On a recent trip to Kenmore in Perthshire we experienced the highs and lows. It was a dry crisp day when we set off from Lanarkshire. Unsure how to get to our destination we turned to the sat-nav. For those who don't own one, it picks the quickest but not always best route.
About an hour in we were directed off the A9 and taken down a single-track road. As we drove we were getting higher up the mountain. As we reached the top of the hill the road was closed due to snow. A 4x4 might have been able to manage but it wasn't worth risking it in a Vauxhall Astra.
Reversing down a single-track road is not my idea of fun but eventually we arrived at the Mains of Taymouth Country Estate, a beautiful five-star resort offering self-catering cottages, houses, villas and apartments. Nestled on the edge of Loch Tay and originally the home farm to Taymouth Castle, the resort is a family-run estate which offers golf, riding and highland safaris. It also has an award-winning restaurant, deli and shop.
We strolled down to The Kenmore Hotel, reputed to be Scotland's oldest. We enjoyed a drink in The Poet's Bar, named to commemorate Robert Burns's visit in 1787. A poem in the Bard's own handwriting adorns the chimney breast.
We took a tour of the Crannog Centre. The crannogs are artificially created islands and are thought to have been created before 2000BC, though they continued to be built and used as dwellings and refuges into the Middle Ages. They not only afforded excellent protection against unruly neighbours but protected the ancient Celts from wild animals. The centre has a full-size reconstruction of an Iron Age crannog on the Oakbank Crannog site (off the north shore of the loch), and a visitor centre displaying finds from the excavations is open to visitors a little south of Kenmore village.
That evening we dined in The Courtyard Restaurant which is onsite and enjoyed a lovely meal in a relaxed atmosphere.
Jackie Caffrey was a guest of the Mains of Taymouth Country Estate. She stayed in The Maxwells one-bedroom apartment, which costs £200 per night. Visit taymouth.co.uk or call 01887 830226.