Reasons To Plan A Socially Distanced Trip To Scotland

From adventures in the Scottish Highlands to isolated island boltholes, a series of new openings and outdoor experiences make Scotland the ideal location for your future socially distanced retreat.

The recently launched 57 Nord

Having opened last summer and been closed for much of this year, 57 Nord is still being introduced to the world. This remote hideaway for two lies where mountains meet sea on the coast of Wester Ross, just minutes from Skye in the Scottish Highlands. This property combines its celebration of the surroundings—expressed through the emulation of a traditional Scottish crofter’s dwelling and panoramic views of Loch Duich, Eileen Donan Castle and the Kintail Mountains—with contemporary design fusing Scandinavian aesthetics with artisanal Scottish details. A stay here could see you tucking into freshly caught crayfish, delivered by the local fishermen and cooked over an open fire, enjoying a hamper of fresh artisanal produce such as smoked salmon, sampling whiskeys from the honesty bar and seeking out the area’s acclaimed distilleries and celebrated restaurants. From here, you can spend days exploring this wild stretch of coastline on foot or by boat.

The highly anticipated launch of Ardfin

A project reaching almost ten years in the making, Ardfin—an estate spread across an expanse of land on the Inner Hebrides’ Jura Island—is now beginning to welcome its first guests in. After a six-week trial last fall, the estate opened this summer for a shorter than usual post-lockdown season running from August to October. The estate will begin hosting guests anyone from April 2021. The sprawling estate consists of four elements: Ardfin Quads, which saw the conversion of the original Ardfin Farm Quadrangles into plush 13-room accommodation furnished by London interior designer, Louise Jones; the 18th-century heart of Ardfin Estate, Jura House, now integrating 10 bedrooms and leisure facilities including an indoor golf simulator and heated pool; an 18-hole gold course created in partnership with Australian golf course architect Bob Harrison and Sol Golf; and the sprawling landscape that makes up this 12,000-acre estate containing seven miles of coastline with several islets off its shores. This environment is a playground for outdoor pursuits ranging from loch fishing to boat charter.

Fresh new accommodation at Eileen Shona

The private Scottish island of Eileen Shona—the inspiration for J.M. Barrie’s Neverland and the setting for hotelier Vanessa Branson’s luxury retreat—has invited guests to stay in Eileen Shona House and a collection of secluded cottages for several years. Now, the Scottish island hideaway is relaunching the boutique hotel, Eileen Shona House, following a complete refurbishment ahead of the 2020 season, while also opening the brand new bolthole, Timber Cottage. The island’s former hunting lodge, Eileen Shona House accommodates up to 16 people in a homely space eclectically decorated by the former gallerist Branson, who was also the founder of Marrakech Biennale. Artworks here include a dining room mural painted in 1995 and now restored by the artist Fred Pollock and new contemporary pieces including prints by Grayson Perry, drawings by William Kentridge and a painting by Dame Paula Rego. Now joining the accommodation offering, Timber cottage fuses its original features with contemporary design and furnishings sourced from Marrakech. A stay here is likely to include cooking fresh mussels over a camp fire and picnicking, wild swimming, kayaking and hiking around the island visited in summer by dolphins and minke whales.

Introducing The Treehouses at Lanrick

New this month, The Treehouses at Lanrick are now inviting guests to stay in an area of woodland set on the banks of the River Teith in Perthshire. Each of the five sustainable treehouses is the epitome of natural luxury with living areas integrating a log-burning stove, outdoor shower or bath and 250-square-foot treetop terrace with barbecue. Choose between the Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Pipit, Flycatcher and Willow Warbler accommodations, which are all individually styled and fitted with luxury amenities. Make the most of your time here by setting out on riverside and woodland walks, fly fishing for salmon and trout and stopping for picnics or a barbecue at the river hut. The neighboring Trossachs National Park provides a scenic backdrop for cycling, kayaking, hiking and taking boat trips on the lochs.

The new luxury expedition specialist, Wildnis

The new luxury expedition specialist Wildnis is set to make its debut in October, with the promise of guided wilderness adventures in the Scottish Highlands. Founded by ex-British Army Majors, the new operator will combine adventurous outdoors activities such as packrafting and scrambling with a mobile tented basecamp experience featuring open-fire feasts. Expect dishes like venison shoulder with nettles sauce prepared by the Michelin-standard private chef, Tom Byrom, who previously worked at Northcote Manor. Each small group traverses the Scottish Highlands in restored Land Rover Defenders — ideal for socially distanced travel, these carbon-offset expeditions give you adventure-filled days, with optional masterclasses in foraging and open-fire cooking, taking in the sheltered lochs, dramatic ridges and hidden beaches of Scotland’s spectacular great outdoors.

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