A family reunion in Crieff [Scottish roadtrip 2021]

So as I promised in my 2021 lookback, one of our real highlights of last year was our Scottish roadtrip. Back in July/August we headed north of the border for over two weeks of adventures. We flew into Edinburgh, picked up a car and dropped it off in Inverness after visiting mountains, beaches and lochs along the way.

Here’s the full route of our 2021 roadtrip:

It was such a joy to be travelling after so long in London and the kids were so excited, they didn’t mind a very early start to make our flight north.

Alex and Sophie pulling huge suitcases to the station in Herne Hill and then on the plane wearing masks.

We headed straight from the airport to visit my grandpa who we’ve not been able to see for well over a year as a result of Covid restrictions. We enjoyed a lovely visit in the gardens of his home and it was such a pleasure seeing the kids interact with their great grandpa!

We then headed on to Crieff, about an hour north of Edinburgh and our first accommodation of the trip. My family had booked adjoining lodges at Crieff Hydro to fit us all in – so alongside the four of us, we were staying with my parents, aunt as well as my brother, his girlfriend and my three nieces. It was the perfect place for our first week as we could benefit from all the brilliant facilities at the nearby hotel and enjoy the enormous grounds, while having the freedom of our own house.

We got straight into relaxing – letting the cousins head off to explore the nearby playground while we got stuck into some fizz!

We’d booked the children into the kids’ club at the hotel during the week, so on our first full day Matt and I had a couple of hours to ourselves to get in a lovely hike around the Knock of Crieff – a hill and woodland above the lodges.

We whiled away an afternoon in the on site adventure park where the kids jumped, played and climbed for hours. Love these pictures of the four cousins jumping for joy!

And here’s Alex and Sophie making progress up the climbing tower!

An absolute highlight of the holiday (and indeed the entire year I think) for the kids was the opportunity to go riding. Alex was old enough to head off on a hack with a small group into the woodlands and tracks around the hydro and he loved every minute. He kept heading back to the riding centre during our stay to say hello to his beautiful horse:

Sophie wasn’t quite big enough to go on a hack, but she still loved her guided ride:

We hired bikes one day and tried some mountain biking around the Knock – the scenery was stunning.

The mountain biking tracks themselves were a bit overgrown and hard to find – which made them a bit challenging at times (leading to this hilarious face from Sophie as she finally made it to the bottom of a particularly bushy stretch!)

Inside the hydro hotel, we enjoyed afternoon tea and fun in the indoor playroom – including the kids first experience of VR experiences. Here they are experiencing a roller coaster and haunted house!

And Matt and I thoroughly enjoyed a gin tasting evening sampling drinks distilled in a partner hotel in Peebles.

There was so much to do at the Hydro, we barely left the 900 acre grounds – but we did manage to persuade some of our family to join us for a wander along the River Earn following Lady Mary’s Walk. My parents, auntie and niece Rose accompanied us through the beautiful woodland and didn’t mind too much when we made them scramble over rocks on the riverside!

There was plenty of time for cousin fun and posing!

Back at the hydro, we love the opportunity to celebrate my newest niece, Macie, turning one. We were a few days early, but any excuse for a cake and mini party!

It was such a brilliant week – and such a novelty to be with so many people we’d not been able to see for so long.

And best of all, we still had three more stops on our Scottish roadtrip. Next stop – Fort William and the Nevis Range

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