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United Kingdom

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the Routes
du Bonheur of...

Struan Stevenson
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Member of the European Parliament, Senior Vice President of the Fisheries Committee
My captivating Route du Bonheur through the hills, glens, myths and legends of Scotland

I was born in Ballantrae, in a farm where my family has lived for 160 years. I was an active farmer for many years; my political life started at the age of 22. Nowadays, I spend most of my time between Strasbourg and Brussels but whenever I can, I return to the family farmhouse in Ayrshire.

Scotland’s unique landscape of islands, lochs, rivers, mountains and breathtaking coastal waters, encircle a treasure trove of ancient castles, battlegrounds, standing stones and Neolithic cairns. The winding country roads lead to enchanting fishing villages, where fresh caught lobsters and prawns are brought straight to the table in tiny restaurants, inns and pubs. In the winter, tales of ghosts and ghouls are exchanged over a glass of rich and complex single malt whisky, while seated next to a crackling log fire. In summer, the sun shimmers off the gently lapping sea like a million sparkling diamonds, as golfers stroll along the fairways of some of the world’s most renowned links courses. Even the rain is celebrated as the source of some of the purest, sweetest water in the world, the basis of Scotland’s most famous export...whisky!

But Scotland is a modern nation too and its bustling towns and cities are home to some of the UK’s finest museums, galleries, shops and restaurants. So whether you are a keen golfer, hill-walker, sailor, angler or sightseer, Scotland’s rich culture, its welcoming people, fabulous views and diverse array of sights, sounds and tastes, will assault your senses with unforgettable encounters. Each Relais & Chateaux destination provides a different experience.

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a four-night stay from 1284 GBP*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
Stage 1: one night, one day

Glenapp Castle

A warm and personal welcome to our Scottish castle and home
Glenapp Castle
This beautifully restored Victorian Castle has been home to Graham and Faye Cowan since 1994. They transformed Glenapp into an opulent five-star hotel. The castle is set in magnificent gardens with views across the Firth of Clyde to the Antrim Hills of Northern Ireland, the Mull of Kintyre, the Island of Arran and the giant granite volcanic plug of Ailsa Craig that rears out of the ocean, providing a spectacular backdrop to this glorious baronial pile. Head Chef Adam Stokes and his team serve up gastronomic wonders in the castle’s elegant Michelin Star and four AA Rosette award-winning restaurant.

Close to the property...

Culzean Castle

This glorious neo-classical 18th century architectural masterpiece designed by Robert Adam, is the former home of the head of the Kennedy Clan – the Earl of Cassillis and is now the jewel in the crown of the National Trust for Scotland and a ‘must-see’ for any visitor to Ayrshire. Near Culzean Castle, on the mysterious Electric Brae, cars roll uphill with their engines switched off, while cyclists freewheel upwards at speed! Try some genuine Scotch haggis for lunch at the Visitor Centre Restaurant located in the Home Farm Courtyard.

The Whisky Experience, Kirkoswald

A few miles away on the A77 trunk road lies the tiny village of Kirkoswald, where you can discover some of the finest and rarest Single Malt Scotch Whiskies at ‘The Whisky Experience.’ Across the road is a traditionally thatched tearoom and restaurant where you can enjoy delicious ice-cream, cakes and chocolates all made on the premises.

Robert Burns

Fourteen miles North of Kirkoswald is the village of Alloway, birthplace of Scotland’s most famous poet Robert Burns (1759-1796). Here you can tour the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and the cottage where he was born, as well as walking past the eerie Auld Kirk and Brig o’Doon which inspired his epic poem ‘Tam o’Shanter’.

On the route...

The Burrell Collection

On the South-side of the City of Glasgow, in the heart of Pollock Country Park, you will find the Burrell Collection, named after its donor, the shipping magnate Sir William Burrell. It’s one of the greatest collections ever created by a single person, comprising over 8000 objects, including work by major artists such as Rodin, Degas and Cézanne, as well as important examples of late medieval art, Chinese and Islamic art, Ancient Civilizations and more.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : STEVENSON

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Stage 2: one night, two days

Greywalls Hotel and Chez Roux

Championship golf course and sublime cuisine
Greywalls Hotel and Chez Roux
Arrive in the early evening at Greywalls Hotel. This graceful Lutyens architectural gem, 40 minutes from Edinburgh, is uniquely juxtaposed between a serene walled garden on one side and the iconic Muirfield championship golf links on the other. After haggis bonbons with pre-dinner drinks in the Library, sit in the sophisticated cosiness of Greywall’s dining room watching the sun go down over the Fife coast, while you tuck into Clash Farm pork belly confit with glazed cheek, fondant of potato and garden peas. Culinary masterpieces like this, served under the watchful eye of the attentive maître d’ Surajit Dasgupta, helped Greywalls to win the Scottish Hotel Restaurant of the Year – 2012 award.

