The Queen’s Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games

In much the same way that the Olympic Torch takes a global journey on the run up to the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games symbol has a very similar journey. On October 9th 2013, the Baton, known as the Queens Baton, began its journey from Buckingham Palace where it headed to Glasgow, en route to India. From India, it has visited a number of Commonwealth countries, covering around 118,000 miles, until it arrived in Scotland on June 14th. The torch is currently going the length and breadth of Scotland before finishing in Glasgow on July 23rd for the official opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2014.

Commonwealth-Games-2014-Clyde-MascotImage courtesy of Hefin Owen

Design and Pride of the Baton

The overall design of the 2014 baton was intended to take the baton straight back to its traditional roots making it as similar to the original baton as possible. This year, the Queen’s handwritten message was the primary inspiration and her message was emblazoned into the baton so as to be hidden like an inner secret, only hinted at by the internal illumination from the surrounding lattice titanium framework. The cleverness of the design continues in the secreted gemstones that belong to each territory. The gemstones are dispensed to each of the territories using a puzzle mechanism that when correctly manipulated, gives the gemstone by way of an invitation to join in the Games at Glasgow. The curiosity doesn’t end there; there is also secondary mechanism that keeps the message hidden until the very day of the opening ceremony where then, and only then, will the secondary puzzle be revealed.

Commonwealth-games-2014-queens-baton-relayImage courtesy of Rediff

The Scottish Leg

We at Crieff Hydro kept a very close eye on the Baton Relay and were thrilled when it came through the town of Crieff on Saturday 5th July. There was a great atmosphere with many locals out to celebrate. As the relay powers towards the final leg, we’re excited to discover what the hidden message is! The Commonwealth Games fun doesn’t stop there though as we have lots of sporting packages to keep you entertained during your stay. With the Games kicking off on 23rd July, your little sporting stars can try their hand at a range of sports from archery to pony riding making an unforgettable experience.

Relax, it’s National Relaxation Day

Crieff-Hydro-Spa

Crieff Hydro – Hair And Beauty At Crieff Hydro

If we were to tell you that August 15th 2014 is National Relaxation Day you might have trouble believing it, unless you know that there is such a thing. Come Friday August 15th, 2014, the country will breathe a deep sigh of relaxation and just sit back and take it easy.
Obviously not everyone is going to be able to do that because they will be working and that includes us, up here at Crieff Hydro. However, it won’t feel much like work because we will be helping you to relax in the Crieff Hydro Spa.

Give yourself a lift

Treat yourself to a spa weekend up here with us and you will not regret one second of it. Start your Friday in style by having a complimentary breakfast—full Scottish breakfast, of course—and then spend the day having spa treatments, soaking in the pool, and making yourself feel perfectly and totally relaxed. The Crieff Hydro has been serving the public since 1868 and was known locally for its healing waters. The Victorians were heavily into therapeutic waters and healing spas and the steam and sauna rooms were among the most popular.

Crieff-Hydro-Golf-Sunset

Crieff Hydro Hotel – Culcrieff Golf Club

What else can you do to Relax?

Well, we have a huge list of things that you can choose from to help you relax for the entire weekend, or a week if you need to. You can play a round of golf, go horse riding, hire a quad bike or a Segway, go swimming, play badminton, do archery, and play 5-a-side football, bowls, clay pigeon shooting, air rifle shooting and a whole lot more. Out list of things to do is nearly endless, so when you book your stay with us, all you have to do is ask and it shall be given.

 

Perth Agricultural Show

Perth-Agricultural-ShowImage courtesy of Geograph

For more than one hundred and fifty years Perth in Scotland has celebrated all things Agricultural with the Perth Show. The show is held on the first weekend in August—this year on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd—at the South Inch. The idea is to showcase cattle, livestock and farm animals in a sort of farm version of ‘Crufts’ but with the added fun of it being an entire town experience for all to enjoy.

Hours of Opening and Information

Doors open to the public around 8am in the morning and close around 6pm in the evening. We can tell you at this point that there will be trade stalls, entertainment and other livestock shows. However, the entire show run-down and information hasn’t yet been decided upon, but we at Crieff Hydro will get first-hand knowledge as soon as it is available and of course, pass it on to you—just watch this space.

