A holiday spent on the grounds of one of Scotland’s most impressive castle estates may seem like a luxury reserved for royalty, writes Nicola Brown.

But thanks to Blair Castle Caravan Park’s accessible accommodation set within the castle’s grounds, you don’t need to be in line to the throne to enjoy a stay.

Lying seven miles north of Pitlochry, the small Highland Perthshire town of Blair Atholl can be reached in under two hours from both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Nestled at the entrance to the Cairngorm National Park, the holiday spot serves as an ideal base for families looking to explore the local area, with its range of holiday homes, camping pods, woodland lodges and pitches for tents, tourers and motorhomes.

Making the trip up north after work on a Friday, my partner Allan and I headed along for a stay in one of their two-bedroom caravan holiday homes.

Admittedly I am not overly familiar with caravans. With childhood holidays spent in hotels abroad or cottages on Scottish Islands, a caravan was not far off from a tent in my eyes.

Yet on entering our weekend retreat I was struck by the space, cleanliness and homely feel.

The large open-plan kitchen and living room provides all the modern conveniences you could desire to cook, dine and relax in comfort. A large television with Freeview is also on hand should guests need respite from scenic walks or the sound of birds chirping.

After mere minutes inside, I had already envisaged a permanent life here; friends coming over for games nights, drinks enjoyed outside on the decking and walking off a big meal in this picturesque setting.

This is the beauty of the Blair Castle Caravan Park. Having created homes from home in an idyllic location, it’s all too easy to mentally write off your old life and imagine starting one afresh.

A welcome pack signalled a pleasant start to our stay with milk in the fridge, tea bags, coffee and shortbread.

Yet whilst the park offers the ideal spot to rest and refuel, it is the surrounding scenery and attractions that make this a place worth visiting.

With rain being a permanent feature of our weekend so far, a tour of Blair Castle was an ideal activity. I couldn’t help but gawk at this imposing white turreted castle, which has stood proud for over 700 years.

If you’re not suitably intimidated by the grand entrance, adorned with hundreds of pistols and weapons, the rest of the 30-bedroom castle is quite the sight to behold. Home to the Atholl family, which has included politicians, soldiers, agriculturalists and entrepreneurs, the castle brings the family’s history to life.

The estate’s Hercules Garden is another high point, only a short walk from the castle entrance and this year celebrating 21 years since it was first restored. Remaining a well-kept space with a duck pond, swans and a bridge worthy of Instagram, it proves a pleasant walk even in the rain.

Determined to make the most of our weekend away in spite of the foreboding weather, we then took off on our mountain bikes on loan from the caravan park.

With cycle expert Trevor providing local knowledge and maps with routes to explore, we decided the scenic Bruar Falls trail could possibly boast the most rewarding views - and we were right.

After arriving back at the caravan only semi-soaked, for a blissful two hours the ominous grey clouds parted and we enjoyed glasses of wine, sticking our noses into books outside.

For a caravan park of this size I was struck by its peaceful nature. We were only disturbed once when a mother duck, followed by her seven ducklings, waddled past the caravan in a bid to reach the river, leaving us with nothing to do but silently mouth what an unbelievably cute scene this all made.

And it was unbelievable. Just two hours from Glasgow, a serene yet exciting spot lies in wait. Perhaps my grand visions of moving here permanently were unrealistic (on second thoughts I don’t fancy a two hour commute) but it’s a destination that certainly demands repeat visits.


Nicola stayed at Blair Castle Caravan Park in Blair Atholl in a two bedroom caravan holiday home.

The price for a short stay – Friday to Monday – costs £340, with prices varying depending on the time of year and length of stay.

Each of the holiday homes features a full range of modern conveniences; a fully equipped kitchen, crockery, cutlery, TV and DVD player, bed linen and outdoor decking complete with patio furniture. Dog-friendly caravan holiday homes are also available so the whole family can come along.

For more details visit www.blair-castle.co.uk/caravan-estate/caravan-park/