Gleneagles had a problem. The country retreat in the hills of Perthshire, Scotland, had become so well known for its golf courses—one of which hosted the Ryder Cup in 2014—that people thought of it as a golf resort. So when new owners acquired the property that same year, they began investing heavily in everything else that makes Gleneagles great.
Beyond the requisite room updates and other renovations, Gleneagles has developed what might be the resort world’s most expansive menu of outdoor activities for all ages. The 850-acre estate is home to grass tennis courts, skeet- and clay-shooting ranges, an archery range, croquet courts, a giant hedge maze, falconry and hunting-dog schools, trout ponds, grouse fields, and off-road driving courses for young children and adults (with a third driving course, for kids ages 12 and up, scheduled to open later this year). Through exclusive land arrangements in the surrounding hills and valleys, the resort can also organize off-property pursuits that include salmon fishing, stag hunting, hiking, mountain biking, and even extreme sports like canyoneering, land yachting (a sport that combines the best of off-roading, sailing, and wind-surfing, for the uninitiated), and surfing. Not to be forgotten, of course, is the golf. In addition to offering three championship courses, a par-3 practice layout, a teaching academy, and a pitch-and-putt course, Gleneagles is located within a couple hours’ drive of St. Andrews, Carnoustie, and other meccas of Scottish golf.
Surrounded by all this activity, the hotel itself is a stately refuge replete with a new Bob & Cloche “beauty lodge” and a Michelin-two-star restaurant from Scottish chef Andrew Fairlie. Still, while it maintains an air of elegance, Gleneagles encourages casual family fun, making this Scottish country resort an ideal spot for the whole clan.