With the addition earlier in the year of the Magnificent Adam Mansion to the Scotts Castle Holidays portfolio of self-catering holiday houses in Scotland, we have been asked a number of times – what is an Adam Mansion?
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.
Did you know that the “Scottish 6 Days”, (2nd – 8th August 2015) is currently underway in the Highlands of Scotland with orienteer’s hurrying to and fro. Taking place in a different area each day over the 6 days covering Elgin to Glen Affric, this is an event that is very much for the competitors rather than the spectator – but with 1,000’s of runners involved we wish them all the very best, and look forward to their next event in Scotland in 2017 in Royal Deeside. With the completion of the “Gentlemen of the road” music festival at the weekend, headlined by Mumford and Sons at Aviemore – both these events look to have contributed over £6 million to the economy of the Highlands.
With so many festivals and sporting events being held in Scotland now it is difficult to pick individual ones, but one that certainly catches the eye is the Aviva Tour of Britain, which takes place from the 6th – 13th September 2015. Stages 3 and 4 take place in Scotland, with the cyclists travelling through Dumfries and Galloway, the Scottish Borders, and with a grand finish in front of Floors Castle in Kelso. The following day commences at Holyrood in Edinburgh with the cyclists travelling through Duns and Coldstream before heading back across the border. These should be two very exciting days for the spectator.
One of the next sporting events will be held between 10th – 13th September 2015 at Blair Castle in Perthshire, which is hosting the FEI European Eventing Championships 2015 for horses and riders for a variety of events. This is a show that brings in over 40,000 people and there is something for everyone with a country fair and events for all the family. As the tag line for the event goes – “enjoy World class sport in one of Scotland’s most scenic locations” – and it does not get much more scenic and beautiful than Blair Atholl.
Scotts Castle Holidays offers a wide range of self-catering holiday venues, from large holiday houses, magnificent mansions and charming castles in Scotland. Whichever festival or sporting event you wish to see in Scotland, makes sure to choose a self-catering holiday house which will suit you by contacting the office today at Scotts Castle Holidays for more details.
On 5th July 2015 the Forth Rail Bridge was confirmed as the latest addition to the UNESCO World Heritage List, making it the sixth* Scottish landmark to be awarded this status (*the others being New Lanark, St Kilda, the Old and New Towns in Edinburgh, Neolithic Orkney and the Antonine Wall). Built in1890 it became the world’s longest multi-span cantilever bridge at 1.5 miles and after 125 years it has certainly stood the test of time. In doing so it has become an icon and symbol of Scotland with its presence and implication on Scotland’s ability to design and build.
In 2016, Scotland will celebrate the “Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design” and the Forth Rail Bridge will be one of the best examples of all three qualities. It used to be said of a never-ending repetitive chore, that it was like painting the Forth Rail Bridge, however in recent years the modern re-painting method has scuppered this phrase. The most recent coat of paint is expected to last between 25 to 40 years, so this iconic image of Scotland should be glistening magnificently for years to come.
Visitors can view the bridge from the underneath at South Queensferry, where there is a large car park and plenty of space to admire the structure. Whilst there you may wish to eat or have a drink at the Hawes Inn, where it is alleged that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote part of the book “Kidnapped”. Alternatively, by using the Fife rail line, you can cross the bridge as a passenger on one of the trains where the views are ever-changing and you get the best close-up of the bridge itself.
Scotts Castle Holidays offers a wide range of self-catering holiday venues, from large holiday houses, magnificent mansions and charming castles in Scotland. Whichever heritage site you wish to see in Scotland, makes sure to choose a self-catering holiday house with its own fine heritage by contacting the office today at Scotts Castle Holidays for more details.
Happiness is….choosing to holiday in Scotland and getting the balance right between entertaining the whole family and actually enjoying your holiday. Whilst I was in Blair Atholl in Perthshire last week there seemed to be so many people around and they all seemed happy. I am not surprised as Blair Castle is the focal point to the village and it is an interesting historic castle to visit and is a very popular visitor attraction. Of course this may not appeal to children – but there is so much more.
