Last week we were kindly invited to stay in Scotland with Cameron Lodges at their gorgeous 5-star estate on Loch Lomond. It was the children and I’s first time in Scotland, so we were rather excited about crossing the border!
We had been counting down the days until our weekend away. Being in the early stages of pregnancy, I was ready for some fresh Scottish air and we couldn’t wait to take the children on a new adventure. Scotland did not disappoint!
As dogs aren’t allowed in the lodges, we dropped Bertie off with my in-laws on Saturday for his long weekend in rural Yorkshire, and headed up the M6 to our destination for the weekend.
It took about 5-6 hours to get to the Cameron House estate from West Yorkshire. We stopped off at the National Trust’s Acorn Bank property for lunch and had a picnic amongst the daffodils, before popping into Booths in Penrith for supplies, as the lodges are self-catered.
I was surprised how quiet the journey was – although it did get a little bit busy around Glasgow, which is about 35 miles away from Cameron House.
We were staying on The Carrick estate, as opposed to where the Cameron House Hotel and other Cameron Lodges are, so there was a little confusion about where we had to check-in. But a couple of kind members of staff pointed us in the right direction and we quickly got our keys and drove back to our lodge.
And what a lodge!
We stayed in Lodge 123; a Cameron Club two bedroom self-catered detached lodge which sleeps six (there is a pull-out bed in the lounge). The lodge is ‘upside down’ so the bedrooms are downstairs and the living area is upstairs. The children found this very amusing! Both bedrooms have an ensuite and there’s another bathroom (complete with sauna!) upstairs too.
The lodge also had a balcony, which looked over a little patch of woods next to the golf course and you could see Loch Lomond glimmering in the distance.
We usually stay in self-catered properties when we go away as we find it easier to accommodate the children’s meal times and also H-Bear’s allergies – plus it means you don’t have to be dressed and ready for breakfast at 8am! Because we’re used to self-catering, we rocked up to Cameron Lodges with spare toilet roll and a few other essentials, like dishwasher tablets, and we were impressed to find that we didn’t need them. There was a great little welcome pack with dishwasher tablets, tea towels and even tea to get us started. However, we completely forgot to bring tin foil, so the lodge could have done with something like this in one of the drawers.
We spent the rest of Saturday unpacking and getting settled.
My camera stopped working on Saturday (excellent timing!), so Nick drove into Glasgow on Sunday morning to see whether he could get it fixed.
The children and I decided to go for a walk into The Enchanted Wood, which is round the back of the spa and is new to Cameron House. We spent a good hour wandering around the wood, knocking on fairy doors and talking about Alice in Wonderland, who featured heavily in the wood. (This photo was taken on my phone, as I was camera-less. There are more photos of The Enchanted Wood in part two tomorrow.)
After our walk, we headed back to the lodge for lunch on the balcony. H-Bear was so tired that he requested a nap at 11.30am (which is unheard of!), so Busby and I had some downtime while we waited for Nick to come back from Glasgow with a new camera, because my other one wasn’t repairable without being sent off. Sigh. I’ve had to shoot these posts using my 50mm lens as my 24mm doesn’t work with the new camera… it’s been a bit of a technological disaster!
Anyway… back to Scotland!
We decided to go swimming in the afternoon, so we walked over to The Spa, which is next door to the Claret Jug restaurant. The pool was lovely – surrounded by chairs for lounging and it even had a jacuzzi.
As well as use of the general spa facilities above, guests of Cameron Lodges also get complimentary entry to the ‘Thermal Experience’ which includes the rooftop infinity pool. Sadly we had no one to watch the children (and I’m not sure I would have been allowed anyway being pregnant), but Nick and I would love to return another time (child-free!) for the pampering experience! It looked wonderful!
The children adore swimming and we spent ages in the pool playing games and having races.
We had booked into The Boat House restaurant for dinner that evening, so the Concierge came and picked us up 15 minutes before our reservation and took us down to the Cameron House estate, which is where The Boat House is.
The Boat House looks out over the little marina and Loch Lomond. The restaurant has such a gorgeous decor – lots of ticking stripe fabric and boat paraphernalia. It’s how I dream of decorating our future seaside abode.
Busby and H-Bear received little packs with crayons and games to keep them entertained when we arrived, and we were taken to a table that looked out over the boats.
Dinner was incredible.
Nick and I shared a prosciutto focaccia to start, and then I had the monk fish which was exquisite and he had the ribs. The portion sizes were huge, so we also shared pudding, which was a chocolate and banana bread and butter pudding.
The children’s menu was very generous with portion sizes too. Busby had the fish and chips, which was massive again – followed by the hot chocolate fudge sundae!
The chef made H-Bear is very own dairy-free garlic bread, which was a huge hit and we were so grateful for this. There was nothing on the main menu that H could eat (except chips), so we’d brought our own sausages with us. And then he had dairy-free sorbet to finish.
The staff were all so friendly and accommodating – they were absolutely fantastic with the kids!
After dinner, we had a little walk outside to run off the last of the children’s energy before the Concierge came and picked us up and took us back to our lodge.
And that is where I shall leave part one of our Scottish adventure! Pop on over to the blog tomorrow for part two.