You think you know your way home, but really you just know the motorway. If you’re driving home for Holidays this year, then why not take a detour and discover the treasures of the UK, just a few miles from the gridlock.
The Ski & Snowboard School in the Cairngorms
North Scotland: (25 mins from A9)
Driving across Scotland is a tricky business, guaranteed to give your clutch and brakes a good workout. But when crossing the Cairngorms National Park, all that revving will be worth it when you reach the peak, not just for the incredible views, but also for the highest concentration of ski schools in the UK.
Winter months bring the snow so all you need to bring is the board (or skis) and you will be treated to some grade-A skiing at the Ski & Snowboard School, amongst others in the area. Don’t have your own gear? No problem, as you can hire everything from boards to salopettes and even gloves. There are also several mountain lifts and even a funicular railway to get to back to the top.
Northeast Scotland: (30 mins from A96)
There is something quite magical about Craigievar Castle. Perhaps it’s the remote location in the middle of an evergreen forest. Perhaps it’s the 400 years of history hiding within its walls. Or perhaps it’s because it’s an incredible tall Scottish Baronial castle painted in pink!
Visitors to Craigievar could be forgiven for thinking that the towers are hiding a captured princess, and that she would let her hair flow out of the window at any given moment, however, the castle’s real story is just as magical. Explore the collections of original family portraits and its warm, rich interior filled with mahogany and gold trimmings. Then head outside to peruse the gardens which when covered with a blanket of snow give the castle an even more enchanted look.
WORDS BY MONICA STOTT
Monica Stott is a travel blogger and writer with a love for weekend breaks. She has a young family so will be spending 2017 exploring the UK. She loves the outdoors and loves nothing more than getting out and about with her camera.