WITH three quarters of Brits opting for a staycation popular holiday destinations in the UK are seeing an increasing number of visitors.

While the Lake District is one of the top choices for many looking to take a break in this country for those of us living near to the Lakes it’s perhaps a little too close to home.


Following my mum Jane’s recent bout of ill health I was keen to treat her to a short break, and so with my three-year-old daughter Abigail and my four-year-old nephew Alastair in tow, not forgetting my mum’s energetic Dalmatian Orla, we headed north on the M6 to the luxury Mains of Taymouth estate in Perthshire.

After a five-hour drive, culminating in a ‘shortcut’ led by my mum taking in the scenic route and narrow, rural tracks along Loch Freuchie, we finally arrived at the estate.

Dream location for dogs and kids

Situated in the picturesque village of Kenmore the Mains of Taymouth Country Estate and Golf Course couldn’t be any closer to the mouth of Loch Tay.

The River Tay meets the loch in what can only be described as a dog’s dream location.

Orla, who never seems to run out of energy, loved frolicking in the river while was handily right next to the estate’s playground where Abigail and Alastair would happily have spent the entire three days had they been given the choice.

The cottage

We stayed in Archway Cottage which, much to the delight of the kids, boasts its own hot tub and the fenced-off garden was perfect for Orla who would have taken any opportunity to run off into the neighbouring woods.

Although the cottage is classed as self-catering, the kitchen and cupboards are filled with essential items, and the estate’s Courtyard shop sells everything you might need to make a tasty meal.

With a door leading out to the traditional courtyard, Archway is a beautiful two bedroom property with master bedroom en-suite and fully equipped kitchen.

Cosy and luxurious, the log burning stove providing a focal point in the living area.

Nearby walks

Keen to take advantage of the nearby scenery, and to try and tire out Orla, we headed off for a walk to Acharn Falls.

Although the two-mile walk up to the falls is fairly steep, it was no trouble for our two toddlers, who were delighted to find the 18th century Hermit’s Cave overlooking the falls.

Loch Tay

With such breath-taking scenery right on our doorstep we opted to hire a small motorboat on the loch (note: it’s worth checking in advance if the weather will be calm enough).

Adventurous Alastair loved the opportunity to ‘get behind the wheel’ and have a go at steering the boat and our only regret was that we hadn’t hired it for longer and taken a packed lunch with us.

Pitlochry Dam

The kids also loved our visit to Pitlochry Dam which is a popular attraction with tourists.

Amazed at the concept of salmon ‘climbing up’ the ladder alongside the dam the two youngsters were wowed by the height of the dam and this is an ideal day trip for families looking for an educational option.

Courtyard Restaurant

After visting the estate's courtyard store and gift shop on a more than daily basis we wer keen to try out the food in the restaurant.

I'm a big fan of chilli and opted for a hearty meal after our busy day and although short on description the two toddlers wolfed down their chicken goujons and chips which were more than big enough portions.

The atmosphere inside the restaurant is just right for families and nothing was too much trouble - including a knocked-over drink and repeated requests from the two kids for more drinks!

Mains of Taymouth: Perfect for families

Mains of Taymouth is ideal for families, and especially those with dogs, given its proximity to plenty of walking spots and attractions.

Its location also offers another 'must have' for families with young children - it is relatively secluded and being far from any busy main roads means there is little anxiety at the prospect of someone making a dash for freedom.

A staycation also offers another comfort for parents safe in the knowledge that you are still close enough to the shops where you can find your youngsters' favourite food.

If the weather had been warmer we would have enjoyed paddling at the riverside, something Alastair is a big fan of, and we only wish we could have stayed longer to explore the surroundings even more.

It is no wonder that Mains of Taymouth is a popular spot with Scots and Brits alike. There really is something for everyone.

From the nine-hole golf course to the riding stables and impressive playground, not forgetting the hot tub in the cottage's garden, and plenty of places for dogs to explore, families are guaranteed a welcome break which was much-needed for our group.

Alastair, Abigail and Orla were more than happy to endorse the estate and gave it a big thumbs-up (paws-up from Orla).


  • Mains of Taymouth’s recent awards include Architectural award for Castle Gardens as well as a “Paws for a break” award from Embrace Scotland as the most pet-friendly self-catering establishment in the UK.
  • Short breaks staying in the Archway Cottage start from £631 for three nights.
  • While cottages are self-catering a range of supplies can be provided including log for the wood burner and hamper goodies for the fridge. 
  • The estate includes a nine-hole golf course, bar and restaurant and deli shop filled with locally-produced food, drinks and gifts. 
  • Dogs are welcome.
  • Nearby activities include the riding stables, boating centre, highland safaris and walks for all abilities. 
  • Reviews: 5/5 rating out of 588 reviews on TripAdvisor. 
  • Mains of Taymouth has a range of 4 and 5 star award-winning luxury self-catering holiday cottages, houses, villas, apartments and lodges.
  • Nearby tourist attractions include Pitlochry, Blair Castle and the House of Bruar. 

Visit www.taymouth.co.uk to book your stay at the Mains of Taymouth and to find out more.