Planning your Visit

You should probably plan well in advance so that you have accommodation sorted out before your visit to Scotland. We have some great special offers to help you enjoy your stay for the best price possible. Don’t forget you can book direct with us and save even more. The Perth Agricultural Show gives you the chance to walk around and see shows, exhibitions and shop at the stalls for goods made and produced locally. However, there is always lots going on in the area all year round. 

Crieff-Hydro-Spa

Crieff Hydro – Hair And Beauty At Crieff Hydro

After the Show

After your visit to the Perth Show you can opt for a little R&R by visiting our spa and leisure centre and having a massage, using the pool or sauna or having a relaxing day at the salon. There is so much to choose from when you stay at Crieff Hydro that you will be spoilt for choice and if you choose to do nothing but relax, then go right ahead and do that too.

Kid’s Activities for the Summer Holidays at Crieff Hydro

Crieff-Hydro-Family-EatingCrieff Hydro was designed, and built for families to come and enjoy a family holiday with no stress and no fussing. We are proud of our tradition of welcoming families to our hotel and providing them with some excellent fun and entertainment. One thing we are especially proud of is our six hours of fun that we offer your kids.

Six Whole Hours of Fun

We take your kids for 2 sessions of 3 hours each throughout the day and the good thing? It’s already paid for with your room. Yep, that’s right. We take fun very seriously here at the Crieff Hydro and our Big Country team will entertain your kids for the full 6 hours, wearing them out so that all you have to do is hear the excited voices tell you what fun they had just before they fall asleep. Your kids must be between 2 and 12 to qualify for Big Country crèche.

Singing-Kettle-Fantastic-Funfair

 Image courtesy of The Singing Kettle

 Book now for the Fair

Perth Concert Hall is also welcoming The Singing Kettle Fantastic Funfair on 9th August. The fun starts at 12 noon and goes right through to 3pm with the performance featuring dancing, singing and fun for kids of all ages. You even have on-site refreshments at the café. Tickets start from £12.50 per person and can be a great addition to your stay at Crieff Hydro. 

Crieff-Hydro-Big-Country

Entertainment Programmes for the Whole family to Love

Our entertainment programme for your kids starts with family fun, face-painting, and treasure hunting. There is also a cinema where we show kiddies movies. For kids older than 12 we have the Gallery which contains a TV, foosball table, Xbox and pool table. Evening entertainment is for the adults and we offer a variety according to the season. For more information about seasonal entertainment, please check with us when making your booking.

Blair Castle Horse Trials

Blair Castle cross country 2006

Image courtesy of Geograph 

From Thursday 21st August to Sunday 24th August 2014, the Crieff Hydro will be welcoming a large amount of guests for the Blair Castle for the International Horse Trials. The full title of ‘Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair’ is bestowed on Scotland’s foremost equestrian event. There are an estimated 40,000 visitors expected to attend and watch the Olympic medalists compete in all classes.

What’s happening…?

On Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd August, the Bruadar Country Fair will run in conjunction with the trials. This attracts visitors who come to see the countryside pursuits and traditional countryside pastimes. There is also a massive shopping village with more than 200 stands and plenty of bargains. Tickets are already on sale, so get in early to avoid disappointment. We at Crieff Hydro have some great special offers for those who are planning to attend. You can get your booking in early with us so that you have a comfortable and convenient room to stay in while you are here.

Crieff-Hydro-Riding-Centre

Crieff Hydro Riding Centre – A Typical Day At Crieff Hydro Riding Centre 

Be Inspired

You know when Wimbledon is on people start playing tennis and when The Masters is on people start playing golf? Well, when the International Horse Trials are on people will want to start horse riding. At Crieff Hydro, we have our own riding school, which we proudly claim as the best for miles around. We like to think we can inspire young riders to take up horse riding and continue the tradition of entering the Trials as an amateur, professional or indeed an Olympic medalist.

What’s to see?

Well, you can see all things equestrian, including British Show jumping, Hunter Showing, Highland Pony Showing, The Athol Estates Show jumping Championships, Dressage, and the NPS Scottish Finals, among many other events. The timetable is still provisional at this moment, but we hope to get an updated version at the earliest time to let our visitors know what else there is to see.

