Gleneagles Hotel introduces condor bikes for hire

Gleneagles Hotel now offers Condor bikes to be hired by guests so they can enjoy some of their recommended cycling routes

Each bike has an on-bike Garmin navigational device pre-loaded with 10 circular routes varying from 12 miles to 60 miles.  The fleet covers a wide selection of frame sizes allowing riders of any size to find a bike that fits. The bikes are custom built with components and accessories from the leading names in road cycling. The bikes are fitted with  cage pedals (you do not have to clip in, normal trainers will be suitable), but if you wish to bring your own cycling shoes, they have clip on pedals available.

£60 per half day, per person. Suitable for all abilities, over 18yrs only and must be pre-booked.

To make an enquiry please visit Gleneagles Website

 

Luxury Scotland will be exhibiting at VisitScotland Expo 2015

We are looking forward to VisitScotland​ Expo in Aberdeen tomorrow and Thursday (22nd and 23rd of April 2015)

If you are planning to attend, drop by stand B19 & B21 to meet the team behind a number of our hotel members and commercial partners. We will have Tennent’s Beer Aged with Whisky Oak​ available and also Wendy Carter of The Carter Company​ with one of her bicycles talking about the new bicycle tours. Don’t worry, Jeremy will not be wearing Lycra!

 

 

Sunday Spa Offer at Gleneagles Hotel

Sunday is usually the most relaxing day of the week.  So why not enjoy it in style, either in the beautiful surroundings of The Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA or on either The King’s or Queen’s course.

From £370 per room per night you can enjoy:

 

  • The legendary Gleneagles breakfast – a feast for the eyes and a delight for your taste buds
  • Full use of the Gleneagles club facilities – find out more
  • Each person has the choice of either a round of golf on The King’s or The Queen’s championship courses or a 55 minute spa treatment

 

Offer is subject to availability, terms and conditions apply. From prices are based on two people sharing a Classic room. Golf is fully complimentary to guests on this offer, there is no refund available for non play. Golf or spa cannot be substituted by any other activity. Spa treatment excludes ESPA Life treatments

Prices are inclusive of VAT. Golf or Spa treatment can be taken on either Sunday or Monday.

 

To book or details visit the website

Departing today: New Themed Cruise on board Hebridean Princess – Flavours of Scotland

NEW Themed Cruise on board Hebridean Princess – Flavours of Scotland departs Oban today. The first of two cruises during 2015 to focus on Scotland’s wonderful natural larder and finest produce.

This second cruise was introduced after the original departure in October sold out only a few weeks after going on sale. 2015 is the year of Food and Drink in Scotland, a chance to showcase the nation’s outstanding natural larder and quality produce. This cruise was introduced to celebrate this landmark year. It explores the fantastic local produce of the Highlands and Islands, including whisky, oysters, honey and cheese, as well as sampling the culinary offerings of the renowned Kinloch Lodge, where the owner Lady Clare MacDonald will provide a cookery demonstration, other highlights include Lunch at the Torridon Hotel and Three Chimneys restaurant. The Cruise is rounded off with a Champagne reception at Duart Castle, hosted by Sir Lachlan Maclean, Chieftain of the Clan Maclean.

 

With both 2015 departures fully booked we are pleased to announce that two Flavours of Scotland cruises are planned for 2016 and include visits to three separate Michelin Star Restaurants!
Cruising Oban to Oban departing 5th April and 4th October 2016, fully inclusive including lunch with wine ashore from £3,190.00 per person sharing a twin or double cabin.
For more information on Hebridean Island Cruises  please call 01756 704704 or email reservations@hebridean.co.uk

 

Things to do around Knockinaam Lodge Hotel

KNOCKINAAM LODGE, once a home of the Hunter-Blair family and now a luxurious country house hotel stands in thirty acres of grounds and gardens running down to the sea, close to the old town of Portpatrick. Because of its secluded situation, it was chosen by Sir Winston Churchill for a secret meeting with General Eisenhower and their Chiefs of Staff.

Before 1849 the steamers used to sail from the nearby town of Portpatrick to Donaghadee in Ireland. The ferry link was well known to Irish elopers who used to cross the 21 mile Channel in order to be married in the town’s 17th century church.

