Dining at Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland

When it comes to dining in style on a trip to Scotland things don’t get much more extravagant than dinner at the Gleneagles Hotel. The only place in the country to boast two Michelin stars, the hotel is at the forefront of fine dining and provides cuisine and ambience for pretty much any occasion, from the traditional grandeur of the Strathearn restaurant to the cosy comfort of the Dormy Clubhouse bar and grill. You don’t even have to be a resident at the hotel to enjoy the food, as dining at Gleneagles is open to everyone. If you’re looking to treat that special someone to an unforgettable experience or are seeking Scotland’s most exciting cuisine, Gleneagles could be the perfect venue.

Dinner for Two

From moorland game to mountain lamb, the Strathearn serves up only the best in local produce and prides itself on the exceptional quality of its luxury Scottish and French cuisine. The elegant art deco setting creates a backdrop to remember, with an innovative menu that has been conjured by a team of award-winning chefs including the famous Andrew Fairlie. The Strathearn is the heart of Gleneagles, and is the place to enjoy an ultimately authentic Scottish evening. If it’s a romantic experience you’re seeking, dinner for two at the Strethearn has all the ingredients for a truly memorable evening together.

Afternoon Tea

The hotel’s Christmas gift vouchers have become a popular way to treat an extra special someone, and one of the best ways to spend a voucher is on a deliciously extravagant afternoon tea in The Bar. With a range of sweet and savoury treats, the world’s best tea and suitably ostentatious cake stands, this experience is the perfect treat for best friends, mums and anyone with a sweet tooth.

Something Different

If the mouth-watering tastes of the Mediterranean are more your thing, book a table at Gleneagles’ Deseo, a vibrant restaurant perfect for casual business dinners or memorable meals with friends and family. The atmospheric, warm ambience provides the perfect setting, and the range of rich and flavoursome food includes wood fired pizzas and fresh fish. Perch on the barstools and watch chefs create culinary masterpieces close-up or get cosy in your own private booth. /

With 120 single malt whiskies to choose from and an impressive selection of vintage champagnes, The Bar is the ideal after dinner retreat. Whether you’re relaxing after a game of golf or heading out for the evening of a lifetime, there is a dining experience to suit everyone at Gleneagles.

Sophie Marshall is travel writer and food lover, she loves travelling as well visiting the fine eateries of her native Perthshire.

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Cruises from Liverpool – Sailing on the Ocean Countess

Whereas once the only real departure point for cruise holidays in the UK was in Southampton, it is now possible to find to leave from other regional ports across the country if you are thinking about setting sail on your next holiday. This means that those who don’t live in the south of England have somewhere closer to them to get onto their boat – meaning you are relaxing on board and taking advantage of the fine experiences onboard much earlier than they would have been had they needed to travel.

One cruise that sails regularly from Liverpool is the Ocean Countess, which is chartered to UK company Cruise and Maritime Voyages. Built in 1976, the Countess is considered a more ‘intimate’ ship than many of its modern counterparts and houses just 800 people. This helps it to appeal to an older market, who want to feel a sense of community on their trip, as well as those who do not want to encounter children for the duration.

Accommodation

There are a number of price grades for the ship, which match to the exclusivity of the cabins. Those with a sea view come at an extra premium, while the deluxe cabins at the pricier end offer far more space to the passengers to enjoy; particularly beneficial when the voyage is of a longer duration.

When it comes to deciding on accommodation, consider the needs of yourself and any fellow travelers – would you be disappointed if you had to spend a week without a view? If so, it is probably worth the spending the extra money to be on the outside of the ship. Alternatively, you could save money by downgrading to an inside cabin, so if you planning to be outside of your room most of the time then saving yourself money here means you will have more to spend ashore or in the bars and restaurants on board.

Restaurants

There are a couple of places to sit down and eat on the ship, including the Kensington Restaurant which seats 487 at any one time, and where a banquet style service is the norm. Themes often cater meals from the countries which are being visited on the tour.

There is also a more ‘casual’ buffet-style restaurant called The Boathouse, which usually specialises in breakfasts and lunches, though does sometimes do dinners depending on the itinerary.

Entertainment

For a small ship by modern-day cruise standards, the Ocean Countess certainly has plenty of entertainment. From a gymnasium, health club and pool for those who like to relax during the day, to a cinema and a piano bar to help wind away those evenings as you sail along the waters to your next point of call, there really is something for everyone here.

One of the highlights of the ship is the 400-seater Holyrood Show Lounge, which plays host to various shows and cabaret entertainment. It also includes a dance floor, while there is an additional nightclub which incorporates both indoor and outdoor spaces and is very popular in the warmer months of the year.

Sail on the Ocean Countess

Cruise agency Cumbria Cruises offer some great deals sailing from Liverpool on the Ocean Countess. Visit the website today for more information.

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Crash, Bang, Wallop, and Gloom

As the warm summer temperatures disappear, it can be tempting to get your fill of the sun and water sports before the cooler weather sets in. And, just because you’ve made it through the entire summer without any serious injuries – maybe some minor scrapes and bruises – doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind.

All water activities, whether its white water rafting, surfing, wakeboarding, tubing, waterskiing, jet skiing, kite surfing or water polo, are dangerous. Although these sports are fun they can result in severe injuries and death. The most common injuries from water sports accidents are those of the head.

All too often, there are stories of nightmare vacations in which kids and young adults incur life-threatening open and closed head injuries while participating in extreme water sports. While families may be able to work with an expert solicitor who specialise in head injury claim compensation to cover their financial loss, nothing can truly make up for the pain and suffering and the potential life-changing effects of a brain injury.

Traumatic brain injuries range in severity from mild, temporary concussions to long-term changes that affect a person’s character, memory and ability to think and speak. The most severe cases may cause paralysis and death.

When caution is exercised and all safety measures are followed, the risk of injury significantly decreases. No matter what sport you participate in, adhering to some of these guidelines will help prevent you from suffering a head injury.

Follow Instructions

Always follow the instructions properly. Before attempting to do a sport on your own, experts advise that you receive the proper training and use all safety equipment.

Wear a Helmet

In most instances, a helmet will help protect against head and brain injuries. It is especially important that those who are wakeboarding, water skiing and white water rafting wear one and that it is fitted properly. Even the most minimal contact with port equipment, boat, and rocks can cause injuries.

Wear a Lifejacket

Despite being uncomfortable, a lifejacket is a must. If you are knocked unconscious while in the water, it will save you from drowning.

Don’t Go Alone

Always try to go with someone. But, if you must go alone, notify someone of your whereabouts.

Equipment Safety

Prior to strapping on a board or heading down the river in a kayak, make sure you test the equipment. Inspect for any pieces that may become loose and dislodge or for any rips or broken lines.

Boating Safety

Boat passengers should not ride with someone who is drinking and using drugs or is neglectful of boating safety regulations. Drivers who operate while under the influence experience a delayed reaction and ability to focus. This can result in serious accidents. Also, make sure all boats, jet skis and other vehicles are functioning properly.

If an accident does occur, and someone else is at fault for your head or brain injury, you can seek compensation by working with an expert brain injury claims solicitor to help pay for financial losses and suffering.

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Making a Family Holiday out of your Golfing Break

If you’re looking to get in a weekend round of golf but want to take the family away too, the entire UK coastline is your playground – with holiday parks up and down the country many with their own courses right on the doorstep of your caravan or lodge.

For a start, nine of Haven’s 35 family holiday parks have fully maintained golf courses that are easy to get to. So, whether you’re a pro looking to work on your swing with a group of mates, a parent wanting to teach your kids the perfect drive, or a family just playing for fun, the fairways at Haven have got it off to a tee.

Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is home to the 9-hole course at Reighton Sands – a family holiday park that even comes with the option to hire a golf cart.  So, if the kids still aren’t convinced by the smooth greens and panoramic sea views on the course, they can at least enjoy the ride between shots.

Those views are thanks to the park’s position on an incline, allowing you to breath in the fresh sea air of Filey Bay before you take each putt.

Lincolnshire

Haven’s Thorpe Park also has a 9-holes (par 36) for guests to use during their stay. When the final ball is sunk, the kids can head to pool and splash into the water in style – using the space bowl slide.  If they’ve still got the energy, they can take on the climbing wall or the zip wire course – if they’re puffed out, then there’s always the next day.

Great Yarmouth

Hopton in Great Yarmouth has a 9-hole (par 3) on-park too. It’s the ideal spot to relax while perfecting your swing.  There’s also adventure golf on the course for the whole family.  This is where the little ones can spark their interest in the sport but if they don’t take to it this year, there’s plenty more to keep them smiling during your holiday:

There are FunWorks amusements, kart hire and an all-weather multi-sports court on-park for the little ones.  Joining in big group games with the other holidaying kids, they are going to make lots of friends and have lots of memories to take back home.

In the drink…

For those who prefer to play in water than on dry land, there is aqua fun on tap here: aquajets, aqua gliders, splashzones, water walkerz, fun inflatables and more in the heated pools.  The fun inflatables are brilliant – slip ‘n’ sliding their way across the inflatables floating on the surface of the pool, the kids really can wear themselves out with enjoyment…laughing for days afterwards.  These inflatables arenow at all the Haven parks because they’re so popular.

For those still wearing their armbands, there are lessons in the pools too – taught by fully qualified lifeguards.  The Water Confidence sessions are FREE and are all about helping the new swimmers find their way in water.  The Learn2Swim are great fun too – the kids are even awarded a certificate when they complete the course.

If there is one water activity they’ll never forget, it’s the water walkerz – imagine a giant hamster’s ball that floats on water.  Rolling around the pools in these massive bubbles is one of the wackiest things you can do at the parks.

A “hole” lotta fun…

Still, it’s all about the chance to play golf, in the UK, whilst on holiday – perfect.  Anybody from the age of five upwards can sign up to the golf coaching lessons and learn how to play.  Then it’s family time on the course – competing with each other for the longest drive, the smoothest putt or the cleverest chip.  Make up your own rules and take as many mulligans as you like, nobody’s watching.

It’s always better when you play for something, so why not give the winner the first ride on that space bowl after the game?  There is so much to keep everyone excited at the parks and the golf is a massive bonus if you fancy yourself as the next Rory McIlroy.

Teeing off…

Book your golfing break at one of the family holiday parks today and you can look forward to that first, satisfying swing on the course.

If you’re looking for an even better golfing holiday, check out Primrose Valley, where there’s a golf course exclusive to caravan owners – one of many perks for guests who own their own holiday home.

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Holiday Inspiration : What Does Bodrum Have to Offer?

When people talk about going on a Mediterranean holiday you probably start to think about a familiar destination visited for a week or two in the summer on numerous occasions. Whether this be the Spanish Costas or Portugal’s Algarve, which both boast splendid stretches of coastline, the familiarity of southern European cultures offer something that draw us back again and again.

However the Mediterranean Sea stretches eastwards to the region where the historical continents and cultures of the West and the East meet. This meeting of cultures is nowhere truer than in Turkey.

In recent years the country has become an extremely important tourist destination. Brilliant beach holidays have more recently combined with ski breaks in the country’s mountain ranges, thus making Turkey a firm year-round attraction on the holiday map.

It is the beach holidays however that continues to be the major appeal of this country, twinned with a selection of historical and cultural sights unmatched elsewhere.

In the south-west region of Turkey around the Aegean Sea lies the Bodrum Peninsula, named after the major historical town of Bodrum itself. With a history that stretches back thousands of years, Bodrum has built a reputation as one of the best Turkish holiday destinations of all.

The town is an historic port and maintains this aspect today as a centre for the international yachting community. Bodrum Harbour is a bustling hub of activity with plenty to see and do.

There are many other attractions for a holiday in Bodrum though, foremost among them being Bodrum Castle, also known as the Castle of Saint Peter. The imposing edifice was built by the Crusaders in the 15th century and offers a unique view of the town and surrounding area.

The castle grounds are also the site of wonderful gardens and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology and the Ancient Amphitheatre. This site is over 2,000 years old is easily found as it is situated next to the main highway.

Of course it isn’t just the historical side of things that brings tourists flocking to Bodrum – there is also the fact that some of the beaches are the finest you will find anywhere in the region.

A major attraction on the Bodrum Peninsula is Bitez beach which is famous for its narrow stretch of golden sand which runs for miles and has an extremely shallow descent into the clear blue Aegean waters.

Another place to look out for is the resort of Gumbet where the activity revolves around the stunning beach and the cafes, bars and restaurants make for a busy daytime cosmopolitan mix of old and new. Gumbet also offers a vibrant nightlife with a good selection of clubs and bars catering for a range of tastes.

Choosing a holiday to Bodrum is easy as it is a popular choice and most of the top travel companies such as Co-op Travel offer some great bargains all year round. As with most things, a little time checking the internet will give you some great options that could also save you money.

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The Top 5 Country Cottages in Scotland

Scotland is legendary for its rich history and its stunning wild countryside. If you’re considering a vacation to Scotland, why not immerse yourself in a local community, by renting your own cottage in the Scottish Highlands? There are a multitude of Scottish country cottages to consider. Here are a few of the best cottages on offer.


1. Jocky’s View – Northern Highlands

Jocky’s View may look like a traditional fisherman’s cottage from the outside, but its interior is spacious and modern. This is the perfect cottage for a couple or small family. Jocky’s View also lives up to its name and boasts panoramic views of popular Brora beach and the nearby Sutherland hills.

Guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to the activities on offer. Jocky’s View is within walking distance of a well maintained golf course and a picture perfect Scottish village. Those who enjoy long walks will also enjoy walking alongside the picturesque river Brora.

2. The Sheiling – Isle of Skye

If you seek to escape the hustle and bustle of city life then book a stay at The Sheiling, a pine clad cottage for two which is nestled amongst seven acres of private land.

Guests who choose to stay at The Sheiling also have the unique privilege of being able to stroll across the cottage’s private beach. Needless to say The Sheiling is extremely popular options for newlyweds looking to book a cottage for their honeymoon.

3. Strathlene Lodge – Moray

Strathlene Lodge is a warm and inviting detached cottage, which is suitable for up to four guests.

Strathlene Lodge is popular with tourists as it’s located right on the waterfront. The cottage itself boasts huge rear windows which give guests an impressive panoramic view of the ocean and the seals who are often caught swimming in the nearby bay.

4. Boxy’s Croft – Loch Ness

If you plan on searching for Nessie the legendary Loch Ness monster, then Boxy’s Croft would make the perfect base.

Boxy’s Croft is a charming two bedroom cottage which overlooks Loch Ness. The bathroom even boasts unobstructed views of the loch, so it’s possible to keep an eye out for Nessie even while you’re taking a shower.

5. The Old Smiddy – Inverness-shire

If you love character cottages you’ll fall in love with The Old Smiddy a detached stone cottage with a fascinating history. Over 250 years ago The Old Smiddy was home to the village’s local blacksmith, although it’s since been lovingly restored and decorated for the comfort of modern day guests.

The Old Smiddy is the perfect option for families or groups, as it can comfortably accommodate up to six people. The Old Smiddy also allows pets so if you live within driving distance of Inverness-shire you can take your beloved pet with you on holiday.

If you’re interested in finding out more about any of these cottages, simply search for highland holidays with scottish-cottages.co.uk. There really is a cottage to suit every group and budget. So go on, why not visit the Scottish highlands and discover the legendary hospitality of the Scottish people?

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Finding the Ideal Hotel that has Cheap Spa Days

Cheap spa days are becoming the ideal way for people to unwind and relax, in beautiful surroundings with excellent spa treatments. Visiting a spa is the ideal way to enjoy some time away from the typical hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, combining the spa with a weekend away in one of the many stunning hotels in the country is perfect.


Staying in a hotel is no longer seen as something only for special occasions, as more people than ever before are booking weekends away. There is a huge array of different hotels and cottages to choose, ensuring that you can stay where you want, regardless of the time of year. Hotels have improved a huge amount over the years, and they now offer many different services.

Alongside the standard rooms and restaurant services that hotels offer, spa facilities are becoming increasingly popular. Guests can have the opportunity to take advantage of spa gift vouchers from spabreaks.com and relax. You do not need to be wealthy to enjoy the facilities, and spa vouchers are the ideal gift.

Whilst staying in the hotel, you can choose whatever cheap spa days you want, which can include a full package, or simply one or two treatments. Some hotels include the spa in the overall price and others may charge on top of your room fee. Therefore, you need to decide how many treatments you would like, and book them in beforehand.

Regardless of where you stay in the country, you will be able to find a hotel that offers you everything you need at an affordable price. From quaint country cottages, to luxury five star hotels; there is a huge choice for everyone. Deciding on the location may be daunting, as there are some fantastic areas to choose.

Whether you are booking in for a romantic weekend away, or a couple of nights with the girls, there are plenty of places to choose. You will need to consider how far you want to travel to your destination, and the purpose of your hotel stay. Some people do not realise the high standard of hotels in their local area, and often dismiss local hotels, however, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Whilst at the hotel you can enjoy massages, facials, and other spa treatments which will give your body a mental and physical boost. Many people feel fatigue on a day to day basis, therefore, relaxing, and enjoying the spa can provide the ultimate gat away from everyday stress. You will be able to relieve the tension, and go back after your break away feeling far happier and healthier.

The fantastic cost of the hotel, and ease of booking ensures that you can use the facilities often, and don’t need to wait for a special occasion. However, combining a few nights in a hotel or a luxury cottage with a spa treatment package can be the ultimate gift for everyone to enjoy. Both men and women find the spa relaxing, and you will be surprised how much you want to return very soon.

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Enjoy Playing Golf in the West Midlands at these top golf courses

Do you want to enjoy a nice golf break in a completely new way? There are many places to enjoy a nice weekend full of golf. If you want to enjoy a nice place to golf, then consider checking out The Belfry. This golf course is known for being one of the best and most pretigious golfing destinations in the entire world. This wonderful golf course has been the place to host golfing tournaments like the Ryder Cup. Since it is located right in West Midlands, it is a course where the people in the United Kingdom always visit. The golf course is known for keeping great maintenance of the course, not to mention provide golfers with the peace and quiet of a clean golf course.


Enjoy discount golf breaks with yourgolftravel.com

If you visit yourgolftravel.com, expect to find a wide variety of different services and great discounts to visiting the wonderful Belfry. The course is known for being quite popular throughout the United Kingdom, and if you book through this website, you can be sure to save money and receive great discounts for their offers. The truth is that going to such a place can be quite hard and expensive. If you are currently not able to invest the money needed, then you should really consider checking out this online website since they have some great offers to save cash during a trip.

What golf courses are worth visiting nearby The Belfry?

Aside from just the Belfry, there are many other courses nearby that should also be checked out while you are in the West Midlands. All of these courses are very popular, and they all have gained massive respect among some of the top golfers of the world.

– Marriott Forest of Arden Golf Course

This course is known for their wide array of amenities and the Marriott hotel nearby. If you want to stay at a top notch resort, this is the place to visit. The golf course is also of the highest level of quality, and the entire course offers beautiful views that every golfer needs to see while being on the course. With two different courses to choose and a wide array of hotel amenities, families and golfers alike will enjoy the atmosphere at this golf course destination.

– Hallmark Hotel Gloucester

This golf club has an extensively strong and well put together golf course. However, it is their nine hole academy course layout that takes the cake. This is the place where beginners and advanced golfers alike get the coaching they need to reach their fullest potential in the sport.

If you are going to enjoy The Belfry in the West Midlands, be sure to check out the two other golfing destinations during your trip. There are many people who usually only visit one golf course and they stay at only one hotel. Consider checking out all three during one trip to enjoy different golf courses and settings while also enjoying the high class resorts that they offer nearby.

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Discovering the Best Peak Districts Cottages to Stay in for Your Weekend Away

The best Peak District cottages will ensure that you have an incredible time whilst exploring this picturesque part of the country. This area of the UK is considered to be one of the most popular for exploring the rugged landscapes, and many outdoor activities on offer. The cottages, which are dotted around the Peak District provide the ultimate base for venturing into the National Park.


Many city dwellers enjoy spending weekends in this beautiful part of the UK, and during peak times you may struggle to book a holiday cottage. The cottages, which are available to rent are quaint, and affordable, providing you with the perfect chocolate box image of a rural hideaway. You will need to consider the size of the accommodation, which you need as many Peak District cottages are very small.

The National Park is huge and covers a vast expanse including, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Northern Derbyshire. As this area is protected there are several guidelines, which you must follow whilst staying in the area. Depending on where your holiday cottage is located will determine how severe these rules can be for visitors. However, you need to resept these rules, to ensure that you and other visitors have an enjoyable time.

Whether you want to book a cottage for a romantic weekend away or for a rambling experience over the hills, you will find the best Peak District cottages on the Internet. Some people rent their cottages privately, and others will use agencies. Many people choose to book the Peak District cottages with derbyshire-cottages.info.

If you want to be out exploring the different trails and nature walks, you may not be in the cottage that much during the day. However, of an evening, you want to ensure that the accommodation is comfortable, and caters for your needs. There are budget cottages for people looking for basic accommodation, and luxury cottages for people expecting more.

Booking your cottage through the Internet may seem daunting; however, you can choose accommodation that is ideal for your needs and budget. Regardless of how many people want to use the cottage, there are always options. Some of the cottages are scattered through the villages, and others are further into the National Park.

Every cottage will have a high level of charm and unique style, which makes this form of accommodation interesting to book. The small touches that are included by the owners make you feel welcome from the moment you step in the door. Regardless of how long you are staying in the cottage for, everything will be perfect.

Choosing the location can be daunting as the Peak District is huge; however, there are key areas, which are always busy. This may suit your needs and desire to be involved with all of the activities. However, there are other cottages, which are located in quieter villages, away from everything. Many people escape to the Peak district to get away from everything, recharge their batteries, and discover what the natural beauty of the country has to offer.

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Romantic European Escapes : Paphos vs Rhodes Town Holidays

The Mediterranean is brimming with distinctive destinations. Picking a romantic retreat for yourself and a loved one is an exciting way to spend an evening at home.

Cuddle up and browse the web for your ideal Rhodes or Cyprus holiday for the most bewitching European breaks.

Cyprus

Is there anywhere in the world more romantic than Cyprus? The birth place of Aphrodite – the Greek goddess of love, pleasure and beauty – Paphos is a fitting destination for a starry-eyed summer sojourn.

As you would expect from a region so rich in Greek mythology, there are myriad dreamy excursions and days out waiting to be explored. As well as soft sands and shimmering seas, local landmarks make excellent distractions for loved up duos.

The breath-taking Aphrodite Trail allows couples to take in the striking landscapes from along the Akamas Peninsula before being granted eternal beauty when circling the Aphrodite’s Rock sea stack.

Rhodes

Rhodes Town holidays offer couples an unbeatable blend of local culture with the luxuries typical of a cosmopolitan resort.

The ancient harbour, once guarded by the Colossus of Rhodes, is now protected by a pair of bronze deer statues, the national symbol of Rhodes. The animals are believed to shield the island from the snakes which once dominated much of Rhodes.

After a relaxing morning coffee and pastry at a contemporary café, explore the Mediaeval Old Town. The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights and the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes are sensational sites to be discovered with that special someone.

Take a day trip to Lindos, on the east coast of the island and bathe on the beautiful sandy bays. Venture into the hills between the whitewash cuboid builds before you trek the steps up to the Acropolis.

Which romantic destination will be your sensual sojourn? Book your choice from the Rhodes Town holidays or Cyprus escapes available online.

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