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Scottish Caravans & Motorhomes

Every issue features live-in road tests of all the latest models and reviews of parks throughout Scotland and the North of England by respected industry insiders – plus the latest news and what’s on guides. Whether deciding on which caravan or motorhome to buy, looking for the ideal park to visit or browsing for new gear to enhance the touring experience, Scottish Caravans & Motorhomes is the perfect companion for travels throughout Scotland and the North of England.

Parkreview Luxuryliving

Parkreview Luxuryliving in the heart of the Highlands With top-class facilities and breathtaking countryside, Mains of Taymouth offers a rural escape you’ll never forget RURAL PeRthshiRe is gorgeous at any time of year, but it was especially stunning when I travelled there in early autumn to sample high-end living in one of Mains of Taymouth’s luxury lodges. Mains of Taymouth Country Estate and Golf Course is situated at the head of Loch Tay, at the tiny village of Kenmore, near Aberfeldy. I journeyed there from Stirling, heading north through the Trossachs and then along the beautiful banks of Loch Tay. Perthshire is, of course, Scotland’s ‘Big Tree Country,’ and, with the leaves turning from green to gold and red,I was able to experience it in its full glory. The good feeling continued with a warm welcome from general manager Pauline McLaren. With obvious pride, Pauline gave me a whistle-stop tour of the estate’s impressive facilities. Mains of Taymouth offer an incredible selection of luxury self-catering properties, all in the most tranquil country setting – yet the hustle and bustle of the Central Belt is barely an hour and a half’s drive away. Ideal home show Self-catering properties on the estate include several traditional stone cottages that sleep from two to nine; an amazing detached farmhouse that sleeps 12; mews houses for six to eight people; three family houses that sleep from eight to 10; spacious two-bedroom Nearby attractions The estate’s grounds make for fantastic walking, and there’s the golf course, riding school and fishing in the river (permits required). Within easy walking distance is the fascinating Scottish Crannog Centre, a ‘living’ reconstruction of an ancient round house on stilts above Loch Tay. It’s based on archaeological digs at a nearby structure that dates from 500BC. Wildlife lovers will have a super time at Highland Safaris, which offers 4×4 trips to local mountain tops as well as Loch Tay Safaris and cruises. apartments, and one- and two-bedroom villas. The properties, traditional and modern alike, are all constructed sympathetically with their environment and blend in perfectly. The estate is also home to Mains of Taymouth Village, an exclusive luxury lodge development. The stunning structures are custom-designed and built to owners’ specifications. Pauline told me there are a number of plots available for 2018. The estate is set to introduce a ‘buy-to-holiday-let’ package, so owners gain income when not staying. There’s also a wonderful nine-hole golf course, designed and built by estate owner Robin Menzies and his dad. The family has lived here for generations. Other on-site attractions include a riding centre, a shop and a super delicatessen, and the Courtyard Bar and Restaurant, which serves pub-style meals and – as I experienced – one of Perthshire’s best cooked breakfasts! Pauline was particularly keen to show off the estate’s latest development: Balloch Park. Currently being built in a beautiful glade in a secluded corner of the estate, this is a new collection of luxury lodges built to the highest standard. They’re designed for holiday, leisure and permanent residential living. It’s a small, private community in a heavenly slice of Perthshire. If I ever win the lotto, I thought wistfully… But no need for that: as Pauline handed me the keys to the Bell Tower cottage, my home 76 Scottish Caravans & Motorhomes winter 2017 www.scottishcaravansandmotorhomes.co.uk

Words and pictures RobeRt Wight for the night, I discoveredIwouldn’t exactly be roughing it. Situated in a small terraced courtyard, the cottage is perfect for a couple and has bags of space over three floors. Outside, it has its own patio and barbecue. Inside, the ground floor is a lovely open-plan living area – a well-appointed kitchen and dining room with all the conveniences, including dishwasher, microwave, hob, oven and granite work surfaces. The adjoining lounge has a massive comfy leather sofa plus chairs and solid oak furnishings. Best of all is the wood-burning stove in the centre of the room, complete with kindling and basket of logs. I must be getting old, but with the fire lit, a large glass of red and a good book, it felt like the perfect cosy night in. We didn’t even bother with the 40-inch TV. Mains of Taymouth Country Estate and Golf Course Kenmore, near Aberfeldy, Perthshire PH15 2HN Telephone 01887 830226 Email info@taymouth.co.uk Website www.taymouth.co.uk Clockwise from main picture: the Bell Tower cottage exemplifies Mains of Taymouth’s mix of heritage and comfort; a four-poster adds a special touch; the main living area is spacious yet cosy thanks to the central wood burner; a stone-built arch welcomes visitors Lots of Mains of Taymouth’s properties have hot tubs. Our cottage didn’t, but on the first floor was an even better treat: a massive spa bathroom, complete with sauna as well as a stylish free-standing roll-top bath, enormous walk-in power shower and under-floor heating. From the landing, a quirky twisting staircase takes you to the bedroom, complete with four-poster. My other half pointed out that, if this was the Bell Tower, she must be Esmerelda, which made me… quite unamused. Bed, bath and brae The four-poster was very comfortable, with excellent quality linen. Slippers, sumptuous robes and plenty of bath-sheets and towels are provided. All you have to do is turn up, enjoy the tremendous facilities and relax. The area is surrounded by mountain, loch, river and forest. After a bracing walk in the blustery autumn weather, it was marvellous to get back to the Bell Tower, enjoy a nice long soak in that huge tub, then sweat it out in the sauna, followed by a cool blast in the shower. It’s a tough old life. For more information about Mains of Taymouth, including a full list of their luxury properties, availability and prices, visit the website at www. taymouth.co.uk. For more about the new Balloch Park development, see www.ballochpark.co.uk. WinteR 2017 Scottish Caravans & Motorhomes 77

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