South westerly gales frequently made the crossing hazardous, so when the railway was extended to Stranraer the ferry service was transferred there. (Not that it was always rough: in 1947 a Mr Blower swam across the Channel from Donaghadee in 16 hours).

At Portpatrick there are several sandy bays for bathing. The ruins of Dunskey Castle, which was built around 1510, stand nearby, to the couth of the town.

The unusually mild climate on this West Coast of Scotland, engendered by the Gulf Stream, supports almost every species of tropical plant and there are a number of famous gardens within easy reach. Further inland forests of spruce and larch lead into vast tracts of country where a wonderful variety of wild game abounds.

Dunskey Gardens

Originally built to serve a Country House, Dunskey, the gardens fell into disrepair but in the late 1990’s a decision was made to bring the gardens back as a pleasure garden. With glasshouses, walled and woodland gardens Dunskey has a vast variety of plants located throughout the different micro-climates in the garden. Open from March until October and also some weekends in February for the ‘Snowdrop Festival’. The ‘Seasons’ tearoom is open everyday for delicious home-made lunches and teas. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn left. At the end of the unclassified road turn right onto the A77. After leaving the village turn left onto the B738. Follow this road until the sign for Dunskey Gardens (on the left).

Castle Kennedy Gardens

Extensively landscaped gardens with more than 30 hectares to explore. With a ruined castle, walled garden and vast garden terraces to explore the garden can take anywhere from 30 minutes to all day to visit. Open daily from Easter until the end of September the garden also has a small tearoom for light refreshments. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. At the end of the road turn left towards Stranraer (A77). On reaching Stranraer take a right at the first mini-roundabout, signposted as Balckparks Ind. Estate. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow this road until the sign for Castle Kennedy Gardens (on the left) directly across from a church.

Logan Botanical Garden

Famed as ‘Scotland’s most exotic garden’. An exotic paradise tucked away in the South Western tip of Scotland, Logan has an amazing collection of Southern Hemisphere plant that benefit from the warming Gulf Stream. Open daily from 1st March until 31st October and also Sundays in February, with a Shop and Salad bar to complement the experience. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Follow this road until the sign for Port Logan (B7065), turn right. Follow this road to the Logan Botanic Garden (on the right).

Glenwhan Gardens

A delightful garden of seasonal blooms, exotic plants, rare species and gentle footpaths created over the last 30 years by enthusiasts Tessa and Bill Knott. The garden has lots offer and see whatever the season. Plant sales are available throughout the year for those wanting to take a wee bit home with them. The gardens offer a licensed tearoom for a refreshing break. Open daily from March until October although visits outside the season can be arranged by telephone bookings. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. At the end of the road turn left towards Stranraer (A77). On reaching Stranraer take a right at the first mini-roundabout, signposted as Balckparks Ind. Estate. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. On entering Dunragit follow the brown and white tourist signs to Glenwhan Gardens.

Cally Gardens

Originally built 1765-1770 as the walled kitchen gardens for Cally House the garden fell into disrepair after the Great War until Michael Wickenden bought Cally Gardens in 1987 to develop his specialist nursery which in turn provided the means to restore and maintain this remarkable garden.   Open from Easter until the end of September, Tuesday to Friday afternoons and all day at Weekends. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. Turn left onto the B796 signposted for Gatehouse of Fleet. At signpost turn right onto Cally Avenue and follow road to Cally Gardens.

Threave Gardens

Part of the National Trust for Scotland, Threave is a 64 acre ornamental garden with interest throughout the year from a large and varied plant collection and landscape features. Threave House is also open to visit from April until the end of September from Wednesday to Friday and also on Sunday. The estate has a licensed restaurant, shop and plant sales as well as a picnic area. The garden and estate are open daily all year round. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75 to Castle Douglas. At roundabout follow signs for Threave Gardens.

Family Fun

Logan Fish Pond

A naturally formed blow hole from the last Ice Age was adapted by the Laird of Logan as a fish larder for storing live fish in 1800.   A Victorian bathing hut was added about the same time for the Laird and his family. Now visitors to the pond and shop can feed the stock of local sea fish and are educated with touch pools and a cave aquarium. Open daily from the start of February to early November. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Follow this road until the sign for Port Logan (B7065), turn right. Follow this road to the Logan Fish Pond (on the right).

