22 Mar 2019

Alexander House – exploring the local area

We are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by beautiful landscapes where you can enjoy getting back to nature. But we’re also just a stone’s throw from a plethora of things to do and see. So how might you fill your time during your visit to Alexander House?

Enjoy some retail therapy in Auchterarder

Auchterarder is a charming little town nestled in the quite spectacular Perthshire countryside, with the Ochil Hills visible to the south. Just an hour’s journey from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee, the town is accessible from all directions. You may also be aware that Auchterarder is home to Gleneagles, the world-famous hotel and golf course, which is obviously a big attraction.

Auchterarder’s bustling and thriving high street is one of the longest in Scotland, at just over a mile long – for that reason, Auchterarder is fondly known as ‘The Lang Toun’ (long town). It’s also incredibly friendly and there is a wonderful sense of community, where people greet visitors with welcoming smiles. Visit a few times and you’ll soon be on first name terms.

Unlike many high streets, Auchterarder is full of independent shops, run by owners with genuine passion, and variety is what makes the town so interesting. From fashion to tweed jackets and bespoke tailoring, sweet shops to traditional gifts, you’ll find all sorts to buy.

If you fancy eating out you’ll be spoilt for choice. Chocoholics will love the Chocolate Galley, where you can buy handmade chocolates and even book yourself into a chocolate-making workshop. If you’re looking for coffee and cake or a fine dining experience, Max & Ben’s Bistro, Jon & Fernanda’s, Café Kisa, Delivino and The Strathearn are just a few places worth mentioning.

Worried you’ll pile on the pounds during your stay? From Alexander House, Auchterarder is a three-mile walk and a very beautiful one at that – you won’t be disappointed, so make sure you bring your walking boots.

Enjoy an outdoor adventure

Not surprisingly, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor activities, so here are just a few examples:

The award-winning Phoenix Falconry boasts a collection of over 60 falcons, hawks, eagles and owls. Under expert guidance you can enjoy the experience of flying and handling these amazing birds.

Pheonix Falconry | Things to Do from Alexander House Auchterarder

The Willowgate Activity Centre, based on the River Tay and just outside Perth, offers a wide range of land- and water-based activities, from archery to kayaking – there is no chance of being bored here! 🙂

Willowgate Activity Centre | Things to Do from Alexander House Auchterarder

If you fancy racking up some miles on two wheels, Scotland is a great choice. Make sure you don’t just stare at the tarmac, the views will take your breath away if the hills haven’t already. Do pop in to Synergy Cycles in Auchterarder for all things cycling related.

Gleneagles might be the ultimate golf course, but if you’re not up to Ryder Cup standard you’ll find other courses nearby that are suitable for all abilities.

If magnificent gardens are more your thing, then a visit to Drummond Castle Gardens will be a must. These formal gardens, with incredible topiary, are amongst the very finest in Europe.

Drummond Gardens | Things to Do from Alexander House Auchterarder

And after all that…

Relax at Alexander House, enjoy the heated swimming pool, hot tub and games room. Treat yourself to some pampering and book a personal beauty treatment. Life doesn’t get much better than this!

Now all you need to do is decide when you’re coming! We’ll look forward to meeting you soon.

10 Nov 2018
Autumn at Alexander House | Holiday House near Gleneagles Perthshire

Reasons to visit AH – to enjoy our spectacular autumn colours in Perthshire

It’s that time of year again. We’ve waved goodbye to our summer visitors and the crisp sound of autumn leaves and the crackling of log fires now welcomes our winter visitors. Being located where we are means we really notice nature and all the changes happening. The chiffchaffs fill the air with song as they migrate, whilst swallows and house martins are only seen on the odd occasion as most have already left for warmer climes. Meanwhile, if you’re really lucky, you may spot one or two of our native bird species such as the Scottish crossbill, capercaillie and crested tit.

Meanwhile, lots of animals will be preparing to hibernate. But if the winter is mild, you may well still see hedgehogs well into November and December. The most obvious signs of autumn are trees and the wonderful palette of crimson, copper, orange, brown and gold that they display. The cooler weather and shorter days trigger trees to stop producing chlorophyll and other pigments, including carotenoid, bring about the beautiful change in colour. Perthshire at this time of year is a spectacular place to visit – dare we say it, it even rivals the Canadian Fall colours!

Here are a few of our favourite places to see autumn in its full glory..

Loch Faskally, which lies less than two miles from Pitlochry in Perth and Kinross, is a man-made reservoir. Built between 1947 and 1950, the dam incorporates a salmon fish ladder that allows over 5,000 salmon to ascend every year. The loch is a very popular tourist attraction and there are plenty of walks to enjoy. Visit during autumn to witness the most spectacular colours of the season.

