I was given the opportunity to travel up to the Highlands to see Muckrach Country House Hotel and I snapped at the chance. It was a real eye opener; all of the hard work, enthusiasm and passion had driven the renovation on since Phil and Ed Cowap took over the property on January 20th of this year. The drive took just over 6 hours but some of the views along the way were spectacular! From driving through the countryside in Cheshire, the hills in the Lake District and then finally moving onto the Scottish borders where I caught the sun set, which was amazing.
Throughout the 10 days that I was there, I could see how much effort goes into the place, the building team, Phil & Ed, the marketing team and the local contractors are working at full steam. So much has happened with the property in the short space of time, including; digging up the driveway for lighting cables, maintenance of the landscapes, coving of public areas, boarding of bathrooms, more work to the electrics and plumbing and also laying of floorboards for the cellar and concrete in one of our new rooms to be!
I wanted to find out more about the local businesses and attractions in the area, so I spent my first week liaising with The Boat of Garten Golf Club, The Dulaig B&B, joiners, door lock suppliers and food & drink suppliers to name but a few. Then I worked on the familiarisation of the attractions by completing a mountain bike descent on the Cairngorm Mountain, and to say the least it was incredible. The two and a half hour experience involved two descents of almost 1500ft from Ptarmigan Top Station to the Base Station. The experience was full with thrill and excitement and without a doubt kept my adrenaline going for the rest of the day. The Cairngorm Mountain is Britain’s 6th highest mountain and is one of Britain’s premier skiing areas. On a clear day at the top of the mountain, to the east you can see Ben Hope and to the west Ben Nevis – Wow!
By night, myself and colleagues spent some time exploring the area; going for bike rides, walks and runs! (there’s just soooooo much to do, I didn’t want the days to end!)
During my second week I worked with our photographer, Ash. We spent four days absorbed in activities and again meeting with local businesses and the community. We enjoyed sailing on Loch Morlich with Keith from Loch Morlich Water Sports, river tubing with John Mason from Full On Adventure and a photography session with Spud The Piper at the hotel. As ever, Rothiemurchus provided a wide variety of activities; quad biking, fly fishing, Tree Zone, Land Rover safari and feeding the deer (to name just a few). A morning rock climbing at Craggan Outdoors finished off the week and it was time to return to Cheshire.
Whether you are in the Highlands to sip on some of the finest whiskies Scotland has to offer or eat some of the best homemade dishes or to take part in thrill seeking experiences, I have discovered that the Highlands is the place to be and I cannot wait to return!!
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