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A Scottish Break – blog from SCSTG Prize Draw Winner Sarah Harding

I was very fortunate to win a night’s stay with dinner and breakfast at the East Haugh Hotel and a night’s stay at Dunalastair Hotel Suites, including continental breakfast, near Pitlochry, Scotland, courtesy of The Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group. My husband and I decided to add an extra night to our break as it is 20 years since we stayed in Pitlochry, which is when it was flooded.

 

We left our home in Staffordshire at 8.30am on Sunday and made our way up to Scotland by car, stopping at Tebay services for refreshments on the way. We arrived in Pitlochry just before 3 and popped into Mortons for a drink and homemade cake before having a stroll around the local shops. We then made our way to East Haugh Hotel which was just a few minutes’ drive up the road. East Haugh Hotel is a 4* family-run hotel. We were warmly greeted and shown to the Dusty Millar room, which had a four poster bed and enormous en-suite with large jacuzzi bath. After relaxing for a while and freshening up we made our way down to the cosy lounge with log burner and comfy chairs, where we had a pre-dinner drink whilst perusing the menu and discussing the amazing rugby score from the day before. We were then shown to our table in the tastefully decorated restaurant with another roaring log burner. Our meal was delicious; my husband had scallops to start followed by the lamb steak and I had the beetroot and goat’s cheese salad followed by the venison liver with black pudding. My husband also managed to fit in a dessert, all washed down with a bottle of red.

We woke refreshed and enjoyed a full East Haugh breakfast, which was very tasty, before checking out.

 

We then made our way to House of Bruar which has grown considerably since we were last there; it is well worth a visit and we made some tasty purchases before driving to Aviemore.  We had a leisurely stroll before making our way to the Ski Centre which was very busy with people both skiing and hiking, as it had snowed heavily on Saturday. It was very picturesque with the sun shining; we spotted a herd of deer near the slopes happily foraging for food through the snow. 

 

We left there and made our way to Dunalastair Suites Hotel which is a 5* boutique hotel, it is approximately 40 minutes outside of Pitlochry and next to a beautiful waterfall. On the way we spotted a very majestic stag on the mountain which was a delight to see. We stayed in room 108 which was very stylish and tastefully decorated, and had a very enjoyable dinner in Edina’s (the hotel’s restaurant), together with a nice bottle of red, followed by a delicious dessert.  We then relaxed in the lounge area with its large comfy sofas before bed.

We were up bright and early the next morning as we wanted to make the most of the day, and after a tasty continental breakfast we set off to the Scottish Antique and Arts Centre which is very large and full of interesting antique items, as well as new items to purchase. From there we made our way across the picturesque countryside to Lunan Bay: wow what a beautiful beach!  We took a stroll along the beach in the sunshine, it was glorious. We stopped off in Blairgowrie for refreshments and on the drive back saw 2 red squirrels in a wooded area next to the road which was a real treat.

We had dinner at Edina’s for a second night and had a good night’s sleep in the huge comfy bed.

Next morning we had breakfast before checking out and made our way home, along the lane from the hotel we saw a small herd of highland cattle which I adore. We made a slight detour and stopped off in Windermere before reaching our destination.

In all we covered almost 1,100 miles in 4 days and saw some beautiful scenery and wildlife. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would like to thank you and your team for the opportunity. We hope to return to Scotland in the future.

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