Although golf may be your passion, there’s plenty more you can do in and around Gleneagles to make your trip memorable, whether it’s partaking in other traditional sporting activities or taking a break to relax in the spa.
Country pursuits and more at Gleneagles Hotel
The Gleneagles Hotel has more than enough to pack out your itinerary and ensure you’re never bored. They offer a wide range of country pursuits, allowing guests to ensconce themselves in the preferred activities of Scottish lairds, old and new.
One of the most popular of these country pursuits is shooting. Home to 13 shooting stands, 34 targets, and over 60 guns, the world-class Gleneagles Shooting School caters for everyone from total beginners to crackshots who want to put their skills to the test on the sprawling grouse moor. The Shooting School offers clay target and air rifle shooting, but it’s their deer stalking and game bird shooting offerings that are particularly popular with visitors as it’s a unique outings that you won’t find easily outside of Scotland. They encourage guests book deer stalking and game bird shooting well in advance so they can source the best estates, giving the greatest experience possible. You can also build on your shooting knowledge by signing up for the gundog school that’s also on site. Here, you’ll be put in control of a highly-trained Labrador gundog and given the chance to learn how to control it work with it when out shooting.
If shooting isn’t your thing, perhaps fishing is more your speed. Gleneagles’ ghillies are on hand to lend their knowledge of the local waters to both new and experienced fishers, and will take you to trout lochs or further afield on wild salmon expeditions in the right season.
Explore Gleneagles from the driver’s seat by signing up for off-road driving. Gleneagles Hotel is home to 14 off-road vehicles and two specially designed off-road courses that feature natural and purpose-built objects such as water splashes, ditches, gullies and steep gradients. They even offer junior off-road driving experiences in half-scale Land Rover Series 1 replicas so your children can pick up a new skill on their trip too.
Further country pursuits available at Gleneagles Hotel include archery, horse riding and falconry. There are also tennis courts on site for guests to make use of, as well as jogging and cycle trails.
When you need a break from it all though, the spa will be ready and waiting. Gleneagles Hotel is a designated Luxury Spa Resort, the perfect place to revitalise and refresh yourself. The spa menu includes all the treatments you’d expect to see, from facials to massages, with the addition of Gleneagles Signature Rituals. These Rituals last at least two hours and make use of calming, local ingredients to soothe you from head to toe.
Other top attractions near Gleneagles
Travelling further afield, there’s plenty more to see and do while you’re in Gleneagles.
The Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery holds the dual accolades of being both Scotland’s oldest working distillery and the UK’s Best Whisky Visitor Attraction. Book a tour here to learn more about the handmade distilling processes that go into Glenturret Single Malt, and find out how that in turn is blended with other grain and malt whiskies to create The Famous Grouse. As you would expect of a whisky tour, you will get the chance to sample various whiskies whilst at The Famous Grouse Experience, but that’s not all they have to tempt your taste buds. Their on-site restaurant is award-winning, whipping up delicious dishes such as Strathearn Pie from locally sourced ingredients.
Not too far away, you’ll find Castle Campbell. This 15th century building is wonderfully well preserved and open to visitors to explore its turrets, terrace and cobbles. The castle was once home to the earls of Argyll, and boasts connections to such historic figures as Mary Queen of Scots and the founder of the Scottish Presbyterian Church, John Knox, who purportedly issued one of his signature fiery sermons from a pulpit still found at Castle Campbell today.
To compare and contrast, take in a seventeenth century castle and exquisite gardens with a trip to Drummond Castle Gardens. The gardens here are a stand-out example of the formal gardens so popular across Europe in the nineteenth century, though they were born of a rocky outcrop that is so much more typical of the Scottish hills. A lot of work goes into maintaining this historic garden, which is home to a sundial believed to have been installed in 1630. The castle itself is not open to the public, though it does offer a spectacular, brooding backdrop to the gardens.