Cream O’ Galloway

Fantastic all round visitor centre with an ice cream parlour, a tearoom and shop. The adventure playground includes the indoor ‘Smugglers’ Warren’ with its underground tunnels and climbing towers, an indoor Under 5s play area and an extensive outdoor play area including pedal karts, 3D maze and viewing tower. For the more active there are miles of nature trails to enjoy. Open daily from 21st March until 1st November. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. When you see the entrance to Gatehouse of Fleet continue on the A75. Turn right onto an unclassified road at the signpost for Cream O’Galloway. Follow the signs, the visitor centre is a few miles from the A75.

The Cocoa Bean Company

Based in the tiny village of Twynholm, the Cocoa Bean Company provides luxury hand crafted chocolate treats and a fun day out for all the family. Fun chocolate making workshops are provided for children and adults alike with children taking priority at busy times. There is normally always a choice of different workshops available with all items made being taken home at the end of the session. Coffee is available for you to enjoy while the kids are in the workshop and gifts can be purchased at the shop on site or afterwards via the website. Open everyday from 9am until 6pm, workshops available from 10am until 5pm. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. At the junction for Twynholm take a right. Take the second road on the right, Captain’s Brae, turn right onto Kirk Brae. At crossroads take right onto Arden Road. The Cocoa Bean Company is on the left.

Galloway Sailing Centre

Situated on the shores of Loch Ken the Galloway Sailing Centre provides Family Activity packages for groups of four or more people. Activities generally run from 10am until 5pm with a stop for lunch and can be taken as full or half day packages or a quarter day taster. Packages are tailored to suit the group and may involve Sailing, Windsurfing, Kayaking, Canoeing, Climbing wall, Leap of Faith, Zip wire, Archery, Off-road Buggies or Out Door Laser Quest in the woods. All equipment and safety gear is included in the rate and you may expect to enjoy 4 or 5 activities in a full day session. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. At the junction for Castle Douglas take a left signposted for New Galloway (A713). The Sailing Centre is along this road on the left.

Galloway Wildlife Conservation

Set in 27 acres of mixed woodland this wildlife park has a varied collection of nearly 150 animals from all over the world. With picnic area and cafeteria for refreshments after viewing all the different animals this park is Southern Scotland’s concervation centre. Open from 10am until dusk (last admission at 6pm) from 1st February until 30th November. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. Turn off the A75, signposted for Kirkcudbright A755. Once in Kirkcudbright turn right onto the A711 then left onto the B727. Follow this road. The Wildlife centre is signposted from here.

Heads of Ayr Farm Park

A good all round park for the children. Over 50 different breads of animal to meet, touch or even feed along with an adventure play barn, trampolines, super diggers, quad bikes, aerial slide and other activities. Has an indoor area as well as outdoor activities to suit the Scottish Climate. Open from Easter until October from 10am until 5pm every day. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. At the end of the road turn left back towards Stranraer. After entering Stranraer, take the first exit at the mini-roundabout. At the next roundabout take the third exit (Lidl being the first exit). At the end of the road take a right. Take a left at the sign for A77 Ayr, then right at the end of the road. Continue on the A77 as far as Turnberry, then exit onto the A719 to experience the amazing optical illusion of Electric Brae. From there, Heads of Ayr Farm Park is another 5 miles on your left.

Dalscone Farm Fun

Designed for kids of all ages Dalscone has play areas both inside and out. Inside is a huge soft play area with slides, ball pools and more, with a café selling tea, coffee, juice and cakes. Outside are trampolines, pedal karts, go karts, crazy golf, more play equipment and also some farm animals to say hello to. Also has a fantastic toy shop on site with toys of all description, specializing in farm toys. Open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am until 5.00pm. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. At the Glasgow road roundabout take the first exit signposted for A701. Dalscone Farm entrance is on the left.

Dalton Pottery

At this working pottery you can view porcelain giftware being made and hand decorated or for those feeling artistic why not make and take home your own pot? Workshops are tailored for both adults and children from the age of four and you can choose from a wide range of ceramics.   Also has a café on site with fresh coffee, tea, home-baking and light lunches. Open everyday from April until October from 10am until 5pm, closed Mondays from November until March and closed from 25th December until 5th January. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. Turn off the A75 at the Carrutherstown exit and journey along the B725 towards Dalton for 2 miles. The pottery is along this road on the left.