Faskally SCOTLAND | Things to Do at Alexander House Perthshire
Photo credit: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/perthshire

• No trip to Scotland is complete without visiting the Queen’s View in Perthshire. From this point you can enjoy panoramic and iconic views of Scotland’s best. Queen Victoria visited in 1866 and it immediately became a popular destination, but it’s thought that this vantage point is actually named after Queen Isabella, the wife of Robert the Bruce.

Queens View SCOTLAND | Things to Do at Alexander House Perthshire
Photo credit: https://www.visitscotland.com/wsimgs/queensview

• An easy day trip if you’re staying at Alexander House, Crieff is a traditional Scottish market town set within Perthshire’s stunning scenery. This attractive and bustling town supports a wide variety of local family-run businesses and is a great place to explore. There are lots of coffee shops and places to eat as well!

Still feeling energetic?

The above are just a few of our favourites, but there are so many more – The Hermitage, Dunkeld, Royal Deeside, Drummond Hill, Kenmore, The Trossachs, Glen Affric. And if you’re looking for something unusual to do, have a read of this great article for inspiration.

Need to entertain the kids?

Ditch the mobile devices and get them outside! They might moan for a few moments, but kids are kids and they all love adventures outdoors. Wrap them up, put on some boots and see what happens! The National Trust’s 50 things to do before you’re 12 and Lasso the Moon are both great sources of inspiration for autumn activities – from rolling down a hill to building a den, the best things in life are free and the simplest of pleasures can create the most wonderful memories. Don’t forget to have a camera to hand (even better if you let them use it) and enjoy looking at the photographs over a mug of hot chocolate. 🙂

Things to Do at Alexander House Perthshire

Be prepared

Autumn is a wonderful time to be out and about but make sure you’re prepared for all types of weather – getting cold and/or wet will turn any outing into a miserable experience.

  • Do your research so that you know where you’re going, how long it will take to get there, where toilets are located and where you can get something to eat.
  • Make sure you have outdoor clothing suitable for all the elements – the weather can turn very quickly.
  • Investing in a decent pair of walking boots is one of the best things you can do for your feet. At the very least, pack plasters in case of blisters.
  • Sunglasses can come in very handy.
  • And don’t forget the camera!

All that’s left to do is have an amazing time exploring Perthsire and marvel at what nature offers for free!

 

Autumn at Alexander House | Holiday House near Gleneagles Perthshire

16 Mar 2018
Yurt Heather Views

A Beginners Guide to Glamping in Scotland

So what exactly is Glamping?

Well it is often referred to as “Posh Camping” and it certainly doesn’t involve pitching a tent in the pouring rain or dark! The main difference is glamping typically provides a permanent or semi-permanent structure like a yurt, cabin, treehouse, pod, or shepherds hut. The beauty of this is that you don’t need to worry about setting up ‘camp’ and having a few arguments (!) when you arrive.

Yurt Heather | Glamping Yurts Scotland Perthshire

Why not try Glamping in Scotland?

Given the sometimes unpredictable climate in Scotland having a solid structure with heating is a real bonus. Somewhere to escape from the rain and cold and even the midges, as they certainly don’t like fire and smoke!

Staying in a glamping structure gives you a cosy and comfortable base from which to explore the beauty of the local countryside.

When you go glamping you have all the benefits of camping – that is, being close to the great outdoors and wildlife – hearing the owls hooting at night, campfire cooking, star gazing, the wind rustling in the trees, rain drops on canvas in a yurt or bell tent, but you’ll be super cosy inside!

How is Glamping different?

Glamping facilities are typically a good notch above camping, some practical essentials and a few little luxuries, like ensuite bathroom facilities and perhaps a roll top bath, a wood burner, and sometimes even wood-fired hot tubs, heated towel rails, and electric blankets. Now that certainly isn’t roughing it! 🙂

Yurt Heather | Glamping Yurts Scotland Perthshire

You’ll still have to be able to light a fire (don’t worry it’s not tricky and we make it super easy for you) and boil your kettle on the gas stove, campfire or wood burner. The chef can demonstrate their wilderness cooking prowess on the fire pit and provide a meal rustled up in the great outdoors!

Wood-Fired Hot Tub | Luxury Yurt Glamping in Scotland

Glamping places can sometimes be a little quirky too – converted tanks and horseboxes come to mind – but we think glamping should not just be a little different but also comfortable and even luxurious – that’s our AH style!