Close to the property...

North Berwick

The Royal Burgh of North Berwick is a seaside resort in East Lothian, just 5 miles along the A198 from Greywalls Hotel. Visit the ancient harbour, first constructed in 1200 and the Scottish Seabird Centre to find out more about the diverse population of birds that inhabit the nearby Bass Rock. You can even take a boat trip from North Berwick to the Bass Rock if the weather is calm. Don’t miss the Auld Kirk Green which was the scene of notorious witch trials in the 1590’s. It was here that Agnes Sampson was tortured and burned at the stake. These gruesome tales may have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), who came here with his family for frequent holidays when he was a boy.

National Museum of Flight

Close to Gullane at East Fortune Airfield, is the National Museum of Flight where you can see an astonishing collection of aircraft and rockets dating from the Wright Brothers and the First World War to the present day, including a Sopwith Camel, a Spitfire and Hitler’s rocket propelled Messerschmidt Komet. You can even clamber on board Scotland’s Concorde and experience close-up, the interior of this supersonic jet.

On the route...

Edinburgh

Spend a few hours (or days!) in Edinburgh, Scotland’s Capital City, only 16 miles from Gullane. Take in the historic Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and the magnificent Georgian architecture of the New Town. Hopefully this will whet your appetite for a longer visit, perhaps to the internationally renowned Edinburgh International Festival which takes place every August and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city for a feast of music, theatre, dance, visual arts, comedy and literature.

Birnam Wood

Just before arriving in Dunkeld, look out for the Royal Forest at Birnam Wood. This is MacBeth country and the Royal Forest sits on a hill just South of Dunkeld, with belts of graceful birches and green tasselled larches, surrounding patches of purple heather. But it is not the beauty of Birnam Wood that has made it famous, but the mastery of Shakespeare’s pen. The witches in Shakespeare’s ‘Scottish Play’ warn that "Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until / Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill / Shall come against him."

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : STEVENSON

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 3: one night, one day

Kinloch House

A traditional Scottish country house in the heart of glorious Perthshire
Kinloch House
The family-owned 5 Star Kinloch House Hotel stands in an imposing position on a hill overlooking the genteel Perthshire hamlet of Kinloch, which sits between the two highland Perthshire tourist towns of Dunkeld and Blairgowrie. The highland theatre town of Pitlochry is only a few miles further on. Graeme Allen and his family offer guests the comfort and attention of one of the finest authentic country house hotels in Scotland, furnished with beautiful antiques and hung with imposing portraits throughout. The house boasts its own two ghosts, with countless people having seen a small girl and a Victorian lady wearing a large hat. Don’t worry, though, the ghosts are both friendly!

Close to the property...

River Ericht

Sporting activities are among this area’s main attractions. The local River Ericht, a major tributary of the world-famous River Tay, is renowned for its outstanding salmon fishing. The riverside itself has a well-interpreted woodland walk amidst spectacular scenery, including Cargill’s Leap and children’s play area. An idyllic picnic location! By the riverside you will also find an old corn mill, now Cargill’s Visitor Centre, an antiques warehouse, picture gallery and bistro.

Loch of the LowesVisitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve covers 98 hectares near Dunkeld. It is run by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. From early April to late August, the star attraction is a pair of breeding ospreys, Scotland’s iconic bird, which nest just 150 metres from the observation hide.

Relais & Chateaux Restaurant Andrew Fairlie

If dining in Relais & Chateaux hotels constitutes the musical equivalent of a stirring overture, then dinner at Andrew Fairlie’s at Gleneagles is a divine symphony. Andrew Fairlie’s restaurant at Gleneagles has, deservedly, won two Michelin stars. Don’t miss his ‘Dégustation’ taster menu….eight stunning and inventive courses, where every successive dish and perfectly matched wine surpasses the one before until you feel that the Archangel Gabriel himself will blow his trumpet and open the gates of Heaven! This is a culinary voyage of discovery where the Maestro blends the best in French and Scottish cooking, with an emphasis on outstanding ingredients from Scotland’s rich harvest of seafood, meat, game and fresh vegetables.

