Wildlife - in team colour - at Blair estate caravan park

SCOTTISH, ginger, and a huge hit with their fans.

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Blair Castle provides a spectacular setting for the caravan park which offers five-star accommodation
Blair Castle provides a spectacular setting for the caravan park which offers five-star accommodation

And I'm not talking about Hollywood heartthrob Ewan McGregor or former Dr Who siren Karen Gillan.

I'm thinking of our nation's best loved wildlife attractions, all of which sport exuberant thatches of the ginger stuff.

In the last few days I've seen red deer, red squirrels and a field full of Highland cows, so I'm feeling as Scottish as a haggis in a Jimmy wig.

A couple of days in a holiday home at Blair Castle Caravan Park checked all the boxes in a family game of wildlife eye-spy while recharging some city-drained batteries.

While we unloaded the car and took advantage of the tea, coffee and shortbread left out for our welcome, the kids went off exploring. The site is arranged around a huge open area with a football pitch, playground and putting green.

The reception block has a shop for basics and essentials, as well as a supply of delicious local strawberries and raspberries.

There is a games room too, where you can battle it out at pool, ping pong and table football.

Wifi access at the camp is free but limited to the reception building, although there are plans to extend it across the site.

And while the accommodation and facilities at the five-star rated park are first class, its location is out of this world.

It is in the grounds of Blair Castle, one of Scotland's finest country estates and home to a host of wildlife.

The squirrel spotting came first, and right on our doorstep as we took a gentle one-mile trail walk (starting and finishing within the site - round the River Tilt.

I was determined to be first to see the rust-hued rodent, the rarer, native variety of bushy-tailed tree-dweller familiar to city parkgoers in its grey form.

Alas, mum proved to have the sharper eyesight and she claimed the spotting stakes with two first glimpses to my none.

One person, however, with better vision than both of us was our guide at 6.30am the next day when we went on a Land Rover safari around the estate.

The man behind the wheel, and wielder of a mighty pair of binoculars, was Sandy, who had been head stalker at Blair for years and had spent over 50 years working on the estate.

He took us high up on to the hills and pointed out a host of wildlife; feathered, furry and feline.

Sandy also gave us a fascinating glimpse into the working life of a country estate and of the people who make the place tick.

After such an early start we were all ready for the massive cooked breakfast rustled up in our caravan holiday home's well-equipped kitchen.

As well as a dining table and lounge area, our accommodation included three bedrooms - a double and two twins - and benefited from all mod cons including piping hot shower and TV.

The caravan came complete with bed linen but remember to bring your own towels - we didn't but the helpful team at the site reception came to our rescue.

A tour round the castle, access to which was included in our stay, and a walk to see the herd of highland cows rounded off our visit before we hit the road for the 90-minute run back to Glasgow.


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