The anticipation was killing me. Knowing what lay ahead was filling me with pure elation. The only thing standing in my way was a four hundred and thirty nine mile drive.
An arduous journey of endless cats eyes, concrete, potholes and empty packets of Haribo. Travel sweets are usually shared but on this occasion my passenger took great delight in eating everything in the car!
Crossing the Scottish border is one thing, waving at the flag sign and playing some piping music to make it official that we’re in Scotland is just plain sad, but I can’t help it! When you hit north of Pitlochry, Scotland comes alive. Rugged landscape, dark thunder clouds, snow capped mountains and beautiful scenery all in one day.
And then you arrive…….. Alladale Reserve.
Located 1.5 miles up a well maintained dirt track, Alladale sits proudly above the Carron River Valley. A beautiful place set in movie scene landscapes offering you the escape we all so badly need.
What Alladale offers is a unique escape for couples or families alike. Multiple accommodation options are available, from the main house to highland cabins that are fully heated and complete with electricity. This may not sound exciting, however trust me, when you see given the location, it’s pretty amazing.
The main lodge contains everything a great escape needs. The best thing about it, absolutely no phone reception at all. Utter bliss! For those of us that need a lifeline to the outside world there is wifi so you’re sadly not completely cut off.
Each room could be dressed for double or twin use. A multitude of space for you and your family in large front facing rooms, which had stunning views of the encroaching valley. All ensuite, giving you complete privacy and a thoroughly comfortable, peaceful stay.
Although the house and other cabins are for group bookings, Alladale have now opened up rooms for sole occupancy in the main house to help boost bookings out of season.
Tom, the chef, was outstanding. Each morning he provided a lovely cooked breakfast, from a full English, to eggs Benedict, Haggis and much more. Along with this came a cracking hamper for lunch, full off the best sandwiches and homemade sausage rolls you will ever eat. Nothing is too much if you just ask for it.
The best time for me, however, was the evening. Coming in after a long day out on a photo shoot battling all types of weather, there was always a warm welcome, an open fire and a stiff G&T. Note that Alladale do not supply alcohol so it is BYO unless requested in advance. While relaxing, you can gaze into the wilderness and watch the local red deer feeding on the lawn.
Then to the main event. Tom never failed to provide food that turned a room of laughter into a room of silence. You know when you have food that just silences you? The food here was like that. One of the highlights of my trip to Alladale.
If the Scottish elements are too much for you and some indoor activity is required, you could always sample the snooker room, gym and sauna. Great ways to burn off the healthy food provided by Tom and the team.
I can’t recommend Alladale Reserve enough. This scenic, highland getaway will clear your mind and bring you back down to earth.
Photos courtesy of Andy Le Gresley