After limiting myself to a mere £100 for a weekend in London, I had a bit more cash to spare for my following weekend.
Having rode the Megabus last weekend (for a rather gruelling 13 hours), I was eager to take my travels into my own hands once more for my trip up to Scotland.
Whereas my last trip to London had been full of fanciful visits to art galleries, hip restaurants and bars – I knew that a weekend in Scotland would be a little more down to earth. Whether you’re staying in rural Scotland, as I was, or making a trip out to one of it’s metropolitan centres; you’re almost guaranteed a refreshing change of pace whenever you visit. From the sleepy pubs, that progressively slide into drunken raucousness as the hours wear on, to the charming restaurants and cafes that litter the high streets of it’s towns and villages; Scotland’s tourism has been built off of it’s reputation for welcoming hospitality and homespun charm.
Although a vast network of rail lines and bus routes link together much of rural and urban Scotland, the country is arguably at it’s best when you’re driving yourself. Similar to tackling some of the great wide roads of America, you can only get a sense of scale of the country when you’re driving through it. Only when you’re cruising from one tiny to settlement to the next, on smooth roads winding through the dramatic landscape of the Highlands, do you get a sense of just how huge the country really is and how many people live in relative isolation from the rest of the world.
For around £100 per night you can get a glimpse into what this might be like, whilst living rather luxuriously at Highland Heather Lodge; my home for the weekend.
Before your mind drifts off to a Wham-style scene of log cabins and snow, remember that I stayed here by myself and in the middle of Summer. So, although there were no adorably awful 80s mullets or cringe-worthy snowball fights, there was glorious summer sun and idyllic peace and quiet.
There are times when the luxury of a bar and room service is outweighed by the hectic nature of modern hotels. Sometimes it’s simply better to go without these things and trade in the metropolitan standards for something a bit more homespun and infinitely more relaxing.
Set in the quiet village of Crieff, the small selection of cottages that Highland Heather Lodges have on offer are modern, practical and comfortable. Offering wonderful views out into the local area; each lodge comes complete with it’s own kitchen, bathroom, and hot tub. You might have to source and prepare all your food and drink yourself, but the sheer space and freedom that you’re given, for the price that you’re paying, simply cannot be argued with. Once you’ve made the drive up to Crieff, a meandering journey that took me around 6-hours on a Friday morning, what you get up to is very much up to you.
You could go hiking, in some of the most picturesque countryside that Great Britain has to offer, you could tee of at one of Scotland’s many gorgeous golf courses, or you could simply do what I did – kick back, eat some good, locally sourced food and find a quiet pub to read a book in.