“The sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what is it that you want to read about? Naturally, about a murder.” So wrote George Orwell in Decline of the English Murder. For similar pleasures in a glorious Highland setting, Airds Hotel & Restaurant in Port Appin, on the west coast of Scotland, has a special autumnal offer if you book before the clocks go back at the end of October.
A former lochside ferry inn, Airds is now a luxury hotel, with 11 rooms, in Port Appin – most famous for the Appin Murder of 1752. This notorious miscarriage of justice took place in the turbulent aftermath of the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and later inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s swashbuckling novel Kidnapped.
Follow in the footsteps of Kidnapped’s young narrator David Balfour on invigorating walks and boat trips or relax by a roaring fire with a good book and a wee dram. Other local points of interest include Glencoe, the Ben Nevis gondola, Oban and its distillery, Inverary Castle and the islands of Mull and Lismore.
With the Highlands landscape looking its best in purple autumn colours, you can watch the sun subside into the waters of Loch Linnhe in a glorious October sunset, before enjoying a fabulous dinner by candlelight in the hotel’s award-winning restaurant. Airds Hotel & Restaurant is a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux portfolio, has been included in the Good Food Guide for 37 consecutive years and has held three AA Rosettes for almost 25.
A member of Pride of Britain Hotels, Airds is offering up to 15 per cent off a three-night autumn break if you book before the clocks go back at the end of October. Prices start at £140 per person per night, based on two sharing half-board. For reservations email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01631 730236.