The best holiday parks in Scotland for St Andrew’s Day23 November 2018
The Scots are famous for their love of a party. Of course, they don't need an excuse for a cèilidh, but the feast of their patron saint on 30 November provides a good one just in case.
That's why late November and early December is the perfect time to nip north of the border and catch the country in a festive mood. St Andrew's Day kicks off a two-month, nationwide Winter Festival that fits neatly around Scotland's two other big celebrations — Hogmanay and Burns Night, 25 January.
At Willerby, we believe the best way to enjoy the beauty of Scotland at any time of year is by staying in one of our superb holiday homes and lodges.
So, let's explore a hand-picked selection of Caledonia's finest parks, where you can enjoy St Andrew's day in style. But first, here's everything you need to know about the 30th November.
A wee guide to St Andrew and his day
St Andrew never visited Scotland. He was one of Jesus's 12 disciples, the brother of St Peter, but his remains were reputed to have ended up in the cathedral at St Andrew's.
The saltire, Scotland's flag, is inspired by the X-shaped cross upon which the saint was crucified in 60AD.
He was originally named Scotland's patron saint by the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320.
It isn't just Scotland. He's the patron saint of Greece, Russia, Barbados and the Italian city of Amalfi as well.
Andrew is also the patron saint of fishermen, fishmongers. singers, spinsters, maidens and women who want to be mothers, plus sore throat and gout sufferers. In short, almost everyone.
The tradition of celebrating St Andrew's day didn't start in Scotland, but with ex-pat Scots in South Carolina in 1729.
Traditional foods enjoyed on the day include Cullen Skink, a creamy soup containing smoked haddock. Also, lamb with neeps and tatties (potato mashed with turnip).
St Andrew's Day (or the nearest Monday if it falls on a weekend) has been a bank holiday in Scotland since 2007.
Parties tend to stretch long into the night, with lots of traditional dances and reels, the perfect way to stay warm whatever the November weather.
5 of the best holiday parks in Scotland to enjoy St Andrew's Day
Now you're fully briefed (unlike the men who wear the kilt), and it's time to explore five Scottish holiday parks that are big favourites with Willerby owners and fans.
Blair Castle Caravan Park
This spectacular Perthshire location is in Glen Garry on the southern edge of the Cairngorms National Park. It's one of only four Premier Parks in the whole of Scotland. The imposing castle dates back to 1269 and is the ancestral home of Clan Murray and the Dukes of Atholl.
The park's nine acres of green space boasts many attractions, including Land Rover safaris into the highlands, pony trekking, tractor tours of the castle grounds, and a wealth of walking trails. Not forgetting a superb selection of Willerby holiday homes and lodges, available to rent and also to buy if you fall in love with the magical landscape.
Scone (pronounced Scoon) Palace is the traditional crowning place of Scotland's Kings and Queens. Macbeth and Robert the Bruce had their coronations here. The park is within the Palace grounds, on a stunning site overlooking the River Tay. Across the river is the ancient city of Perth, and the Grampian mountains provide a breath-taking backdrop.
This dog-friendly, Willerby-recommended site is a wildlife paradise, with opportunities to spot ospreys in the wild. At nearby sanctuaries, you can visit 13 species of wild deer and the rare red squirrel. Keep an eye out for the local black rabbits too. You can go deerstalking or salmon fishing on the Tay if you wish. Best of all, it's the perfect base for exploring historic and beautiful Perthshire, Kinross and Tayside.
You'll take the high road, and I'll take the low road. The bonnie banks and braes of Loch Lomond are celebrated in one of Scotland's catchiest traditional songs.
This loch-side park provides unbeatable views, and the luxurious accommodation includes a wealth of Willerby holiday homes.
It's an ideal base for exploring the Trossachs, ascending Ben Lomond (southernmost of the Munros) and enjoying kayaking, water skiing or fishing in Loch Lomond's vast stretches of freshwater. Hike the hundreds of mountain trails, island-hop by boat or spot black grouse, ptarmigan and golden eagles, along with red deer, pine martens and mountain hares.
Where better to celebrate St Andrew than in the burgh that bears his name? Cairnsmill Caravan Park is in a tranquil part of Fife, just a mile inland from the famous seaside town, home to Scotland's oldest university.
The site is beautifully kept with superb facilities. St Andrews itself is spectacular with the romantic ruins of the cathedral and castle among many medieval buildings. The student population lends the place a lively atmosphere, with quirky cafés, bars and speciality shops.
Stroll north out of the town centre, and there's a long sandy beach at West Sands. Wherever you go in St Andrews, you're never far from the swish of a 9-iron. The Royal and Ancient are one of seven courses that make this the world's greatest golfing destination.
Just nine miles from Oban and overlooking Ardmucknish Bay, this 5-star park is one of Scotland's west coast jewels, set amid 26 acres of woodland. Inverary Castle, the ancestral home of Clan Campbell and the Dukes of Argyll, is nearby. So is Kilmartin Glen, which features a fantastic collection of neolithic and Bronze Age remains. Activities to sample here range from mountain biking and falconry to hiking and riding a daredevil zip wire.
St Andrew's Day is the best possible time to visit this spectacular scene because it occurs amid the Oban Winter Festival, a 10-day feast of fun, food and adventure that celebrates the town's unique culture and community. Expect reindeer and lantern parades, international and local performers, fire art, pipers galore and the Clootie Dumpling competition.
Tempted by any of these Scottish sites for your St Andrew's Daybreak? Perhaps you'd rather see more choices before booking your visit. Nae problem. Simply click this link to see the complete list.