Blair Castle dates back to 1269 and has been transformed through the ages to become the fine Victorian castle in the baronial style that it is today. It is open to the public April – October each year, with many additional attractions apart from touring the castle itself. Atholl Estates have 145,000 acres of hills, woodlands and open countryside just waiting to be explored. Whether you want to set off on your own adventure on the 40 miles of walking and cycling routes or try one of the Estate activities, there is something for everyone. These include pony trekking, Land Rover safaris and tractor tours for children.
If you are looking for accommodation in this area, Scotts Castle Holidays have a number of large holiday houses to choose from. One of these is to be found 8 miles from the castle and it is one of the Duke of Atholl’s former shooting lodges. Accessed via a private estate road, which is for residents only for vehicular access, the track meanders up Glen Tilt going through beautiful scenery until eventually finding the holiday house.
The lodge itself is a Traditional Shooting Lodge that is functional over flair, which is in fact a large holiday house as it can sleep up to 20 people. With a large drawing room, dining room and plenty of bedrooms – this is the ideal place to take an activity minded family or a group of walking enthusiasts. Included is a complimentary family pass to Blair Castle. If you are looking for a wonderful location to get away from others, but to have plenty of activities on your doorstep, then this Scottish Holiday Lodge comes highly recommended. Contact Scotts Castle Holidays today for more information.
With the tennis just a distant memory and the prospect of Andy Murray having to wait another year again – he was not the only thing that was Scottish at Wimbledon this year, as most of the strawberries eaten there were grown in Scotland to be part of the ubiquitous “strawberries and cream”. Whilst Andy may hail from Dunblane, the majority of the strawberries grown in Scotland come from the Angus and West Perthshire area. In fact Lochie Porter’s company Angus Soft Fruits supplies 10% of the strawberries eaten in the UK and a staggering 40% of the raspberries.
The reason that this relatively small part of Scotland does so well, from Blairgowrie to Arbroath, compared to the south of England, is that there are longer hours of daylight and less stifling heat, which helps the berries to ripen slowly. Along with the advances in polytunnels and variety selection, the season is now much longer than it used to be and this part of Scotland has become the best place in the UK for soft fruit. As part of Scotland’s “Year of Food and Drink in 2015” campaign, the most recent launch by Visit Scotland is the creation of a “Berry Trail”, to encourage everyone to visit these soft fruit farms.
As a family on holiday in Scotland, what better way to get your children out in the sun and have fun too, by going berry picking. The fruit harvest season lasts for 6 months of the year – from May to October, with the busiest months being June, July and August. One of my favourite farms to take children to is the McLaren’s Farm beside Meigle, where a variety of berries can be picked depending on what time of year it is. Whilst strawberries are normally the children’s favourite, the raspberries seem to be so much sweeter straight off the bush. The Cairnie Fruit Farm near Cupar in Fife is another excellent “pick your own” farm, which is very popular with all the family.
Depending on where you wish to be based, whether in Perthshire, Angus or Fife, there are many large holiday houses in Scotland offered by Scotts Castle Holidays. The Beautiful Historic Mansion, which sleeps up to 23 people, is a few miles from the Mclaren Farm, whilst the Restored Fortified Castle, which sleeps 13 is close to Cupar and the Cairnie Farm. For a smaller number, then the Dower House, sleeps 8 people on a self-catering basis and enjoys wonderful views over the Vale of Strathmore and is in the heart of berry country close to Blairgowrie. Wherever you choose to stay – we wish you a “berry” happy holiday in Scotland.
The Scottish county of Fife is universally known as the “Home of Golf” with wonderful images of the old course at St Andrews being repeatedly shown on TV screens all around the world. When the British Golf Open comes to St Andrews then every golfer wants to imagine walking across the Swilcan Bridge on the 18th to great applause. The great thing about this famous golf course is that everyone can walk across the bridge as it is common land that belongs to the citizens of St Andrews, which means that when you visit St Andrews you have access to that particular bridge for the photo opportunity without having to pay any golf fees. Very Scottish!