New to Glamping? Here’s our ‘What to Bring’ Checklist…

Clothing & Footwear

Bring your waterproofs – the best ones to have are the ones that fold up into wee bags, as it could be rain, shine, and hail all in the one walk. We recommend Muck Boots for your wellies, as they have an extra inner that’s more comfy for walking, but gives you full leg coverage for those bogs that definitely come and find you mid walk…., or a good pair of walking boots (fully waterproofed) and a pair of gaiters does just as well if you are going to be romping across the Scottish hills again sometime soon, but they are quite a bit more expensive.

Plenty of Clothes

If you are a newbie to glamping, remember to bring plenty of layers of clothes, as the temperature extremes are greater when you are glamping than in a house. And PJ’s & slipper socks – they are so comfy and warm, and just perfect for curling up in in front of the wood burner.

We also highly recommend a warm hat for when you are sitting in the hot tub, as the rest of you is toasty, but your head gets quite cold in the breeze! A pair of flip flops can also be handy when padding across a wooden deck or path to a hot tub.

Glamping Yurt with Hot Tub | Gleneagles Perthshire Scotland

Absolute Essentials

Definitely remember to bring a torch (not just your phone app one!), as you are going to be outside at some point for sure, and probably in the dark!

If you are a light sleeper – bring ear plugs. Glamping structures are all wind and waterproof, but they are definitely not sound proof – so do remember that you will be able to hear the wind, rain and animals around and about at night. We love the sound of the owls hooting and the wind rustling the trees but perhaps not if you are a light sleeper!

And not forgetting, your sense of adventure!

Food & Drink

Remember those marshmallows or chestnuts to roast on the fire… there’s just something so lovely about the smell of roasting chestnuts on a real fire.

If you want some camp fire cooking inspiration before your next glamping trip – take a look at our easy and fun camp fire recipes.

Toasting Marshmallows on a Campfire | Glamping in Scotland | Near Glenagles

What NOT to bring!

Embrace not having your hair straighteners and makeup, let your hair go frizzy! Enjoy what nature has given you, and just being you, the deer and squirrels really won’t notice if you’ve painted your face and fingernails and if you’ve got long hair, perfect that french plait before you come away, its a perfect morning standby hairdo. 🙂

Leave the iPad and Bluetooth speaker at home and just disconnect from your busy life and reconnect with a loved one and time spent in the beautiful great outdoors.

ENJOY…

Beginners Glamping Guide | Glamping Yurts Gleneagles Perthshire

 

31 May 2017

Perthshire Hen Do Ideas – Gin Tasting

This activity idea is incredibly popular with our AH guests and the great team at Strathearn Distillery create a fun and interactive Gin Tasting Experience. Perfect for Hen Do weekends and also those big birthday celebrations too!

Gin Tasting Experience | Perthshire Hen Do Ideas

Strathearn Distillery, near the village of Methven in Perthshire, is probably Scotland’s smallest distillery. The great team there produce a range of spirits including hand-crafted, artisan single cask, single malt whisky by using traditional methods and ideas. They also distil a range of premium gins which are now widely marketed across Scotland and beyond.

Learn how gin is made…

The Gin Tasting Experience starts with some background on gin and how it is made with various botanicals to give each one it’s unique flavour and aromas.

Gin Tasting Experience | Perthshire Hen Do Ideas

Gin Tasting Experience | Perthshire Hen Do Ideas

Then you get to sample the gins themselves!

You will try various gins with different tonics and garnishes like juniper berries, cucumber, mint, lemon, lime or orange slices  – to create a surprisingly different end drinks.

Which one will be your favourite?

This is the really fun bit! Then rate your gins to find your personal favourite. 🙂 Only one can be hard to choose!!

Gin Tasting Experience | Perthshire Hen Do IdeasGin Tasting Experience | Perthshire Hen Do Ideas

Gin Tasting Session = £65 per person

3 hours of gin knowledge, gin tasting, with what remains of the Strathearn Distillery gins are left with you to enjoy later in the day! (min 8, max 21 guests)

Cheers!

Gin Tasting Experience | Perthshire Hen Do Ideas

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

07 Apr 2017
Perthshire Hen Do Offer - Spalsh Rafting Perthshire

Perthshire Hen Do Ideas – With a Splash!

A guest blog post from Robb at Team Splash

What a fantastic place to have your hen do / hen party weekend. We love recommending Alexander House to our Hen Do clients. Why? Because we know them, we know the staff and we know the passion they have for their customers, they are local and not to mention that Alexander House really does have everything a hen party could possibly want or need!

