Ideas for venturing further afield than Craigengar
Get out and about. Be energetic. Here’s a mix of opportunities all within a 30 – 40 minute drive from Craigengar. Inside activities are guaranteed weatherproof, but others…well, you take your chances. This is Scotland!!
Go Ape at Beecraigs Country Park, Bathgate. Up to 3 hours treetops adventure as a baboon (juniors) or Gorilla (adults) www.goape.co.uk ( Jan 2012 update: please note this attraction is currently closed for a few months due to extensive storm damage but there is another Go Ape at Aberfoyle, approx 1 hr further away, in the lovely countryside of the Trossachs )
Book your group into the Adventure Centre at Ratho, an action packed experience of climbing, aerial assault, abseiling and spa all within the world’s largest indoor climbing arena. Those afraid of heights can enjoy their gym, fitness studio and spa.
Experience the thrills, but no spills, of go-karting under cover near Newbridge, this side of Edinburgh http://www.xtremekarting.co.uk This 5 STAR experience is also available in Falkirk, 45 minutes away, for those of you wanting to cap off a day of scenic and historic excitement around Stirling with some pre-booked track excitement.
Try your hand at clay pigeon shooting with instruction. Near Mid Calder Or a bit more than a 40 minute drive, but worth the journey over the Forth Bridge, Cluny Clays offer a range of activities and can also cope with small group wish-lists.
Head for Glentress near Peebles, hire mountain bikes and experience the exhilaration of downhill rides. Routes for all skills. http://glentressforest.com/ For any non-adrenaline seekers, Peebles is a nice little town with small characterful shops, cafes and some lovely gardens and walks close by.
Or enjoy the thrill more locally on the Pentlands if you have your own bikes. Again there are some lovely walks for those who prefer not to be in the saddle. http://www.moredirt.co.uk/
Take to the water at Port Edgar. Everything from kayaking, keelboat sailing and powerboating where you can take an exhilarating high speed tour around the islands of the Firth of Forth and all get the chance to drive the boat against increasingly large waves.
For an adrenaline filled experience why not set everyone's pulse racing with an event at Knockhill Racing Circuit, Scotland's National Motorsport Centre in Fife.? 35 miles away / 50 mins by car.
Or, closer to home, set off for a paintball experience.in amongst the Bathgate Hills 17 miles away / 30 mins by car. Delta Force www.paintballgames.co.uk engage you in paintball games with optional pyrotechnics available such as paint and smoke grenades and thunderflashes. Lots of fun.
And closer to home:
Hillwalking from your door. Stride over to West Linton via sheep paths and rough terrain. If a return route seems daunting, half of you drive to West Linton, cross the Pentlands on foot, and meet halfway to hand over car keys. You’ll hardly meet a soul, except hopefully the other half of your party! Maybe bring a compass with you.
Fishing: Walk across 2 fields and catch your supper from the reservoir stocked with trout. Bank and boat fishing. http://www.fishcrosswood.co.uk/
Golf and various other opportunities: here is just one of many websites you might want to explore as it caters specifically for groups. http://www.kingsfieldgolf.com
Exhausted with all this activity?
Why not relax for a day exploring a bit of Scotland with no driving involved? Tap into multi- award-winning Rabbies’ Trail Burners’ expertise in agreeing an itinerary with you. They can pick you up from Craigengar in one of their 16 seater mini-buses. Enjoy the camaraderie of all being together with knowledgeable but entertaining and safe driver guides.
Take in a show in Edinburgh: a musical, theatre, ballet, opera… there’s always something exciting on. Explore the websites of the Edinburgh Playhouse, the Kings and Festival Theatres.
www.edinburghplayhouse.org.uk, and www.fctt.org.uk
Edinburgh offers endless opportunities. But perhaps save up the usual tourist hot-spots until another time when there are less of you and for now go for something different, more fun and group orientated? Here are a couple:
A foodies’ guided walking tour for small groups round some of the best places in the Old and New towns of Edinburgh with some history, food and drink sampling thrown in. http://www.eatwalkedinburgh.co.uk/
Ghost tours: I would recommend Mercat tours. With the catchline “engages, enthralls and entertains” they are also happy to arrange private spine-chilling tours for small groups. http://www.mercattours.com/home.asp
And if you haven’t been inspired by any of the above, why not Google your particular interest, add Edinburgh and the Lothians into the search area, and see what amazing opportunities leap onto your screen? Or check out www.visitwestlothian.co.uk for more local ideas, especially if you have children in your party, as there are some wonderful attractions close by with kid-appeal.
