When Ted and I got married seven years ago we borrowed his parents motorhome and headed north. We did a whistle stop tour of the Scottish coast and completely fell in love with a country bursting with breathtaking scenery and a fascinating rich history. We’ve talked lots about returning but we love a lot of places and it’s difficult to fit everything in, so it’s taken until now to have the opportunity to return to the home of the Scots.
Forest Holidays say
The Forest Holidays experience is rooted in the natural world of the forest and you will instantly feel the embrace of this abiding yet ever-changing backdrop. Whether you’re a family, a couple or a group of friends, enjoy the freedom. Relax and reconnect, or fill your days with exhilarating outdoor activities. Learn about the forest, explore the area and come home to the comfort of your own luxury cabin. With Forest Holidays you will discover a uniquely natural escape.
More excited than the children, I was up and at ’em at four o’clock on Friday morning, and we left home just after five. Theoretically the children were supposed to have been carried from their beds to the car in their pyjamas with minimal fuss, so they would drift back off to sleep for the 5 hour journey ahead.
That wasn’t quite what happened though. Instead they wriggled around in the back of the car, covered in blankets and oh so excited. They chattered and giggled, they played some of our favourite travel games, they asked ‘are we there yet?’ approximately one hundred and eleven times. The boys did eventually nod off at around 7am though (as did I) and before they knew it we were approaching Callander.
After a mile long entrance road the Forest Retreat came into view and we saw the first of the lodges. The retreat is the hub of the site with a reception area, shop, cafe and bar open to residents and visitors alike. It’s welcoming, homely and friendly – a welcome resting place after a long drive.
The thing that struck me first about the entire place was how well it blended into its setting. In fact, from the main road you can’t see the lodges at all, making no visual impact on the landscape to passers by wishing to take in the beautiful views as they travel through the area.
The cabins at Strathyre were a lot bigger than I expected them to be, and really very spacious inside. We stayed in a Golden Oak log cabin, a three bedroom property just a short walk from the Forest Retreat.
The cabin was incredibly welcoming and I loved that the little things were taken care of, such as miniature toiletries and fresh fluffy towels. Towelling robes and slippers for the hut tub (yes – hot tub!) are available for a nominal charge and we used these every day so they’re definitely worth having.
My favourite personal touch was the scrabble board, spelling out ‘welcome’ on the table in the lounge. Very thoughtful indeed and we returned the favour by leaving ‘thank you’ when we left.
The beds were very comfortable, and the bedrooms are ample in size. The boys particularly loved that they had a ‘den’ in their room; a little cubbyhole where they played. One of the bedrooms is downstairs which I thought was great to accommodate someone less mobile or older children who can be left downstairs once the parents are in bed. Our room had phenomenal views looking out at the mountains on the other side of the loch, and all cabins have great views so you really can’t get a ‘bad’ one.
One family shower room and an en-suite bathroom for the main bedroom meant there was no queuing for the loo or the shower, and that’s never a bad thing!
The piece de resistance though was the hot tub. I lost count of how many times we were in and out of that hot, bubbly water over the three days we stayed with Forest Holidays. Allow me to assure you of something; when you’ve walked up a mountain in blazing sunshine and back down it in the driving rain, a hot tub is exactly what you need to see on your return!
We took part in lots of activities whilst in Scotland, so look out for a separate post on what we did coming up later in the week.