The historic village of Dunkeld, sat upon the banks of the River Tay, and known as The Gateway to the Highlands, can be traced back to the 9th Century, when it became an important religious centre.
Sites such as Dunkeld Cathedral and the 18th Century Little Houses tell the story of this picture-perfect location through time.
At the 97-bedroom four-star Dunkeld House Hotel, there is an equally rich history, the earliest part of the site having been built in 1897 by the 7th Duke of Atholl to replace what was called the palace, situated nearby.
The hotel’s recent refurbishment has combined tradition with the contemporary in a transformation that has created “an essence of the classic manor house tone, infused with the delights of a modern interior”.
Guests can choose to stay in the original Grade-II listed building, the upgraded extension or a friendly annex that allows dogs, all in the splendid 280-acre grounds.
The restaurant serves creative and seasonal dishes against a backdrop of the rolling Craigvinean Hills and the rushing River Tay.
The hotel’s team of chefs take inspiration from the bountiful ingredients found throughout Perthshire’s vast natural larder, with many herbs and vegetables grown in the hotel’s organic kitchen garden. The menus feature mouth-watering dishes including Dunkeld Estate venison tart, Loch Etive sea trout and Perthshire lamb.
In addition to the hotel’s fabulous food and beverage offering, it boasts onsite activities such as County Clays, the largest clay pigeon shooting range in Scotland, the Land Rover Experience and Quad Trek Adventures and of course salmon fishing on one of Scotland’s most famous salmon fishing beats, the River Tay.
The woodlands and wild countryside of the estate can be explored on foot or bike, while the Canyoning Company provides thrilling canyoning sessions around the Bruar Falls, which flows through the Atholl Estate.
After a day spent taking in the fresh countryside air, guests can visit the bar and lounge to sample an extensive range of malt whiskies in front of log-burning fires.
There are also a large selection of relaxing and indulgent spa treatments with products including the ishga skincare range and Hebridean seaweed offered at the onsite spa.
- This article first appeared in the spring edition of Scotsman Travel 2022
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