Scotland on Sunday Travel - take a magical history tour in the heart of Highland Perthshire
With staycations soaring, Dunalastair Hotel Suites in the heart of Perthshire are the perfect base for a magical history tour, writes Janet Christie.
As Outlander fans know, all around ancient sites abound, with castles and clan battle sites nearby, while the now peaceful landscape offers plentiful opportunity for outdoor pursuits such as walking, cycling, and fishing, or just kicking back and enjoying the views.
Located on the square in the village of Kinloch Rannoch, 20 miles west of Pitlochry, The Rogue city Hotel group’s flagship is a Victorian sporting lodge converted entirely into suites, which makes it perfect for a pandemic.
With some of the country’s finest food produce on hand and all round stunning views, it’s no surprise the area’s tranquil beauty won it such famous fans as Winston Churchill and Liz Taylor, as well as Andrew Carnegie hiding out while trouble raged at his Pittsburgh steel mills in the 1890s.
It’s time to head out and rediscover Scotland with the comfort of a five star welcome waiting at the end of the day.
Dunalastair complies with government measures and also provides hand sanitiser in suites, faster check-in/check out, safe distanced dining and the breakfast buffet stations have waiter service.
Budget or boutique?
Boutique, five star.
Expect understated, contemporary comfort, in inky blues and forest greens. Each of the 32 suites has a lounge area and bathroom with walk-in shower and a mini-kitchen with microwave and fridge. There is in-room entertainment, high speed wifi and VPN, mineral water, Egyptian bed linen, bathrobes and slippers, White Company toiletries, fresh milk, tea, coffee and shortbread cookies replenished daily, 24-hour room service, in-room safe, ironing facilities, hairdryer, direct dial phones, concierge and free parking.
Wining and Dining
Take your appetite to the hotel’s new Monadh restaurant for fresh as you like local produce from a menu split between ‘the land’, ‘the sea’ and ‘the garden’ – Scottish lamb rack, mint pomme purée, cherry tomatoes and fine beans or king scallops, fondant potatoes, pickled apple, balsamic reduction, tuile and crispy gnocchi, pea veloute, mint and crème fraîche. Or push the boat out with a seven-course tasting menu in the Dunalastair’s fine dining restaurant, The Library, where highlights include lemon sole, brown shrimp, samphire, squid-ink mash, saffron cream and salmon roe or wild mushroom, truffle and chicken terrine, piccalilli and crostini.
Worth Getting Out of Bed For
Head to nearby Blair Castle and Gardens, where 700 years of history includes visits from Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Victoria, and a role in the Civil War, the Jacobite Uprising and Culloden. Or follow the 35km marked Clans of Rannoch Trail for stories of heroism and skulduggery, by bike if you prefer. A more peaceful slice of rural life from the 1700s to the 1960s awaits at the open air Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, through 30 historical buildings including a working croft. If you prefer to sit and take in the view, make like Victoria and head for Queen’s View on the banks of the River Tummel, for panoramas stretching to the West Coast on a clear day. Outlander fans can head for the familiar Dunalastair Estate and film buffs spot locations from Trainspotting, The Descent and Chariots of Fire. Or why not climb Schiehallion? The iconic Scottish mountain is practically on the doorstep.
It’s the views - stunning is standard with every suite.
Where better to bubble up with your nearest and dearest for a staycation delving into Scotland’s past that will give you something to remember?
Prices: Rooms start from £189 per night including breakfast.
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