Lonely Planet has just released a ‘best of’ travel guide for 2014, but are you surprised to hear that Scotland and Yorkshire are high on the list of best places to visit in the UK and the world in 2014?
So often our tiny little country fades into insignificance when up against some of the world’s much larger nations. Not this time though, we have deservedly clawed our way to the top (arguably, some of that prestige can be owed to our successful hosting of the Summer Olympics 2012).
But one thing I do know, is that both Scotland and Yorkshire have some of the most inspiring scenery on earth, as well as impressive heritage that many people will travel mile upon mile to discover.
2014 is going to be a very busy year for Scotland, what with playing host to the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup. So if anyone is thinking of visiting this mystical country next year, now is the time to start booking. Although Edinburgh is one of the country’s most treasured cities and has been hailed as “the most gothic city outside Transylvania” by Lonely Planet, personally, I prefer to head towards Perthshire, which is an hour’s drive from Edinburgh or Glasgow.
This incredible county is not only home to boundless, untamed countryside that overflows with wildlife, it also offers visitors a little slice of foodie heaven. So what could be more fitting for Scotland than recommending a stay at the magical Fonab Castle, which lies in the heart of Pitlochry and serves up dishes such as Dunkeld smoked salmon in the Brasserie? Oh and not to forget the Scotch Malt Whisky bar, where you will inevitably be seduced by the local tipples.
This wonderful hotel embraces everything Scottish and invites guests to relax among its contemporary, elegant furnishings. And if you want to watch the Ryder Cup in 2014, you are only a 40 minute drive from Gleneagles. I wouldn’t want to be the one to deny you of such pleasures, so here is Fonab Castle in all its glory!
Now let’s not forget good old Yorkshire, with its partially misguided image of whippets and flat caps. I’m sure we all know that we can expect so much more than the usual stereotypes from this endearing county. For instance, the sprawling moorland, heather-strewn valleys and compelling ancient past are just a few of the reasons Yorkshire secured its status as one of the best places to visit in the UK and the rest of the world in 2014.
The self-assured Yorkshire Dales is one of the reasons I have cherry-picked Natural Retreats out from all of the other hotels, as it presents the perfect location to show off the county’s best bits. The timber façade is sympathetic to its environment and the remote countryside setting really lets you get under the skin of the Dales and bond with Mother Nature.
So there you have it, a couple of fantastic retreats in (officially) two of the best places to visit in the UK and the world in 2014!