Family holidays abroad are hard work, especially with young children in tow, and combined with the unappealing Brexit pound slump and in the spirit of eco-friendliness, I opted to spend part of the summer seeing a little more of what Scotland has to offer. My family and I based ourselves at a Parkdean resort in Tummel Valley in rural Perthshire where the spacious three-bed lodge was the perfect location for exploring the area.
My family and I based ourselves at a Parkdean resort in Tummel Valley in rural Perthshire where the spacious three-bed lodge was the perfect location for exploring the area.
Coming from Edinburgh, it always amazes me how little you have to travel to spend time in more peaceful and genteel surroundings (non-stop commentary from children aside). Highland Perthshire is lush with mighty woodlands and offered us some fantastic opportunities for walking during our trip. With mixed weather, we also took the opportunity to enjoy some of the local tourist attractions.
All accommodation comes with a fully equipped kitchen with fridge, cooker and microwave, kettle, toaster, cutlery and crockery and there are wheel-chair friendly options. Our lodge had double glazing and central heating making it cosy if the weather takes a turn for the worse. A main living space with kitchen, dining and lounge areas, and two separate bedrooms and a bathroom made it a good option for family holidays.
Budget or boutique?
If you arrive on Friday 25 October for three nights, you’ll pay £179 for three nights in a two-bedroom Fern caravan that sleeps six. Wait till Monday 16 March and the same accommodation will cost you £89 for four nights. We’d call that budget.
Wining and dining
You can take your own food and self-cater but there’s a resort restaurant. As well as hearty breakfasts it serves a decent fish and chip supper along with entertainment for the children by enthusiastic members of staff.
Worth getting out of bed for
It’s a short trip to the nearby Blair Castle, home to the dukes of Atholl for more than 700 years and nestled in some of the most beautiful scenery Perthshire has to offer. A favourite of Queen Victoria, she even honeymooned here with Albert. A ‘spot the objects’ sheet produced by a welcome host for my children allowed me more time to read about the castle’s stirring history, without being dragged round at record speed by small, eager hands. As well as the castle itself there’s a cafe selling traditional Scottish fare.
If the rain starts why not peruse the aisles at the tweed sanctuary House of Bruar,
On our second day we took a morning Highland Safari, where our knowledgeable and cheerful ranger Iain took us in a Land Rover in search of red deer and squirrels high on the hills near the village of Dull. Back down at the Highland Safari centre, there is a play park, nature trail and gold and gem panning, which got the seal of approval from my small companions. We ate delicious home made, locally sourced burgers at the centre’s welcoming cafe.
Back on the site there is a swimming pool, crazy golf, amusement arcade and a nature trail to entertain the children and the river is perfect for strolls. Or try a walk along nearby Loch Rannoch beneath the mighty Schiehallion and enjoy the beautiful, rugged scenery.
Also nearby is the Scottish Crannog Centre, an iron age loch-dwelling.
On our last morning as we packed our bags, I could hear a delighted scream from the youngest member of the family. Two rabbits were sitting outside our lodge, a simple sight that amazed a city girl. And if you have a dog, there are pooch-friendly accommodation options.
Guest book comments
Lush Highland Perthshire is just a short drive away from the city crush, and a lodge in a woodland setting is the perfect place for a family-friendly staycation.
Parkdean Resorts’ Tummel Valley Holiday Park, Near Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5SA Prices: Arriving Friday 25 October for three nights, two-bedroom Fern caravan (sleeps six), £179. Arriving Monday 16 March for four nights, two-bedroom Fern caravan (sleeps six), £89. www.parkdeanresorts.co.uk/location/scotland/tummel-valley/ or call 0330 123 4850.