Crieff Arts Festival – Come for the Art, Stay for the Scenery

 Artwork-of-butterflyImage courtesy of Wikipedia

In 2012 an exhibition to celebrate the art and culture of Crieff was so successful that last year a similar festival was held in Strathearn, Perthshire, by way of repeating the experience. Because the first one was so successful, people came for the second one, bringing with them people who had not seen it before. This increased the crowds and word got around. Similar in style to the Edinburgh Arts Festival, albeit on a smaller scale, the Crieff Arts Festival honours painters and artists by exhibiting sculptures, artwork, craftwork and other displays for the public to enjoy.

So, when is the Arts Festival?

Oh, of course, you will need the dates for your diaries! This year it will take place on 23rd and 24th August and you can expect a wonderfully diverse exhibition, filled with everything that an art lover could want. The Festival is not exclusive and there will be mini exhibitions at the Strathearn Arts Society and the Seventh Day Adventist Church, as well as all the towns’ galleries holding their versions of arts and craft displays.

Planning a Summer Break?

If you are planning a summer break then why not come to Scotland for a taste of the north? There is no better time visit Scotland to ensure you see the entire Crieff Arts Festival and then the world—or at least the Highlands—is your oyster. Oh, Crieff Hydro also serves oysters, too!

Summer in Scotland

Summer in Scotland—allowing for the weather, of course—is an incredible experience and you shouldn’t miss out on the chance to take a break up here with us at Crieff Hydro. Crieff is one of the prettiest towns in the Perthshire area – but then again we are a little biased. There is so much to see that is always worth a visit, whether it be for the Arts Festival or to spend some quiet time in the surrounding countryside. There really is no hurry to leave and once you get here, you won’t want to leave. Make a booking and get your bags packed!

 

A Seasonal Treat for Foodies

Farmers Market Vegetables

Image courtesy of Derrick Coetzee

When you think of Scottish food, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Probably Haggis, right? Well, there is so much more to Scottish food than just that one delicacy. For example, the Perth Farmers’ Market on 2nd August 2014 will give both Scottish residents and visitors the ideal chance to experience exactly what the best of Scottish food has to offer. How about some home produced honey, locally grown potatoes, or carrots and turnips? The Farmers’ Market at Perth has all that and more, to entice your taste buds and give you a real Scottish food experience. If you plan on staying with us at the Crieff Hydro, don’t forget to book your rooms early to avoid disappointment and take advantage of some of our great deals.

What about Meat?

Oh, there’s plenty of meat to choose from at the market too and you can find just about anything from wild boar to lamb or even some Angus steak or venison. Come and stop by at the many meat stalls and see for yourself. Or feast your eyes and your stomach on the massive selection of pies and pasties you can buy, all made locally using locally produced or grown ingredients. Fish makes an amazing appearance too in the form of Scottish smoked salmon, quality fish from the Arbroath area and Pacific oysters, among many others.

And Fruit and Veggies?

Fruit and Vegetable Stall

Image courtesy of Garry Knight

Oh, yes, in abundance and fresh to the taste too! Come and choose from the large selection and very wide variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables and experience an amazing treat for your taste buds. Taste berries, plums, peaches, apples, pears and a long list of other fruits, alongside cabbages, sprouts, celery, lettuce, and other delicious delights.

The Crieff Hydro Dining Experience

Don’t forget that when you stay with us Crieff Hydro you will also be enjoying many of those locally grown delights when you eat at any of our restaurants. We endeavour to keep our produce locally and freshly grown so that you will enjoy every single meal you have with us. Don’t forget to try all our restaurants!

A Day at the Races

Aintree- Ladies-Day-2014

Image courtesy of The Telegraph 

Unless you live close enough to a race course or make a specific trip to visit one you probably rarely think of it as a day out. However, if you do take a few seconds to contemplate the idea you will likely realize that it is actually a really great day out. A day at the races doesn’t have to mean dressing up for Royal Ascot or putting on your tie and tails for Aintree, but it can mean a fun day out for the family – or even just the two of you.

If this sounds like a really neat idea, why not take a trip up to Perth race course for a day at the Perth Races? Crieff Hydro are offering some excellent special deals so if you want to get in on the fun and book your race day, just give us a call or go online to book.

