Sometimes the average Scottish holiday cottage just won’t do. When you’re getting all the children (and their children) together for a holiday. When you’re organising a reunion for a group of old friends. Or when you and your nearest and dearest are gathering for that special birthday or anniversary.
Travelling west from Glasgow on the coastal road, the A78, following the Firth of Clyde, it is easy to see why this area is popular with the locals as a short break destination. With quaint villages and towns and good access to the sea, you can see why the hard working Glaswegians of old would go “doon the Watter” to get some fresh air and to enjoy wonderful scenery. Today trips are available via Clyde Cruises to cruise down the Clyde and these excursions take just short of 3 hours on the boat and make a very pleasant outing for the day.
Continuing south through Wemyss Bay, where the ferry leaves to get to the Isle of Bute, you will also find an excellent local butcher. In May 2015, Mearns T. McCaskie Butchers have been awarded 2015 Scottish Haggis champion makers, so well done to them and this seems to be the best place to get your haggis if you are staying locally. Further on, you arrive at Largs, which is very well known in Scotland for Nardinis Café and its ice cream. Anyway enough of ice-cream and haggis, the area is wonderful with the highlights being the coast and what is on offer scenically with the islands beyond. If you are staying at the Historic Medieval Castle, situated on the hill above West Kilbride, which offers self-catering breaks for up to 12 people – then you will have magnificent views from the top of the castle overlooking the sea past Great Cumbrae to the Isle of Arran.
You will have already noticed that the tropical type of plants in this area, with bamboos and palms, which gives a clue to the milder weather that this south western part of Scotland enjoys. From here on in the Ayrshire coast becomes ideal for golf, with the coastline perfect for the classic links golf courses. The sport’s oldest and most prestigious golf tournament has its roots here with the first British Open being held in Ayrshire in 1860 at Prestwick. There are many superb courses to choose from including the great sounding Western Gailes and Kilmarnock Barassie.
Apart from enjoying a cruise on the Clyde, travelling onto various islands like Bute and Arran, eating ice-cream at Nardinis, playing golf on one of Ayrshire’s many renowned golf courses – what else is there to entertain you? Here are 10 more things you can do or visit in this area; 1, Dumfries House; 2, Culzean Castle; 3, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum; 4, Portencross Castle; 5, Eglinton Country Park; 6, Ayr Seafront; 7, Ayr Racecourse; 8, Troon Beach; 9, Scottish Maritime Museum; 10, Kelburn Castle. With a great variety of things to do and see, this part of Ayrshire on Scotland’s west coast has been a well kept secret to the locals for many years and if you feel that this undiscovered part of Scotland should be discovered, then at Scotts Castle Holidays we will be delighted to assist you further. Please contact today to for more information on self-catering large holiday houses in Scotland.
Rosneath peninsula, is one of those easily accessible but rarely discovered places, as most people either enjoy the Loch Lomond views before or continue to drive on by to get further west. Located 30 minutes north west of Glasgow, it is surrounded on three sides by water, with Loch Long, Gare Loch and the firth of Clyde. Scotland as a whole is also surrounded on three sides by water, so it is no surprise there are still operators offering ferry services.
What is a surprise is that you may need a ferry when you are not on an island and using one on this peninsula is an unexpected pleasure and an excellent way for tourists to see the coastline. However be aware that the smaller ferry routes may only operate in the summer months, so always check in advance.
The Kilcreggan Ferry operates all year round (not on a Sunday) between Kilcreggan and Gourock, with a crossing time of less than 15 minutes. Bear in mind that the drive between these two locations is 46 miles, so this is a significant saving in time. For those staying at the Magnificent Scottish Castle near Cove, this ferry service is a good way to see what the Rosneath peninsula looks like from the Clyde estuary. The Caledonian MacBrayne (Calmac) ferries operate on the longer routes and if you wish to travel onto any of the islands, like Arran or Bute, this is the ferry company for you.
