European Travel: Honeymooning in Scotland
Scotland and its Highlands have plenty to offer adventurous newlyweds.
Robert Burns was a romantic, pouring his heart into verse and Scotch whisky into his glass.
The poet’s beloved Scotland and its wild, beautiful and remote Highlands offer honeymooners the warm kiss of history, hospitality and natural wonders—with the bliss of fine food, drink and accommodations.
For a true Highland fling, book a room at Inverlochy Castle, where Queen Victoria came to sketch in 1873. Located near Fort William, the manor house is sited a caber toss from the ruins of the original 13th-century castle and is an easy drive from Inverness, the largest city in the Highlands. Or take the Caledonian Sleeper, the iconic overnight train from London. To travel in style from the station, reserve the hotel’s chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce Phantom, stocked with two bottles of ice-cold champagne.
Guests are greeted with bubbly on arrival, no matter how they get to Inverlochy. The extravagant bouquets in the great hall are imported from Holland. The glittering chandelier is from Venice. Sink into sumptuous, down-filled seating in front of the coal fire and listen to the pianist who plays each evening. Equally sigh-inducing rooms are equipped with laptops, high thread-count sheets and marshmallow-soft pillows.
If the $500-per-night entry point is too rich for your blood, book at a local bed-and-breakfast for about $100 a night, breakfast included. Then make a reservation for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner at Inverlochy Castle’s restaurant, which has held a coveted Michelin star for more than 20 years. The heavily carved sideboards in the hushed, posh dining room were a gift to the lord of the manor from the King of Norway.
A lavish three-course dinner featuring such delights as the hotel’s signature baked quail with foie gras is an attainable splurge, priced at the equivalent of $104, tax included. Lunch is $59 for three courses. Sommelier William Birch expertly pairs wines with dishes.
After your repast, stroll velvety moss walking trails on the 500-acre grounds. The estate also offers fishing, tennis and falconry for outdoors enthusiasts, as well as a clubby billiards room for the indoor set. Nearby activities include monster-watching cruises on Loch Ness and hiking on towering Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom.