Perthshire, Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom
At a Glance
Surrounded by rolling hills on an 850 acre Perthshire estate, 'The Glorious Playground' has a well-earned reputation as Scotland's most iconic hotel.
A wide variety of experiences and restaurants means Gleneagles is a wonderful option for both families and couples alike. Little ones will love the Little Glen kids club while the adults can relax with an indulgent treatment or two at the spa.
The dining is truly world class and matched by stellar service, try a juicy burger at The Dormy or, our favourite, Orkney scallops at the fine dining Stratherm!
Guests will enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities from falconry to off-road safaris, lead by guides who are fanatical about the region and allow you to truly feel like a Lord of the Manor.
Having hosted both the Ryder and Solheim Cups, Gleneagles is a fantastic option for golfers with three championship courses - as well as a complimentary pitch and putt for beginners!
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
It is very difficult to predict the weather in the United Kingdom - in the summer from May to late September is generally seen as the most pleasant time to visit. Rainfall is difficult to predict - but the UK does not receive as much as many are led to believe! In the winters, temperatures do fall, but there is nothing better than finding a remote pub with a roaring fire to sit beside after a long walk in the country.
To start planning your holiday to Gleneagles
Think Gleneagles and golf instantly comes to mind, but a stay at Gleneagles is about far more than that. It is a luxury bolthole surrounded by an adventure playground: rolling glens and the fresh Scottish air just waiting to be explored and breathed in.
Built in 1924 by the Caledonian Railway as a 'Palace of the Glens', Gleneagles aimed to attract affluent visitors to explore the stunning rolling hills of Perthshire. It quickly became known for golf, and three championship courses were established. The PGA Centenary Course played host to the Ryder Cup in 2014, and is possibly the best moorland course in the world. With a golf academy - Gleneagles is a mecca for the avid golf enthusiast. Overlooked by the Trossachs and Ben Vorlich, golf at Gleneagles is simply second to none.
But Gleneagles is absolutely not just about golf, it offers boundless activities for couples or families within its 850 acres. From fishing, falconry, cycling, walking, off-road driving and riding - Gleneagles is very much an adventure playground of the highest order. It is a place to get out and about before returning to the hotel at night to dine at world-class restaurants (Gleneagles has Scotland's only two-Michelin starred restaurant, Andrew Fairlie), pamper yourself in the ESPA spa, and retreat to their luxurious accommodation.
Gleneagles has 232 rooms, and all are individually decorated - choose your own style from traditional to modern. With excellent use of dark woods, and lightly coloured tartan throws, Gleneagles remains elegant, yet utterly kitted out to the expectations of those who love a sense of luxury, style and tradition.
For families, Gleneagles comes into its own. As well as the range of fantastic experiences that all children will enjoy such as training a gun dog to dabbling their hands at falconry, Gleneagles offers structured programmes from infants to teenagers.
Haile Brant (Staff)
Boredom is a foreign word to the team at Gleneagles, one of Scotland's finest hotels, otherwise known as "The Glorious Playground". Escape to the beautiful countryside of Scotland to a hotel that is essentially its own city offering three championship golf courses, a spa that will absolutely delight, comfortable and fully stocked rooms, a list of activities completely unparalleled in variety and countless other amenities. This renown hotel truly attained global recognition when it hosted the G8 summit for world leaders in 2008 and of course gained popularity in the golfing community when it hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup. As you arrive at the estate, you will be awe struck at its sheer size, they have truly thought of everything and all that you could want for is contained within these walls. The rooms and suites range from traditional to modern with natural color themes of brown, tan, greys and whites ringing through a calm and earthy theme. The dcor while minimal, is an homage to Scotland and the Gleneagles estate so you truly feel the sense of place even when in your room. Take some time to explore the estate, starting at reception, as you wind your way through you'll come to a small shopping gallery, a great activity for anytime the weather is less than ideal. From designer stores such as Escada to an essentials store with everything you may have forgotten to bring or even a luggage and leather store featuring the newly created Gleneagles brand, this is a great corridor for some retail therapy or even some window shopping. Coming out of the shopping row, you're met with an open area that feels as though they have seamlessly blended bringing the outdoors indoors. A flower cart displays the availability of fresh flower arrangements from the hotel's very own florist, just to your left you'll come across the Garden Caf featuring a menagerie of mouth-watering pastries and cakes on display from the talented pastry chef Phillip. Just opposite is the fabulous casual eatery The Birnam Brasserie with a comprehensive menu with some French flair that everyone can find a tasty dish to munch on! These areting in activities every day and still have outstanding items you haven't crossed off your bucket list. M just two of over 9 different bar and restaurant options offered throughout the estate.
