The west coast of Scotland and the area around Fort William is one of the most popular areas to visit for those seeking all year round activities and finding the right self-catering accommodation can be problematic.
New to the portfolio and available from May 2016, is the Ben Nevis Lodge, which lives up to its name with outstanding views across to the Grey Corries, east of the Nevis range.
The natural larder in Scotland is bounteous with amazing seafood, beef, lamb, game, soft fruit and so much more, as well as the free-range Haggis that run wild, but today it is the turn of the humble sausage to be in the spotlight. Scotland being Scotland has chosen to offer more than a links sausage, but a square sausage as well. The “Lorne Sausage” as the square version is known as, is thought be the brainchild of Tommy Lorne, a Scottish comedian in the early 1900’s. A square sausage invented by a comedian! You couldn’t make it up! One of his catchphrases was “sausages are the boys” and that is still true today!
The difference between a Lorne sausage and a normal links sausage, apart from being square, is that it does not have a skin casing and is cut from a block in slices (or is pre-sliced). It is also known as Slice, Butcher’s Slice, Square Slice and Square Beef Sausage (when beef is used instead of pork). This type of sausage is predominantly produced and served on the western side of Scotland, and the shape certainly lends itself as a filling in a roll, but most tourists will normally find it as part of a “Full Scottish Breakfast”, and one that I can heartily recommend to start you off on your day.
So whilst you came to Scotland to enjoy for your holiday to see the lochs and glens, the castles and the wonderful scenery that is on offer – maybe you were not aware that Scotland is also the “land of the square sausage”! As such, once you have booked the large holiday house in Scotland for your self-catering holiday, you will need to find the correct ingredients for the “Full Scottish Breakfast” for your group. If you are staying at the McIntosh Inspired House near Turnberry, taking in the delights of Culzean Castle and playing a round of golf at Turnberry itself, then you and your guests could visit your local butchers in Ayr, with Tarelgin Butchers or Pollok Williamson, both offering the square slice.
However, with the growth of the web delivery service, butcher’s supplies can be delivered to your holiday home and there are so many Scottish based butchers that offer this service, including the following: Simon Howie, John Lawson, Tulloch Butchers and Murdoch Butchers. Wherever you choose to stay with Scotts Castle Holidays we hope you enjoy a “slice” of the action.
We are often asked our opinion on large holiday houses throughout Scotland, but it ultimately comes down to what your group are particularly looking for. Having recently visited the Large Country House on the west coast of Scotland, this is a great example of a large property that sleeps 20 + which is ideal for big groups. As one of the 2015 comments from the Visitor Book states – “Amazing old country house with open fires, a pool table and its own bar! What more could you ask for?” I couldn’t agree more!
Originally built as a holiday residence for a rich industrialist to entertain large groups, it subsequently became a school during WWII, then a country house hotel, before becoming a large country house that specialises in self-catering groups today. The large wood panelled drawing room is a sumptuous room with lovely old leather sofas, which does indeed have an impressive open fire which gives out plentiful heat and the whole room a warm glow. A perfect setting for any group.
Whilst this would be expected, what is an unexpected joy is that the old lounge bar is still here and whilst it may be un-stocked, once you have arrived and brought your food and drink, you can nominate who becomes the barman. The room is decorated with antlers, pith helmets and old wooden skis – and is full of charm and character, and after a dram or two you will be thinking of “Whisky Galore” and getting the ceilihd started.
There are options in this holiday house. The drawing room as discussed above, but there is also a further sitting room of equal size, which is good to split the group or have children watch TV. Alternatively there is this ground floor sun room, which is an auxiliary room as it can be a spare sitting room with games area and pool table or the pool table and furniture can be removed and additional tables can be placed to dine 30 – 50 people, depending on your requirements.
The actual dining room is perfect to entertain in style for 22 people and is opposite the kitchen, making the transfer of food an easy affair. Getting the whole group in together for a meal is what booking a large holiday house in Scotland is about. Looking at the feedback from the reviews and the visitor book – it seems that this Large Country House hits the mark every time and as the owners continue to upgrade on an annual basis, this should continue for years to come.
