‘Malteser Moments’ at Crieff Hydro Riding Centre

This week we have a special guest post from one our Riding Centre regulars, Lesley Simpson, who is dying to spread the word about the joys of riding…


“As a portly 50-something woman, I thought that our Riding Centre manager, Liz Simpson, was joking when she kept asking me when I’d be calling over to the Riding Centre for a lesson. Maybe it was the shock of realising that Liz was being perfectly serious that gave me the impetus to try.

That was about 18 months ago and I’ve now fallen in love with riding; hook, line and sinker. More specifically, I’ve fallen for Donald – a 7 year old coloured Cob who stands at an impressive 16 hands.

Donald and I started off slowly, building mutual trust whilst covering all the basics; mounting, dismounting, correct use of the reins, safety, steering and the like, before progressing to walk, trot and even canter. Throughout all of this, Liz displayed the patience of a saint. If she thought I was hopeless then it never showed and her enviable ability to remain calm at all times really inspired my self-confidence.

Initially we stayed close to home; completing circuits of the indoor and outdoor arenas and very short hacks close to the hotel. Before long we were venturing further afield, where the scenery is just breath-taking. It was during one such foray, when we were at the top of the Knock when I first described the experience as a ‘Malteser Moment’. For me, that’s one of those really special times in life when you feel absolutely exhilarated as if you’re full of bubbles and about to explode.


There have been many such moments since then; notably the first time we crossed a ford, the time we climbed steps on horseback and one memorable ride when we zigzagged our way downhill through a wonderful but steep woodland trail – what an adrenaline rush!

Much to the amusement of the Riding Centre team I talk to Donald throughout each session, always have carrots for him as a reward at the end of the lesson and even treat him to his favourite Stout at Christmas!

It always feels such a privilege to ride this magnificent horse and I’d urge everyone to give it a try. I can think of no better way to relax after a stressful day and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be driving home afterwards singing along to your favourite CD at the very top of your voice. Happy days.”

Want to experience a ‘malteser moment’ for yourself? Visit our website or give us a call on 01764 651 830 to find out more about learning to ride with us

Seasonal Seafood at the Brasserie

The Brasserie is serving seafood fresh from the west coast of Scotland every Friday, Saturday and Sunday this August!


At Crieff Hydro we love fresh, local produce. We try to source as much of the food and drink that we offer from quality local suppliers – everything from the Ice cream we serve in The Hub to our pizza toppings in Piccolo. And our latest seasonal seafood menu in the Brasserie is no exception!

We have scoured the west coast of Scotland to bring you the very best seafood that the British Isles has to offer – from succulent Loch Erisort scallops to beautiful Dunvegan lobsters, quality is at the forefront of everything that we strive to achieve.

Our chefs relish the chance to work with such great fresh produce and have created a wide range of exciting dishes so that you can enjoy a tasty weekend treat. Our full seasonal seafood menu is available to view on our website here.

Are you a lobster lover?


We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer delicious, fresh lobster however we feel it’s only fair to warn you that eating lobster is not always plain sailing…

“We’re like two samurai really and we need to have respect for each other before meeting in battle. And eating lobster is a battle as you will soon learn.” – Seth Cohen

So, if you’d love to try lobster but are a little intimidated by the challenge lying ahead or even if you just need a quick refresher course, we would suggest giving this handy guide a quick look over.

When you feel like you’re fully trained and ready for combat then join us in the Brasserie to vanquish for shellfish foe – bon appétit!

VIP Spa Experience: An evening with Clarins

Exciting news pampering fans – the date has been set for our next VIP Clarins Spa Experience event night at the Crieff Hydro Spa and Beauty Salon!

Clarins Facial - small

Yes, it’s that time again when our friends from Clarins come along to Crieff Hydro to share their knowledge of all things spa! From the best treatments and products on the market to helpful hints and tips that you can take home with you and incorporate into your personal beauty routine – we’ve got you covered.

Join us on Thursday 14th August for just £15 per person (which is redeemable against the purchase of any Clarins product at the end of the night) for an evening of relaxation and luxury. We’ll even throw in a glass of bubbly, a goody bag and free entry into our raffle and prize draw, just to sweeten the deal that little bit more! What more could you ask for?

