With magnificent uplands, lowlands, highlands and islands, Scotland is truly a land of enchantment. Mountains rising 4,000 feet tempt ambitious climbers while sprawling country meadows and fields inspire artists from around the world. It’s not just the outdoors, however, that showcases Scotland’s beauty; exclusive hotels, championship athletic facilities and award-winning resorts also await the lucky visitor.
Romantic, majestic and downright indulgent, the Cameron House estate was designed to pamper. Located in Loch Lomond, just outside of Glasgow, the hotel offers privacy and convenience. Suites feature Cameron House’s signature monsoon showers and the “fluffiest of bathrobes,” along with a top-notch concierge service that will entertain your every whim. If you’re looking to get away with that special someone, a Colquhoun Suite will surely set the mood. Need some “me time?” Check out nearby Carrick Spa for a yoga class and aromatherapy steam room session. And for the jet-setting family or business colleagues, a private dining experience on Loch Lomond promises to be unforgettable. Book now at www.cameronhouse.co.uk.
One of the best ways to experience the Scottish landscape is from above. Helicopter tours let you see the country’s mountains, rivers and islands in all their glory, and you’ll go home with photos that rival those in National Geographic. At PDG Helicopters, sightseeing flights are a specialty. You can pick a tour that sparks your interest and depart from one of six locations across Scotland. The Loch Ness Helicopter Tour takes you over the Moray Firth coast with views of Chanonry Point and Kessock Bridge. When going over the city, check out the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Toward the end of this 30-minute ride, you’ll catch a glimpse of multiple castles, waterways and perhaps even the Loch Ness Monster itself. For other tour themes, as well as prices and dates, visit http://tours.pdg-helicopters.co.uk.
At Turnberry Resort, no expense is spared. Choose horseback riding, archery or falconry, or relax with a five-star spa treatment; resort does it all and does it very well. Premier lodging is offered, although visitors are also welcome as Turnberry day guests. Perhaps the spot’s most desirable feature is its Ailsa Championship Course where golfers from all over the world love to challenge their skills. Need to brush-up before hitting the greens? Register for a lesson with a PGA pro at the Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy. Analyze your swing in the audio-visual theatre and take home the DVD to further perfect your game. After a satisfying round of golf, kick back with a customized reflexology session at The Spa at Turnberry. Plan your ideal day at www.turnberryresort.co.uk.
Summer – June, July and August – is a popular time to visit Scotland, since the weather is mild and sunlight lasts until 9:00 P.M. Several festivals are also in full swing around this time, particularly in Edinburgh during the month of August. A trip to Scotland in cooler weather offers plenty of opportunities as well with skiing in the winter and generally smaller crowds at museums, historic castles and distilleries. Don’t forget to convert your American cash to British pounds, keeping in mind that Scotland’s banks print their own versions, (which are widely accepted throughout the United Kingdom). For those who love to “see it all,” check out bus tours like those offered by Heart of Scotland Tours (www.heartofscotlandtours.co.uk). Ready to make your Scotland daydream a reality? Visit www.visitscotland.com.