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Pulsing with fairy lights, fireworks and celebrations from St Andrew’s Day to Burns Night, winter is a magical time to take a break in the Scottish highlands. The glens are covered with frost and the mountain peaks frosted with snow, so beautiful viewed from indoors, where it’s warm and cosy, with roaring woodstoves, hearty delicious fare and a dram of some of the world’s finest whisky to keep warm. In country villages and vibrant towns, everything is decorated in lights and greenery, making for the ideal merry ambience. Seasonal fun abounds, from winter festivals to Hogmany parties to Burns Night suppers, showcasing quintessential Scotland. Hotels, lodges and inns offer a choice of Christmas and New Year breaks that are sure to bring cheer to the season. Whether your taste is a deluxe country manor or a country pub with rooms- there is a break for every budget and whim. And as the Seafood Capital of Scotland and home of wonderful local produce such as lamb, beef, venison and game, fabulous fare is on offer all year round. A spa break is the perfect way to cure those winter blahs. Imagine getting pampered with facials, relaxing massages and beauty treatments, while enjoying world-class gourmet fare and champagne…pure bliss. A session in the sauna and a hot stone massage will chase those winter blues away for good. And shop til you drop- for gifts or for yourself- at one of west coast’s many stylish chains and independent stores. What about a whisky break in the West Highlands, home of some of the world’s most famous brands? From Islay to Campbeltown, from Oban to Mull, visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to the aqua vitae. A fascinating distillery tour, followed by a taster, is sure to warm up the coldest of days. Make dreams come true with a stay in one of the west coast’s stunning castles or manor houses. Celebrate the festive season in a style befitting royalty for a Christmas that will be remembered for years to come. Visit the area’s fascinating museums- without fighting the summer crowds. For those who truly want to get away from it all, head off to a remote Hebridean island for a tranquil break. Leave the computer, the phone and the rat race behind and escape totally, whether for romance or relaxation. A fireplace to keep snug and the quiet beauty of the islands it’s just the antidote to the busy workaday routine. November is a great time to visit the west coast for the Oban Winter Festival, held the 20-29, with a Victorian themed market, parades, ceilidhs, live music, art and exhibitions. The town will be bustling with fun and food, as Oban celebrates the Year of Winter Breaks Food and Drink with a special Haggisfest. The famous Mc- Caig’s Tower will transform into a kaleidoscope of dancing light, culminating in fireworks over Oban Bay. For those ready to hit the powder, Lochaber, the Outdoor Capital of the UK is ground zero for winter sport. Fort William, Ben Nevis and Glencoe are not only some of the most scenic areas in Scotland, they offer outstanding Pagskiing, snowboarding, ice climbing and mountaineering, with the highest peaks in Britain. The Fort William Winter Festival in February features workshops, film screenings and fringe events celebrating wild mountain culture. Warm highland and island hospitality, first-rate dining and festive celebrations- the west coast has all the ingredients for memorable winter break. 17 Winter Breaks


HW Winter 2016.indd
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