Staycations with a difference…20.08.20 | Nathan Collins
Whilst many know us for luxury and specialist holidays to exciting far flung destinations, we have always enjoyed recommending unique and special trips to our clients closer to home too. In this issue we have pulled together some of our top tips for a special ‘Staycation’ which can help create unique, long lasting memories for all involved.
From Aston Martin 007 Experience to luxury tree houses, Harry Potter inspired train rides and UK small island escapes, we have some great suggestions and will be here to help take care of the arrangements for you.
Let’s start with a wonderful trip that captures the style and glamour of the timeless Bond films. This break lets you enjoy the thrills of driving a stylish Aston Martin through stunning Scottish scenery and around key locations associated with the films. You’ll pass by Faslane Naval Base, featured in The Spy Who Loved Me and the loch by Crinan, the scene of a boat chase through the Bosphorus in From Russia with Love.
What screams Bond more than staying on a private island? Here you’ll learn how to make the ultimate Martini! This very special short break includes an exclusive speedboat trip past Duart Castle, family seat of the real-life inspiration of 007. And who could resist powering through Glencoe, setting for the dramatic finale of Skyfall?
Pick up your Aston Martin in Edinburgh and head off on a route which will take you past some of the most famous 007 Scottish sights. For two nights you will stay on your own private island on the west coast of Scotland near to Oban. Cross the rickety bridge from the west coast mainland to this idyllic five-star hideaway and you enter a different world – a world of luxury, seclusion and a little eccentricity! You’ll find intriguing contrasts and pleasant surprises at every turn. Choose to stay in a characterful room in the castle-style baronial mansion or splash out – literally – on a Spa suite, complete with private conservatory, patio, large lounge and outdoor Jacuzzi.
Get really into the spirit of the Bond lifestyle with a pre-dinner Vesper Martini – very definitely shaken, not stirred. It’ll whet your appetite perfectly for the delights which await in the acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurant. The young Head Chef designs a daily-changing menu to reflect the best available seasonal produce, with fish and seafood from surrounding waters and meat and game from local estates.
Leisure facilities at the Stables Spa are a testament to streamlined modernity with a 17-metre indoor heated swimming pool and full range of ESPA treatments. The rooftop terrace, overlooking the water, is a tranquil spot for leisurely lunches. There’s even a challenging nine-hole golf course, with superb views from its greens and fairways, plus a croquet lawn where you can try your hand at the most refined – and competitive – of British past-times.
Be whisked by speed boat around Lismore island and past Duart Castle on Mull, traditional home of the MacLeans. The castle fell into ruins but was restored early in the 20th century and is once again the seat of the clan chief. The exploits of soldier and diplomat Fitzroy Hew MacLean, who parachuted into Yugoslavia to assist the resistance in WW2, are said to have been the origins of Ian Fleming’s James Bond and 007. Your return journey saves the best for last, with a spectacular drive through Glencoe, setting for the dramatic finale of Skyfall. What more could any Bond fan ask for!
Continuing in Scotland and still with a movie theme, how about a trip onboard the now infamous Jacobite Train made famous from the Harry Potter films? Breath-taking scenery and fantastic journeys by mainline and steam railways, this tour takes in the very best of northern Scotland from our base in Inverness – the gateway to our Highland adventure. This 5-day tour also takes in a journey on the Kylie line, the Strathspey Steam Railway plus visits Eilean Donan Castle and the Culloden Battlefield and visitors centre.
Our final stop in Scotland continues our railway theme onboard the ultra-luxurious Royal Scotsman train. Embark on a Grand Highland Fling. Riding Belmond Royal Scotsman is one of those pinch-me moments. Ranking amongst the world’s most luxurious trains, the mahogany-clad cars marry Edwardian elegance with the comforts of a country house. Ten intricately designed carriages, including the sublime Bamford Spa, form a palace on wheels.
Over in Ireland you can also taste luxury onboard the Grand Hibernian, one of Belmond’s more recent additions to their collection of famous trains which also features the Venice-Simplon Orient-Express.
Crisscross acres of patchwork fields and craggy coasts, stopping in some of Ireland’s most storied cities. Belmond Grand Hibernian gets right to the green and gallant heart of the Emerald Isle. The elegant sleeper carriages are inspired by Dublin’s Georgian architecture. The Observation Car offers all the warmth of a classic saloon, with live musicians and animated storytelling.
The UK is home to stunning islands including Jersey, Guernsey, Isles of Scilly, Sark, Herm and Alderney. Islands are special places, with a totally distinct feel, sparkle, and local community charm that sets them apart from anything you will find in a mainland destination holiday resort.
When you travel to any one of these islands, you get the feeling that you have arrived somewhere truly unique, and in the Isles of Scilly is there a better way to arrive than by helicopter? With flights from many regional airports throughout the UK as well as many ferry crossings, accessing these hidden gems is becoming easier.
The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago around 30 miles off the south-western tip of England. Though numbering over 50 islands in total, only five are inhabited. The total population of St Mary’s, Tresco, Bryher, St Martin’s, and St Agnes is just over 2,000, contributing to that special ‘step-back-in-time’ feeling and providing a taste of the timeless magic of childhood holidays. Amid wonderful scenery, younger children can explore rock pools and endless sandy beaches, while the older ones – and the adults – can hike nature trails, hire bikes, or ride horses along the shore.
The Isles of Scilly are a bird watchers paradise, with approximately 435 species of birds, including cormorants, gannets, oystercatchers, manx shearwaters and puffins to name but a few. On Scilly, everything revolves around the sea, so why not take the opportunity to spot some Atlantic grey seals?
Eating out in the Isles of Scilly is often just that: an alfresco delight. What could be better than enjoying fresh fish and chips on the beach, gazing out at waters the same colour as those in the Caribbean, or a delicious freshly-caught lobster salad in one of the local restaurants.
If you are looking for a unique place to spend a night or two for a special occasion how about these wonderful luxury tree houses in Hampshire? They vary in size, from studios to a completely private escape sleeping 12! Consider it the most secluded abode to nestle in the tranquil New Forest; the private Treehouse is a place where you can gather those closest to you and immerse yourself in the trees together for the most extraordinary experience. Equipped with a wood burner in the heart of the living space, beautiful rich tones of green and grey echo the environment beyond the balconies. The owners have carefully considered the interior design to create a real sense of luxury that still has an essence of earthy tranquillity to compliment the idyllic surroundings.
If you need a private estate to hire for a group or family occasion, then Farleigh Wallop in Hampshire is a great find. An hour from London, Farleigh Wallop is perfect for private events, house parties, corporate gatherings and exclusive use holidays. It sits at the heart of a 4,000-acre Hampshire estate, down a tree-lined avenue. Set back from the road, it is a classic English home whose interior has been recently redesigned and fitted with modern amenities. A luxurious retreat, it is completely private. The house has eight reception rooms, all adaptable in format. The dining room is ideal for grand dining or a reception for 40. Eleven bedrooms and nine bathrooms provide beautifully appointed accommodation. A bespoke marquee area, adjacent to the house, caters for larger parties.
As you can see, there is plenty to discover closer to home and we look forward to helping create those special travel memories.
Call RB Collection on 01543 258631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your next unique or luxury staycation.