And you can always tap into some of the ideas for outings shown on our See & Do Pages on this website.
But maybe none of the above is for you and all you crave is to stay in, reminisce and catch up with old friends you haven’t met up with for ages?
Ideas for staying in and enjoying the luxury
Call on the services of a mobile beautician, try a facial makeover, relaxing massage, transform your nails, all in the comfort of Craigengar. Contact Emma Bruce of www.ticktockbeauty.co.uk, Jennifer of www.buebar.co.uk or Janine on www.bloominbeautiful.net
Cocktails at home? A fun evening in. Sit back and relax. Explore http://www.thecocktailqueen.co.uk Competitively priced they offer party nights in as well as tutoring nights, hen and girls nights. And if you're keen to take the angst out of food preparation that night, they can team up with the Inside Out Chef who offers a huge range of tasty catering options. Contact Wendy: details are on http://teaclub.co/
Continuing the “Take a rest from cooking” theme, here are some other highly recommended local catering businesses with the personal touch that will come to Craigengar and cook you luscious food. Catriona of Hyndberry. www.hyndberry.co.uk or Linda Scott of Gourmet Cooking Services, www.gcscatering.co.uk.
Or contact Jacques Troquet, past head chef for the French Embassy, if you favour and savour "top nosh fare" without the formality.
But maybe your budget doesn’t stretch to this but you want to enjoy Scottish fare at its best. Visit Craigie's Farm Shop and Cafe on the outskirts of Edinburgh. With one of the largest selections of Scottish farm produce in the country, it’s ideal for stocking up with the best of food and drink for your stay at Craigengar. Ask us for a 15% discount voucher we have negotiated for our guests. www.craigies.co.uk
Alternatively you may fancy a no-fuss, no strangers, but tasty take-away meal. Highly rated locally is the Chinese menu offered by Mei Hua Platform in West Calder. Take advantage of the special discounted price for our guests negotiated with the owner, Philip Lau.
Option 1: 10% discount for orders between £30 to £50, 12% discount for orders over £50
Option 2: Free delivery for orders £50.00 and over.
Click here for a menu enabling you to order in advance. Probably best to email your choices back to: firstname.lastname@example.org with a phone call to 01506 871500 highlighting the order and stating that you are staying at Crosswoodhill or Craigengar and would like to claim your discount.
Celebrating a birthday or anniversary? What better than a scrumptious cake you can unveil at Craigengar? Visit http://www.trulydesignercakes.co.uk This award-winning firm can deliver but as they are locally based at Linlithgow, why not feast on history as well as baking? Call in at their shop close to the awesome ruins of Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, and treat yourselves to cupcakes, tray bakes, scones, tablet or truffles.
Then come home and relax on the decking outside the living area, and get that equally scrumptious Scottish meat or fish sizzling on the BBQ (planned for Spring 2012), all under the watchful eyes of our grazing sheep.
Don’t overlook the free simple pleasures you never have time for at home. Get out the jigsaw board, crowd round and chat away as a picture takes shape, or delve into the Games cupboard for board games, fun and laughter.
And if this is all too much effort, retreat and tune into the Sonos sound system, the large screen TV, or even stretch out in privacy to watch your very own DVD. Perhaps bring some Wii games with you to enjoy some family or group fun?
Group and individual road Transport
If coming by train, it may be cheaper for you to book a ticket to West Calder instead of buying a separate ticket from Edinburgh or Glasgow to West Calder, the nearest train station.
If arriving at West Calder train station or Edinburgh Airport, contact our local taxi firm, Real Radio Cars 01506 433 433 or 870 707. They also have minibuses. Phone them for rates.
http://www.edinburghcityprivatehire.com/ is an alternative Edinburgh firm which will collect/ deliver groups from the airport or transport them into the City Centre.
Also available is a subsidised booked-in-advance taxi bus (with daytime limitations) which you can get only from West Calder to Crosswoodhill and vice-versa. Ask for details.
You may now want to return to the Craigengar Page to reassure yourselves just how relaxing a place and space it is to come home to ?