Every destination has its own list of experiences that are absolutely essential for any first time visit. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t visit London without taking in the magnificence of Buckingham Palace, or fly out to Florida without at least saying hello to Mickey and his pals, would you?
Here in the Highlands, we’re certainly no different. You can’t truly claim to have experienced a holiday in Scotland without taking in the country’s rich, fascinating history, dramatic scenery, and famously friendly hospitality.
Looking to make sure you really experience the very best that the Highlands have to offer on your next getaway? We’ve put together this ultimate Scottish holiday checklist, packed with things you absolutely can’t afford to miss out on when you visit us at our luxury hotel in Perthshire.
1: Conquer a Mountain
There’s nothing quite as exhilarating, nor as rewarding, as taking on the challenge posed by some of Scotland’s most magnificent mountains.
Overlooking the Dunalastair Hotel Suites in Kinloch Rannoch, the spectacular Schiehallion Mountain stands as a truly imposing landmark among the Highland landscape which is often regarded as one of the easiest Scottish Munros to climb for newcomers.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that means it’s easy. The Schiehallion still poses a formidable challenge, but rising to that challenge is more than worth it.
Reaching the summit, you’ll be greeted by awe-inspiring views of such outstanding beauty they’ll bring a tear to your eye.
Elsewhere, the likes of Ben Nevis in the Lochaber region of the Highlands and the popular 974 metre Ben Lomond off the shore of Loch Lomond present similar challenges and rewards.
2: Attend a Traditional Highland Gathering
There’s truly no better way to experience authentic Scottish culture than by soaking in the atmosphere at a traditional Highland Gathering.
A staple of Scottish life dating back several centuries, events such as the annual Rannoch Gathering in Kinloch Rannoch bring together the best combine local customs with all the things you already know and love about the country – including plenty of bagpipe music, Scottish country dancing, and yes, traditional highland games.
Whether you’re marvelling at local strong men as they toss the caber, clapping along to talented pipe bands and dance troupes, or sampling some delicious treats from the many stalls selling fresh, local produce, you’ll find that attending a gathering doesn’t just mean a fun day out for the whole family, but that it also means a rare chance to experience Highland life just like the locals do.
The Rannoch Highland Gathering takes on the third Saturday in August at Weller Poley Park, a five-minute walk from the Dunalastair Hotel Suites in Kinloch Rannoch.
3: Fish For Fresh Salmon in Scottish Loch
Scotland is as famous for its fresh salmon as it is for its tartan and unpredictable weather, so no Scottish holiday could be quite complete without casting off into the tranquil waters of the Highland’s vast and enchanting lochs and catching one of your own.
The famous River Tummel fish ladder and Pitlochry dam, as well as the Ruan Ruarie Beat on Perthshire’s River Garry boast an abundance of fresh salmon, as do scores of other fishing beats throughout the Highlands.
A word of caution, however: Remember to purchase the relevant fishing licenses before you start your angling adventures. These cost as little as just £8 a day and can be purchased from angling clubs associated with the body of water you want to fish in. Just let us know in advance, and we will be happy to arrange this for you.
4: Explore the Realm of Kings and Queens in a Genuine Scottish Castle
You could spend your entire holiday in Scotland exploring the country’s rich, unique history and still only hear a fraction of the fascinating stories to be told.
After all, is the land where mighty Highland warriors roamed, where Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns penned beautiful odes to the surrounding beauty spots, and where some of the most famous names in history experienced memorable stays in some of the areas grand, historic castles.
A highlight of any Scottish getaway is a visit to Blair Castle, a short drive from your luxury hotel in Kinloch Rannoch, where the likes of Bonnie Prince Charlie, Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Victoria have all left an indelible mark.
Speaking of the latter, Her Majesty’s stay was highlighted in the recent ITV drama, Victoria, with filming carried out on location at Blair Castle.
5: Tuck into a Delicious Scottish Breakfast
All that climbing and exploring is bound to work up a serious appetite, which is why you simply can’t start your holiday in Scotland without first tucking into a hearty, traditional Scottish breakfast.
Tattie scones, Lorne sausage, and grilled tomatoes, along with your choice of friend, poached, or scrambled eggs make up the wholly satisfying Scottish breakfast at Monadh Dining, the delightful restaurant and all-day eatery attached to the Dunalastair Hotel Suites in Kinloch Rannoch.
Speaking of Scottish delicacies, be sure to treat yourself to a truly scrumptious afternoon tea, and don’t leave home without picking up the obligatory tin of shortbread!