Relais & Chateaux Restaurant Andrew Fairlie

On the route...

Glamis Castle

This spectacular 600 year old castle was the home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Its beautiful gardens and historic rooms stuffed with priceless artworks and royal memorabilia are a must-see for all visitors to Royal Deeside. It was also the literary setting for Shakespeare’s ‘MacBeth’.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : STEVENSON

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Stage 4: One night, two days

Inverlochy Castle

Relaxation and exquisite delights in the peaceful scenery of the Highlands
Inverlochy Castle
Everything about this castle is big! Big Canadian Redwood trees surround the castle; big, magnificently traditionally decorated rooms are the castle’s trademark and a big welcome awaits the weary traveller from Manager Jane Watson and her cheery and helpful staff. Stepping into Inverlochy Castle is to experience the life and times of a Scottish Laird or Baron. The views are quite simply stunning and the comforts of the castle are incredible. It is uniquely located amongst the glens, lochs and mountains of the West Highlands of Scotland. Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, provides a spectacular backdrop to the baronial splendour of Inverlochy.

Close to the property...

Fort William

If you are feeling fit and you are into hill-walking or mountaineering, this is the place for you. Climb Ben Nevis, or take the cable car to the mountain top café, or go walking in the nearby and awesome Glencoe. Fort William is the biggest town in the West Highlands and a magnet for tourists.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : STEVENSON

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 5: one night, one day

Airds Hotel & Restaurant

All the charm of the magnificent Scottish Highlands
Airds Hotel & Restaurant
Originally Port Appin’s 18th century ferry inn, this luxury 4 red star hotel in the romantic setting of the west coast of Scotland, is run by Shaun and Jenny McKivragan who have turned it into one of the West Highland’s most sought after holiday destinations. Port Appin was where Robert Louis Stevenson based the dramatic opening of his classic novel Kidnapped and the area is steeped in Highland history. Airds Hotel blends the best of personal service, with luxury accommodation and gourmet dining. Airds’ renowned chef Jordan Annabi melds his ingredients into signature dishes like his saddle of prime Scottish lamb, with slow-cooked flank, neck and roasted garlic in a sweet onion and Rosemary jus. Sit, taste and marvel at these culinary masterworks, sipping a delectable wine, while enjoying one of the most magical views in the country across Loch Linnhe. Chef Jordan Annabi is also a leading expert on funghi, taking guests on local mushroom-picking expeditions in season.

Close to the property...

Castle Stalker

Castle Stalker was built in about 1495 by Duncan Stewart of Appin who was granted lands in the area by James IV for his support in destroying the power of the Lords of the Isles. The castle was taken by the Campbells in 1620, before being recaptured by the Stewarts after a siege in 1685. It was abandoned in the late 1700s and was roofless by 1830. What you see today has been restored since the 1960s and is privately owned, but it is sometimes possible to take a local boat across the loch to visit the castle grounds.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : STEVENSON

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 6: one night, one day

Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island

A private Scottish Island of 120 hectares dedicated to its guests
Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island
Finish your tour of Scotland with an unbelievable stay in the Isle of Eriska Hotel, owned and run by Beppo Buchanan-Smith and his family. The last-word in quintessential Scottish luxury, this Hotel and Spa is unique, being located on a private island, near Oban, amidst some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. Linked to the mainland by its own bridge, known as the ‘rumbling bridge’.... you will discover why when you drive across it!

Close to the property...

The Eriska Hotel Spa and Golf, a complete resort

The Eriska Hotel Spa and Golf is, as the name suggests, a complete resort. There is a spectacular nine hole golf course, putting greens (indoors and out), tennis courts, croquet lawn, badminton courts, clay-pigeon shooting, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, hot tubs, treatment rooms and bicycle hire. The superb network of bike tracks and single lane country roads will enable the energetic to cycle past lochs and castles and even visit some of the most beautiful beaches in the West Highlands, like Tralee Beach at Benderloch. Eriska will arrange for trips in luxury yachts or even for cocktails on board a motor vessel while the sun goes down over the spectacular West Highland scenery.

On the route...

Ardchattan Priory

Don’t miss two of Argyll’s most glorious gardens at Ardchattan Priory near Oban and the Angus Garden at Barguillean, Taynuilt. These gardens share the mild currents of the Gulf Stream influence which has created a marvellous micro-environment in this magical corner of Scotland and can offer visitors an abudance of rare plants and flowers throughout the year.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : STEVENSON

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard