Issue 25, Autumn 2006

Tummel on a crisp November morning with the hoar frost still on the trees despite the early sunshine. Scotland can be particularly attractive in the winter and is the perfect setting for our Mountains and Mistletoe pre-Christmas breaks.

From early November, these holidays come complete with the party spirit and cram Christmas Day, Boxing Day and News Years Eve in the space of just four or five days. They also include day excursions and usually visit another Lochs and Glens Hotel where lunch is included.

Dates and details are available from our booking office or from our web site same site can also be used for making reservations and booking on the internet is becoming increasingly popular with over 15% of all bookings now being made in this way.

We were somewhat apprehensive about the effect that the no-smoking legislation introduced in Scotland in the Spring would have on our guests. In fact it has really been a non-event, with the overwhelming majority of guests accepting it without question, indeed many welcoming it.

The only irritation to us has been the demand by Health and Safety inspectors that we put up more and more no-smoking signs despite the fact that nobody has smoked in public areas for several months!

As usual, next year's programme of tours is included with this newsletter.There are some new excursions and some variations on past favourites.We always welcome suggestions for new ideas from our guests, so if you have a destination you think would prove to be popular, please let us know.We can't promise to include it, but we will certainly consider it.

Michael Wells

Falkland Palace

Falkland Palace dominates the historic pretty village of Falkland in the Kingdom of Fife. It was built as a residence for King James IV in 1500 on the site of a much earlier fortress that dates back to the 12th century.

Mary, Queen of Scots spent some of her early life here and the building was in constant use by royalty until 1603 when the Royal Court moved to London following the succession of James VI to the English throne.Thereafter the Palace remained in the care of a keeper who was not usually resident and, as a result, the building began to fall into decay and was not helped by the brief occupation by Cromwell when the north range burned down.

Its demise continued right up until 1887 when it was acquired by the Marquess of Bute who fortunately began a programme of much needed restoration.The National Trust took over the property in 1952 and after further improvements it was opened to the public. Falkland Palace is just one of 28 listed properties in this picturesque village and should prove to be a popular day excursion. It will be included in our 2007 holidays that specialise in visiting properties in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

These holidays will be based at the Loch Achray Hotel and will also include excursions to Hill House, the unique property designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Geilston Garden in Cardross and Pollock House, the elegant Glasgow mansion set in an estate that, for 700 years had been owned by the Macdonald family. Culzean Castle, the Robert Adam creation dramatically sited on the Ayrshire coast will also feature in the itinerary. Its cliff-top situation was much loved by President Eisenhower who stayed there several times, both during his presidency and in his retirement.

As an extra bonus each guest will receive one year's complimentary membership of the National Trust for Scotland, giving full access to all of their properties and the National Trust's properties in England and Wales. As this would normally cost £37 these breaks really do represent superb value for money!

Walking from Lochs and Glens Hotels

This beautiful loch-side walk to the Inversnaid Hotel is just one of 26 routes described in the fully illustrated booklet Walking from Lochs and Glens Hotels.

Taking a day off from coach travel to walk in the unspoiled Scottish countryside is becoming increasingly popular and we hope that this booklet will be helpful to guests so inclined.

It is available for sale at any of our hotels or it can be purchased by mail order from the address shown at the foot of page four at a cost of £4.95 including p & p.

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