Monarch of the Glen
Last time on “Amber Over-Dresses in a Slightly Different Location”, Terry and I had checked into Dunkeld House Hotel and were all ready to start relaxing. The hotel gives you lots of different ways in which to do this: there’s a pool and spa, there are bars and a restaurant, you can go quad biking or off-road driving… that kind of thing.
For us, though, the main attraction of a country house hotel is, well, the country, and Dunkeld House has a LOT of that to offer. The hotel sits on the banks of the River Tay, and is surrounded by the famous Birnam Wood, which Shakespeare aficionados will know from its role in MacBeth. The estate is spread over 280 acres, and we wanted to explore at least a little bit of it while we had the chance, so I did a quick change, and we headed out.
My best advice to anyone planning on visiting Scotland: assume that it will be cold and wet, and pack accordingly. And, you know, it might NOT be cold and wet. We have a saying here that if you don’t like the weather, you just need to wait 15 minutes and it’ll change, so you never know, it might even be warm and dry. Let’s face it, though: the most likely scenario is that it’ll be cold and wet, which is why I may have forgotten to pack my toothbrush, but I DID remember to throw my Hunter boots in the car before we left. It was a rare moment of sense for me, and I have to admit, I felt quite smug as we left the hotel and even more smug when we ended up walking much further than we’d anticipated, reaching the nearby village of Dunkeld, turning back towards the hotel when we realised neither of us had brought any cash with us, and then getting almost halfway back when Terry all of a sudden discovered that his wallet had been in his jacket pocket the whole time. D’oh!
We still had some time to kill before dinner, and we were both feeling hungry by that point, so we headed back to the village AGAIN and had some lunch in a little beer garden with a gorgeous view, which I obviously didn’t bother to photograph, because did I mention we were in a beer garden? (I actually had coffee rather than beer, but still…)
By the time we got back to the hotel we’d done a LOT of walking in those woods, but we’d still only managed to see a tiny part of the estate. What we did see, however, we really loved: the woods at Dunkeld are seriously scenic (we walked by the river most of the time, which was nice and relaxing), and also seriously old. You get a real sense of history walking underneath the branches of the ancient trees, and, the grounds of the hotel are dotted with lots of cool little touches, like the fairytale glade and face-like grotto in the photos above. It was definitely one of the nicest woodland walks we’ve done, and, as an added bonus, all that walking helped us work up a good appetite for dinner, too. Which, coincidentally, will be the subject of tomorrow’s post…
[Disclosure: We stayed at Dunkeld House compliments of Hilton Hotels. All opinions are my own.]