Our first post lockdown trip of 2021 (take 2 after a failed 2020 trip due to Covid) took us to Scotland, kicking off with 3 nights at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel. Just stepping out of the car once you arrive, you know you’ve arrived in the Highlands. Perfectly positioned amongst spectacular scenery on the West Highland Way and just 20 minutes south of Glencoe, it was the perfect place to begin our Scotland trip.
Despite the incredible mountains you’re surrounded by, it’s surprisingly easy to get to the hotel and less than an hour north of Loch Lomond. There’s a train station in the hamlet with direct links to Glasgow, Fort William and further afield, even including a direct link to London on the Caledonian Sleeper train! Glencoe is just 20 minutes away and Fort William an hour, giving plenty of options to explore the area.
Due to the fantastic position with 5 munros in walking distance from the hotel, this small hotel is a perfect base for walkers, outdoor adventurers and of course our lovely 4 legged friends. In fact, with the newer annex buildings, 22 of the 32 rooms at the hotel are dog friendly!
All of the dog friendly rooms at the hotel are based in the modern annex buildings, benefitting from their own private outdoor entrance and a terrace to outside. The rooms were spotlessly clean with wooden floors and decorated in a neutral palette. It perhaps would have been nice to have a dog bowl in the room, but this wasn’t a big issue as we had brought our own with us.
Our room backed onto the river and was the most beautiful spot to give Poppy a quick leg stretch each morning and evening.
Food and Drink
As the hotel is pretty remote, we were happy to eat in the hotel restaurant every night. As we had Poppy, she wasn’t allowed in the main restaurant area but we were happy to eat in the bar where she was plied with A LOT of gravy bones and water in between snoozes under our table. Unsurprisingly she became very fond of the staff as our stay went on! We also loved that we were able to take her to breakfast with us as well, so she didn’t need to be left alone at any time during our stay.
The food was a mix of hearty pub food, perfect after a day walking in the mountains. Andy was delighted that they had an excellent local beer selection and I loved sampling a couple of cocktails off the small menu. Due to restrictions, we had to take our drinks outside or back to our room but I can imagine there is a great atmosphere in the bar in more normal times.
Walks from the door
One of the things we were most excited about staying at the Bridge of Orchy hotel was just how many walks from the door are available. With a long 6 hour drive from home in The Cotswolds, being able to climb a munro from the hotel door and walk back down the mountain for a cold pint at the end of the day was a real treat!
We chose to climb up Beinn Dorain (Walk Highlands route here) but you can also join the West Highland Way or choose one of the other neighbouring munros right from the hotel front door.
The surrounding area
The hotel is perfectly positioned to enjoy the surrounding area, and we highly recommend a visit North of the hotel to the Glencoe area and beyond. The short drive takes you over Rannoch Moor then through the spectacular glen itself. It’s honestly hard to keep your eyes on the road the first time you do the drive!
Choose from hundreds of walks in the area or enjoy a few hours paddleboarding on Loch Leven. We loved a visit to Glencoe Lochan which is just outside the village of Glencoe, perfect for a short walk with beautiful reflections of the Pap of Glencoe in the little lochan. There’s an easy, flat and wheelchair friendly route around the lake which takes about half an hour.
Overall, this friendly hotel was the perfect base to explore some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery and the best introduction to the Highlands!
This post is a collaboration with Bridge of Orchy Hotel and we enjoyed a complimentary stay in return for an honest review.