The kitchen is just the perfect blend of practicality and country kitchen. To feed 20 + you are going to need big ovens and plenty of catering equipment, and this is provided in a stylish and comfortable setting. There is plenty of work space with a work-island and the work setting is ideal for 2 or 3 people to be involved. Beyond that is the breakfasting area with a wood-burning stove, where 7 or 8 of your friends can get involved too by helping, advising or feeding children.
The craftsmanship involved in this big old country house is a delight. The vast impressive oak stairs with fine wood panelling and carved balustrade is such a joy. You can see why the bride and groom, or just the bride coming down the stairs is such a popular shot, as the wood panelling and carved oak surround is an impressive backdrop.
As a remnant of the country house hotel days, all the bedrooms are numbered, so it is easy to allocate bedrooms to your guests before arrival. This is bedroom no 3, situated on the first floor and it is one of the largest bedrooms. Each bedroom varies in size, but all the bedrooms have an en-suite bathroom or shower room, and 8 of the 12 bedrooms have front views. There is also a play room for children which can be adapted as an extra bedroom for children if required.
This is definitely a large country house with lots of character and charm, which makes the perfect setting for you all to gather and have fun as a group. Its size makes it an ideal Scottish holiday house for a group of up 20+ friends and family for a self-catering break for a week or weekend. It can host weddings, ceilidhs and is a great party venue, with assistance available in local organisation for bands and caterers. So if this is the large holiday house you were looking to book for your group or you require further information, contact the Scotts Castle Holidays sales team today who will be delighted to assist further.
In the “Taste of Mey”, recipes and menus inspired by the Castle of Mey in Caithness in the north of Scotland, is a recipe that originated at Drumkilbo, the Beautiful Historic Mansion located in Perthshire. “Eggs Drumkilbo” or “Oeufs Drumkilbo”, whichever you prefer, was a great favourite of the late Queen Mother. It was often served at luncheons, and also featured at the wedding breakfasts of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips in 1973 and of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson in 1986. In more recent times it featured during the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in 2012.
The story goes that one night, back in the 1950’s, some guests arrived late at Drumkilbo House, long after dinner had been cleared away and the owner of the house, Lord Elphinstone, asked his cook to feed his guests with whatever she could put together. In the fridge she found some leftover lobster, there were some eggs which she hard-boiled, prawns and tomatoes. However, with the addition of anchovy sauce, Tabasco, stock, gelatine and mayonnaise – a dish to be proud of was born. So much so, that Lord Elphinstone served it to his neighbour and aunt, the Queen mother, who immediately got her chef to copy the recipe and include it within their repertoire of dishes. Eggs Drumkilbo is a magnificent dish, combining Scottish seafood with haute cuisine, or to put it another way, it is like a posh prawn cocktail and egg mayonnaise all wrapped into one!
As with the birth of many great dishes, it was a happy accident and unplanned. Regardless, it is the sort of creation that warrants a a stylish venue, and what could be more appropriate than booking this large country house in Scotland and serving Eggs Drumkilbo to your guests. If it wasn’t for the tardy arrival of those guests at Drumkilbo, over half a century back, this beautiful concoction would never have been born.
Nowadays, it could not be easier to get there, as it is only an hour from Edinburgh and it is the ideal large holiday house for a week or weekend for up to 22 people on a self-catering basis. Contact Scotts Castle Holidays today to make your booking now.
“The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.”
Robert Burns (1759-1796)
The daffodils are starting to poke their yellow petals up through the grass as we edge closer towards Spring, which means only one thing: February half-term is on the horizon.
Coming just a few weeks into the New Year, the February break from school provides a welcome opportunity to recharge those batteries after the long dark nights and storms of January, making it the perfect time to explore the glens and lochs that Scotland has to offer.
We’ve pulled together some of the most popular attractions and things to do in Scotland this half-term, so whether you’re looking for excitement, relaxation, education or culture there is something to help you create memories.
The Glasgow Science Centre is home to hundreds of interactive exhibits, designed to entertain curious minds, from the planetarium to the science mall.