St Andrews itself is a fantastic old university town and well worth visiting, but Fife is so much more. Elie, Crail, Anstruther, Falkland and Dunfermline, which used to be the capital of Scotland, let alone Fife, are all wonderful places. Prior to 1437 and before Edinburgh became the nation’s capital, Dunfermline, with its Abbey at its heart took centre stage. Once you cross the Forth Bridge (admiring the Forth Rail Bridge on the way) into Fife – take a detour to visit all these places, as Dunfermline Abbey and Andrew Carnegie’s birthplace museum, to name but two are well worth visiting.
If this was not enough for you to be entertained in Fife – what about this? Here are 10 more things you can do or visit in this area; 1, Scotland’s national aquarium, Deep Sea World, at North Queensferry. 2, Falkland Palace. 3, Scottish Deer Centre. 4, St Andrews Castle. 5, Cluny Clays outdoor activity centre. 6, West Sands beach at St Andrews. 7, The East Neuk of Fife. 8, Aberdour Castle. 9, The Scottish Off road Driving Centre. 10, St Andrews Golf Museum.
With a great variety of things to do and see, the kingdom of Fife is a great location for golfing trips and for family holidays, and if you wish to find a large holiday house, like Luxury Golfer’s Lodge, which can sleep up to 10 people on a self-catering basis, then at Scotts Castle Holidays we will be delighted to assist you further. Please contact today for more information on self-catering large holiday houses in Scotland.
With Dumfries and Galloway, you get two Scottish counties for the price of one, all of it a rich and diverse area to discover. Situated to the south west of Scotland, it can easily be bypassed as you travel north or south, but if you venture this way there is much to find. I think what surprises people the most is how hilly it is. Not mountainous like the Highlands or with the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders, but quite striking up-and-down hills. Then, of course, there is the Solway Firth, with all its marshlands, beaches and coves. An area that Robbie Burns, Scotland’s national bard, would have known well as his days as an excise man, but today is ideal for bird-watching and beachcombing.
Activities in this area are many for a family. The Glentrool Forest Park Visitor Centre is a great place to get started, as it is known as the “gateway to the Galloway Hills”. Here you can walk on the many themed walking trails or you can take one of the mountain biking trails, which is also part of the 7Stanes route. Walking in the Glenkens is one of the most popular walking trails. Horse rides and trails can be organised for you at the Lochill Equestrian Centre near Castle Douglas, to suit all rider’s abilities. For the golfer, there are many good parkland courses, and there are some excellent courses to get children playing for the first time. The golf clubs at Newton Stewart, Thornhill and Kirkcudbright, to name but a few.
When it comes to water activity, then Loch Ken and the Loch Ken Activity Centre, covers so many options including sailing, stand up paddle boats, kayaking and wind-surfing. Whilst those who prefer to fish, then Loch Ken also caters for this with fishing available for pike, perch and roach here. The rivers Nith, Annan and Esk, all have an excellent reputation for salmon and sea trout, as well as for the brown trout. For sea fishing, then the waters around Stranraer have caught record breaking fish, but regardless of the size of your catch, these are all great day’s out.
If this was not enough for you to be entertained in Dumfries and Galloway – what about this? Here are 10 more things you can do or visit in this area; 1, Caerlaverock Castle; 2, Sweetheart Abbey; 3, John Paul Jones Museum; 4, Gretna Green Blacksmith shop; 5, Drumlanrig Castle; 6, Mersehead Nature Reserve; 7, Robert Burns House; 8, Cardoness Castle; 9, Mull of Galloway Lighthouse; 10, Threave Castle.
With a great variety of things to do and see, Dumfries and Galloway is a great location for a family holiday and if you wish to find a large holiday house, like Bellrigg, which can sleep up to 11 people on a self-catering basis, then at Scotts Castle Holidays we will be delighted to assist you further. Please contact today for more information on self-catering large holiday houses in Scotland.