Dunskey Castle

Perched on a rocky outcrop jutting into the Irish Sea the towerhouse was built in the 16th century for the Adairs of Kinhilt. The north wing was added in the 1620 but by 1700 the whole castle was derelict. The castle is located along a coastal footpath from Portpatrick, however, there is no access to the castle interior. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn left. At the end of the unclassified road turn left into Portpatrick. At the end of the road turn left. Parking is available from the car park at the end of the harbour. The coastal path starts just a little further on from the car park.

Kirkmadrine Church and Stones

A Victorian built church houses some of the oldest and most important early Christian stones in Scotland. They were erected around AD 500 to mark the graves of priests serving the Christian community close to Kirkmadrine. Limited parking is available at the roadside. Walk up the tree lined avenue to the church. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn right. Turn right onto the B7042. At the end of the road turn right. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Take next right signposted for Kirkmadrine. Turn right at the next junction. Kirkmadrine Church and Standing Stoned is located down this road on the right.

Glenluce Abbey

Founded in 1192, Glenluce is situated in a beautiful and peaceful valley. Visitors can see and exhibition of objects excavated from the site of this Cistercian way of life. Open everyday from 9.30am until 5.30pm, from 1st April until 30th September and from 9.30am until 4.30pm in October. Closed from November until March. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75 until Glenluce. Take a left into Glenluce. Take the next left. Follow this road and Glenluce Abbey is on the left.

Mull of Galloway

Scotland’s most southerly point where five kingdoms can be seen from the top of the lighthouse tower, weather permitting! These kingdoms are Scotland, England, Ireland, Isle of Man and the kingdom of Heaven! At weekends from April to September you can visit climb the 26 metre high lighthouse tower, that has been in operation since 1830, from 10am until 3.30pm. There is also a small coffee shop and RSPB visitor centre open all year round. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Follow this road until Drummore. Follow the signs for the Mull of Galloway.

Bladnoch Distillery

Scotland’s most Southerly Distillery nestles on the banks of the River Bladnoch, the distillery has been producing the “Spirit of the Lowlands” since 1817. From the visitor’s centre the guided tour starts to show you how whisky is made, from the grist to the cask! Open throughout the year, Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm. Open Saturdays from 11am until 5pm and Sundays 12noon until 5pm in July and August only. Closed between Christmas and New Year. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Continue on the A75. Turn right onto the B733 Kirkcowan road. Continue on the B733 then turn right onto the B7005 Bladnoch road. The distillery is located opposite the Blacnoch Inn.

Whithorn 

The Royal Burgh of Whithorn has an important history in Scotland’s first Christian community. The Whithorn Visitor Centre give visitors a view of the dig site of the Northumbrian Monastery, Cathedral ruins, museum and stones as well as an audiovisual history leading into the exhibition centre. Open everyday from 1st April until 31st October from 10.30am until 5pm. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. After Glenluce turn right onto the A747 Portwilliam road. At roundabout take the second exit, A747 Isle of Whithorn road. Turn left onto the A746 Whithorn road. Follow signs for the visitor centre.

Bruce’s Stone

Six miles west of New Galloway a granite boulder on Moss Rapploch marks the spot where Robert the Bruce defeated the English in 1307. It is said that Bruce rested against this stone after using guerrilla tactics to defeat the English Army. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. At Newton Stewart turn left onto the A714 Girvan road. At the t-junction turn left onto the A714 Girvan road. Turn right at Bargrennan and follow signs for Galloway Forest Park. Take right just after Glentrool village signpost to Glentrool Visitor Centre.

Cardoness Castle

A well preserved six storey tower house dating back to the 15th century. Its battlements command excellent views over Fleet Bay and further towards the Solway Firth. Built as a fortified residence for the McCulloch family, a formidable family who not only rubbed shoulders with royalty but were renowned for their lawlessness even against their own family, the building includes a grim two-storey pit prison, large dining room and fine bedroom chamber. Open everyday from 9.30am until 5.30pm, from 1st April until 30th September, from 9.30am until 4.30pm in October and weekends only from 9.30am until 4.30pm from November until March. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. After passing Carsluith follow the signposts from the A75 to Cardoness Castle on the left.

