Going to Scotland always feels like entering a completely different world. What hits you first, is the unlimited space. Then, suddenly, all the daily worries are gone! What’s left is the free time and dozens of possibilities to spend it in an active way. So when we were given the opportunity to spend a weekend in Scotland, we didn’t have to think twice. This time we changed our strategy though and instead of driving for 12h we chose the easy option – a flight to Glasgow. Not only is it cheaper but also faster and more convenient. A sensible decision indeed. Scotland, here we come!
We were invited to stay in Crieff Hydro which, unlike many old properties that usually get converted into hotels, is actually a purpose-built hotel that was opened in 1868 as the Crieff Hydropathic Establishment. In the 19th century this hydropathic spa was serving its guests with clean eating, outdoor gym and water cure. All that in the beautiful surroundings of Scottish mountains. Sounds amazing but… I forgot to mention that this establishment was teetotal until 1994! No wonder that it became a favourite destination for alcoholics trying to get some rest from booze. Luckily the non-drinking regime is long gone! Who doesn’t like resting with a glass of wine after a day filled with outdoor and indoor activities? – something that the hotel specializes in and exactly something that we came for. Horse riding, mountain biking, hiking, swimming, you name it. What happened in Scotland, doesn’t have to stay in Scotland. I’m happy to share!
I’m always happy to try new sports and I wouldn’t think about myself as a person who get scared easily but I’ve got to be honest here. All I was thinking about, when cycling down the hill on the mountain bike, was the vision of one wrong move and myself losing front teeth. Apart from that (and a sweaty back when cycling up the hill) it was great fun!
Waterfalls, Castles and The Cobbler
When the flight back home is late in the evening, there is plenty of time to drive around and enjoy Scottish landscape. Like this for example…
Maybe I’ve got some princess issues but I really like visiting castles. I don’t need to enter every single one of them, actually most of the time I prefer to look at them from the outside. Why castles? I guess it’s the combination of architecture and history that make them so interesting. And guess what. Scotland is a castle paradise! We were not far away from the Drummond Castle which is described by Historic Scotland as “the best example of formal terraced gardens in Scotland” so the decision to stop there was a no-brainer. If only we’d checked the opening times… The gardens are open from 1st May to 31st October (and during Easter Weekend), damn! Lesson learned. Picture taken just before we got kicked out from the estate. I’ll try to plan better next time.
No proper visit in Scotland can be accomplished without hillwalking – if you haven’t done it, come back! We chose The Cobbler. This route, although extremely popular, didn’t attract many hikers on that day. I guess the combination of rain and wind wasn’t the best motivation. Even I was quite uncertain about the success of this mission. After all, 11 km up and down the hill facing the wind is not that easy. But we did it (yay!) and I can proudly say that the view from the top was worth the sweat and tears! Hiking boots recommended, although as I personally checked, not required. Flip flops, hmm…