Unique Scottish Cooking and Cultural Experience

From £1395 pp

Argyll & The Isles, Scotland , Cairnbaan

5 days

Private retreat for 2-4 people

Unique Scottish Cooking and Cultural Experience

From £1395 pp

What You'll Do

Get truly off the beaten track and escape the crowds, as you throw yourself into the wild, majestic natural landscape of Western Scotland, and discover the culinary riches that await in this stunningly beautiful part of the world.


The location for this unique Scottish cooking vacation experience is in Dalriada, once the ancient kingdom of Scotland,  located in the pristine, unspoilt coastal region now known as Mid Argyll.

Your accommodation base will be near Dunadd (an ancient hillfort dating as far back as the iron age), the historical capital of Scotland, where, in the past, Scotland crowned its kings.

Whilst staying in Cairnbaan, not only will you learn fabulous Scottish recipes you will also experience the wild, wonderful nature of rural Scottish way of life, totally immersed in the incredible beauty of the unique Scottish Highlands area.

You’ll be surrounded by incredible sweeping glens, fresh, wild rivers, towering mountains and clean, pure coastal air, and with all this natural beauty comes a richness in the landscape that offers a wealth of abundance when it comes to culinary delights.

This has allowed Scotland to develop a culinary repertoire of exceptionally quality and diversity of ingredients, just some of which includes…

Wild game – partridge, grouse and the pheasant from its remote moorlands, succulent venison from the wild red deer roaming the mountains, salmon and trout swelling the freshwater Highland rivers, rare and succulent beef and lamb from the famous Highland herds, and incredible shellfish of all kinds.

Using ingredients like these, you will discover and learn how to develop a range of mouth-watering, wholesome feasts, where you will be able to really taste the freshness and the quality of the ingredients you are cooking with.

The presentation and delivery of this Scottish cooking and cultural vacation will be very informal, friendly and personal, cooking is about enjoyment after all.

The cooking sessions with be based in a fully-equipped, traditional Scottish family-style kitchen and each vacation and course will be limited to a maximum of 4 guests.

Expect a fun-filled week on this Scottish activity holiday exploring the landscape, foraging for food, cooking up incredible dishes, and experiencing the real, authentic Scotland in all senses, from the rural communities and cultures, the exquisite food, and the beautiful environment.


Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring wilderness of the Scottish Highlands

Create incredible dishes using the riches of the wild landscape

Discover the true, authentic Scotland in rural communities and culture

Your Local Host:


Brian spent around 15 years working in Community Development and Social Work for various public and private agencies and always had a serious interest in outdoor education and skills. He has achieved various coaching certificates and in 2005 decided to put his skills to good use in his own business, with his passion for the outdoors, in particular around his home on the west coast of Scotland and his 'second home' Greece.

Brian runs several trips in Scotland and in Greece, during the year, coordinating activities for both regions, and has a deep knowledge of both locations, the people, places, culture, food and recipes, and will be very excited to meet you and share his knowledge and love of each country with you.

Experience Itinerary

Welcome to the Highlands

You will be met at your pre-arranged location by our representative, who will accompany you by private car transfer to your cottage in Cairnbaan , Mid Argyll – the base for your holiday.

On arrival you will be introduced to Jane Chaplin and any other staff who will be involved in your vacation during the week. This will be followed by the opportunity to relax and settle in for a couple of hours. Depending on the time of year, you may wish to go for a walk to explore the local area or just relax.

Dinner will be served at the Cook school around 7pm when you will have an informal meeting to discuss further and plan the aspects of your stay and ask any questions that you may have.


The cottage is a well equipped, modern 2 bedroom, two story holiday cottage, set in a very peaceful location, 60 yards from the Crinan Canal. There is free car parking in a private car park adjacent to the cottage.

1. Ground floor: Porch area for boots, coats etc. Living/dining room with 2 x 3 seater sofas, dining area with table and 4 chairs. French doors to the back garden. Well equipped kitchen. Bathroom with bath, shower cubicle and toilet.

The first floor has 2 double bedrooms. The large bedroom has a King size double bed, sleeps 2 adults. The smaller bedroom also has a double bed, suitable for 2 adults. The maximum occupancy is 4 guests.

Explore and cook

A selection of breakfast items is provided for you at your cottage comprising an array of Scottish produce This morning is for you to relax.

You will be provided with a delicious picnic style lunch today which you can either enjoy at your cottage or take out with you if you are off exploring.

The afternoon is free until 3.30pm when you will have your first cooking class. We will prepare a 3 course Scottish meal and have dinner at 7pm

Trip to Oban Whisky Distiller

Breakfast is at your cottage and then we depart for Oban where you will visit Donollie castle, gardens and museum, take a tour at the world famous Oban whisky distillery, have lunch or afternoon tea and explore the town. Dinner will be served at 7pm at the cook school.

Explore and cook

After breakfast you will come for your second cooking class which will focus on Scottish baking, followed by lunch.

The afternoon is free until 4pm when you will return for your third cooking class. Dinner will be served at 7pm.


After breakfast you will depart for your onward journey.