Need to know:

  • Thursday 14th August
  • 6:15pm
  • £15pp (Redeemable against the purchase of any Clarins product)
  • Spaces limited – Call 01764 651609 or email salon@crieffhydro.com to avoid disappointment

At Crieff Hydro Spa & Beauty Salon we’re very proud to be able to offer our customers the very best not only in terms of facilities and service but also in terms of the beauty treatments and the beauty products on offer. As such, we currently work exclusively with Clarins, who are one of the industry leaders and experts in the skin care field.
Clarins produce a number of eco-responsible, organic, plant-based beauty and skincare products which is exactly why we love them – their natural products help us bring out your natural beauty! We stock a wide variety of the very best that Clarins has to offer and they’ll all be available to purchase on the night when you can ask the experts any questions you may have about what will work best for you.

For more information or to book your spot email salon@crieffhydro.com or call 01764 651609. Hurry spaces are limited!

Summer Holiday Activities – a Horsey Summer Holiday!


Are you stuck for ideas of what to do with the kids this summer holidays? Or maybe you’re sick of seeing them sat in front of the TV or on their smart phones while the world passes them by..? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

Why not make this summer holiday a horsey holiday? We have a whole range of activities for kids and adults alike!

Horse riding in Scotland is an absolutely fantastic way to spend a summery afternoon; out in the fresh air, getting some exercise (you and the horse!) and learning a brand new skill at the same time. At Crieff Hydro’s approved riding school we have something to suit the whole family – from children’s pony rides to hacks for more experienced riders. And did you know we offer after school riding clubs too?


For children under 5 we offer pony rides on Polly our gorgeous little Shetland pony (or one of her friends)! We’ll kit your little ones out in a safety helmet and then take them on a lead-rein ride around our enclosed outdoor riding arena. They’ll absolutely love our Polly who enjoys getting a nice friendly stroke from her young apprentice jockeys.

Older children needn’t feel left out as we also offer beginner riding lessons where we’ll cover all the basics with you – from mounting and dismounting to turning and stopping. These are half hour group lessons that are open to adults as well as children so why not saddle up and show your young ones how it’s done?!

If this isn’t your first time in the saddle then we also offer horse riding lessons for more experienced riders. These lessons can be up to an hour long and are highly flexible, as we are more than happy to tailor each session to your specific needs. So whether you want to work on your dressage or your show jumping, we’re here to help!

Oh, and did we mention that the weather isn’t an issue? If (God forbid) it was to rain, we can move riding lessons into our indoor riding arena and carry on the fun in the warm and dry!

Learning to horse ride in Perthshire couldn’t be easier! For more information about horse riding lessons in Perthshire for adults and children or children’s pony rides just visit our website at hydroriding.com or contact us on 01764 651 616. Or check out our Facebook page!

How about a Day at Crieff with a Birdie and a Burger?

At Crieff Hydro, we love to put a smile on our regulars’ faces with some fun special offers. We are currently celebrating the upcoming Ryder Cup tournament with our own special deal for hungry golfers. For just £18, you can get a round of 9 holes at our Culcrieff golf course followed by a tasty burger and a cold pint. How good of a deal is that? We think it’s pretty incredible.

Here’s how it works

So, you fancy a round of golf, eh? Come see us, bring your clubs and book a tee time. We take tee off bookings from 4pm onwards and if you want to upgrade to 18 holes, you can do that for as little as £7. This is particularly pleasant in the summer months because an evening round of golf is a lovely way to wind the day down and get some fresh air in the beautiful setting of the Crieff Hydro Golf course.

Once you finish your round you can head back to the 19th hole and enjoy your burger, carefully and lovingly prepared by our specialist chefs. Now, sadly, we can’t promise the birdie because that is down to whether you have a good golfing session or not, but regardless of the result you can enjoy a cold refreshing pint.

Celebrating the Ryder Cup

This year the Ryder Cup will be welcomed home by the entire golfing community and celebrated at the Gleneagles Golf Course—the home of the Ryder Cup tournament. We are so happy that this year, the Ryder Cup will be right on our doorstep and we intend to celebrate in true golfing spirit. So, get booking and grab your tee off time for the birdie and a burger deal while they are still available.