Furthermore, like many parts of Scotland, Rosneath has its own Highland Games and the next games take place on Sunday 19th July 2015. All-in-all, travelling on this coast road, the B833, on the Rosneath peninsula is an ideal “Sunday Drive” taking in all the fine coastal views, and one that comes highly recommended from Scotts Castle Holidays.
There have been a number of lists issued recently about some of the amazing places to visit in Scotland and it was pleasing to see that the traditional favourites like Edinburgh Castle remain at the top and refreshing to see so many other attractions being talked about that were less well known. In that theme here are “six of the best” to consider….
Wild food, wild life, wild Scotland – and the best bit of all, it is all organic and green, and to be found in the most beautiful parts of Scotland. So the foraging season approaches with the promise of mushroom picking for chanterelles, ceps and boletus. Whilst it is advised to pick with an expert, this is becoming more popular with the British, though it is still a way of life for the French, Italians and the Eastern Europeans. From July through to November, this wild harvest is abundant, and is free to pick throughout Scotland for your own consumption, subject to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, which is always worth reading before you go out into the Scottish countryside.
An ideal large holiday house for groups of up to14 adults, who want a self-catering holiday house as a base to forage for wild food and for a wide range of activities, is this Victorian Fishing Lodge near Fort William. Why not find out more today at Scotts Castle Holidays?
Enjoy Scotland and the countryside responsibly. Take time to read the outdoor access code before you go into the countryside. Scotland is open to everyone, be they walkers, cyclists, canoeists, hunters, fishers, adventure seekers or wild food collectors, but there are guidelines and advice on how to behave responsibly. In fact now that late summer and early autumn is here, the wild mushroom season is upon us and there is also a mushroom code guideline too.
An ideal large holiday house for groups of up to14 adults, who want a self-catering holiday house in an area known for a wide range of activities, is this Victorian Fishing Lodge near Fort William. Why not find out more today at Scotts Castle Holidays?
Farmers from all across Scotland have worked very hard over the last few years to make farmers’ markets not just an attraction but to be part of the weekly shop. With their fresh local seasonal produce, this offers consumers an alternative shopping experience to the major supermarkets. Proper food at its most fresh, with some of the best quality products that only Scotland can produce. If you have concerns about the air miles your food may have clocked up, then this is the solution. To find out where the nearest Farmer’s market in your area or at the Scottish holiday house you have chosen, have a look here.
For example, at Cairndow in Argyll, between April and October, the Farmer’s market is on the fourth Saturday of the month, between 10am – 1pm. This would be the nearest venue if you chose to stay at the Cottage with Sea Views, which can sleep up to 8 adults or the larger castle accommodation, the Baronial Castle, which can sleep up to 13 adults. Both provide excellent holiday accommodation in Argyll, with great access to good quality local produce.
Many visitors come to the UK to experience its extraordinarily rich and diverse heritage and many choose to do so by booking one of the many impressive castles, large houses and mansions all of which can be rented on a self catered basis for spring and summer vacations and used as a base to explore the local area.
If you are bringing your family or friends over for that one in a lifetime vacation, whatever the reason let Scotts Castle Holidays take the worry and the work away from you. Once you have told us a bit about your needs, we will use our connections and experience to find your ideal self catering holiday property.
- You can be confident that we personally inspect the properties we market
- You can be confident that having been in this business for over 20 years we must be doing something right!
- You can be confident that as a professional agency bound by company law your legal and fiscal rights will be well protected
We take great pride in placing our guests first with a service that is friendly and personal. Our efficient and cheerful staff will do their best to ensure that your stay in one of our properties is a happy and memorable one.
Both the wattage and the shape of electrical sockets is different in the UK. Overseas visitors will be able to use electrical appliances (hairdryer, laptop, etc.) with the help of a plug adapter. These are available from the Internet, hardware and electrical goods stores, some dispensaries and many airports. They also come in sets of adapters for more than one country, useful if the UK is not the only country you plan to travel to. Be sure to buy one with three prongs (US) if your appliance requires it. Men’s electric razors sometimes require a unique plug adapter, which should be labeled as such.