Location Information


Your holiday starts on your chosen arrival date. You will be met at your arrival point in Glasgow and transferred to your accommodation.

Please note that the earliest meeting/collection time is 10.00 am. The latest arrival collection time is 6.00pm. You will be taken by private car transfer to your accommodation in Mid Argyll.


Your return transfer to Glasgow will either be by coach from Lochgilphead to Glasgow or by train from Oban to Glasgow, all associated costs are included in the price. The journey time is approx 2 hours to Glasgow.

  • All transport throughout the provision of the holiday activities and itinerary including return private taxi transfer from Glasgow Airport. For the return transfer there is an option to choose to travel by train from Oban to Glasgow. This will not affect pricing but must be chosen in advance. This particular train journey on the ‘West Highland Line’ is one of the most picturesque in Europe.
  • 4 nights’ accommodation in your own private Scottish Highland loge
  • 4 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches (served and picnic style)
  • 4 dinners with wine, beer at Cairnbaan cook school
  • 3 Scottish cooking sessions
  • Tea and coffee
  • Whole day guided excursion to Oban with included visit to Oban distillery, Dunollie museum and a pub lunch.
  • Towels, toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Daily guidance from your host and staff
  • Whisky tasting sessions
  • Engraved personalised Scottish Whisky flask and cooking apron


Depending on your chosen month of travel excursion, experiences will vary.

Scotland benefits from long summer days from around the beginning of May to late August when daylight remains until around 11.00 pm.

These seasonal variations will not affect the course itinerary, but may assist you in planning your trip to your own preferences; Scotland offers fantastic visitor experiences during most seasons.

This vacation is operated and provided on a Saturday arrival and departure day basis. All itinerary items will be provided but some alterations to the specific daily activities will be required.

Depending on what month you choose to visit, daily itineraries will be seasonal and variable and actual day activities may change, but all inclusions will be covered.

You will enjoy one full day excursion and two half day excursions:

1 Full day excursion: Visit to the traditional harbour town of Oban, including a visit to Oban whisky distillery and Dunollie Castle and museum. Oban is a vibrant little harbour town on the west coast of Scotland with opportunities for you to browse the shops, walk the history trail up to McCaigs tower or maybe sample some fresh shellfish from the many shore side huts. On this day lunch out is included in a traditional pub in Oban - OR – we can substitute this lunch for you to try the tradition of Scottish Afternoon Tea with views over the sea.

2 Half Day excursions:

1. Inveraray town and Inveraray Castle and gardens. Inveraray is a very picturesque town on the shores of Loch Fyne with a variety of shops and cafés. It’s historic Castle is home to the clan Campbell and dates back to the 14th Century. The current castle with its gothic turrets dates from the 18th Century and is home to the current Duke of Argyll. The gardens are beautiful in all seasons but May and September are particularly stunning for colour.

2. Guided walk through the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada and Kilmartin Valley. Your vacation is based in one of the most historically significant areas of the United Kingdom. This 3 hour relaxed walk will take you through some of the most beautiful countryside to experience standing stones, stone circles, cairns and rock carvings that date back 5,000 years to the Bronze Age.

Optional extras that can be added at your own expense to your week vacation .

Pre notification and booking essential and we will take care of these for you. Prices are indicative and will be confirmed at time of booking.

1.Wildlife and Corryvrecken whirlpool Boat Trip (May to Sept only) £95 per person

A 45 minute drive to the island of Easdale where you will board the day cruiser for a 3 hour cruise out to the gulf of Corryvrecken to experience the tide races , whirlpool and watch for whales and other wildlife.

2. Day trip to the island of Jura and whisky distillery tour £90 per person. A short drive to the picturesque village of Tayvallich from where you take a 1 hour catamaran ferry to the famous whisky island of Jura. The Jura whisky distillery is a short 5 minute walk from the ferry jetty.

3. Guided Sea kayaking – 6 hour trip £105 per person. Enjoy the local flora and fauna on a relaxed day of peaceful, guided sea kayaking exploring the spectacular lochs and coasts of this area. All equipment , guiding and relevant clothing will be provided.

During the week you will have ample free time. The local area offers a wide variety for self guided activities and opportunities right from your cottage doorstep. Below are some of the areas that we would recommend. We will be able to supply you with a detailed map and further guidance to explore these areas.

(a) Crinan - a walk west along the beautiful Crinan canal (right from your accommodation) for cream teas.
(b) Ardrishaig – a walk east along the canal from your accommodation to Ardishaig town or Lochgilphead town.
(c) Dunardy forest walk, near to nature trail.
(d) Visit to the local pub
(e) Historical Rock Art - Cup and Ring Marks walk (behind your cottage)

- Cullen skink (Smoked fish soup)
- Braden Rost (Hot smoked Scottish salmon)
- Oatcakes and shortbread
- Traditional meat Scotch pies & meat Bridies
- Cranachan (oatmeal, raspberry, cream, oats, dessert)
- And of course Haggis, the famous Scottish delicacy

During high season (July-August) you can book for 2 people ONLY.