Crieff Hydro

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Last Updated: by Craig Neil.

The Crieff Hydro Hotel is a historic hotel and resort complex located in Crieff, Perthshire. It was built in 1868 and is nestled in a 900-acre estate in the beautiful Strathearn Valley. The property offers a variety of accommodations from luxury hotel rooms to self-catering lodges, apartments, and cabins, but it’s best known for its extensive range of leisure facilities including a spa, two swimming pools, a cinema, horse riding, tennis courts, and a gym.

Crieff Hydro
Address:Strathearn House,
Ferntower Road,
Crieff,
PH7 3LQ
Opening Hours:Open 24/7
For leisure activity times see https://www.crieffhydro.com/
Admission Price:Free
Activity prices vary
Parking:Free parking on-site
Contact:01764 655555
Facilities:Toilets, cafe, restaurant, bar, gift shop, leisure activities, disabled access

Overview

Craig Neil in the Grounds of the Crieff Hydro Hotel

The Crieff Hydro Hotel, nestled in the heart of Scotland in the historic county of Perthshire, is a charming 19th-century resort boasting 900 acres of picturesque grounds. It provides a tranquil retreat with varied amenities that include a spa, a golf course and horse riding adventures, blending historical elegance with modern luxury in one of Scotland’s most beautiful regions.

The Crieff Hydro is a popular resort in the Perthshire countryside that offers a range of health-based activities as well as large grounds for walking and relaxation. The hotel boasts over 200 bedrooms and over 50 self-catering properties, as well as restaurants, cafés and bars.

There are also riding stables, a comprehensive health and fitness club, an adults-only swimming pool and a pool for families, a golf course, a football pitch and various racquet courts. I think you can safely say if you visit the Crieff Hydro you’re not exactly going to be stuck for things to do.

But it’s not just the hotel that draws visitors from far and wide because the Crieff Hydro is situated on enormous private grounds that offer walks into the nearby hills and woodlands. And speaking of woodlands, if you visit it you’ll find you’re not far from Perthshire’s Big Tree Country, so if you want to get out and explore nature, the Crieff Hydro makes a superb base to venture out from.

One woodland trail I can recommend that’s nearby is Lady Mary’s Walk which offers a lovely riverside stroll along the River Earn just outside Crieff. You’ll find it by heading towards the Glenturret Whisky Distillery and looking for the signposted footpath.

To sum up, the Crieff Hydro is a fantastic place to spend a couple of days to recharge your batteries and it’s close enough to Central Scotland that it’s easy to head off into Stirling and Edinburgh if you want to explore further afield.

Crieff Hydro

The Highlights

1: Crieff Hydro offers a variety of leisure activities suitable for all ages. There are over 60 on-site activities to choose from, including horse riding, archery, quad biking, and swimming. For golf enthusiasts, there’s an 18-hole golf course. For relaxation, there’s a luxurious Victorian spa offering a range of treatments.

2: Located in the heart of Perthshire, Crieff Hydro is surrounded by 900 acres of stunning Scottish landscapes where guests can enjoy picturesque walking trails and the chance to spot local wildlife. The hotel’s location also makes it an excellent base for exploring the Highlands.

3: Crieff Hydro is particularly noted for its family-friendly environment. It offers free daily childcare, a teen zone for older kids, and a range of family activities. The hotel even has self-catering accommodation options for those who prefer a home-away-from-home experience, making it an ideal destination for families.

Visiting Tips

1: Rooms can be a little on the pricey side, but if you keep an eye on deals websites like Groupon and itison you’ll often find a discount. Also, check the Crieff Hydro website as they sometimes have flash sales for overnight stays.

2: The resort has several restaurants and bars, each with its own menus and speciality cuisines. Look at the menus online before you go to get a sense of what each restaurant offers. Although it’s a resort, some dining venues require a smart-casual dress code in the evening.

3: You could quite easily spend an entire weekend at the Crieff Hydro without ever leaving the grounds, but if you fancy exploring the great outdoors I recommend taking a drive west into the Trossachs. Alternatively, head east on the A85 to visit Scone Palace.

Crieff Hydro

Tourist Information

Booking a room at the hotel allows you to enjoy all the leisure activities on offer as well as the extensive grounds that surround it. Trails run through the hotel boundaries and there are extensive woodland paths that are perfect for a bracing walk after a day or two of pampering.

If you don’t want to book overnight accommodation you can go along for the day simply to take part in the indoor and outdoor activities, or perhaps just go there to enjoy a meal in one of the restaurants. As a bonus, if it’s a sunny day you won’t have to sit indoors because there’s an outside seating area facing a large lawn where children can run around while parents relax in the sun.

In addition, unlike many country retreats, there are lots of free activities at the Crieff Hydro so a visit may cost less than you think. There’s a cinema, swimming pools, a gym, evening events like ceilidhs and quiz nights, and even a giant lawn chessboard.

