April 2019.

A Long Weekend in a Scottish Mansion

Dear Mary,

I am so excited to send you this introduction to the long weekend you will be spending at Kinross House surrounded by the three generations of your family.  I cannot imagine any place more conducive to your bonding while providing every member of your family – no matter the age – a plethora of activities that will speak to every and any interest.


Kinross House, designed by the famous architect Sir William Bruce in 1685, has up to 24 double bedrooms, and so there will be plenty of space for you all. The estate’s Coach House also offers a small day spa complete with treatment rooms, hydrotherapy pool and sauna.


Steeped in history and grandeur, Kinross House and its fabulous estate, with over 100 acres of formal gardens and woodland, looks out over picturesque Loch Leven, the largest loch in the Scottish lowlands. Imagine what fun for the children to explore the ruins of Loch Leven Castle Island, a 15-minute boat ride away, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in the 16th century!



Day 1:  Arrival

Arrive today in Edinburgh either on a direct flight or via London or some other gateway.  You will be met at the jetway on arrival, escorted through security and baggage collection and taken to your cars.  A 45-minute drive will bring you to fabulous Kinross House Estate which will be your home for the next week.  Rosemary and her staff will greet you and take you to your rooms so that you can unpack and settle in.  The house is yours and for those who would like to have brunch, a delicious spread will be waiting in the breakfast room.  For those who want to work off the stale air of the plane, grab a bike and cycle to Loch Leven.  If you are eager for a long ride, there is a circular trail that extends for 12 miles around the Loch.


Lunch is served at 1PM.  The early afternoon is unplanned but there are plenty of activities on tap –   laser clay shooting, segways, zorbing, croquet are all at your disposal.  If you fancy some water sports, head down to the pier where we will set you up with kayaks, canoes and paddle boards to play on the Loch.  For the fishermen amongst you, our ghillie will show you the best spots on the loch for trout fishing.  Finally, for those who want to work out the kinks, you can head down to the Coach House for a massage.


4:00PM:  Join us in the Library for a class in Genealogy and Heraldry.  Because you have Scottish ancestry in your family, we thought it would be a fun for you to start your stay in Scotland with a look backwards into your own roots!


Dinner will be served at the time you prefer, and if the children would like to eat earlier, we will set them up at a table in the dining room.


Off to bed for those who want an early start. For those who want to jump right in to Scottish culture, repair to the Whiskey Room for a tutored whisky tasting with Charles Maclean!



Day 2: A Day on Property

6:30AM:  Early call for those who would like to take a balloon ride over Loch Levan.  Return with a healthy appetite for a delicious breakfast set out on the sideboard.  Any hot items you desire will be cooked for you.


10:00AM:  The games are on!  Get ready to compete in a family version of the Highland Games right here on the lawns of Kinross.  Highland Games are world-famous for fun team building. In the presence of a piper and Highland dancer on the front lawn, a team of professional kilted sportsmen will demonstrate the complexities of traditional Highland challenges such as tossing the caber, throwing the hammer, throwing the welly boot, after which everyone gets the chance to give it a try and compete.  Prizes of course for the winners!


1:00PM:  Picnic lunch in the gardens


2:00PM:  For those who are interested, Robert, our head gardener, will take you on a tour of the famous Kinross House Gardens.  Also on offer this afternoon is a perfume-making masterclass which involves a sampling of perfumes and the creation of a signature perfume for each participant.  After the class (about 2.5 hours), afternoon tea with scones will be served. By the time tea has been whisked away, your personal perfume will be ready to be named and judged for a prize!


8:00PM:  Dinner tonight will be in the lovely red room.


After dinner, take your preferred after-dinner libation to the library where our caricaturist will be waiting to sketch part of your group.  Those who are not sketched tonight will be done on subsequent evenings so that, by the end of your stay, each of you will go home with a portrait (whether you like it or not!)



Day 3: Around and About

It’s hard to believe that there are fishing villages, restaurants, two world class golf courses, a famous university, castles, distilleries and, yes, shopping all within an hour’s drive from Kinross.  Today will be spent off property.  For those who would like to get in a morning golf game, head off early for your tee time.  For those who are interested in visiting some of the charming fishing villages along the Fife coast, leave a bit later and stop at the villages of Crail, Elie, St. Monans, Pittenweem and Anstruther.  Stop for a fun lunch of fish and chips in Anstruther.  For those who want activity, mountain biking, salmon fishing, motor car racing at Knock Hill, quad biking, a beautiful walk along The Fife Coast Path Trail or a climb up one of the 282 Scottish Munros (mountains over 300 ft) can be arranged.  Finally, for anyone interested in shopping and chocolate – always a good combination! – head north to the House of Bruar, the shopping Harrods of Scotland.  Combine this with a stop at the Highland Chocolatier on River Tay.  A 90-minute visit will take you into their chocolate kitchen, exhibition area and shop, giving you an appreciation for the craftsmanship and subtlety of Master Chocolatier Iain Burnett’s artisanal gourmet chocolate!


Return to Kinross at the end of your chosen day.  Share your stories over dinner and after-dinner drinks in the library where our caricaturist will be waiting to ply his trade.



Day 4:  How It Ends

After and early breakfast this morning, take your tea and coffee out to the great lawn for a falconry demonstration.  Falconry is a long-standing sport in Scotland and elsewhere in the British Isles, and the thrill of watching a peregrine falcon or a hawk hunt along the hedgerows is a wonderful experience.  This morning you will have an expert falconer on hand to introduce you to these birds of prey and to show you how they are trained.


Then collect yourselves for a game of Spy School!  Over the last few days the staff of Kinross has been carefully designing challenges for you to solve around the estate.  Divide yourselves into teams and, using GPS locators and ipads, dash around the property solving the clues!


Lunch, and then take some time at leisure for a walk or bike ride, a massage or canoe ride.  After tea, head back to your rooms where you will encounter a surprise!


8:00PM:  Come to dinner in the banquet hall dressed in your finery!  Men will be asked to wear the kilts that have been laid out for them, and the ladies should wear their prettiest dresses.


After dinner, to celebrate your Scottish weekend, you will be invited to a ceilidh, a Scottish country music and dance gathering in the ballroom.  There will be dancers on hand to teach you the steps.  Have a wonderful time!



Day 5:  Departure