To work off the calories, take a visit to the Heath Club and Spa featuring a wide range of fitness classes from Pilates to Cardio, a swimming pool, a bubble pool and multiple jacuzzis that range from indoor near the thermal suite to an outdoor one that resembles a secret grotto. The main call to fame here however is the endless list of activities that can be facilitated at the estate. From falconry to archery to off road driving (or mini off road driving for the kiddies) and more, you could essentially come to Gleneagles, stay for a week participate in activities every day and still have items to cross off your bucket list come your departure. Make sure to visit the Playground Snug for help organizing and choosing your activities as the staff there are completely dedicated to delivering you the best Gleneagles playground experience possible!
Sierra Obermark (Staff)
There is good reason why Gelneagles is lovingly referred to as "The Playground of the Gods". Gleneagles has on offer everything one could want. From gundogs and falconry experiences to golfing and tennis, Gleneagles has activities to offer for anyone ages 0-120. The spa and pool areas are extensive and astounding; perfect for a relaxation day or a quick dip before dinner. In terms of dining options, you will never be bored. The hotel hosts seven restaurants and an extra whisky and cigar bar. The food is above and beyond, and they have been recognized for it: Andrew Fairlie just re-won their Two-Star Michelin status, the only one in Scotland.
Apart from golfers (and there are lots), its a surprisingly democratic guest list from anniversary couples to girlie weekend spa-breaks, three-generation families to empty-nesters. A chunk of Americans plus assorted celebs, including Iain Banks and Ronan Keating, added to the mix.
Mid-way between Perth and Stirling, on the A9, an hours drive from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, the hotel is set in 850 acres of Perthshire countryside. To add to its exclusivity, it has its own railway station.
The grand, French-chateau style exterior - all windows, stone balustrades and chimney pots - reveals a refreshingly unintimidating interior, albeit a sometimes confusing warren of carpeted corridors and glass double doors. Classic and comfortable - if occasionally bland - rather than pompous and starchy, it retains Art Deco features from its 1924 origins as a high society hotel yet successfully mixes these with the lighter, fresher Spa and Braid House bedroom wing.
Country-house-hotel immaculate yet friendly, from the kilted doormen who will commiserate over a poor golf round - there's three championship golf courses - to the bar staff who will direct you to the nicest view.
Cool and understated, rather than country-house swagged and over-stuffed, and with a nod to Art Deco styling, even the smallest Classic, inner-facing rooms are spacious with comfy sofas, plump cushions and airy, white-tiled bathrooms. Colours are muted and heathery in the old part while the newer Braid House rooms are shinier and slicker with balconies overlooking the Ochil hills. Suites range from the more traditional, mini-apartment-sized Whisky suites to the fourth-floor, crisply contemporary Spirit Suites, some with sunken baths and roof terrace. There's also a super-slick, Asian-inspired ESPA Spa - with consultant naturopath - with a rather dated-looking pool complex (though but the outdoor hot pool is delicious on chilly Scottish nights.
Food and drink
This is cruise-ship eating. Virtually every whim and fancy, any time of day or night, is catered for. Breakfasts are gastronomic, from Arbroath smoked haddock to an omelette station via waffles and pancakes. Evening choices range from darkly glamorous, two-Michelin-starred eating in Andrew Fairlies eponymous restaurant to swanky French-Scottish dining in the Strathearn, while at the more informal, Mediterranean-style all-day Deseo (good for children) you can customise your own fish, steak or pizza dish. To fill in the gaps, there are sumptuous afternoon teas, home-made cakes in Braids Coffee Lounge or classic bar food in the Dormy Clubhouse. Bring a fat wallet: pizzas start at 12.00; Andrew Fairlies at 85 a head.
Value for money
This is top-dollar, AA five red stars. It doesnt get any higher. So, yes, its pricey, but youre never short-changed. From 225 b&b (Winter Warmer rate, available November-March).
Free cots or extra beds for children under five; 50 for children six to 14; plus interconnecting rooms. Theres also a well-stocked, supervised Playroom and funky, gadget-stuffed Kids Zone.
A privately guided tour of the Royal Lochangar Distillery
Located close to the Balmoral Estate the Royal Lochangar Distillery received its Royal Warrant in 1848 following a visit by Prince Albert, the distillery itself was built in 1826 making it one of the oldest in Scotland.