The iconic Edinburgh Castle is open throughout half-term with loads for all the family to see and do. Be wowed by the Crown Jewels, experience the roar of the one o’clock gun, tour the great hall and royal palace, and see for yourself the stone vaults which for centuries were used as prisons of war.
One of the most photographed castles in the world, Eilean Donan is recognised all over the world as one of Scotland’s most iconic castles. The attraction opens every day from 10:00-18:00 and is a must-see feature of the Scottish Highlands.
With green woodlands, landscaped gardens and Robert Adam architecture, Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland is the jewel in the crown of the National Trust for Scotland. Discover its fascinating history as you explore its treasure-filled rooms and acres of grounds.
Scotland’s National Aquarium is home to hundreds of wild and wonderful sea creatures, as well as the underwater safari, where you and your family are plunged into a tunnel beneath the water on Europe’s longest moving walkway.
See what you can uncover about Scotland’s fascinating history at one of the country’s interactive museums.
The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh is packed with wonders of the natural world, as well as meteorites, machines and monsters, all designed to keep your family entertained and engaged.
Get up close and personal with Scottish wildlife and endangered animals from around the globe in this beautiful highland setting. Meet Scotland’s only polar bears, see the playful snow monkeys, and discover the majestic power of the tigers, wolves and wildcats. Open every day from 10:00-16:00.
Shortlisted in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards, this nature reserve is just 25 miles east of Edinburgh. Home to some of Scotland’s best wildlife, including the grey seal, bottlenose dolphin, peregrine falcon and whale, it’s offers the perfect way to experience its natural habitat.
Bring all five senses to life at this interactive, hands-on exhibition. Crawl through a giant nose, challenge the robots of RoboRealm and take a trip to another galaxy in the Planetarium. This 4-star attraction is great fun for the family, from little ones to big kids.
“Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.” Dave Barry
And where better to do that than Scotland? If you’re looking for the thrill of a snowsports break, there’s no finer time than February half-term and Scotland’s five ski resorts offer plenty of dramatic scenery, challenging terrain and luxury accommodation.
We’ve chosen some of our fabulous properties within easy reach of the five main Scottish ski resorts:
Traditional shooting lodge near Glencoe (where Skyfall was filmed)
Make the most of this half-term by experiencing Scotland’s attractions, mountains, lochs and wildlife – Scotts Castle Holidays can help you find your dream holiday house at any time, whether you’re looking for skiing in Scotland in the February half-term, walking in the mountains in Spring or diving into the culture and excitement of Edinburgh in the Summer – speak to one of our friendly team today.
Travelling up to Perthshire last week during the October holidays I was struck by how busy the area was. Not surprising as it is so beautiful here and there is so much to do for all the family. I stopped off at Blair Atholl to take some images of Blair Castle and when I was there I noticed that the Highland cows were being fed carrots by their owner.
After a world-record 171,000 fans packed into Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow for two days of Commonwealth Games rugby sevens action, the crucial medal matches have provided more thrilling entertainment. South Africa ended New Zealand’s dominance, winning the gold medal match in an enthralling final at a sold-out Ibrox Stadium 17-12. It is a testament to the popularity of rugby in this shorter version, for seven men compared to fifteen, and the amazing fitness and prowess shown on the pitch. It bodes well for the future of the sport and many congratulations to South Africa for winning the gold medal and for Glasgow for being such a superb host.
The first Rugby Sevens tournament was played in Melrose in 1883 and on the 11th of April 2015, it will be the 125th playing of the Melrose Sevens with guest teams coming from around the world. Whilst the teams have still to be confirmed, in the past teams such as Randwick and Manly from Australia, Bay of Plenty from New Zealand, University of Free State and Stellenbosch from South Africa have all played in Scotland at Melrose.
It is always a carnival atmosphere and is considered a prime social date in the sporting calendar in Scotland. For those wishing to attend the famous Melrose Sevens event in 2015, then why not travel as a group and stay in a large holiday house in Scotland. This Large Georgian Mansion is 4 miles away from Melrose, and can sleep 24 adults and 4 children on a self-catering basis, and would be ideal for a long weekend, for the rugby or for just enjoying the natural beauty that the Borders region of Scotland has to offer. Contact Scotts Castle Holidays today to check availability.
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