Mill on the Fleet

Built in 1788 as a cotton spinning mill, the water wheel on the gable end was used to drive the machinery. The Mill was restored in the 1980’s as a visitor centre. With an exhibition floor, bookshop gallery, river café, mill shop and bookshop there is always plenty to see. Guided tours available. Open everyday from 1st April until 31st October. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. At Gatehouse of Fleet turn left onto the B796. Follow signs for the Mill on the Fleet.

Castles and Historical Interest

Culzean Castle

An impressive castle dating back to the 1700’s with extensive country park that now belongs to the National Trust for Scotland.   With areas to visit such as the Castle itself, not open in winter, Walled Garden or Old Estate buildings a whole day can be spent here. For the more adventurous why not check out the caves under the castle or the ghost haunts? The park also contains an adventure playground for the children and many wildlife/bird watching areas to explore. Open everyday from 9am, some areas closed in winter. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. At the end of the road turn left back towards Stranraer. After entering Stranraer, take the first exit at the mini-roundabout. At the next roundabout take the third exit (Lidl being the first exit). At the end of the road take a right. Take a left at the sign for A77 Ayr, then right at the end of the road. Continue on the A77. Continue on the A77 as far as Turnberry, then exit onto the A719. Continue on this road. Culzean Castle entrance in on the left.

Blairquhan Castle

A magnificent castellated mansion, home of the Hunter-Blair family, is approached by a 3 mile drive beside the River Girvan. Outdoor attractions include the Ice House, Tree Trail, delightful walled garden and walks through the extensive grounds. Inside the house over 20 rooms can be viewed along with picture galleries and family museum. Open Sunday, Monday and Tuesday afternoons from 1.30pm until 4.30pm, from the end of July until the middle of September. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. At the end of the road turn left back towards Stranraer. After entering Stranraer, take the first exit at the mini-roundabout. At the next roundabout take the third exit (Lidl being the first exit). At the end of the road take a right. Take a left at the sign for A77 Ayr, then right at the end of the road. Continue on the A77. Take the right turning onto the B7045 (Kirkmichael/Straiton road). Follow this road. After passing through Kirkmichael the entrance to Blairquhan is on the right.

Burns National Heritage Park

Based in Alloway, Ayrshire the Heritage Park offers visitors a chance to experience the rich heritage of Robert Burns within the environment that inspired his imagination. With cottage of his birth, museum, Tam O’Shanter experience and the Brig O’Doon there is plenty to explore. Various opening times depending on area of the park, however, most areas open everyday from 10am until 4pm. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. At the end of the road turn left back towards Stranraer. After entering Stranraer, take the first exit at the mini-roundabout. At the next roundabout take the third exit (Lidl being the first exit). At the end of the road take a right. Take a left at the sign for A77 Ayr, then right at the end of the road. Continue on the A77. After Minishant turn left onto Doonholm Road, signposted for Craig Tara. At end of the road turn left onto B7024. Follow signs for Heritage Park.

Threave Castle

On an island in the River Dee stands Threave Castle, a massive 14th century tower built by Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway. Later the stronghold of the Black Douglases the only access to the castle is by boat across the river. Open everyday from 9.30am until 5.30pm from April until September and from 9.30am until 4.30pm from November until March. Closed on Christmas and Boxing Day. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75 to Castle Douglas. At roundabout follow signs for Threave Castle.

Dundrennan Abbey

Built in the latter half of the 12th century, the abbey was the home to a community of Cistercian monks. On the 15th of May 1568, Mary Queen of Scots spent her last night in Scotland at Dundrennan Abbey after escaping from Lochleven Castle, near Kinross. Open everyday from 9.30am until 5.30pm, from 1st April until 30th September, from 9.30am until 4.30pm in October and weekends only from 9.30am until 4.30pm from November until March. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. Turn off the A75, signposted for Kirkcudbright A755. Once in Kirkcudbright turn right onto the A711. Follow this road out of Kirkcudbright toward Drundrennan. The abbey is located 6 miles from Kirkcudbright.