A Round of Golf at St Andrews
Follow in the footsteps of legends with a round on the world's oldest and most iconic golf course. The Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker are recognised globally, but the greatest feature of the Old Course is that it remains open to all.
Culloden is an evocative place. The site of the last battle on British soil, and the last stand of an ancient royal dynasty whose lineage dates to the Dark Age Kingdom of Dalriada, a visit to Culloden battlefield is a must for keen historians.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan is recognised around the world as one of the most iconic images of Scotland, situated amid a striking landscape on an island where three great lochs meet. The entirety of the castle and a visitor centre can be explored at your leisure.
Explore the Cairngorms
The Cairngorms is the largest National Park in the United Kingdom and home to a quarter of Scotland's native forest, a third of the UK's land above 600 meters and a quarter of the rare and endangered species in the British Isles.
Falconry at Gleneagles
Guests of Gleneagles have the unique opportunity to learn the Sport of Kings at one of the world's most acclaimed falconry schools. Whether you are a complete beginner or would like to perfect your technique, you will find falconry utterly absorbing.
Ferret School at Gleneagles
Enjoy a close encounter with Gleneagles’ adorable whiskered ferrets as you learn how to hold and handle your ferrets correctly as well as how to walk your ferret on a harness lead.
Fishing the River Spey
Enjoy some of the finest salmon fishing in the world along Tulchan Water on the River Spey. Whether you're a novice or a highly experienced angler, the experienced ghillies will ensure that you get the most from your day on the river.
Glencoe Guided Walk
Lose yourself amongst the rugged, soaring mountains of Glencoe, their cragged valleys a mottled tapestry of earthy tones and spell bindingly serene beauty that belie its explosive origins and dramatic history.
Guided tour and tasting at Glenturret Distillery
Tour the Glenturret Distillery to discover the intricate process of making whisky and taste the end result paired with locally made fudge.
The fun and spectacle of the Highland Games, one of Scotland's most quintessential experiences, makes a wonderful day out and offers a great chance to meet the locals. Events like tossing the caber, tug of war and highland dancing are bound to enthral.
Loch Ness cruise from Fort Augustus
Search for the mythical Loch Ness Monster during a cruise across the impressive loch. Take in the beautiful views as you cruise across the water, before landing at Urquhart Castle and exploring its ancient ruins.
Private Luxury Cruise on Loch Ness
Step aboard a luxury motor cruiser to enjoy an exclusive boat trip along Loch Ness. Your charming local hosts will regale you of stories of the loch and its many mysteries, as well as giving a delightful insight into the local life of Inverness.
Stirling Castle & the Trossachs
Stirling Castle is one of the most important castles in Scotland’s history. It has witnessed the
crowning of many Scottish Kings and Queens, and the earliest parts of the building date back as far as the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Cairngorms by mountain bike and canoe
Discover the Cairngorms National Park with your knowledgeable guide, exploring by canoe and mountain bike. Make your way across one of the park's most beautiful lochs before continuing by bike on the other side towards a barbecue lunch.
England and Scotland for Familes
Gleneagles Scotland, London, The Cotswolds
from £5300 pp inc flights & transfers for 10 nights
- Ideal family itinerary with a range of experiences and activities
- Private, exclusive guide in London and Edinburgh an bespoke itinerary designed around your interests
- Stay at the world-famous Gleneagles hotel, host of the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Grand Tour of the British Isles
London, Cotswolds, Kerry, Clare, Dublin, Gleneagles & Edinburgh
from £8500 pp inc flights & transfers for 15 nights
- Take in the absolute highlights of the British Isles
- You will be accompanied by a private driver-guide for the entire duration
- Pampering experience staying at some of the most characterful and stylish hotels
Scotland for Families
Edinburgh, Isle of Eriska & Gleneagles
from £6000 pp inc flights & transfers for 7 nights
- Ideal for families with children aged 6 and up
- Enjoy fun-filled activities as a family trying your hand at archery, falconry and even ferret handling!
- Visit the rolling glens of Perthshire and a stay at the iconic Gleneagles hotel
Scotland in Ultimate Luxury
Edinburgh, Belmond Royal Scotsman, Gleneagles
from £6300 pp inc flights & transfers for 7 nights
- Enjoy the gorgeous scenery of the Highlands & Islands in serious style
- Let yourself be pampered on one of the world's finest luxury trains, the Belmond Royal Scotsman
- Dine in michelin-starred restaurants in Scotland's finest hotels
Location & directions
Perthshire, Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom
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