Editor Lisa Baker Reviews her glamping stay at Loch Tay Highland Lodges
We love nothing more than getting out in the outdoors with our big tent filled with luxuries – but I’m now hitting my fifties and struggling with arthritis makes the set up more difficult. We don’t quite feel ready to give up our outdoor lifestyle, so could glamping in a ready-to-go set up be the answer? We headed off to a luxury glamping cabin at Loch Tay Highland Lodges for four nights to find out.
Often we camp close to home, we’d never really dream of leaving Wales or at least, we only travel just over the border. Driving 500 miles and pitching a tent just wouldn’t happen for us, so our first glamping experience also meant our first visit to Scotland – and to say we fell in love would be an understatement!
Long before we arrived, every mile further into Scotland invited us into more freedom, more beauty, more stunning scenery and everything good – from the well thought out service stations to the beautiful views – and friendly locals we encountered en route.
However, nothing, not even the gorgeous mountain drive to Loch Tay, could prepare us for the truly magical mountain and loch setting that awaited our arrival. The sunshine came out too, almost on target!
A warm welcome
We actually arrived early, so we let reception know we were there and headed down to the on-site restaurant, the Boathouse, to sample a little Scottish cuisine while we waited – and wow!
We were seated in a lovely bay with a romantic table for 2, overlooking the loch – and enjoyed two courses for £15.95 – bargain, and all home cooked, with super-friendly service, served from 12.00-4.00 (after 4pm they serve the evening menu which is still reasonably priced).
We thought we’d have to wait a while to go to our cabin (some places are very rigid on check in times) but Reception actually called minutes after we had sat down to let us know our accommodation was ready, which was amazing service.
Of course, they didn’t mind us finishing our meal first. My burger was amazing and my husband tasted his first plate of Cullen Skink (a haddock based soup), followed by haggis, neeps and tatties – and loved both so much he had them for the rest of the week! I, on the other hand, developed a bit of an addiction for their cheesecake of the week – Hazelnut Chocolate – delicious! Sadly, my husband wouldn’t let me have seconds that day so we ate quite quickly and headed up to check in.
When it comes to glamping, across the UK, the quality and types of accommodation can vary widely between sites.
At Loch Tay, there is a massive range of choices all in one place, from camping domes and pods to big Scandinavian style cabins and houses, with and without a hot tub, and a wide range of price points with something to suit everyone, as well as dog friendly and pet-free options.
The park also offers special deals for late availability, as well as low deposits and pet friendly accommodation.
We loved staying in our 2-person cabin with hot tub (pictured above), we found it extremely comfortable – it was certainly far more luxurious than our top-of-the-range tent (even with our full height bed and corner sofa!) and the cabin had everything you could possibly need, far more a quirky, luxurious bungalow than camping accommodation.
The cabins were all grouped in the same part of the site but spacing was excellent, meaning that the setting of each felt very private, meaning you could sit in or out and relax, with seating at the front, a real log fire indoors and a private hot tub area with glorious mountain views from the back. Each unit also had plenty of parking.
No expense has been spared on these units, despite the rustic cabin appearance. Inside, everything looked new and in immaculate condition – and the big cabins and houses with a lake view for larger groups looked like something you’d see in a luxury ski resort.
Put it this way, if you we thinking about giving glamping a try, you won’t find better accommodation than here.
Things to do in the region
Loch Tay is the largest lake in Perthshire and the campground is literally on the shores of the loch, backed by the majestic Trossachs, so there is a lake or mountain view from every pitch.
However, for those who like activity holidays, there is plenty on offer here without even leaving the site, from archery and mini golf to boat trips, canoeing and paddleboarding.
For those who prefer to explore, this part of Perthshire offers plenty of things to see, more lochs, pretty little towns, cosy pubs and mountain drives galore – and you can stay within 15 minutes drive of the site, or go further afield – either way, you don’t have to be an outdoors addict to fall in love with this region.
In fact, we did have plans to indulge in lakeside pursuits and activities but after the long trip (and the need to keep working, thanks to the on-site wifi), we spent our days visiting local small towns at Kenmore, Aberfeldy, Killen and Aberfoyle, all of which offered places with free wifi to stay connected, and came back to spend our cosy nights in the hot tub.
Kenmore was probably our favourite place, but the drive back from Aberfoyle via Callendar was also spectacular. Honestly? 4 days wasn’t anywhere near enough and we would have loved to stay longer – we feel we saw about a tenth of what the region offers, but it’s given us an excuse to come back. I think we both left a piece of our hearts in Scotland – and my husband is already trying to buy haggis online!
We said our ‘thank yous’ and ‘goodbyes’ for what was one of our best couples’ holidays to date and headed on the long drive back to Wales. And as we drove past the nature reserve at the top of our street, we did agree that we do live in a beautiful part of Wales, and coming home was nice, not least seeing our little cat.
However, despite our short stay, we are both missing bonny Scotland already. Goodbye Loch Tay, and thank you for a wonderful stay. We’ll definitely be back.