FYI, I am a rough rugged outdoors loving male so I just had to check with my wife before continuing, and she confirmed with an excited nod and a smile that luxurious fluffy dressing gowns, butler poured Prosecco, relaxing, rejuvenating facials, a lavish bubbling hot tub and a personal swimming pool, is indeed the sort of thing she would want on a hen do. She gave me the thumbs up, she smiled and hinted that she needs some Alexander House level pampering in her life. Hint taken.:-)

Now these are just some of the fantastic options provided by Alexander House, however they have also teamed up with excellent local providers like ourselves and others to offer you many more options, allowing you to really tailor your hen do to your hen’s desires and needs.

All you need to bring is that party vibe (I’m sure you will!) and you are guaranteed to have the best hen party ever, as the hen or as one of the group.

Perthshire Hen Do Ideas - Spalsh White Water Rafting

We at Splash White Water Rafting offer the Yin to Alexander Houses Yang, we are the outdoors adrenaline to balance the relaxation and pampering. We offer a range of adrenaline fueled activities from white water rafting, white water bugs (small one person rafts – great fun), paintball, abseiling, climbing, canyoning and more. Have a look at the videos below to get a feel for what we do.

Perthshire Hen Do Ideas - Spalsh White Water Rafting

What could be better than waking up to a full cooked breakfast after a night of hot tub and Prosecco and to know that you and the girls have an excellent day of white water rafting ahead! Nothing could be better, let me assure you! 🙂

Perthshire Hen Do Ideas - Spalsh White Water Rafting

***SPECIAL OFFER FOR ALEXANDER HOUSE – HEN DOS***

We have teamed up with Alexander House and we will offer any hen group who books up for some of our excellent activities, that  the hen will go free!

Be it a half day or a full day of activities with rafting and canyoning or rafting and paintball or climbing and bugs – the hen will go free. Just quote “Alexander House “ when you’re making the booking.

Perthshire Hen Do Offer - Spalsh Rafting PerthshireFree activities for the Hen – awesomeness!

 

 

Thanks for reading and whatever you chose have the most excellent of hen dos.

Happy Hen Dos!
From Team Splash

To book your adventures with Splash White Water rafting, call our office on 01887 829706 9am – 9pm, 7 days a week or email: [email protected]

Our activities

Rafting the River Tummel

Rafting the River Tay

River Bugs

Canyoning

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

13 Mar 2017
Wedding Drinks | Gin Cocktails | Strathearn Heather Rose Gin & Prosecco

Heather Rose Gin – the perfect wedding or celebration drink

Created by Strathearn Distillery, at present Scotland’s smallest whisky distillery – their Heather Rose Gin is a great find. And a rare one – each batch producing only 280 bottles. It’s a personal favourite here at AH!

Strathearn Distillerty Heather Rose Gin | Wedding Drinks Ideas

The combination of rose and heather give it slight fruity notes of honey combined with delicate notes of lavender. The subtle colour reflects the swathes of heather on the Perthshire hillsides.

The gin is produced in a two stage process, the first being vapour infusion using a 500 litre pot still with a botanical basket.  Once distilled, this base gin is compounded with additional delicate botanicals to add more flavour and colour.

Stuart from Strathearn Distillery describes Heather Rose as a celebration gin, “ideal as an aperitif, for a special occasion or as an everyday treat.” We think it would make fantastic welcome drinks at your wedding or birthday celebration here at AH!

Strathearn Distillerty Heather Rose Gin | Wedding Drinks Ideas

Discover the botanicals…

Juniper, coriander seeds, orange peel, lemon peel, liquorice root, rose petals and purple heather flowers.

Simply add tonic for a little bit of magic!

The gin has a lustrious mahogany colour which hides a magical secret which can be seen with the addition of tonic. With its combination of rose and heather it takes on a Prosecco character. The colour of the gin changes to a delicate pink when topped up with tonic.

In a chilled champagne flute add one shot of Heather Rose, top up with chilled Fever-Tree (we like the Mediterranean one!) Tonic for the pinkest blush. No garnish or ice required. But lovely with a few raspberries perhaps?

Fancy Gin cocktails instead?

Strathearn Distillery have come up with a fun cocktail using the Heather Rose Gin called Bramble Rose. We like the sound of this – haven’t tried it just yet! Why not give it a go?

Strathearn Distillerty Heather Rose Gin | Wedding Drinks Ideas

Ingredients:
50ml Heather Rose Gin
25ml Lemon Juice
10ml Cane Sugar Syrup
10ml Rose Water
10ml Crème de Mure

Recipe:
Shake first 4 ingredients over ice, then strain into a rocks glass filled fill crushed ice. To finish pour the crème de mure slowly over the top of the drink to bleed through the ice. Garnish with lemon and a fresh bramble.

Enjoy! 🙂