While Scotland might be classed as a pint-sized country, it packs a surprising lot in within its borders. It’s home to picture-postcard after picture-postcard of the world’s finest scenery, stunning towns and cities as well as a long list of historic monuments. Seeing all the best in one trip is at the very least something of a challenge. But a good way to take in the top highlights is to go on a Scottish road trip.
Whether you take the high road or the low, seeing this bonnie land from behind the wheel makes for a great holiday. We’ve put together a list of 10 compelling reasons why seeing Scotland from the road is an absolute must.
The spring equinox officially marks the arrival of spring in the astrologers calendar. And it’s followed a few days later by the clocks springing forward. Enter stage left British Summer Time. Hurrah! With the daffs in full bloom and the bluebells on their way, lambing in full swing and Easter looming, farm stays and spring breaks are on the cards.
The UK is famous for its royal castles and palaces, used by reigning monarchs and members of their family. Some date back centuries while others are more modern residences. They all attract thousands of tourists, keen to get a glimpse of what royal life is really like. This year, one of the most famous royal castles stepped into the limelight when Prince Harry married American actress Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle on 19 May 2018.
But Windsor is just one of the royal castles and palaces in the UK. In this post, we take a look at the four most famous. All used by the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, as homes. They form an essential part of British history and enclose a world of fascinating facts within their four walls.
As spring threatens to burst into technicolour bloom, we’re riding the tide of joy with the addition of these four fabulous castle rentals to our portfolio for 2018. All comfortable homes away from home, they bring an stand-out contribution to the fold and are all strikingly individual. Fancy a stay in a castle with the clan this year? Let us take you on a tour of these large holiday homes in Scotland to help sow that seed a little further.
Pop Art Country House, Kingdom of Fife
Mothering Sunday more commonly referred to as Mother’s Day is only a month away. It’s an age old festival born from Christian roots to celebrate mothers and mother figures. The date changes annually as it’s held on the 4th Sunday of Lent and this year it lands on Sunday, 11th March 2018. Whilst the day itself is not a bank holiday, it’s a weekend families typically get together to visit and treat their mothers to a special day of celebration, whether that’s breakfast in bed, the presentation of a posy of flowers, a lunch out or in some cases a special weekend away.
“Say it with flowers” is the advertising slogan to mark the one day in the year you go that extra mile to make your mother feel special. We figured this year why not go that one step further and spoil mum with a weekend (or week long) holiday with everyone she loves. This time of year is considered low season in UK holiday rentals, so booking a short break during one of the most reasonably priced months of the year, makes it a very affordable treat for mum!
As Netflix’s compelling drama series The Crown returned to the (small) screen in December 2017, viewers continued their journey into the lavish life of Queen Elizabeth II during her early reign.
Now, The Queen can stay in a castle whenever she likes. The rest of us most likely have to rent a castle to have any hope of getting close. And that’s where we come in.
With stunning backdrops of picturesque gardens, beautiful interiors and even a few corgis making the cut, we’ve put together our very own list of luxurious castles that will make even the most modest individuals feel like they’ve been transported to The Crown’s estates.
Unless you’re bound by school holidays and have to go away in high season it’s well worth thinking about taking a break in the quieter months. Shoulder season getaways offer a long list of advantages. Not only do you have the chance to save money on accommodation but you can enjoy fewer crowds, reasonable weather and the most glorious times of the year.
Shoulder season generally describes the spring and autumn, both seasons with lots of advantages to the UK holidaymaker. If you’re thinking of booking a self-catering break between April and June or from September to early November but aren’t quite convinced, read on.
Detox doesn’t have to be the buzz word of January alone. We all need a little pamper time every now and then, whether that’s going the whole hog with a spa day or simply submerging into a hot tub with a glass of our favourite tipple surrounded by our favourite people. Enter stage left this selection of large holiday homes with hot tubs. You won’t need another list.
So take a dip or dive in to the idea of a long weekend away with friends. Perhaps you’re planning a multigenerational family holiday this year or next. Maybe there’s a special birthday celebration or anniversary on the cards. You could even be planning a wedding. The added extra of a hot tub in your holiday home of choice will doubtless excite your fellow guests too.
As the most romantic day of the year, it’s unsurprising that Valentine’s Day ranks as the most popular occasion to make a marriage proposal. But before you pop your question – perhaps the most important one of your life – take a moment to consider the setting. None less than the most romantic and stunning of all will do and with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the UK’s most romantic spots for a Valentine’s Day proposal.
