23 Jan 2019

The Ochil Hills are right on our doorstep – perfect for an outdoor adventure, even in the snow

We are so lucky to be surrounded by the most wonderful countryside and we’d encourage anyone to head for the Ochil Hills at least once during a visit to the area. Stretching an impressive 25 miles from Stirling to the Forth of Fay, the Ochils feature numerous peaks, the highest of which – Ben Cleuch – measures an impressive 721 metres. The hills are great for an invigorating walk at any time of year and possibly even more fun when it snows – and inevitably there will be snow!

Winter Activities - Snow Shoeing Ochils Perthshire

It’s a great opportunity to discover a winter sport – snowshoeing

Why stay in and suffer from cabin fever when you can get out in the elements for an invigorating walk. Wellies really aren’t going to work, but strap on a pair of snowshoes and you’re set for an invigorating walk. Not only will you be exercising, you’ll be rewarded by the most spectacular views.

Snowshoeing is a great way to keep in shape when the white stuff puts in an appearance, especially if you’ve been forced to temporarily hang up your hiking boots or running shoes. It’s evolved from a necessary method of getting from A to B in snowy conditions over many centuries past to a recreational activity that is growing in popularity – via, of course, the comic-book image of shuffling along on tennis racquets!

The great thing about snowshoeing is that it is such an accessible sport, a really good form of low-impact aerobic exercise, low risk in terms of injury, and suitable for all ages. It’s easy to learn, with just a few basic techniques to master, and far more affordable than other winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding. Newbies to the sport should try relatively short hikes, 15 minutes one way before returning, just to get used to the amount of energy it takes. Get used to walking up and down hills in your snowshoes and how to use your walking poles, and the Ochil Hills will feel like a winter paradise to explore.

Winter Activities - Snow Shoeing Ochils Perthshire

Fancy giving snowshoeing a go?

It’s really easy to get started. You’ll need:

• a pair of snowshoes (there are various types on the market, so do your research)
• warm, waterproof and well-fitting boots
• walking poles
• layers of clothing that can be removed or added as need be and suitable for cold and wet conditions
• waterproof socks
• hat and gloves

If you’re planning a longer hike or are going off the beaten track, you should also think safety and carry basic essentials in a backpack – headlamp, sun cream, first aid kit, knife, matches, shelter, food, water, extra clothes, compass, GPS device.

And at the end of the day…

Head back to Alexander House, relax and warm up in the heated swimming pool or hot tub. Treat yourself to some well-deserved ‘R and R’, indulge in a little pampering and book yourself a beauty treatment – life doesn’t get better than this. Now all you have to do is decide when you’re going to visit! We’ll look forward to meeting you soon.

Credits to:

www.mapstop.co.uk
hikingmastery.com

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