Easter Balgedie is a small rural hamlet made up of just a few houses and a couple of farms. There are little lanes to stroll along and a farm track that leads up to the Lomond Hills at the back and another that takes you to Loch Leven at the front. Only half a mile down the road is Kinnesswood where you’ll find a friendly village shop to pick up your paper and daily basics, and a local garage that still fills up your tank for you.
Kinnesswood is a pretty little historic village that has won the Keep Scotland Beautiful Award many times over. There are some lovely old cottages and pathways and the Michael Bruce (the Gentle Poet of Loch Leven) cottage museum. It is also the start of the Michael Bruce Way, a fabulous scenic walk. There's a ceramic workshop where you can pick up some tasteful Scottish souvenirs and a lovely nine hole Bishopshire golf course. It’s hilly though so isn’t for the faint hearted, although the views from some of the holes are the best around!
Wester Balgedie is just half a mile from the house and lodge in the other direction. There you'll find a great local pub, The Balgedie Toll Tavern, where you can get a beer and delicious meal, and slightly further along the road is Loch Levens Larder, a wonderful coffee shop, restaurant, gift shop and deli.
Kinross is only four miles away and is a small market town with everything you are likely to need during your stay. There’s a good selection of restaurants, supermarkets, a fabulous local butcher called Hunters, some quant little shops and a very helpful bike hire shop. And many of the major Scottish cities, Edinburgh, Perth, St Andrews, Stirling and Dundee are all within an hour’s drive.
But you don’t need to go far to keep busy and entertained! There’s so much to do around and about, whatever your age or interests and whatever the weather! Below are some of the most popular activities and outings but it’s by no means exhaustive! If you’d like some more information or have a particular interest and hobby, just let us know and we can hopefully help you make the most of your stay.
Loch Leven Heritage Trail
Loch Leven is not only stunning but it is the largest lowland loch in Scotland. It’s Heritage Trail is a unique pathway linking natural, historic and cultural heritage that goes all the way round the edge of loch. It’s a fantastic place to walk, run or cycle and you can do it all in one day or different sections as you fancy it. Have a look at the trail’s website for top picnic spots, beaches and particular places of interest on the way.
Vane Farm is a National Nature Park and of major interest to anyone who loves bird watching as well as those who’ve never done it before! Autumn and winter are particularly special as it’s when the pink-footed geese arrive but throughout the year there’s always some wonderful wildlife to watch and enjoy!
Loch Leven is not only renowned for it’s beauty but also for it’s famous visitor, Mary Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned on Castle Island in it’s centre in 1567. You can see the island clearly from the House and Lodge and from March to October, or when the weather permits, there is a little ferry that takes visitors from the jetty in Kinross over to the island to explore and look around the castle ruins. It’s a lovely little trip and a great spot to have a picnic!
Falkland Palace and Gardens
Falkland Palace and Gardens is another historic landmark that is definitely worth a trip. It was the Stuart monarchs’ country residence for 200 years and reportedly one of Mary Queen of Scots favourite places. Set in the heart of Falkland conservation village, and surrounded by extensive gardens, this partly restored Renaissance palace is the perfect place to while away an afternoon.
The House and Lodge are fantastic bases for golf lovers of all levels. As well as playing on many of the local courses which are incredibly beautiful and varied, the famous courses of Gleneagles and the Old Course at St Andrews are within easy reach.
Standing tall and proud outside the city of Stirling and overlooking the scene of Scotland’s victory at The Battle of Stirling Bridge is the Wallace Monument. This is a place where history is something you can touch and feel, as you follow the story of Sir William Wallace, patriot, martyr, and Guardian of Scotland. And popping into see the splendid Stirling Castle while you are there makes the trip doubly worth while!
For the more adventurous, gliding is available close by at the renowned Portmoak Gliding Club (or just enjoy watch the gliders from the garden soaring over Bishops Hill!)
Much of the hit TV series was filmed close by and so if you love the program you can easily immerse yourself in it all for real! There are the castles Aberdour, Balgonie and Blackness and also the historic towns of Culross, Falkland and Dysart Harbour. Visit them all knowing you’re coming home each night to your own little spot of Scottish history at the house and lodge.
And more for the kids too…
For anyone who fancies go carting there’s the Scottish Motorsport Centre at Knockhill which has great go-carting days for children (and adults!). Cluny Clays is 10 minutes away and is one of Scotland's top outdoor activity centres boasting golf, clay shooting, archery, air-rifle and segway facilities along with a large outdoor children's play area. Cairnie Fruit Farm is another fun day out with a great coffee shop, huge outdoor play area and a fun maze to explore. And Deep Sea World is just 20 mins away under the picturesque Forth Rail Bridge, in North Queensferry and is one of the premier family attractions in Scotland.