Maybe obvious, maybe not: Do not attempt to plug in a US appliance into a UK socket without a plug adapter, as it may result in breakage, injury or fire.
Legal currency in the UK is pound Sterling (£). Please ensure that you have enough local currency during your stay to enjoy the the smaller attractions or amenities that will only accept cash. The majority of supermarkets, eateries, garages, dispensaries, and high street shops throughout the UK accept most or all the major credit cards (although sometimes surcharges may apply). The financial section of most newspapers publish the exchange rates. Our website has a link to a currency converter which you may find useful. Post Offices in the UK now buy and sell currency as well as the leading Banks. If in doubt, ask one of our staff members and we will be happy to advise.
There is no need to tip cash at the bar in hotels or pubs, although you can offer to buy a barman a drink if you are impressed with the service. As far as tipping for meals goes, it all depends on the establishment and how you feel about the quality of the service provided. You would not be expected to tip for meals if you booked a fully catered property, although on leaving if you felt you had received exceptional service you may choose to give the proprietor a 10% tip to be shared discretely amongst his staff. Some restaurants include a 10% service charge so make sure you check your bill. Minimum wage rules apply in the UK, which means tips supplement income rather than help provide it.
Please note that holiday accommodation descriptions may be interpreted differently from country to country. Below you will find the generally recognised definitions for self catering holiday accommodation as understood by UK citizens. Please note these measurements are a guideline only and may vary slightly from holiday property to holiday property.
- Single bedroom: one bed (3ft wide)
- Double bedroom: one bed (4ft 6 inches wide)
- Twin bedroom: two beds (3ft wide each)
- King size bedroom: one bed (5ft wide)
- Four Poster bedroom: one bed (4ft 6 inches wide) with canopy
- Ensuite bathroom: private bathroom attached to the room via connecting door
- Private bathroom: a separate room that may be adjacent to, or a short walk down a corridor not shared with any other guest
- Shared bathroom:a separate room that may be adjacent to, or a short walk along a corridor that is shared by the occupants of two or more bedrooms
If you wish to find out more about travelling to the UK, the British Home Foreign & Commonwealth Office website is always a good place to start: www.fco.gov.uk
If you require more specific information about the particular area you plan to visit, our staff can provide you with contact details of your nearest local Tourist Information office.
· Don’t forget to phone the key holder who will be letting you into the property a few days beforehand to let them know when you are coming. This will save you having to wait (which could be a while depending on where they have to come from) when you arrive.
· To save you time and hassle, why not pre-order your food and provisions by asking the owner for details of supermarkets in the area who offer home delivery service.
· If travelling with children, check first whether the property you have rented comes with freeview and/or a DVD – always a helpful diversion when you’re trying to unpack or have a morning lie-in!
· Buy a local newspaper when you arrive. They will often advertise local events and offer special discounts that will help you plan your activities. Get the children involved by asking them to look through the paper and highlight anything that they might be interested in doing/visiting.
· Don’t always rely on your Sat Nav to be exact, so don’t forget to pack a map of the area as a backup.
· Ask in advance for details of the best local restaurants and pubs in the area that are within easy walking/driving distance
· Work out a rough meal plan before you go, taking into account when you are likely to eat out to save you on buying more provisions than you will really need
· Have a look at the website wherecanwego.com which lists events that will be taking place in your local area.
· Take a project book, some scissors and glue to keep the kids busy on rainy days. It’s a great way for them to learn about the area they are visiting by cutting and pasting tickets of places they have been to and articles of interest from the local paper.
· Take a small torch that can be left by your bedside in case anyone needs to get up the middle of the night to visit the bathroom, as it can be easy to get disorientated in an unfamiliar environment particularly at night.
· The owners often leave a visitors information folder at the property, which is always worthwhile looking at as they will provide you with their own recommendations on where to go and what to do.
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