6 of the best sporting hotels
After an arduous day of Spey casting or an afternoon spent trudging through bogs and thick solferino heather, there's little better than returning to a comfortable hotel to relax, swap stories and enjoy impeccable hospitality. Here are 6 of the very best Scottish hotels with country pursuits at their heart?
Dryburgh Abbey Hotel, Melrose
Dryburgh Abbey Hotel is situated in the heart of the Scottish Borders, on the banks of the River Tweed. Rated AA Four Stars and with a restaurant that boasts two AA Rosettes and makes extensive use of local game and produce, Dryburgh Abbey has everything a country sportsman and woman could ask for. As a result, in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 it was awarded the coveted accolade of Scottish Country Sports Hotel of the Year.
Surrounded by beautiful countryside, the hotel has access to shooting over more than 40,000 hectares, offering both walked-up and driven days for pheasant, partridge and grouse. And with their proximity to the Tweed, world-class salmon fishing can also be arranged.
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Aldourie Castle, Loch Ness
Aldourie Castle is the only habitable castle on the shores of Loch Ness, offering grandeur and comfort, beauty and tranquility in a breathtaking setting. Whether it's a weekend or a week, guests can enjoy the freedom and exclusivity of an entire castle and estate in one of the world's most iconic locations. And nearby is some top quality sport too - stalking, driven and walked-up shooting, and fishing for salmon or trout.
Ballathie House Hotel, Perthshire
Ballathie is a country house in the truest sense. Situated in its own 1,500-acre estate, the 4-star country house hotel enjoys an enviable location on the banks of the River Tay. Bursting with character and tradition, Ballathie is a great base for a range of country pursuits. Shooting on a number of local estates can be organised by the hotel, and there is over four miles of double bank fishing of the Tay offering some of the finest salmon fishing in Scotland.
Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire
The world-famous Gleneagles Hotel is a magnificent ?French chateau' with 232 rooms. Each room is individual with everything you'd expect from a five red star resort. Hospitality is the heart of the Gleneagles experience with four restaurants, including in the renowned Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles.
Outdoors, the most is made of the hotel's 850 acres. Outdoor pursuits include shooting at the shooting school, fishing, falconry, off-road driving and horse riding. And for those who prefer to cocoon themselves away, there are world-class spa facilities. Not forgetting three championship golf courses, including The PGA Centenary, the host venue for the Ryder Cup 2014.
The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye
The Three Chimneys is a top Scottish restaurant that matches seasonal, local food with luxury 5-star accommodation. Set in a romantic location with heavenly sea views, this world-class restaurant with rooms is situated on the shore of Loch Dunvegan at Colbost in the remote northwest corner of Skye.
Ackergill Tower, Caithness
Ackergill Tower Castle is unique. Despite its long and rich history, it comes complete with every modern touch and luxury one could ever need. The land and neighbouring estates provide a refreshingly ?real' challenge for traditional country sports. Rugged and plentiful is perhaps the best way to describe game shooting in this part of Scotland; with guests earning every bird they bag. With few driven shoots nearby, guests can shoot grouse, snipe, pheasant and partridge over dogs. There is also stalking available in season for red and roe deer, and the local rivers, lochs and coastline offer anglers the chance of salmon, trout and deep sea fishing.