Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Highlands Gamble Pays off Big Time. ; Lady Luck Smiles on DAVIDLAFFERTY as He Enjoys a Weekend Break at the Mar Hall Resort near Loch Lomond

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Highlands Gamble Pays off Big Time. ; Lady Luck Smiles on DAVIDLAFFERTY as He Enjoys a Weekend Break at the Mar Hall Resort near Loch Lomond

Article excerpt

IF YOU like a gamble then the Scottish Highlands in spring is a place you should seriously consider.

If your luck's in you'll be DAVIDD LAFFERTY greeted by clear blue skies, warming temperatures, the landscape beginning to come alive after the darkness of winter and you'll have miles and miles of stunning scenery all to yourself.

But if your luck's out then you may find yourself battening down the hatches in a bid to keep out the wind and the rain with just a roaring fire to keep you warm.

Thankfully, on this trip and many before it, Lady Luck was definitely smiling as we made our way north of Glasgow to the southern edge of the stunning Highlands.

Scotland is a favourite destination of mine, it's paradise for anyone who loves the outdoors and it has some of the finest places to visit and stay in Europe. And we were fortunate to be spending a couple of nights in one of them. Mar Hall Golf & Spa Resort lies just south of Britain's biggest lake, Loch Lomond, and faces out onto the banks of the mighty River Clyde with the stunning Erskine Bridge in view.

The resort has an impressive history and was designed in the 19th century by Sir Robert Smirke, who previously worked on the British Museum.

It was completed in 1845 and lived in by Lord Balantyre before the estate fell onto hard times. It played its part as a hospital for injured veterans of the Great War before gradually falling into disrepair.

But in 2004 the Hall was given a Pounds 15m makeover that returned it to its former glory and launched its new career as a five-star golf and spa resort.

It's a grand place with an impressive entrance, a fine lounge evoking thoughts of an altogether slower and more genteel era and an array of rooms to suit any preference.

We stayed in a spacious junior suite with a separate lounge and huge bathroom.

The suite looked out across the hills where we were heading to the following day.

Mar Hall is ideally situated for the sights and sounds of majestic Loch Lomond. This is a vast lake, 24 miles long, flanked by some of the highest mountains in Britain. …

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