Robin McKelvie spends 48 hours in Crieff, Perthshire
Last month, Crieff Hydro (doubles from £74, www.crieffhydro.com) was named best family resort in Scotland and it’s easy to see why, with swathes of activities and free childcare at this 900-acre oasis. Swish modern rooms and the spa tempt couples, too.
The Hub lives up to its name at lunchtimes, bustling with guests enjoying proper burgers and healthy snacks.
Work off lunch by hiring a bike at The Hub and heading out on the trails that snake off around the sprawling grounds and on to the open hillside. Alternatively, hit the family pool or the adults-only Victorian Spa.
Venture just along the road to Knock Castle (www.knockcastle.com) for a sophisticated dinner laden with local produce. Choose from the epic views afforded by the Rooftop Restaurant (it has a simpler bar part too) or the adults-only Oak Restaurant.
Hike up the Knock of Crieff and then have a great excuse to enjoy a hearty Crieff Hydro breakfast. This 279m high hill opens up epic views towards the rugged mountains of Highland Perthshire to the north.
Descend down into Crieff to savour the bright and breezy experience that is Delevino’s (www.delivino.co.uk). This welcoming wee Italian deli and wine bar is a gem. Their pizzas are excellent, as are their daily specials – the venison burger is the standout when it’s on.
Crieff’s High Street is home to a number of independent shops and cafes, so meander your way along and take a breather in the trio of local parks that were recently revamped, then reopened by Prince William, Earl of Strathearn.
Retreat back to the Hydro to savour its finest dining experience in the Meikle Restaurant. The locally smoked citrus salmon is a winner amongst the starters, with aged Limousin beefsteaks tempting afterwards.
Finish your weekend with a spa treatment. The Hydro spa offers myriad options, with the hot stone massages particularly recommended.