Drumlanrig Castle

Surrounded by the 120,000 acre Queensberry Estate, Country Estate and Victorian Gardens, Drumlanrig Castle was completed in 1691. Steeped in history visitors can enjoy castle tours, beautiful gardens, wildlife, woodland walks and for the more energetic championship mountain bike trails and cycle routes. Cycle routes and walks are open all year. Castle and tearoom open from Good Friday until 31 August from 11am until 5pm. Gardens, plant centre and country park open from Good Friday until 30th September from 10am until 5pm. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. After Newton Stewart turn left onto the A712 New Galloway road. At t-junction turn left onto A712 Crocketford road. Turn left onto the B7075 Moniaive road. At t-junction turn right onto the A702 Moniaive road. Turn right onto the A702 Thornhill road. Follow signs for Drumlanrig Castle.

Sweetheart Abbey

Founded in 1273 by Lady Devorgilla of Galloway in memory of her husband. On her death she was laid to rest next to her husband’s embalmed heart and the Cistercian monks who lived there named their abbey in memory of her. Open everyday from 9.30am until 5.30pm, from 1st April until 30th September and from 9.30am until 4.30pm in October. Open Saturday to Wednesday from 9.30am until 4.30pm from November until March. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. At the Garroch roundabout take first exit, A75. At next roundabout take second exit onto the A780. Turn right onto the A710, New Abbey road. Follow signs for Sweetheart Abbey.

New Abbey Corn Mill

In full working order, the water-powered New Abbey Corn Mill has been carefully restored and is operated regularly in summer months to demonstrate to visitors how oatmeal is produced. Open everyday from 9.30am until 5.30pm, from 1st April until 30th September and from 9.30am until 4.30pm in October. Open Saturday to Wednesday from 9.30am until 4.30pm from November until March. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. At the Garroch roundabout take first exit, A75. At next roundabout take second exit onto the A780. Turn right onto the A710, New Abbey road. Follow signs for New Abbey Corn Mill.

Caerlaverock Castle

With its moat and twin towered gatehouse and imposing battlements, Caelaverock Castle is the epitome of the medieval stonghold. Visitors can enjoy a siege warfare exhibition, a children’s adventure playground and a nature trail. Open everyday from 9.30am until 5.30pm from April until September and from 9.30am until 4.30pm from November until March. Closed on Christmas and Boxing Day. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. At the Garroch roundabout take first exit, A75. At next roundabout take second exit onto the A780. At traffic signals turn right onto A781. At traffic signals turn left onto A756. At traffic signals turn right onto Saint Michael Street A725. At roundabout take third exit onto Nith Bank B725. At roundabout take first exit onto Glencaple Road B725. Follow signs for Caerlaverock Castle.

 he Devil’s Porridge

In 1915, Britain was losing the war through lack of ammunition until 30,000 women and men came from all over the world to work in the massive war factory on the Solway. The Devil’s Porridge was the explosive paste which these workers fashioned into ammunition at H M Factory Gretna for the British troops. Open from Easter until mid October, Monday until Saturday from 10am until 4pm and on Sunday from 12noon until 4pm. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. Follow the A75. After Annan turn right signposted for Eastriggs. Keep straight on this road and follow signs for The Devil’s Porridge.

Wanlockhead

Wanlockhead is Scotland’s highest village at 1531 feet above sea level. The visitor centre was once the village smiddy and gives visitors the chance to see how the lead ore was processed.   Guided tours down a former working mine are available and the village is also home to a 2ft gauge tourist railway running between two villages in the area. The railway is open weekends from Easter until the end of October, train times are available on the internet. The village museum is open everyday from mid March until the end of October from 10am until 5pm. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. At the end of the road turn left back towards Stranraer. After entering Stranraer, take the first exit at the mini-roundabout. At the next roundabout take the third exit (Lidl being the first exit). At the end of the road take a right. Take a left at the sign for A77 Ayr, then right at the end of the road. Continue on the A77. At the Holmston roundabout at Ayr take the third exit onto the A70 Cumnock road. At Dettingen roundabout take the third exit onto the A76 Dumfries road. Continue on the A76. At Mennock turn left onto the B797 to Wanlockhead.

Portpatrick Dunskey Golf Club

Situated on the coast overlooking the North Channel to Ireland, Portpatrick Dunskey enjoys a temperate climate due to the Gulf Stream and is playable all year round. There are two courses, the Dunskey 18-hole and the Dinvin 9-hole which are a mixture of rolling moorland and seaside heath, at around 150 feet above sea level. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn left. At the end of the unclassified road turn left into the village. Turn right onto Braefield Road. Continue straight onto the road until the Golf Club.

