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Issue 46 - Low season treats

Scotland Magazine Issue 46
August 2009


This article is 9 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Low season treats

In autumn and winter Scotland can be at her photogenic best. It's a time when country house hotels come into their own and open fires add to the appeal. Special Offers are now online and there are more deals at

Argyll Kilcamb Lodge
Tel: +44 (0)1967 402 257
The journey to get to this nominee for Scottish Romantic Hotel of the Year 2010 is part of the pleasure and includes a short ferry hop to the wild Ardnamurchan region, near Fort William. The hotel is a true country house and its setting is magnificent: a meadow is all that separates the manor from the loch. Indoors there’s a glowing welcome from manager Phillip Fleming and his team. Bedrooms are each individual so have a chat before you book; but all are charming.

Exciting cuisine by utterly dedicated rising star chef Tammo Siemers.

Perthshire Killiecrankie Hotel
Tel: +44 (0)1796 473 220
Here in the scenic Pass of Killiecrankie near Pitlochry, former manager of the Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle Henrietta Fergusson now personally oversees a revivified and dapper small country house hotel. All around is evidence of good, unstuffy taste and wit.

Bedrooms range from a small suite on the ground floor to familyfriendly rooms. The bar and conservatory offer informal, quality dining and chef Mark Easton’s natural, honest fine dining is served to acclaim in the Scottish dining room.

Edinburgh Channings Hotel
Tel: + 44 (0)131 315 2226
Channings is set in the ‘real’ Edinburgh, well apart from the tourist zones with sometimes noisy night-time goings-ons. It’s a townhouse hotel – once home of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton – and one of the highly recommendable Town House Collection. Bedrooms range from beautiful and classic to contemporary. It freely admits to being quirky and charming – a celebrity guest list confirms the quality. A class-leading array of inspiring low-season offers are online now, including dining deals as hard to resist as Karen Mackay’s food.

Dundee Apex City Quay Hotel
Tel: +44 (0)845 365 0000
Dundee is a great base, offering many attractions. It’s easy to tour from here to Perthshire or St Andrews, too. The Apex is a modern, four-star hotel full of appeal. It’s notably child-friendly – kids of up to age 16 go free when sharing with two adults; free DVDs and a chlorine-free pool help keep them happy. Yu Spa’s treatments (pictured) indulge parents.

Autumn / winter breaks are easy to find on the Apex website – but book well ahead to secure the lowest rates. Metro Brasserie provides guests with delicious food.

St Boswells Buccleuch Arms Hotel
Tel: +44 (0)1835 822 243
St Boswells is a pretty village in the Borders, close to romantic Dryburgh Abbey where Sir Walter Scott rests and the famous fishing river the Tweed passes silently by. The Buccleuch Arms is a true inn with more than a dash of style about it; somehow it gets the balance right by being neither too modern, nor too ‘classic.’ Bedrooms have all been upgraded with an eye for design; the guest lounge with big fire is a delight; awardwinning real food awaits – as do country sports and skilled guidance.

Edinburgh Rick’s
Tel: +44 (0)131 622 7800
With just 10 cosmopolitan, urbane boutique rooms, Rick’s isn’t a worry to the big hotel boys in town. But it is one for you to keep your eye on, especially if you’re on the hunt for a city break with style but not the designer-label price tag. We think Rick’s rates are reasonable anyway but check their site in the quieter months and you’ll find offers (such as 2-for-1 dining deals) that will sweeten any plans. The place is a hip bar with quality bistro restaurant, all refurbished in summer 2009. Bang in the city centre, too.

Fort William Inverlochy Castle Hotel
Tel: +44 (0)1397 702 177
Inverlochy Castle, the beautiful, multiple awardwinning Highland hotel, is a name you might not expect on a list of low-season good value. This Relais & Chateaux property is expensive, as might be expected of one of the most acclaimed hotels in Europe. But come the winter months the castle is quieter and – previously having been closed at that time of year – instead now offers two nights for the price of one. Check their website in autumn and plan ahead. A roaring fire in the Great Hall awaits, cherubs and chandeliers above.

Portpatrick Rickwood House Hotel
Tel: +44 (0)1776 810 270
We finish this issue’s recommendations with an endearingly friendly small hilltop hotel in picturesque Portpatrick, southwest Scotland.

Bed and breakfast is from just £30 per person and in autumn / winter there are low rates available for short breaks. The hotel, run personally by Fred and Maggie Findlay, has immaculately fresh bedrooms, some, such as the Factor’s Room, with luxury touches and terrific sea views. This ‘hotel-style guest house’ offers deliciously fresh home cooking at dinner and breakfast. Fine value!


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