If you are looking for a great base to explore scenic Scotland, Murrayshall Country Estate should be top of your list of places to consider.
Just a short 10-minute drive to Perth with Dundee airport less than half an hour away, to say Murrayshall Country Estate is in a prime location is an understatement. Further afield you can arrive at Edinburgh in just over one hour or Glasgow in under 1 hour and 15 minutes.
When you arrive on the estate it feels truly like a country escape, with over 365 acres of land, which boasts two parkland golf courses and several hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty. The steep hike to Kinnoull Hill is rewarded with mesmerising views of Perth and the meandering River Tay.
Murrayshall House was constructed in 1664 and is the former home of Lord Lynedoch. The stately home atmosphere is very much in evidence the moment you step through the door and gaze at their remarkable grand staircase, leading to the first-floor suites. However, it never feels overbearing, primarily due to the personable, affable welcome from every single staff member.
The hotel consists of 40 bedrooms, with the majority being in the main house. A minority is tucked away at Balvaird House. Those suites are more modern and spacious as they are geared towards family and pet owners. They have only recently been refurbished and include an expansive lounge area. You are afforded views of the tree-lined countryside. A serene night's sleep is guaranteed given the tranquil surroundings.
The bathroom is covered with glistening marine-coloured tiling. Whilst the free-standing bath calls for relaxing nights in with a glass of Champagne in hand or a riveting novel to engross yourself in. Heated towel rails are always appreciated when you are in Scotland no matter the season. The hotel is a patriotic supporter of Scottish brands which is evident from the seaweed-focused Ishga bathroom products to the Scottish shortbread next to the kettle.
The culinary offerings are where the hotel excels. Their fine dining restaurant, Eòlas won the ‘Best Boutique Hotel Restaurant’ award with a major Scottish broadsheet only a year ago. Head chef, Craig Jackson delivers a menu that celebrates the best of Scotland. Hand-dived scallops have the flavours enhanced with a rich bouillabaisse sauce. His venison was earthy and tender and served with neck ragout, black garlic and fermented spelt. The pear crumble was suitably light and airy with only a hint of fragrant sweetness.
They are also unafraid to challenge the palates of hotel guests and locals. At their casual dining restaurant, Cairns, they recently ran three nights of Sri Lankan curry nights. It was to huge acclaim from all who attended and expect more in the coming months.
Apart from the usual activities like biking and golfing, they do have more unusual offerings on their roster. They can arrange for axe throwing and laser clay shooting on their spacious lawns with Willowgate Activity Centre. These sporting activities are hugely entertaining and great for team- building if you are holidaying together in larger groups.
They have very ambitious £30 million plans to take Murrayshall Estate to the next level including a stand-alone spa facility. However, in the meantime, they still offer top-quality spa treatments using luxury Scottish organic seaweed products from Ishga. The training of their massage therapist are unsurprisingly world-class with some having trained at Gleneagles. At the moment, they only have one massage suite, so prior booking is highly recommended.
If you are looking for half-day trips outside of the estate, the most popular option is visiting nearby, Scone Palace. It is a celebrated category A-listed historic house. 42 Scottish kings were inaugurated and crowned on the site of Scone Palace. This included Macbeth and Robert the Bruce. It had housed the famous Stone of Scone (they still have a replica on site). It was also the seat of numerous parliaments.
The current incarnation of the palace only dates back to the early 1800s but the collection of artefacts is no less breathtaking. A guided tour is the best way to explore the palace. You'll see the historically important painting of Dido Belle. She is one of the most well-known figures in Black History. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert famously visited the palace for one night and you can view her bedroom along with a dazzling array of porcelain and French furniture.
Other activities that are highly recommended include afternoon tea at their atmospheric old Victoria Kitchen. And, yes they will serve you actual scones. Alternatively, partake in a garden tour and hear all about the fascinating stories of plant hunters like David Douglas. In their garden, you'll discover the original Douglas Fir that was sent as a seed from North America. Every subsequent Douglas Fir from the country originated from that tree.
Scone Palace is a mere 11-minute drive away from Murrayshall Country Estate.
The nearest airport to Murrayshall Country Estate is Dundee which has daily flights with Loganair from Heathrow Terminal 2. The airline flies to more UK airports than every other airline combined.
Fares are inclusive of 15kg hold luggage, 6kg hand luggage and in-flight refreshments. Book direct at loganair.co.uk.
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