There is much to do in the area and Craigellie makes the perfect base from which to explore. Just a stone's throw away are the magnificently beautiful Angus glens with wonderful rambling opportunities. The Cateran Trail, a must for serious walkers, can be easily reached on the hill above the house. Those who are looking for mountains to climb will not be disappointed as the Cairngorms National Park is close by with Driesh (947m) and Mayar (928m) being the closest Munros. Glenshee ski centre is just a 45 minute drive away, offering winter skiing and summer walking opportunities. The surrounding country lanes are cycle-friendly with routes for all abilities and aspirations, whether that be a meandering family day out or a strenuous uphill challenge. Mountain bikers can enjoy nearby Alyth Bike Park, with trails and a Pump Track designed for all standards.
Craigellie is extremely well situated for a golfing break with plenty of courses to choose from. Alyth's 9-hole Glenisla course, described as a 'hidden gem', is a great place to start. Then you have Alyth's 18-hole course; the Rosemount & Landsdowne courses in Blairgowrie which have played host to a number of high-profile tournaments including Greg Norman's first-ever professional win back in 1977, as well as the Wee Course offering 9 holes. Another 18 holes in Forfar, Kirriemuir and Strathmore (or 9 if you prefer) and you have a week's worth of fabulous golf all within a 20 mile radius. Further afield of course you have Gleneagles and St Andrews, both comfortably accessible from Craigellie.
Castles & Palaces
When it comes to castles and palaces we are spoilt for choice. Glamis Castle, the childhood home of the Queen Mother, boasts 1000 years of history while Scone Palace, the crowning place of Scottish kings, offers 100 acres of glorious grounds to explore as well as special events at different times of the year. In the spring the bluebells are stunning and these are followed by an explosion of colour from the azaleas and rhododendrons. Slightly further afield, but a beautiful drive away (and close to the famous House of Bruar), is Blair Castle with its impressive Victorian ballroom decorated with 175 pairs of antlers and entrance hall with weapons used in the Battle of Culloden.
Photo credit © Hufton Crow
Dundee, the City of Discovery, has much to offer in terms of culture. The iconic V&A is well worth a visit with its resident design museum which celebrates the rich part that Scotland has played on the international stage. Not to be missed are the spectacular views from the waterfront restaurant which also overlooks Discovery Point and RRS Discovery. Here there is a chance to board the famous Dundee-built ship that took Scott and Shackleton to Antarctica in 1901. For gallery-lovers allow plenty of time for the McManus - Dundee's art gallery and museum which has 2 floors packed with artefacts and art. Then there is Verdant Works - a restored mill housing interactive displays which tell the story of Dundee's industrial textile heritage - jute production in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Photo credit © Hufton Crow
Although inland, Craigellie is better situated than might be immediately apparent for exploring some of Scotland's magnificent coastline. In under an hour you can drive east and reach the secluded haven of Lunan Bay with its sandy beach backed with dunes and framed by low cliffs, or visit St Cyrus's endless sands just a little further north. Alternatively you can head south and again, in under an hour, reach St Andrews with its famous West Sands Beach; or collect shells on Tentsmuir Sands. Travelling a little further south, this time around 1 hour 15, you can access other parts of the spectacular Fife Coastline such as the fishing villages of Crail or Anstruther. From the latter you can, in season, take a boat trip to the Isle of May to marvel at the towering cliffs crammed with seabirds and the puffins nesting in grassy burrows.
As well as hill walking and cycling, there are a number of Perthshire-based companies offering fabulous local adventure opportunities such as paddle boarding, canyoning, canoeing and kayaking. Paddle Surf Scotland offer stand up paddle boarding at Clunie Loch, just 12 miles (30 minute drive) from Craigellie, as well as at Loch Freuchie (beyond Dunkeld - 1hr 20 minute drive). Wee Adventures, based in Aberfeldy, offer tailor-made family adventures while the Canyoning Company based in Dunkeld (40 minute drive) offers river canyoning for all levels of experience and Outdoor Explore, based in Blairgowrie, has over 60 locations for kayaking in Scotland including very locally on the River Isla. More information on these and other companies can be found here.
There are some lovely local hotspots offering a range of cuisine to suit all tastes. Closest we have the Lands of Loyal Hotel in Alyth with its unique and exquisite dining rooms offering an extensive a la carte menu featuring traditional yet imaginative dishes. Then, in Blairgowrie, Little's Fish Restaurant, located in a beautiful, restored church, has a varied menu which includes dishes made from the freshest fish the Scottish waters can offer. Slightly further, but still within 20 minutes, and you come to the Meikleour Arms, beside the famous beech hedge planted in 1745 and recognised as the highest in the world. This delightful pub and restaurant offers delicious and beautifully presented country fare with an emphasis on local produce. As well as several other excellent establishments there is also a good selection of faster food outlets including the popular Alyth Fish & Chip shop and Wetherspoons in Blairgowrie.