October in the Enchanted Forest

October is the perfect time to see the Enchanted Forest in its full glory, making the autumn very special indeed. In 2014, Perthshire celebrates the Year of Homecoming, with the The Enchanted Forest—a multi-award winning show—that creates an imaginative experience that will dazzle viewers. If you come to Scotland looking for a unique and thoroughly entertaining experience then you will not be disappointed with the 2014 event: Elemental. In 2013, this show attracted more than 40,000 people with its dazzling, innovative and visually fulfilling design set against the backdrop of its own original music.

Image courtesy of Cat Burton

It’s all in the Name

The show explores Faskally Wood, near Pitlochry. Running from 3rd to 26th October 2014, The Enchanted Forest is the perfect excuse for an October break at Crieff Hydro that the whole family can enjoy. The show has won the name of ‘Best Cultural Event’ in Scotland twice now. Elemental aims to celebrate nature with special effects that complete the experience and ensnare the senses.

How About a Story?

By popular demand, the team have set up their story yurt again this year, with a view to some interesting and fun storytelling adventures. Now, because the yurt will only fit so many, there is an additional charge of a pound and it’s on a first come first served basis, so get there early if you want to hear a story.

Image courtesy of Geograph

Dinner in the Dark Forest

You can complete the whole experience by having dinner in the Forest’s great outdoors as the superb catering team agreed to come back this year to feed the crowd. Adults get the choice of mulled wine or hot chocolate and the minors get the hot chocolate, along with sizzling beef burgers or hot dogs. Our large family rooms are perfect for enjoying a good night’s rest after the fun has finished so grab your tickets and come join us for an October adventure.

Perth Show – a celebration of agriculture and horse riding in Perthshire


We’re only a couple of weeks away from the annual Perth Show, which Perthshire Agricultural Society are hosting to celebrate the area’s agriculture for over 150 years.

The show originally began as a rather modest affair but, having grown steadily in popularity over the years; it is now one of the highlights of the Perthshire summer holidays’ events calendar attracting up to 20,000 visitors every year. No longer solely about the judging of livestock (although that still remains a much-loved integral part of the show’s activities) the Perth Show is now also a fantastic Perthshire day out for the whole family with plenty of activities for kids.

There are a huge number of events and attractions to enjoy across the two days including the Grand Parade and judging of livestock, piping, horse riding and many more. The show boasts some of the country’s finest cattle, horses and ponies – in fact the Crieff Hydro Riding Centre is proud to be sponsoring one of the Ridden Highland horse showing classes and showing their support of horse riding in Perthshire.

For those of you who enjoy horse riding, or perhaps feel inspired to give it a go by the beautiful horses on display at the Perth Show, you’ll be pleased to hear that at Crieff Hydro Riding Centre we have a great range of options for horse riding in Scotland – from children’s pony rides for under 5s to horse riding lessons for beginners and experienced riders, all at our approved riding school. We even have both an indoor riding arena and an outdoor riding arena so the ever unpredictable Scottish weather won’t stop us!

Perth Show Need to Knows

Friday 1st August – Adult £10 – Concessions £5 – Parking £5 – Family ticket £25
Saturday 2nd August – Adult £10 – Concessions £7 – Parking £5 – Family ticket £27

Gates open to the public at 7am on each day. Please note that members and exhibitors MUST present their entry tickets, entry will not be permitted without a valid ticket. Click here for directions on how to get to Perth show.

For more information on horse riding in Scotland visit us at hydroriding.com, check us out on Facebook or contact Crieff Hydro Riding Centre on 01764 651 616

A Bit of Fun and Games At The Highland Games

You might not know this, but the Highland Games are an extremely popular attraction and not only in Scotland. Every year in Portland, Oregon, you can join in the fun of the games where Americans celebrate the Scottish culture. This event attracts thousands of people throughout the two days it runs, and you can see the tossing of the caber, hammer throwing and all the sporting events that we here in Scotland do. You can also see the pipers and drummers parade, and it is one to enjoy, for sure.

