I have only been living in Scotland for …… err my whole life and I am pretty ashamed that I do not every nook and cranny of this beautiful country. However what I love about the parts of Scotland I know is how different it all is. Often you can travel such a short distance from your own home and yet feel like you are many miles away. Over the last few years there have been a number of stunning luxury places in my home country that my family …. Mr Dog included…. have travelled to and adored. Meet the Luxury Scottish Travel Edit …… 3 of the best.
Banchory Lodge Hotel – Aberdeenshire
This 4 star country house hotel is nestled alongside the banks of the gorgeous River Dee where it meets the River Feugh. It is a spot that is filled with many very happy memories and my family have been coming to this Georgian Grade II listed property for over four decades.
As a youngster I would come frequently with my grandparents for amazing Sunday Lunches or afternoon tea and last year I returned with my kids to check out the now refurbished property. Still with all of its original charm, and also some long standing staff, Banchory Lodge Hotel is now under new ownership and has had a cheeky little £1.2 million face lift.
The new and contemporary styled areas of the hotel really do compliment the traditional designs and back drop. One of our favourite places just got better with age!
This mix of old and new is continued in the bedrooms with one of the staff describing it perfectly as “modern country house cosy”. When it comes to food, this luxury boutique hotel promotes itself as a restaurant with rooms. Each meal we have had there had not disappointed at all!! The homemade scones and freshly barbecued prawns are also epic according to my son! Stands to reason that Banchory Lodge Hotel is the proud owner of Visit Scotland’s Taste Our Best Award for sourcing and promoting Scottish produce.
Reasons to visit
- Perfect for exploring the beauty of Royal Deeside
- Any meal or drink taken …. especially on the outside deck with riverside views
- Great for outdoor activities on your doorstep :- fishing, hill walking, golf and deer stalking
- Brilliantly family and dog friendly
- A place to unwind
Catchpenny Safari Lodges – Fife
Camping has not been a hugely on my radar since the early 90s when I went away with the Girl Guides. Glamping on the other hand got my ears pricked up last summer after a stay at the very well presented Catchpenny Safari Lodges near Ellie. All the yes to fire pits, sea views, running water, hot showers, proper toilets and real beds …. not a blow up camp-bed, tent pole or blue watered toilet block in sight. Huzzah! Situated on the Fife Coastal Path and with the most scrumptious uninterrupted sea views, these 8 canvas roofed safari tents are a lot more spacious and beautifully designed than I imagined. Named after local wildlife, each tent sleeps up to 6 people and includes one king sized room, a twin room and an awesome cabin bed to fight over.
In the well equipped kitchen there is a fridge to stock all your food from some of the local food producers, a kettle and you can cook on the hob or stove. On the hand crafted fallen tree countertops there are some essentials including tea, coffee, sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper to help get you started.
In the living space there is a dining table, benches, comfy sofa area and wood burning stove that produces an amazing heat in the evening. Catchpenny do provide a starter pack of wood for the indoor stove, more can be purchased nearby at the award winning Ardross Farm Shop. All the kitchen gear, bbq equipment, fresh bedding, towels and even hot water bottles are provided.
One of the things I love most about Catchpenny is that it is off grid. Each lodge does however have lighting and energy which comes from solar paneled and wind powered sources. Although there are no 3 pin plug sockets, there are usb plugs to charge devices…. if you really want to. Or take the opportunity for a heavenly digital detox care of the zero WIFI. This is indulgent camping at its best. My top tip is to take extra layers to wrap up in at night, it can get cold overnight.
Reasons to visit
- The idyllic views across the water to East Lothian from the lodge’s front deck. I could sit there all day! Binoculars are included to help you spot some dolphins or seals swimming!
- Amazing Ardross Farm Shop within walking distance
- Falling asleep to the sound of waves
- Beach access and direct access to Fife Coastal Path
- East Neuk of Fife has so much to offer and so manybeaches, harbours and local food places to explore
- Perfect excuse to go off grid yourself and enjoy a digital detox
Williamstone Farm Steadings – East Lothian
Last but by no means least. The place that made my whole family want to up sticks and move to North Berwick within 24 hours of arriving. The three properties that make up Williamstone Farm Steadings …. The Barn, The Bothy and The Byre (the dog friendly one) …. are quietly positioned in amongst farmland on the outer edge of North Berwick. Super luxurious and beyond instagrammable, each of the properties is swoon worthy. They are like staying at a good friend’s really beautiful home that has just been featured in Living ETC or Grand Design. They are bright, airy and incredibly well designed and encourgage relaxation within your first few moments there.
Think stone walls, exposed wooden beams, exquisite high ceilings, red roofs, wooden floors, luxury fitted bathrooms, wood burning stove, Smart TV, PS4 with games, portable bluetooth speaker, Poggenpohl kitchens with Siemens appliances, underfloor heating, Farrow & Ball painted walls, sumptuous Egyptian cotton bedding and luxury soft furnishings. Each bedroom also has fluffy dressing gowns and the kids were beyond delighted with their kids sized ones too!
Truly 5 star, this perfect hideaway embraces everything that I love about East Lothian and puts a modern slant on it. I could quite happily live there …. It is complete house goals! Oh, and the kids barely fought the whole time we were there, I know!!! Simply put it was very easy to stay at Williamstone Farm Steadings …. and just as hard to leave too.
Reasons to visit
- There is so much to do in the surrounding area …. beaches, golf, great food and so much history
- The owners are gracious, above and beyond helpful, super friendly and simply awesome hosts
- The welcome pack with local beers, fresh bread, biscuits and jam
- The beds…. crazily comfortable…. long lie ahoy!!!!!!
- Perfect for families, couples and also larger groups if you want to take over all three properties
Although some reviews are based on media trips, all thoughts, opinions and mostly well behaved children (….and dog) are my own.