If you don’t mind spending a little extra you can take part in woodland Segway tours, get a bullseye in an archery class, try your hand at clay pigeon shooting, go for a round of golf, and even go off-road driving in a 4×4. There’s always something new to try at the Crieff Hydro so make sure you check out their website activities page before leaving home.

Fitness is a key theme and the swimming pools, in particular, are excellent, with the adults-only pool making a refreshing change from having to put up with the usual over-excited kids running around the poolside. If you’re a mum or dad looking for a day of ‘me time’ the Crieff Hydro should be right at the top of your list of places to escape to.

Crieff Hydro

History

Just like New Lanark in Lanarkshire, the Crieff Hydro originated around an idea that was far ahead of its time. The hotel opened in 1868 as the Crieff Hydropathic establishment by Dr Thomas Henry Meikle, a medical graduate from Edinburgh University.

Originally built for £30,000, the hotel developed through a series of upgrades to the grand category B building that we see today. Its location is one of the most scenic in Scotland and was chosen due to Dr Meikle’s belief that mountain views and the great outdoors are integral to a patient’s wellbeing.

The treatments in the early days were strict and ran alongside a religious regime where no alcohol was available and smoking was discouraged. There was even a fine levied on patients who forgot to say grace before eating meals. Today, the Crieff Hydro is a family resort and is very popular in Scotland as a luxury break away from the noise and stress of modern life.

Crieff Hydro

Things to Do

Adventure Park: Kids will love experiencing the thrills of Glen’s Adventure Park. From zip lines to slides and giant springy pillows, there’s a wide range of activities that are guaranteed to keep them busy. There’s also a kids-only zone with a giant ball pit and a crazy golf course, while teenagers can hang out at Glen’s Den which has classic arcade games and pool tables.

Horse Riding: Explore the stunning Perthshire countryside on horseback. Crieff Hydro’s equestrian centre offers rides for all ages and skill levels across 900 acres of stunning landscapes. If you’re a complete novice there’s even an indoor arena where you can learn to steer and trot under the guidance of an expert instructor.

Leisure Pool: Dive into the fun at Crieff Hydro’s 20-metre swimming pool. With both adult sessions and children’s splash times, it’s an ideal family-friendly activity. You can also unwind in the adults-only Victorian Spa which comes complete with a sauna and steam room.

Golfing: Enjoy a round of golf on Crieff Hydro’s own 18-hole golf course. The course offers a challenging yet enjoyable game for all abilities, and afterwards, you can relax in the clubhouse with a drink before heading into the Crieff Hydro for a sumptuous evening meal.

Outdoor Activities: Take advantage of the great outdoors with a range of activities including archery, air-rifle shooting, and off-road driving. Whether you want to test your aim or your nerve, you’ll find an activity to suit. All equipment is provided and professional instructors are on hand to guide you.

Crieff Hydro Horse

Book Tours

Things to Do Nearby

Crieff. James Square, Crieff PH7 3EY. 3-minute drive.
A market town that is popular with tourists thanks to its selection of family-run arts and crafts shops and restaurants. Highlights include the Glenturret Distillery and Innerpeffray Library which is the oldest library in Scotland.

Drummond Castle. Muthill, Crieff PH7 4HZ. 13-minute drive.
A 17th-century castle set in immaculately landscaped gardens that are regarded as one of the best examples of a formal garden in Scotland. Note that the castle is closed to the public. Snacks are available from the ticket office.

Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre. Comrie PH6 2JE. 18-minute drive.
A family-run wildlife theme park that features an indoor play barn, animal handling area, mini-golf course, pony rides, outdoor play park and a café.

Ben Chonzie. Crieff PH6 2LY. 4-hour walk.
An easily-walked Munro on a path that runs along gravel tracks, moorland and bog. The summit is 931 metres but the incline is gradual. The summit offers superb views across Loch Turret.

Action Glen. Knock Rd, Crieff PH7 3LQ. 6-minute drive.
Described as Scotland’s premier outdoor activity centre, Action Glen features a number of fun activities including Segway trekking, treetop climbing, quad biking and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many bedrooms does Crieff Hydro have?

Crieff Hydro has 200 bedrooms plus over 50 self-catering properties.

How much does it cost to visit Crieff Hydro?

There is no fee to visit the Crieff Hydro communal areas or the grounds. For room prices, visit the hotel page. For activities including the spa and adventure park, visit the leisure page.

What activities are free at Crieff Hydro?

The following activities are free to take part in during a stay at Crieff Hydro.
Golf.
Disc golf.
Foot golf.
Mini golf.
Driving range.
Glen’s Adventure Park.
Archery.
Rifles.
Tennis.
Horse riding beginner hack.
Gin tasting.
Bikes.

How big is Crieff Hydro?

The grounds of Crieff Hydro cover 900 acres (360 hectares).

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Craig Neil

Craig Neil is the author, photographer, admin, and pretty much everything else behind Out About Scotland. He lives near Edinburgh and spends his free time exploring Scotland and writing about his experiences. Follow him on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.