1881 gin waiting for you in your room to toast that special someone. Kristian explains why Crieff Hydro is such a fun destination, “The hotel features a swimming pool, Victorian baths, an on-site creche and Action Glen which offers thrilling activities including axe throwing, alpaca trekking, a nine-hole golf course and Glen’s Adventure Park – the perfect opportunity to kick off 023 in style and blow away those January blues.” My case is packed already.
Argyll is a perfect piece of paradise on the west coast of Scotland. From lochs and glens to coastal magnificence, if you can’t find a staycation break to suit you here, you are a hard wee fella to please. Argyll holidays have 8 stunning holiday parks in and around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. There are many ways to vacation at Argyll Holidays. You might be drawn to their luxury hot tub lodges or for families, the fun for kids in sleeping in a contemporary caravan. Whatever takes your fancy, you’ll find it here. Drimsynie Estate at Lochgoilhead has something for everyone without ever having to leave the park! Kids love the pool and funhouse, archery and go carts. Adults can enjoy the gym, spa, and fantastic restaurant options. And all this bang in the centre of the stunning Arrochar alps.
30 minutes away at Loch Lomond, is home to the company’s premium waterside hot tub lodges, which have fabulous uninterrupted views of the loch. If the winter wind is putting you off an outside hot tub, how about a traditional log cabin complete with sauna? What about a tranquil riverside location on the stunning Cowal Peninsula? Stratheck Holiday Park is nestled between Benmore and Loch Eck and is the perfect location for a peaceful walker or angler’s break. A short distance from Dunoon, the quiet location is encircled by the beautiful River Eachaig. It still has full use of the Hunter’s Quay facilities and is only 10 minutes along the road. What did I say about being spoiled for choice?
Gleddoch Golf Resort and Spa
The Rooftop Spa Pool at Gleddoch
360 acres of stunning Scottish countryside, a rural retreat with incredible views to Ben Lomond and beyond…and 20 minutes from Glasgow. Multi-award winning Gleddoch is the resort that ticks all the boxes. This is a luxury golf and spa resort that is both exclusive yet so convenient. If the 18-hole championship golf course doesn’t take your fancy, then the host of pampering choices will. The Camellia Tea Salon will host your afternoon tea. The Salon overlooks the resort’s private gardens and beyond to the Clyde Estuary. The Gleddoch chefs are experts in creating an afternoon tea with hand-made delicacies, to accompany that well deserved glass of fizz! You may decide on a break that includes total relaxation in the Imperia Spa.
The heated outdoor spa pool, which is the largest in the West of Scotland, is a must before or after your Elemis spa treatment. Don’t forget to take a dip in the 17-metre indoor heated pool before curling up on a heated lounger overlooking the stunning views of the Clyde. And then there is your accommodation. Split between 2 areas, there is a fantastic range of rooms and suites to suit all budgets. The Residence is a group of ten luxury suites located in the original Gleddoch House. Beautifully furnished is a stately home style, these suites have been created by local interior designer Lesley Wallace. Each is truly one of a kind. Full total luxury, consider booking the Clyde Suite, with an in-room hot tub. The modern wing comprises spacious rooms and junior suites with amazing views that won’t break the bank. Decadence is but 20 minutes away…
Dine like a King at Law Castle
For a staycation with a difference, why not consider a break away with some friends this winter? Law Castle in West Kilbride, Ayrshire is a very special holiday home. The 15th century castle was originally constructed by James II of Scotland as a wedding gift for his daughter Princess Mary. The Castle has 6 bedrooms over 5 floors, connected by a stone spiral staircase. Each room is individually furnished – the Dungeon bedroom even has a quirky “ode to a drawbridge” bed and stone bathroom.
On the lower floors can be found a vaulted ceiling bedroom and the grand hall and kitchen. The grand hall is where the living and dining rooms are located. With a cosy log fire crackling in the fireplace, the views from here take in the stunning countryside. But there’s still some relaxing sofas for an evening’s viewing on the cinema sound plasma TV! The kitchen is also on this level and is part of the great hall, which once would have been the cooking chimney. With a 4-oven Aga in residence, it’s the perfect cooking area to enjoy preparing a delicious meal for friends and family. Stepping outside of the castle, the North Ayrshire Castle is conveniently located for trips to the Isles of Cumbrae and Arran. Or why not go on a leisurely drive along the Ayrshire coast to the birthplace of Rabbie Burns in Alloway? It’s never too late for an encore of Auld Lang Syne with friends.
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