Who needs Barbados and Berlin when you can have Britain?
Are you sitting comfortably? Then let our geography test begin.
- What is the capital of Italy?
- Which city is more Northern, New York or Miami?
How about what city is more southern Chester, or Liverpool?
If you got it, well done, you know the UK better than I do.
We are in the age of travel. As soon as kids reach the end of their school days they run for Peru or make to Thailand. Do they go to the remote outer Hebrides or explore Exeter? Hell no.
I was recently chatting with someone from Thailand about how beautiful Scotland is. It turned out they knew more about my homeland than I do. To risk further embarrassment, I convinced my parents to take me for a relaxing and educational staycation up north. So, after a fun-filled, alcohol fuelled week in Marbella with my friends (safe to say, uneducational), I made my way up the The Crinan Hotel nestled beside the Sound of Jura and Crinan canal.
If a bit of serenity is what you’re after, the Argyll and Bute area in which Crinan resides in is perfect. The Sound of Jura may translate to ‘Sound of Disappointment’ but time spent here will be far from that. Being a Londoner, I’ve gotten used to the hustle and bustle so it was a real change to witness silence, tumbling mountains, crystal clear lochs and of course lack of WiFi…
The Crinan Hotel (loved by the likes of Princess Anne) is owned by an art loving couple and boasts an art gallery and bar on its top floor complete with breathtaking views. There’s also a piano there which has been played by many famous guests such as Andrew Lloyd Webber. The hotel has two restaurants which specialise in seafood and it’s safe to say I put on a good few pounds the days I spent here. The decor is by no means modern but homely and comfortable with sofas you literally sink into. The Crinan canal was handmade hundreds of years ago as a travel alternative to the dangerous Mull of Kintyre. It’s crazy to think men did that with their bare hands.
A car is a necessity if you want to explore nearby attractions such as Inverarray Castle, the Lock Fyne restaurant, Isle of Seil and Easdale and Glencoe – the haunting location of the Campbell’s massacre of the MacDonald clan.
Read on for some snaps of my trip and the best places to spend a Scottish staycation!
Did you go on a staycation this year?
Top Scottish destinations:
- The Missoni Hotel, Edinburgh
Don’t let the dreary fog, sleet and rain of Auld Reekie put you off. This is one of the coolest hotels around and boasts a super hip cocktail bar. Also, the Missoni kilt-clad doormen are HOT. Need I say more?
- Gleneagles Hotel
If you haven’t heard of this hotel you’ve been hiding under a rock. Most people think this is only good for Argyll sweater wearing golfers. No way! Gleneagles owns an impressive spa – go relax! Also, legend has it John Cleese got the idea for Fawlty Towers whilst staying here…
- Cameron House Hotel, Loch Lomond
Okay I admit it, I haven’t actually stayed here, I went in for the loo on the way home (I do comfort breaks in style). Nevertheless, I did look around and it is STUNNING. The hotel even has it’s own private seaplane for stylish loch trips!
- Stobo Catle, Peebles
This is the best spa I’ve ever been to. It’s in an old spooky castle and is surrounded by rolling Scottish hills. Top recco!