Townhouse retreats: 10 chic town and city hotels in the UK
The Guardian » Travel » Scotland
by Annabelle Thorpe
1w ago
These great little weekend getaways combine history, atmospheric surroundings and buzzing central locations An ideal weekend retreat, the Eastbury was originally designed as an 18th-century “gentleman’s residence”, and now houses 27 individually styled bedrooms, with designs inspired by the herbs, flowers and trees in the hotel’s award-winning walled garden. The garden is also home to the hotel’s spa, which boasts an outdoor hot tub as well as two treatment rooms. Upmarket dinners come with live music on Friday and Saturday nights, while the Pod, a glass sphere in the garden seating up to four ..read more
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Walking with Norsemen on Orkney’s St Magnus Way
The Guardian » Travel » Scotland
by Ailsa Ross
2w ago
Viking history infuses this pilgrimage trail taking in a wild coast and ancient dwellings and ending at the UK’s most northerly cathedral, in Kirkwall I thought it would be easier to get the seals to sing to me. My great granny Mhairi used to sing to them in Stromness – and they’d call back with plaintive moans that sounded so much like the gales that have long darkened winters on islands like this one. This evening, though, the seals are silent and it’s the waves that are calling as the sun sets over the Atlantic and the Brough of Birsay. From that sloping tidal island, Thorfinn the Mighty ..read more
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Ski touring without the machismo: a women-led weekend on Cairngorm mountain, Scotland
The Guardian » Travel » Scotland
by Sam Haddad
1M ago
Ski and snowboard touring can be intimidating for novices. We join a two-day workshop that aims to make the sport more accessible The closer we get to the summit, the harder the wind blows. When it fills the sky fills with tiny ice pellets picked up from the upper slopes, we seek shelter beneath a bank of snow. We have a decision to make. Continue our ascent of Cairngorm mountain or switch our kit back to snowboards and skis, and ride down from here instead. We’re on an introductory weekend to ski touring, the sport where you attach sticky but removable “skins” to the base of your skis so you ..read more
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‘A land of fairy pools and exquisite light’: escape to the wilds of Skye
The Guardian » Travel » Scotland
by Emma Beddington
1M ago
Discover breathtaking views, superb food and utter peace on this popular island on the west coast of Scotland However fraught your journey (ours is seven hours, fretting as our electric car battery dwindles), reaching Kinloch Lodge is a joyful corrective. As you cross the bridge to Skye, it’s instantly apparent you’ve escaped the grind – soft ranges of peaks, each fainter and hazier than the last, in shades of lavender and smoke. The sea is everywhere, lapping wild, seaweed-strewn shorelines and filling rock pools. This is why Skye attracts 650,000 visitors a year – it’s legendarily beautiful ..read more
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A lochside walk to a pub with live music: the Old Mill Inn, Pitlochry, Scotland
The Guardian » Travel » Scotland
by Phoebe Taplin
1M ago
Spawning salmon have to tackle a fish ladder on this river – but for walkers it’s an easy scenic stroll The loch reflects scattered clouds, gaps of sky, sunlit mountains and an imposing modernist dam. A watchful heron stands on a rock in the shadow of the concrete cliff. Pitlochry dam is one of nine power stations in the Tummel valley hydroelectric scheme. Before it opened in 1951, only one in every 200 crofts here had electricity. A fish ladder, added two years later to help salmon swim back up to their Highland spawning grounds, is now a tourist attraction. SSE, the energy company that harne ..read more
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‘No lack of wildness’ - a car-free break on the John Muir Way, Scotland
The Guardian » Travel » Scotland
by Phoebe Taplin
1M ago
The East Lothian segment of the coast to coast trail, dedicated to the great conservationist, reveals seabird colonies, beaches and historic houses Pioneering conservationist John Muir was born in Dunbar on the east coast of Scotland in 1838, and his birthplace is now a museum. He moved to the US when he was 11 and went on to create the Sierra Club organisation, which still protects Yosemite and other national parks. “When I was a boy in Scotland, I was fond of all things wild …” he wrote. “Around my native town of Dunbar by the stormy North Sea, there was no lack of wildness, though most of t ..read more
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20 best cosy UK cottages for a winter break
The Guardian » Travel » Scotland
by Sarah Baxter
2M ago
From the Highlands to Cornwall, we select stylish boltholes on hills, coasts and in deep, soothing countryside. Come on, light that fire … Good for: seabirds and snowdrops This 17th-century brick-and-flint two-bedroom cottage in Great Walsingham looks like a picture postcard. And its cosiness rating is off the scale: there’s a large inglenook fireplace, a wood-burner, exposed beams, a twisting staircase and doors you need to duck to get under. You’ll find inspiration on what to do in the bathroom, which is papered with local maps. For instance, it’s a short amble to Little Walsingham, home to ..read more
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Through a Highlands Narnia to a great pub: the Taybank, Dunkeld
The Guardian » Travel » Scotland
by Lucy Gillmore
3M ago
An appetite-inducing seven-mile hike through the woods of the Atholl Estates returns you to the village of Dunkeld, and its renowned, musical local One of Perthshire’s most photogenic villages, Dunkeld could easily have tumbled out of the pages of a Beatrix Potter storybook – so it comes as no surprise to learn that the writer spent many happy summers here. Its 17th- and 18th-century whitewashed cottages, rebuilt after the battle of Killicrankie in 1689, have been restored to Mrs Tiggy Winkle-esque-perfection by the National Trust for Scotland. The high street is strung with cute cafes, delis ..read more
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Skiing in Scotland: ‘On a good day it’s up there with anywhere in the world’
The Guardian » Travel » Scotland
by Stuart Kenny
3M ago
With five resorts all a two-hour drive from Aviemore, the Highlands glitter with the promise of ski adventures – and whisky Take a right from the top lift at Glencoe Mountain Resort and you will quickly be confronted with one of the greatest views in Scottish skiing. The rugged bulk of Buachaille Etive Mòr, often called Scotland’s most beautiful mountain, overlooks the deep valley of Glencoe, just around the corner from the “007 Skyfall road”. The panorama then leads past the Devil’s Staircase, on the West Highland Way walking route, and round to Rannoch Moor, one of Europe’s great wildernesse ..read more
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10 of Britain’s best new hotels
The Guardian » Travel » Scotland
by Annabelle Thorpe
3M ago
From a contemporary art hotel in Bristol to sleek refurbs in Edinburgh and Margate, plus three London openings Step through the gleaming white portico of the Nici and you could be in South Beach, Miami. Statement artworks, bold fabrics and clean white walls mean Bournemouth finally has a luxury hotel that’s bang on trend. The best rooms have sea views, overlooking the pristine lawned garden and shimmering pool, while downstairs the South Beach restaurant offers cocktails on the terrace, local seafood and poolside snacks. Families are welcome, with a children’s playroom, activity centre in the ..read more
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