Stranraer Golf Club

On the shores of Loch Ryan, the 6308 yard parkland course is set on gently undulating ground. It affords exceptional views over the loch to Ailsa Craig, the Isle of Arran and beyond.   Creachmore is a 18-hole course. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. At the end of the road turn left back towards Stranraer. After entering Stranraer, take the first exit at the mini-roundabout. At the next roundabout take the second exit (Lidl being the first exit). At the mini-roundabout take the first exit onto Sun Street. At the end of the road turn left onto Leswalt Road. Continue on this road out of Stranraer. Stranraer Golf Club is on the right.

Wigtownshire County Golf Club

The ‘County’ is an 18-hole, true links course situated on the shores of Luce Bay. With subtly sloping greens and changing sea breezes this is a challenge for golfers of all calibre. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Turn left onto the B7077 signposted for Newton Stewart. At the end of the road turn right onto the A75. The golf club is on the right.

Turnberry Golf Club

With three courses to choose from and the stunning views it is easy to see why thousands of golfers of all abilities enjoy the thrill of playing on an Open Championship that is open to all. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. At the end of the road turn left back towards Stranraer. After entering Stranraer, take the first exit at the mini-roundabout. At the next roundabout take the third exit (Lidl being the first exit). At the end of the road take a right. Take a left at the sign for A77 Ayr, then right at the end of the road. Continue on the A77. At Turnberry turn left onto the A719. The golf club is situated on the left.

The Rhins Peninsula boasts a wide variety of species for the visiting Sea Angler including Bass, Bullhuss, Conger, Tope, Thornback Ray, Pollock, Plaice, Cod, Wrasse, Tub Gurnard, Coalfish, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Whiting and Dabs. Below are 14 of the best shore and 5 of the top boat marks of the area. This is not to say there are no others but these marks are more easily accessible.

Fishing – Freshwater Fishing

Soulseat Loch

Situated approximately 2 miles from Stranraer, by the village of Castle Kennedy. It is stocked regularly throughout the season with rainbow trout averaging 1 1/4lb with some up to 6lb. The excellent growth rate of this water produces superb quality trout which are very hard fighting. Method permitted are fly, bait and spinning. Boats are available and there is a disabled anglers fishing platform giving easy access to the car park. Season starts 15 March – ends 6 October. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. After entering Lochans turn right onto the B7077. At the end of the road turn right onto the A716. Take next road on the left. Continue on this road. Soulseat Loch is down this road on the right.

Dindinnie Reservoir

Stocked regularly throughout the season with rainbow trout and also has a brown trout population from previous years. This tranquil water is fly only and produces good sport given reasonable conditions. Buzzer fishing, especially in the evenings, can be particularly rewarding. Season starts 15 March – ends 30 September. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. At the end of the road turn left back towards Stranraer. After entering Stranraer, take the first exit at the mini-roundabout. At the next roundabout take the second exit (Lidl being the first exit). At the mini-roundabout take the first exit onto Sun Street. At the end of the road turn left onto Leswalt Road. Continue on this road out of Stranraer. After leaving Stranraer take the second road on the left. Dindinnie resevoir is at the end of this road.

Penwhirn Reservoir

The largest of the waters set in high moorland – a truly wild loch in every sense. An abundance of natural brown trout which are very free rising given favourable conditions accepting most traditional patterns. Despite the remote setting, it’s only a short walk from the parking area to the water. The ideal place to get away from it all. This is a fly only water. Season starts 15 March – ends 30 September. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn right. At the end of the unclassified road turn left then right back towards the A77. On reaching the junction with the A77 turn right. At the end of the road turn left back towards Stranraer. After entering Stranraer, take the first exit at the mini-roundabout. At the next roundabout take the third exit (Lidl being the first exit). At the end of the road take a right. Take a left at the sign for A77 Ayr, then right at the end of the road. Continue on the A77. After the caravan site take the second road on the right. This road will take you to Penwhirn reservoir.

Knockquhassen

Another local water within close proximity of the town but with a location of surrounding moors giving a feeling of seclusion. The stocking policy of recent years has resulted in a good head of hardy brown trout. This is a fly only water with a good hatch of sedges from mid May onwards. A dry fly can be particularly effective at these times. Season starts 1 April – ends 30 September. Directions: Leave Knockinaam and turn left. At the end of the unclassified road turn right onto the A77. After leaving the village turn left onto the B738. Follow this road until the sign for Dunskey Gardens (on the left).

