Sitting in a hot tub in a forest on the shore of Loch Lubnaig sipping a glass of Prosecco, savouring an oh so still evening drawing down, all I could think was, “oh yeah!”. Though I also remember the children banging on the patio glass doors mouthing, “We’re hungry,” or somesuch but patio glass is sound proof for a good reason. OK, I jest. Well, kind of.
Forest Holiday Strathyre is pure getaway, surrounded by forest, beside a loch and in the shadow of a mountain, yet conveniently located for visitors from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Positioned on an old railway line, which makes for an ideal family cycle track, this is exactly the place for families that adore cycling, walking, hiking, kayaking together. (Bikes and kayaks can be rented on site).
All the cabins are either loch side or set in clusters within the forest.Inside, the brilliantly designed woodland cabins are roomy, very bright and well-appointed with large TV (including a decent media package), decent sized kitchen table and fluffy dressing gowns for the grown ups. On this visit, we stayed in the Silver Birch class of cabin which sleeps 4. There are also slightly more luxurious Golden Oak class cabins which are positioned loch side (although it’s likely all the cabins here have at least some view of the loch).
The hot tubs are superb, the kids adored ours and so did we. When dad did his usual and went off for a couple of hours on his mountain bike alone, he absolutely relished the hot tub on his return. (No, we’re not getting one at home, hon).
On site there is a convenience store with local fresh produce and a pleasant café with a children’s play area. The site has only one road in and out, is more or less enclosed so kids can bomb around safely on their trikes and bikes. The café can deliver pizza to your cabin in the evenings and fresh rolls and croissants in the morning which are appreciated.
On Site Activities
Canoes and cycles can be rented on site and there is an extensive network of trails to walk or bike, including some suitable for push chairs and the very young. (Dogs are allowed on site but not in all cabins, so check website for details). The café offers a range of activities for families including a quiz, pottery painting and various nature themed activities. We have enjoyed the guided dusk Forest Walks on previous visits and can thoroughly recommend these, for even the youngest children. The manager and his team are very friendly and helpful and will provide all the information you’ll need to pack out your weekend. There’s a couple of stony beaches where you can while away an hour skimming pebbles which is always fun
Things To Do Nearby
Obviously there are a wide range of outdoor pursuits locally, such as mountain biking, horse riding and golf.
Callander is just a few minutes drive away and is packed with cafés and restaurants. All sorts of festivals (food and folk etc.) and other activities take place throughout the summer so check out their website for details. There is also the Mclaren Leisure Centre for rainy days, with a pool and climbing wall.
We also went on a Treetop Adventure at Go Ape Aberfoyle (minimum age 10+) which is absolutely fantastic. Our 10 year old Sam raved about it for weeks afterwards and said it was one of the best days of his life ever. The ziplines are among the longest in the UK (400m long) and cross 150 feet above a stunning waterfall in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. You must book in advance to secure a time slot.
Queen Elizabeth Forest Park is beautiful, with a café, visitor centre and lots of easy push chair friendly trails. Well worth a visit.
As a family, we absolutely loved it at Strathyre and are planning to return this year. If you love walking, cycling and canoeing then this is really worth a visit. There’s plenty of other fun activities nearby to wear out the children and in the evenings, well, that hot tub is just so tempting, whatever the weather…
Reviewed by JW Patrick (with kids age 9 and 5)
Forest Holidays: www.forestholidays.co.uk
Go Ape: www.goape.co.uk/booking
Callendar Tourism: www.incallander.co.uk
McLaren Leisure Centsre: http://www.mclarenleisure.co.uk