tossing-the-caberImage courtesy of SidewaysSarah

Meanwhile, back here in Scotland

This year the Perth Highland Games will be hosted in North Inch on Sunday 10th August. One of the most popular events on the Highland Games circuit, there are a host of traditional events taking place including highland dancing and heavyweight events such as tossing the caber. You can even sample some of the local food at the number of trade stands on site.
We love getting involved, here at the Crieff, and the Highland Games is no exception. We offer unique things to do throughout the year, and we love to give you options with our experience packages. If the Highland Games makes you want to try something new, we have a massive selection of sporting activities to choose from.

crieff-hydro-mini-highland-gamesSporting Options

Let’s say you feel inspired to play golf…we have that. Alternatively, how about archery? Yup, you can do that too. Or you want to try the rifle range? That’s no problem either. You can even take part in your own mini Highland Games. Our half day mini games will give everyone a taster of the traditional events and bring the whole group together for some team building fun. How far can you hurl the Haggis?

There’s no better way to spend an adventurous weekend, week or more having some great fun at Crieff Hydro, so come on up and let us show you and your family the best time ever.

All the Fun of the Festive Season at Crieff Hydro

We know you are still planning your summer fun but many already have an eye on organising a memorable family festive season. An amazing 70% of people who stay with us at Christmas will re-book for the year after. It’s not hard to understand why as we offer great food, comfortable accommodation and the best Christmas entertainment around.


Festive Breaks at the Crieff Hydro

Christmas offers the promise of the warmest welcome, warm hearths and a whole lot of Christmas fun and celebration. You also get the benefit of exploring and enjoying the 900 acre countryside land that surrounds us. On a wintery, snowy day you can sit in the warm beauty of Crieff Hydro with its towering trees that reach from the floor to the ceiling.

We offer daily entertainment such as arts and crafts, wine tasting sessions and Ceilidh classes, among many others. There is a whole menu of fun to choose from and it’s all available to all our Christmas guests. For just £469.00 per person for a three night stay you get all the above plus your meals, the choice of more than 60 leisure activities and a welcome drink reception to get your Christmas party underway.


Celebrate Hogmanay with the Crieff team

Looking to welcome in the New Year in style? The whole family can enjoy the celebrations at Crieff Hydro with a mouth watering Scottish 3 course meal before dancing the night away with a traditional ceilidh. If your wee ones are too little to see in the bells then we even offer free childcare for 2-12 year olds in BIG Country. So it looks like your cosy Scottish retreat is closer than you think.


A Bit of Southern Fried Hospitality, Right Here in Scotland

What we at Crieff Hydro love is that we can share our experience and culture with the rest of the world and reciprocate the joy and respect we have for our fellow peoples around the globe. For instance, we know that in Oregon, the Americans have their own Scottish Highland Games which took place this year on the 18th and 19th July. At the Crieff Hydro, we also like to get involved with local events paying homage to American culture, albeit Southern, rather than Northwestern.

southern-fried-festivalImage courtesy of Ticketmaster 

What is the Southern Fried Festival?

The Southern Fried Festival was launched back in 2008 to roaring crowds and was a significant success. Since from then it has had some huge names lining up to play here. Taking place in Perth Concert Hall, right up the Road from the Crieff Hydro, between 25th and 27th July, the festival will include Buffy Saint-Marie as a headliner, along with Rosanne Cash and Steve Earle. Other big names that have appeared at the festival in the past are The Mavericks, Los Lobos, Nanci Griffith, Eddi Reader, Seasick Steve and Lyle Lovett.

Not only do attendees get to hear some of the best that music and country music has to offer, but they will also get to experience the tastes of authentic soul and southern food cooked by the people in the know. Our local celebration of all things southern explores American music from its roots up, while all the time bringing you the authentic tastes of the south. You can expect to hear bluegrass, gospel, soul music and everything in between as you are taken on a journey through southern American history.

roasanne-cashImage courtesy of Hiw

All the fun of the Festival

At Crieff Hydro, we are expecting hoards of guests who are travelling from all over to come for the festival. Staying at Crieff Hydro ensures you can enjoy the fun of the festival and then relax in our peaceful surroundings ready for the next day. Why not extend your stay and take advantage of some of our great special offers? There’s plenty more to see in the local area after your American inspired weekend.

Welcome to the Crieff News blog

For news and events in Crieff, Perthshire.

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