Galloway Forest Park

The Galloway Forest Park is run by the Scottish Forestry Commission and spreads across the South West of Scotland. Throughout the park there are ten lochs and three river that fishing is permitted. Types of fish available from these lochs and rivers vary from brown trout to roach to salmon.   More detailed information on location, types of fish and terms of fishing is available upon request from reception.

Contact Knockinaam Lodge Hotel if you would like to visit!

Luxury Scotland April 2015 Newsletter

April sees Scotland in all its springtime glory with spring flowers galore and seasonal menus featuring wild trout, lobster and early spring lamb.
Outside_CoverOne of America’s leading active lifestyle magazines, ‘Outside’, has named Scotland the best place to eat and drink in the world in their annual Best of Travel awards.

They talk about miles of coastline, abundant mushroom and strawberry harvests, a massive beef industry as well as creative menus. Something, dare I say it, that we have known for years, but nevertheless, thank you, Outside.
Spring is a perfect time for touring, whether by car or on bike. If cycling is your preference then you may be interested in two new itineraries produced in conjunction with The Carter Company.

If your preference is a life on the ocean wave then consider the newly refurbished Hebridean Princess as your choice for exploring Scotland’s coastline. Whatever your preference I am certain you will find our new 2015 Luxury Scotland brochure full of interesting information. As well as an article on Scotland’s Food & Drink it contains the latest details on all our luxury destinations and commercial partners… and copies are available on request.

Wishing you all a very enjoyable Easter.

Jeremy Hawkings
Chief Executive.


STUNNING INTERIORS FOR THE HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS

h1The renowned small luxury cruise ship MV Hebridean Princess has unveiled her new interior makeover in readiness for the 2015 cruise calendar.

The stunning results can be seen in throughout the public areas where soft tones, Scottish fabrics and bespoke UK furniture enhance the already luxurious guest experience.

The design brief stressed the need for each area to retain its own individual character whilst complimenting the style, luxury and quality on board the ship whilst delivering the best possible comfort for every guest. A cosy and welcoming interior has been created in the Tiree Lounge providing intimate areas and focusing around the main focal point, the original fireplace.

h2In the Library a more masculine feel has been created, using leather, unique upholstery and dark woods with the soft tones furnishing the Look Out Lounge ensuring a relaxing space in which to take in the stunning views.

Painted rattan furniture brings a casual feel to the conservatory and the natural look has been complimented by the beautifully restored teak flooring.

This five-star ship and member of Luxury Scotland carries just 50 guests on spectacular cruises around Scotland.

Find out more >>


THE CARTER COMPANY LAUNCHES EXCLUSIVE CYCLING TOURS

c1We are delighted to announce two special cycling itineraries in partnership with The Carter Company. Both itineraries feature some of the best cycling routes in Scotland as well as many of Luxury Scotland’s hotels in which to recharge at the end of each day.

If awesome landscapes and fascinating history make up your vision of the Scottish Highlands then the gentle self-guided cycling tour is a perfect choice.

It features historical sites, castles, tiny fishing villages and gorgeous rides through pine forests and along side sweeping beaches . If you relish a physical challenge then the road cycling tour is yours to enjoy.c2

3,000 feet of climbing on each of the four days, it’s a big physical challenge and traverses the full range of iconic Scottish landscapes, from epic mountains and lochs to forests and sweeping sand dunes.

As well exploring Scotland on your bike you have the option to play world-famous golf courses, sample award-winning whiskies at a local distillery, take a flight in a sea plane over the glens, or spend the day in tranquillity with a spot of fishing on the lochs. Nothing could be grander!

Find out more >>


HOT OF THE PRESS – LUXURY SCOTLAND’S NEW BROCHURE

br1Featuring the finest luxury hotels in Scotland and selected partners from the world of luxury travel, our 2015 Luxury Scotland Brochure is an invaluable source of perfect destinations for the discerning traveller.

As well as a special feature on Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink, the brochure contains full details of all our five star hotels, the luxury cruise ship MV Hebridean Princess and the Belmond Royal Scotsman Train.

To request a copy of the latest brochure please use the contact form on our web site.

Virtual Brochure >>