Great Places to Stay
- Craigatin House & Courtyard, Pitlochry
Chasing the Dream
You may have read a few inspiring travel memoirs (e.g. Snowball Oranges, Love with a Chance of Drowning, Eat, Pray, Love), or seen the movie (A Good Year starring Russell Crowe), about a few brave, impulsive people who leave the security of a salaried career and their home to set off to:
a) buy a fruit farm in Mallorca, b) sail across the Pacific Ocean in a yacht c) leave husband in New York to travel the world, d) give up work as a Stockbroker to run a French vineyard.
Life for them is about a new challenge, a life changing adventure and chasing the dream.
Six years ago Martin and Andrea Anderson decided to leave their hectic corporate professions and the rat race in London for a completely different, relaxing lifestyle. Travels in the USA and Europe had inspired them to dream of owning a luxury Boutique-style bed and breakfast.
Certainly a wise investment where a hospitality business doubles as your own private home.
Luck was on their side. Visiting Pitlochry to start looking for a property, the guest house they were actually staying in, was about to be put up for sale!
What a major project to undertake not least re-locating from the capital city to rural Perthshire. But soon Craigatin House was theirs, in a prime location at the quieter end of Atholl Road, just a ten minute walk to the shops, restaurants and the station.
The Andersons could see the potential to completely refurbish and upgrade the property and it's been a labour of love working on architectural plans, selecting wallpaper, carpets, curtains and king size beds as well as sourcing some excellent landscape photography for artwork around the house.
Today Craigatin House is a warm and comfortable home from home, with fourteen fabulously designed, smart and contemporary bedrooms. Each is distinctive in size, layout, and colour scheme, ranging from shades of cinnamon and tobacco, to claret red and forest greens, with a choice of the main house or spacious courtyard suites. Quality abounds: leather sofas, cotton sheets, wool throws, cushions, pine and dark wood furniture, Tub soap and soft towels in the shower room.
The heart of this charming house is the timber and glass chalet -style Conservatory featuring a most attractive breakfast room which leads down to a spacious lounge. Here guests can relax on sumptuous tweed sofas and chairs (Ligne Rosset), with piles of magazines, guide books and a log stove fire for colder days. This overlooks a pretty flower garden with monkey puzzle tree, neat lawn and patio.
Breakfast is not your typical " cornflakes, bacon and egg" offering . The menu caters well for all nationalities and tastes - porridge with a dram of whisky, fresh fruit, croissants, pancakes with bacon, full Scottish and superlative omelettes, including the classic Arnold Bennett stuffed with creamy smoked haddock.
Craigatin House does not provide evening meals but a lovely gesture is to suggest that guests may eat a take away supper in the dining room. But there are numerous bars, bistros and restaurants a few minutes walk away.
While this has been a major career move for Andrea and Martin, it is apparent that they have a genuine passion for the hospitality and tourism business. With guests from across the UK, Europe and USA, they are always keen to offer personal advice and information on where to go and what to see in the area, with maps and driving routes at the ready.
Pitlochry is an extremely popular year round holiday base to explore the surrounding countryside with its tranquil lochs, ancient forests and historic castles. Visit the House of Bruar, the Harrods of the North, for cashmere, tweeds and country clothing.
The Pitlochry Festival summer season runs from May to October, where you can see six plays in six days at the Theatre in the Hills. This is also biking, hiking, fishing (that's the river Tummel at Pitlochry in the illustration) and golfing country, with majestic scenery to enjoy from Spring to the golden days of Autumn.
Pitlochry in the heart of Scotland provides easy access to many other great tourist attractions. The links below describe and illustrate many of them on other pages in the Rampant Scotland site:
- Blair Castle, Glen Garry - understandably the most visited private house in Scotland.
- Breadalbane and Loch Tay - a scenic gem.
- Castle Menzies - being restored to its former glory by the Clan Menzies Society.
- Dunkeld Cathedral - King Kenneth mac-Alpin located his capital in Dunkeld in 849AD.
- Scone Palace - In addition to the palace there are extensive gardens and woodland walks.
- Scottish Plant Hunters Garden, Pitlochry - a series of gardens, illustrating the contribution that eighteen Scottish plant hunters have made over the centuries.
- Perthshire Slide Show - YouTube pictorial guide from Rampant Scotland to Perthshire tourist attractions.
Craigatin is no ordinary B&B - this is a beautifully furnished, contemporary and stylish Country House , where the Andersons will offer a warm welcome to their Highland home.
Craigatin address is 165 Atholl Road, Pitlochry PH16 5QL. For more information on Craigatin or to make a reservation see the Craigatin House & Courtyard Web site or telephone 01796 472478.
Vivien Devlin, British Guild of Travel Writers
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