Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Travel: Take to the Hills for the Perfect Getaway; GORDON BARR Enjoys a Relaxing Stay in a Highland Country Hotel

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Travel: Take to the Hills for the Perfect Getaway; GORDON BARR Enjoys a Relaxing Stay in a Highland Country Hotel

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON BARR

I ADORE the Highland air. Taking in a deep breath, there's nothing quite like it anywhere else on this wonderful island.

Imagine how much I was in my element as each morning staying at the Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland. I spent time on the bedroom balcony, enjoying the icy, crisp air, with the sounds of the River Tay in front of me streaming by.

Sheer bliss - as was much of my break in this Highland getaway.

Hilton usually conjures up images of sprawling city centre metropolises to me, but here we have a wonderful country house hotel set in nearly 300 acres of woodland. Who could fail to enjoy themselves here?

Upon reaching Dunkeld, you drive up a single track road for about a mile, before reaching the hotel. It is like something out of Monarch of the Glen.

There are a variety of room sizes and types and we upgraded to the General Wade's Lodge, which is actually out of the main hotel, but just a minute's walk away and well worth it.

Instead of staying in a bedroom, we found ourselves in what amounts to a little cottage. There is a spacious living room with a dining area and a large balcony overlooking the River Tay.

The balcony stretches to the bedroom and we had the luxury of two bathrooms. The first floor was airy and light and decked out in simple, not over-the-top Highland attire.

The only downside was the kennels to the back and the fact a dog was barking in them almost non-stop. Despite complaining to the hotel - the mutt belonged to a guest - we were told there was little they could do. It kind of ruined our chill-out time.

That said, we thoroughly enjoyed the Hilton Dunkeld. The Garden Restaurant, again overlooking the Tay, boasts fine local cuisine and on a Saturday night they also have a dinner dance.

This was great fun to watch and all ages joined in (we, it has to be said, were simply onlookers).

Our trip to Dunkeld was last month and we were blessed with snow, frost and clear blue skies - just what you want in the Highlands.

There are plenty of hotel activities to pursue - quad biking, off-road driving, clay pigeon shooting, wildlife tours, salmon and trout fishing, a nine-hole putting course, volleyball and allweather tennis courts among them. …

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