The Caribbean is too far for just the day and way too expensive in February so let the azure waters and white sands come to you. Pop over to the Isles of Scilly where subtropical temperatures mean spring flowers bloom in winter. Wander the coastal paths and explore the hidden bays before visiting the Abbey Garden at Tresco, famed as one of the most beautiful in the world.
Pop the question… underneath the ruined arches at the 12th century Benedictine Abbey in the Abbey Garden with just the tall Canary Island palms for company.
Another of the UK’s many islands makes a great spot for rugged romantic proposals. The Isle of Skye offers some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes with just the right smattering of remote sandy coves, lovely lakes and majestic mountains. You’ll be in good company with the island’s unique wildlife – otters, red deer and the white-tailed sea eagle – all too hoping to find a mate to say “I do”.
Pop the question… at the Fairy Pools, near Glenbrittle where the crystalline pools and waterfalls make a magical backdrop.
The Lake District lies at the heart of English Romantic poetry, led by the Wordsworth and his immortal “I wander’d lonely as a cloud”. Allow your hearts to be won over by the stunning landscapes of endless lakes, rolling fells and quaint villages, pretty even in a wintry February. This is one of the UK’s favourite spots on Valentine’s Day so don’t expect to be alone, but there are plenty of quiet spots just for you and your loved one.
Pop the question… at Friar’s Crag on Derwentwater where mountain and woodland views stretch for miles over a lake spotted with island retreats. An impeccable backdrop for an engagement selfie. Celebrate afterwards at a cosy pub in Keswick.
Italy might be nearer than the Caribbean but it’s still a challenge for a day so take yourselves to the land of pastel façades, Florentine domes and Venetian turrets at Portmeirion in Wales. Wander the Italian-inspired village streets, marvel at the views of the Welsh coast and lose yourselves in the 70 acres of heavenly woodlands on the doorstep where amore is sure to be in the air.
Pop the question… on the village beach at sunset after the crowds have gone when it’s just you two and the quietly lapping waves.
Locations don’t come much quainter or more quintessentially English than the Cotswolds where picture-perfect villages in mellow ocre set in rolling green countryside come together to make one of the UK’s most romantic settings. Take a drive round the area and amble through the sleepy villages with their pretty cottages and traditional shops.
Pop the question… at the top of Cleeve Hill, just outside Bishop’s Cleeve, where the magnificent vistas will sweep you both off your feet and mean the only possible answer is yes.
Head down to the shingle beach at Durdle Door in Dorset for a romantic spot with a unique backdrop. The almost symmetric limestone archway has been carved by the sea over centuries and where better to frame your love. Make your way down the cliffs and settle down for a picnic à deux on the shingle beach as you wait for sundown.
Pop the question… at sunset and don’t forget to immortalise the “I will” in a selfie with the archway behind you.
Busy, busy London might not spring to mind as a place to make a marriage proposal but one of the world’s most happening capitals comes packed with special spots for love. Meander the canals at Little Venice; climb Parliament Hill for breathtaking views of the City skyline; buy the bouquet to go with the ring in Borough Market; take yourselves on a river cruise up to Hampton Court, built by the king with the most wives of all…
Pop the question… over a glass of a little something at dinner at Aqua Shard on the 31st floor or at Darwin Brasserie at Skygarden on the 36th. Who could possibly say no with the bright lights of London at their feet?
Scotland’s capital does elegance with a capital E and Edinburgh is home to some of the UK’s finest architecture. Take in the medieval marvels on Royal Mile before admiring Georgian finesse in New Town. And if you have forgotten the ring, pop into one of the wee jewelry shops in Grassmarket or on Rose Street.
Pop the question … at the top of Arthur’s Seat with the whole of Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth below you before you celebrate the yes with a wee dram in one of the city’s historic pubs.
Where better to make your marriage proposal than in the city home to the creator of some of Britain’s greatest romantic heroines? Take yourselves to Bath and follow in the footsteps of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy, and Emma and Mr Knightley, Jane Austen’s most romantic couples. Wander the Royal Crescent and visit the Roman Baths before crossing the Avon via Pulteney Bridge, Bath’s very own Bridge of Sighs.
Pop the question… over afternoon tea and champagne at the Pump Room and then ask the Pump Rooms Trio to play your tune.
For a proposal with shades of knights in shining armour and damsels in distress, à la Game of Thrones, Tintagel in Cornwall is your venue. Allegedly the birthplace of King Arthur, Tintagel Castle ruins are the stuff of medieval romances at its best. Wander the village streets before you descend to the Castle itself whose turrets and towers have commanding views of the sea.
Pop the question … at a remote spot on the cliff top near the castle. Choose your moment and get down on one knee just as the sun slips down over the Atlantic and you might even hear the Knights of Round Table toast your yes.