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- Karen Brown's Recommendation:
Ballathie House is a large turreted, Victorian, Scottish country estate home on the banks of the River Tay, surrounded by lawns, fields and woodlands. While the house is imposing, it has a wonderfully warm atmosphere and a homey feel as well as glorious views over the rushing River Tay. A grand sweep of staircase leads up from the enormous hallway where sofas and chairs are grouped around a blazing fire. The drawing room, with its tall windows framing views across the lawn to the river, is made more intimate by cozy groupings of tables and chairs. My favorite accommodations are the spacious bedrooms with turret bathrooms and the smaller bedrooms with river views. Beyond the kitchen there is a ground-floor suite equipped for the handicapped. For complete peace and quiet request a riverside room in the adjacent building—upstairs rooms have balconies. The bar is a lively place, and dinner is delicious. Red squirrels are found on the Ballathie estate, and you may be fortunate and catch a glimpse of one of these rarely-seen animals. Nearby is Dunkeld, a delightful town with a ruined cathedral set in expansive lawns. Scone Palace, where Scottish kings were once crowned, has fine furniture, clocks, porcelain, and needlework.