Category Archives: Scottish Festivals

Superb Scottish Snowsport Adventures

Most people may associate snowsports with popular locations such as the French Alps, Italy, or perhaps Austria. If you live in the UK though, you’ll be happy to hear that you don’t have to venture too far to hit the slopes and you won’t even need your passport! There are numerous locations in Scotland where you can ski including Glencoe, The Lecht, and Glenshee. The ski season in Scotland typically runs from December to early April, but it does depend on the amount of snowfall.

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Glencoe Mountain Resort attracts thousands of visitors all year round and it’s not hard to see why. The resort offers snowsports enthusiasts 20 different runs and 8 lifts which cater to both skiers and snowboarders at all skill levels. The resort is home to some of the longest and steepest runs in Scotland so daredevils – this place is for you! There is also a cosy café that serves hot food to warm you up after a day out on the slopes. In warmer months, when there isn’t much snowfall, the resort offers mountain biking trails, chairlift rides and tubing so you can have fun at the Glencoe Mountain Resort whether there is snow on the ground or not!

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Laraichean cottage offers a cosy, log cabin-like interior and unbeatable views that will leave you speechless on arrival. Glencoe Mountain Resort is only 30 minutes’ drive from this beautiful cottage so it makes the ideal place to unwind in the evenings after a day on piste. We also have a range of other cottage that are near the Glencoe Mountain Resort.

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The Lecht

The Lecht ski resort has been named one of the best ski resorts in Scotland. Located in the Cairngorms National Park, it is an excellent location for families to learn how to ski together as it is one of the smaller, quieter resorts. The runs are shorter than in other ski resorts and are therefore great for beginners.

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We have the perfect cottage for a small family, which is only 25 minutes’ drive from the resort. Ben Rinnes Lodge is a charming, detached wooden lodge in a rural location close to Glenlivet. The two bedroom lodge has a homely feel that will make you never want to leave. After a long day of skiing, come back to the cosy hideaway and try some stargazing as Glenlivet and the surrounding area are known for good places to see the stars. Lucky people also sometimes manage to spot the Northern Lights! View our other cottages that are in close proximity to The Lecht.

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Glenshee Ski Centre is a haven for both skiers and snowboarders. The ski centre’s unique selling point is its sheer size with a range of slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all capabilities. Glas Maol, one of the resorts’ many runs, is considered by skiing enthusiasts to be one of the best runs in Scotland.

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There are three cafés on-site that serve a range of food, drinks and snacks to fuel your day. An ideal base for your trip is Dalmunzie Cottage which is located only 7 miles from the Glenshee Ski Resort.

The cottage has a warm and comfortable feel with rustic interior decor and a wood-burning stove to curl up in front of on cold evenings. Outside there is a small garden with spectacular views of the mountains where you will be spending your days enjoying the delights that the snow offers. Browse through our other cottages that are near to the Glenshee Ski Centre.

If you are planning a snow sports holiday in Scotland, why not browse our other cottages that are near popular ski resorts. Visit our website or call our friendly booking team on 01835 822277 to book your stay.

Scots know how to party on Burns Night

Burns Night is a significant date in any Scots’ calendar. On the 25th January, Scotland (and many other parts of the UK) celebrate the life and work of the poet Robert Burns, who is viewed as Scotland’s national poet, just as Shakespeare is England’s immortal bard.

Burns wrote famous poems and songs such as Auld Lang Syne (sang merrily at New Year), To A Mouse, A Red, Red Rose and many more. Even if you don’t know Burns’ poems off by heart, Burns Night is the perfect excuse for a get together with friends or family, so grab yourself a copy of Burns’ poetry and have a great night!

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What is Burns Supper?

The first supper was held in 1801 at Burns’ Cottage in Alloway, South Ayrshire, on the fifth anniversary of his death by his friends. Burns supper traditionally includes haggis, whisky and a healthy dose of Burns’ influential poetry. At formal occasions, guests are greeted as they enter by a piper. At more informal events, Scottish music is played as guests arrive.

At formal Burns Night events, there will be a ‘standard order’; this is a series of events that involve poetry, serving food, and remembering the poet himself. The host will give a welcome speech to guests, and all the guests will say the Selkirk Grace to give thanks for the meal that they are about to eat. The Selkirk Grace uses words from the Scots language:

Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

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The supper starts with a soup course and traditional Scottish broths are served, such as cock-a-leekie, potato soup, Cullen skink, or Scotch broth. As the traditional main course of haggis is brought in, guests will stand as the bagpipes are played. The host, or a willing guest, then recites the Address to a Haggis and cuts it open ready to serve. After dinner, speeches and toasts to remember Burns’ life are given. When the event is coming to an end, all guests will stand and sing Auld Lang Syne to mark that the evening has come to an end.

Burns Night is typically celebrated in a more informal fashion in the present day. It is celebrated not just in Scotland, but all over the UK. Who doesn’t love an excuse to have a party? Restaurants have taken to hosting Burns Nights, where the traditional dish of haggis, neeps and tatties will be served, as well as a wide variety of exciting cocktails and, of course, some drams of whisky.

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Why not celebrate Burns Night in style in a Scottish castle? The historic Glamis Castle, the home of the late Queen Mother, holds a Burns Night to remember which is set in the incredible Victorian Dining Room, complete with a traditional Burns Night three-course dinner and drinks. If this event sounds like your cup of tea, the Garden Apartment at Reswallie House is the perfect base for your Scottish adventure, as it is only 8 miles from the castle.

 

No matter where you are in the world, everybody can enjoy Burns Night celebrations. If you’re planning on celebrating in style in the poets’ birth country, Unique Cottages is here to help you find the perfect location. Visit our website to find out more or get in touch with our friendly Booking Team on 01835 822277.

 

Something novel…

I’m of the opinion that reading is definitely ‘medicine for the soul’ and that a good book can transport you to another place, a world away from any worries or stress.  Whether it be a gritty crime mystery, a heartwarming romance, an epic historical thriller or a light hearted comedic satire, there are books suit every taste.

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders.Avid readers like myself will, no doubt, be delighted to hear that once a year, in the pretty Border town of Melrose, lovers of literature congregate for a celebration of the diversity and enduring appeal of the written word.

If, when you think of books and reading, the image of a dusty old library with a misery guts of a curator sharply ‘shhh-ing’ you for the slightest sound springs to mind, then prepare to be surprised!

The Borders Book Festival has a relaxing, jovial, carnival type atmosphere, which is both exciting and exhilarating!  In fact, you would be hard pushed to find such a wide collection of witty, intelligent, imaginative people all in one place at one time!  But it is one factor which unites them all and that’s a love of all things literary!

Borders Book Festival 2011, Melrose, Scottish Borders.With a range of events taking place from the 16th to the 19th of June, the Borders Book Festival offers something for everyone, no matter your age or interest.  The festival attracts famous names such as presenter Peter Snow, broadcaster and journalist Michael Parkinson, impressionist and playwright Rory Bremner, comedian Rory McGrath and actor Larry Lamb, to name just a few.

The event is eminently family friendly, and children (of all ages) can have fun while they learn about the Murderous Maths of Everything, create their own story in the Mazes and Monster Workshop or just sit back and enjoy the free Storytime sessions.

So, if you agree that sometimes there is nothing better than curling up with a novel, then why not check out theVisit Melrose, Self Catering Cottages Scotland. Borders Book Festival this year and join an exceptional celebration of the written word in some truly beautiful Scottish surroundings?

Self Catering Cottages in Melrose >

More about the Borders Book Festival >

Here’s a video about the venue where the festival is held (it refers to the 2009 festival, but will be held at the same place this year), I hope to see you there! >