STRUGGLING to think of a last-minute Christmas gift? Look no further than Scotland’s finest homegrown produce, writes Alistair Munro
Is your husband, wife, or partner a fan of Scotland’s national drink? A Malt Master Session at Glengoyne Distillery, Killearn, is available from £54.
They boast of a unique experience that allows the visitor to create their own Glengoyne, and sample five different 1997 casks. And there is the chance to take home a 200ml creation.
The Glengoyne Distillery is situated 14 miles north of Glasgow and is found nestled in a tranquil glen, only a stones throw from picturesque Loch Lomond and the Highlands beyond.
You can also become an ‘Honorary Malt Taster’. http://www.giftexperiencescotland.com/whisky-distillery-experience-vouchers/malt-master-session-glengoyne-distillery-killearn-voucher/
A birds-eye view of Edinburgh
Take a flight of fancy by taking an Edinburgh helicopter tour and lunch.
There is a choice between two scenic tours, followed by a relaxing two-course lunch after flight, costing from £109.
Choose from the City of Edinburgh or the Forth Bridges. This helicopter sightseeing trip is an amazing and different way to experience Scotland from above, on board a luxury helicopter.
Teeing off at Loch Lomond
A round of golf at The Carrick with lunch for four, at Loch Lomond, costs around £259.
Challenge three friends to a round of golf on the Championship Carrick Course, set in stunning parkland on the banks of Loch Lomond.
Designed by acclaimed golf course architect Doug Carrick – more commonly celebrated for his Canadian courses – Cameron House invited him to design his first UK course.
The course has been spectacularly designed on the fault lines between the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands and is made up of velvet greens and testing fairways.
Following your round of golf, relax and enjoy a lunch from the high tea menu. The Carrick also hosts an award-winning spa as well as excellent facilities including the Claret Jug restaurant. Complimentary chauffeur transfers to and from Cameron House Hotel are available on request.
A luxury tour of The Highlands
Make yourself comfortable on this luxury tour bus as you set off from Inverness. As you make your way up north, across the Moray Firth and onto the scenic Black Isle, your guide will point out places of interest.
From there, you will make your way over to the Cromarty Firth, which is famous for its bird watching.
You will then make your way over to the small, lovingly preserved fishing village of Cromarty, where you’ll have enough time to walk around and appreciate its venerable history.
You will then travel to Rosemarkie and Fortrose before passing Chanonry Point where you will get the opportunity to see the majestic bottlenose dolphin.
The penultimate leg of your journey consists of a tour of the famous Glen Ord Distillery, in the pretty town of Beauly, where a dram awaits. The final leg of the tour saves the best till last – a visit to Loch Ness.
A comprehensive Harry Potter gift set
If you have just seen the films, why not read the stories as they were originally written.
JK Rowling’s Harry Potter Box Set: The Complete Collection is a boxed set containing all seven novels in paperback. These new editions of the classic and internationally bestselling, multi-award-winning series feature instantly pick-upable new jackets by Jonny Duddle to bring Harry Potter to the next generation of readers.
Deals can be found at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Harry-Potter-Box-Set-Collection/dp/1408856778 and other online retailers – as well as bookstores – for around £40.
Seasonal Scottish literature
While on books, storytelling has always been very popular in Scotland. The country has given birth to some of the world’s greatest novellists: Sir Walter Scott, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson and many others.
One author whose work feels especially appropriate for the season is George Mackay Brown, whose short stories are collated in Winter Tales, who documents Orcadian life with a fireside ambience.
Drive a tank
For the thrill-seekers, a tank driving experience on a purpose-built course in Stirling awaits. In a vehicle that has served in the British Army – an 18-ton APC 432 Tank – this two-person experience will see you driving and riding in the caterpillar-tracked vehicle for up to two hours. At £259, it’s not cheap, but as a one-off experience it’s hard to beat for novelty.
Whisky tasting in Edinburgh
This experience includes five 14-year-old whiskies with different wood finishes, including Glenmorangie Nectar D’or, Craganmore Distillers Edition, Caol Ila Distiller Edition, Auchentoshan 3 Woods and Talisker Distiller Edition. It takes place inside the intimate and temperature-controlled whisky snug at Edinburgh’s Hotel Du Vin.
Whether you’re a connoisseur or you don’t know a dram from a barrel, this fantastic whisky tasting experience at £39 is a must.