Horse-Racing-At-Racecourse

Image courtesy of The Journal

Is it Just Racing?

At Perth, not necessarily. Perth Race Course has racing on most days, but they also have other fun things happening too. These are often special family events that are suitable for everyone. For instance, come along for Family Fun Race Day on July 13th to get stuck in and enjoy a fun day for all. You can also help raise some much needed funds as part of the STV Appeal by joining the carnival party on 17th August. The summer is filled with extras on the calendar as well as plenty of racing, right through to the end of September.

Take Advantage of the Crieff Hydro Special Offer

Whilst we advise to book early to take full advantage of our special offers, we have loads of great deals throughout the summer. You can enjoy summer break deals, early bird booking offers, experience packages filled with adventure and come the end of summer we have special autumn deals to help soothe your holiday blues.

BE Eventing – what’s it all about?

The world of eventing is full of excitement, fun and adrenalin experiences. Eventing is a sport which makes life time memories and creates bonds between horses and riders which stand the test of time. British Eventing events run throughout the whole of the UK – they run at a variety of estates throughout the country. Here’s a beginners guide of hints and tips of what to expect at your first BE Event.  

British Eventing is a combination of three different elements; dressage, show jumping and cross country. There are two different types of eventing – three day events and one day events. Three Day Eventing is when the three different phases are taken place on different days (although in reality, the event runs over four days). This is because there is a run up on the first day, which is when the riders have to trot their horse up a concrete line to let the vets and judges see if the horse is fit enough to take part in the event. The following three days consist of the dressage, cross country and show jumping, in that order. At a One Day Event, all three phases take place on that one day.  

You can begin competing at BE competitions from the age of 12 years old and you must have horse/pony at least 14hh high. In terms of jump height, there are many different heights in British Eventing. The smallest you can do is BE80 which is an 80cm cross country course and an 85cm show jumping course. The highest level in BE is advanced which is a 1.15cm cross country course and 1.20cm show jumping. 

Eventing is a sport which takes up a lot of time and commitment, but dedication is rewarded with a world of BE competitions in Scotland and beyond. An eventer has to be somebody who has a passion for all things equestrian and enjoys what they do. Along the journey of eventing you get to meet new people who you become close to and get to share the experience with them which makes it even more enjoyable.

To find out more information about British Eventing, take a peek at their websitehttp://www.britisheventing.com

If you’re aspiring towards competing in British Eventing competitions or just looking to improve your dressage or jumping, Crieff Hydro Riding Centre can help. Contact us for flatwork lessons, show jumping lessons and cross country schooling in Perthshire, Scotland. Just get in touch with our Riding Centre team on 01764 651 616 or find out more at www.hydroriding.com

Family Fun Days at the Crieff Hydro and More

Crieff Hydro is all about family fun. Our amazing hotel has been designed especially for families to come and have some relaxation time and some of the best fun you could ever dream of. Crieff Hydro has been putting together a series of challenges for the summer sporting season and our family days out will give your kids and you a day to remember.

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Family Friendly Fun and Frolics

As we celebrate the opening of the Commonwealth Games we will also be having some special Games activities for all the family, so don’t forget to check those out and come and join in the fun. With the Commonwealth Games due to start on July 23rd we are getting all geared up for some sporting fun and hilarity. Bring the family for a smashing day out and enjoy one of our special sporting packages, Gold, Silver and Bronze—of course—packages in honor of the Games.

Prices range between £18 for kids under 5 and up to £45 for the special adult adventure package, which means all of the family can enjoy some fun. Just call our team on 01764 655555 to find out more details. On July 23rd and August 3rd we will be celebrating the opening and closing of the Commonwealth Games with a special BBQ on our terrace between 2pm and 5pm, so come and join us for that, too. Oh, and you don’t need to book either, just come and join us for some family fun.

Entertainment for the Everyone

We have a cinema on site and we can take your kids to the Big Country programme for a day of fun and high tea. You can leave them with us while you go for a horse riding guided tour, an archery lesson or go and play a round of golf together. There are hundreds of options to make the most of your stay at the Crieff Hydro.

The Big Country Programme


Welcome to the Crieff News blog

For news and events in Crieff, Perthshire.

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