Much of Scotland’s identity is bound up with the mountains, lochs and rugged coastline of Highlands. Its wild beauty attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world every year, binding national culture and tradition to nature and the seasons. The ultimate Scottish hotel break, then, must surely be one in which the ”˜great outdoors’ are integral.
Nowhere offers this experience more completely than Gleneagles, a luxury resort at the heart of Scotland set within its very own country estate. Activities at Gleneagles, which range from riding and falconry to a gun dog school and archery, capture much of the essence of Scotland in the heart of its rural beauty.
Known as the ”˜the palace in the glens’, Gleneagles is surrounded by classic Scottish views and offers a range of kingly activities. One of these is falconry, a pursuit which holds a historic place as the sport of kings and has been a noble pastime since medieval times.
The dramatic landscape around Gleneagles provides the perfect backdrop for viewing the British Falconry School’s majestic birds in flight. Guests can gain official certification during their visit and participate in rabbit and game hunting during open season (October to February).
Off Road Driving
For guests craving adventure and a real challenge, off-roading at Gleneagles has developed a celebrated reputation. Handling a four wheel drive across the wild Perthshire terrain is an exhilarating experience, and the hotel’s driving routes includes two of Scotland’s most challenging off-road courses. Water splashes, ditches and steep ascents keep drivers on their toes, and skill lessons are available for adults looking to improve their skills or aspiring novices over the age of ten.
Gun Dog School
The hotel’s gun dog school is the first in the world, and offers a unique and rewarding experience. Guests can learn how to handle and command trained dogs, integrating practises and traditions that have been used in Scotland for centuries. Expert instructors bring the history of the practise to life and demonstrate the dog’s impressive abilities. Fieldcraft lessons take the experience to the next level with simulated game retrievals amidst rustic obstacles.
With a range of other facilities and activities on offer including an equestrian school, shooting, fishing, wildlife photography and, of course, golf, the hotel is a world leader in providing a diverse and exciting range of opportunities for guests. If such exertions don’t sound like your sort of holiday then don’t worry; the hotel is also renowned for having a world-famous spa and mouth-watering dining facilities — who could ask for more?