Europe and Middle East, Hotel Reviews, Newsletter, Perth, Scotland, United Kingdom

Murrayshall Country Estate. Immersed in fascinating Scottish History.

26/02/2024 by .
Murrayshall Country Estate

Michael Cranmer Takes A Break At The Murrayshall Country Estate, Perth, Gets High, And Delves Into Scottish History.

Having a Hoot.

I wasn’t exactly Roamin’ in the Gloamin’ (with apologies to Harry Lauder) just Strollin’ in the Sunset within the grounds of the Murrayshall Country Estate. Some early-rising Owl hooted from an ancient beech as the Murrayshall Burn burbled its way down and down to join the mighty River Tay far into the distance. It was one of those magic moments when you truly feel alive, and time slows down. I was high; not with Psilocybin, but the Endorphin produced by the best back massage I’ve ever had, courtesy of Nikita in Murrayshall’s Spa.

Tartan and Tunnock’s.

The Murrayshall Country Estate is just that; an estate in the country, that country being Perthshire, with the elegant city that gave its name a handful of miles south. The Main House has been around for 360 years, and, together with the adjoining Balvaird House, has 40 rooms and suites.

Room 2 Murrayshall Murrayshall Country Estate

Décor inspiration comes from the soft tones of the fields, rivers and hills, blended into a themed tartan. Scottish organic bath products are by Ishga and Gordon Castle, using essential oils and herbs. Sensuous 400 thread-count sheets but no folded towels in the shape of swans on my bed…something much, much better. Two Tunnock’s Wafer biscuits. A stroke of genius.

Mulligans, Worm Burners and the Yips.

You can’t go anywhere in Scotland without stumbling into a golf course. There are 550 of ‘em. It’s the national sport. Murrayshall has its own, naturally. A championship course over 365 acres, ranked high in the Top  100 in UK and Ireland. Not being familiar with Mulligans, mashie niblicks, or worm burners (look them up) I gravitated to the 19th hole thereby cutting out the frustration of missed putts and the yips.

Murrayshall Country Estate

Coming later this year to Murrayshall, a Golf Academy with 17 bays, 2 Teaching Academy Bays, and new pro-shop. For golf widows or widowers, they offer Spa and Golf Breaks – a round of golf or a 30-minute spa treatment per person with dinner, bed and breakfast. From my seat at the bar looking over the beautiful landscape I chose the spa and the healing hands of Nikita and passed on the golf bit.

“Mushroom Pie, Miss Moneypenny?”

The fine-dining Eòlas, awarded the Best Boutique Hotel Restaurant in the UK, and shortlisted for Scotland’s Best Restaurant, is overseen by Master Chef Craig Jackson. He makes no secret of his passion for seafood. “I like working with fish and seafood – there’s nowhere to hide with it,” he said. “If the cooking is off 30 seconds either way it can ruin the dish.” I chose hand-dived Orkney scallops, with fennel and bouillabaisse paired with Ant Moore Signature Series Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2022 …heavenly.

Mushroom Pie Murrayshall Country Estate

Sous chef Andy McDonald, tall, rangy and cultivating a splendid twirly-whirly moustache, cooked my main -Mushroom Pie: Maitake, miso, soy and pickle. He is the voice-double of Scotland’s 007. To hear him say “Mushroom Pie, Miss Monepenny?” was uncanny. Andy and Craig also major in the meatier parts of the menu, quail, beef and venison, which colleagues enthused over, but I’m a glasraich so cannot comment. Later, in the Barossa Bar, in homage to Scotland, I decided to taste my first whisky since I gave up in 1984 (another story…). I was poured a ten-year old Single Malt Ardbeg, two drops of water introduced from a pipette – fit for a King.

Stoned in Scone.

Murrayshall Country Estate offers many ways to burn off attendant calories; walks, yoga classes, fishing on the river Tay, kayak tours, biking, and, more calorie-inducing perhaps – whisky tasting at the Glenturrret Distillery. But the visit-not-to-be-missed is next door neighbour Viscount Stormont at Scone (pronounced– skoon) Palace the crowning-seat of Scottish Kings. I was fortunate that the Viscount, a.k.a. William Murray, was in and gave me a private tour.  And what a tour.

It’s been his family home for 400 years, and from at least the 9th century the crowning-place of the Kings of the Scots and home to the Stone of Scone, or Stone of Destiny. Kenneth MacAlpin (the first King of Scots), Shakespeare‘s MacbethRobert the Bruce, and Charles II number amongst the 42 kings of Scots inaugurated and crowned at here. It was believed that no king had a right to reign as King of Scots unless he had first been crowned upon the Stone of Scone.

Viscount Stormont in Scone Palace Long Gallery Murrayshall Country Estate

Quite a list. And then a tangled history…nicked from the rebel Scots by Edward 1 and installed at Westminster where English Kings were crowned. 600 years later, in 1950, a bunch of Scottish students nicked it back for Scotland. It broke in two, was repaired, taken to Arbroath, returned to Westminster, thence back over the border to Edinburgh Castle where it lies today. William is a living history book, revelling in anecdotes, like the story of Queen Victoria’s visit, when the Long Gallery stone floor, now carpeted, was used by her as a curling rink.

Flying Visit.

Back to Murrayshall Country Estate for champagne and tasties in the Library where Elaine McCormack, Director of Sales & Marketing explained plans for their £30 million development in the coming year. “The Golf Academy opens later in the year, followed by a new luxury Spa and Leisure Club with eight treatment rooms, a swimming pool, heat treatments and outdoor jacuzzi” she told me. “The Leisure Club will have a gym, outdoor pool, and sauna, nestled into the hillside with floor-to-ceiling glass all round”.

The estate is conveniently situated an hour from Edinburgh Airport where I arrived via Loganair from Exeter, my nearest airport. The Embraer 145 twin jet held me and 49 others, but we didn’t have time to get to know each other – no sooner were we airborne than we were landing. Like having a private aircaft. The airline flies to more UK airports than all other airlines combined.

Planned Murrayshall Spa and Leisure Centre

The nearest airport to Murrayshall Country Estate is Dundee, only 20 minutes away, with daily flights from Heathrow Terminal 2. It’s possible to get from the airport via public transport but I recommend a bit of indulgence with a Mercedes ‘S’ Class from Lux  Executive Travel, who also take you to nearby Perth with its stylish streets, beautiful architecture, and independent shops.  Murrayshall Country Estate is the perfect place for a peaceful pampered break.

Tell me more about Visiting Murrayshall Country Estate

Special Offers. Murrayshall Country Estate: from £183 pp. Book two nights and get one free. Dinner, bed and breakfast with golf or spa at £114.50 per person, based on two people sharing a room. Dinner in the award-winning EolasRestaurant:

History Scone Palace

Luxury Transport. Luxe Executive Travel: Lux Executive Travel: 07766 032424

Easy Flight Access. Loganair is the UK’s largest regional airline. Fares are inclusive of 15kg hold luggage, 6kg hand luggage and inflight refreshments. Book direct at LoganAir


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