Wee ones can meet and learn to groom Hettie, the newest member of the Gleneagles family on ‘meet the ponies’ experience and enjoy an authentic Scottish escape

Set beneath the Ochil Hills, in the heart of Perthshire, Gleneagles has been a must visit destination for families since it opened its doors in June 1924. The quintessentially British hotel offers an authentic Scottish escape this Autumn for families with a range of outdoor pursuits to surprise and delight little ones, as well as the chance to bump noses with brand-new Hettie the Shetland Pony, take to the trees in new trail adventures, and sneak into the new children’s boutique, Hop & Scotch. With 850 acres of beautiful countryside.

Gleneagles is a playground of discovery and fun for curious minds, home to a vast range of pursuits for adults and children alike, from mountain biking and off-road driving in mini land rovers to falconry, tennis and golf. The estate welcomes an adorable new addition to its stables, Henrietta, joining Henry, Gleneagles’ gorgeous golden Labrador, as the hotel’s much-loved pets. More affectionately known as Hettie, the 11-year-old Shetland pony has been winning hearts since the day she arrived; her favourite pastimes include eating and having her long blonde mane groomed. Little guests can meet Hettie on the hotel’s complimentary Stable Tours, which run every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 12pm, as well as part of the Meet the Ponies experiences – both of which are part of the family programme designed to inspire and entertain during the school holidays.

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, Hettie enjoys a stroll to the front of the hotel with Chelsea or fellow Gleneagles pony, Sue, to meet and greet guests.

For little ones with plenty of energy, there is Gleneagles’ fun-packed family programme which includes create-a-bear workshops, cupcake decorating, T-shirt design, ceramics classes, teddy bear picnics, football, zip wire and tree-climbing. 

Gleneagles’ The Den is a fun hangout space for older children and teenagers aged 6 to 15, whilst the Little Glen is a vibrant creche for 2 to 9 year-olds, a safe, stimulating play space for happy tots and curious minds.

After a full day of fun and discovery, families can fall into bed at one of the hotel’s exquisite rooms or luxury suites, and enjoy a heart Scottish breakfast the following morning. During a visit to Gleneagles, guests should pay a visit to the recently launched children’s boutique, Hop & Scotch, set within the new-look Gleneagles Arcade. Taking its inspiration from the early 1900s, the Gleneagles Arcade pays homage to the classic British and French galleries, filled with contemporary luxury brands. Hop & Scotch is packed full of things to cuddle, inspire and entertain the little ones. There are classic toys and beautiful baby apparel in abundance, from Jellycat soft toys, Ridley’s GamesPetit Collage toys, even Toylander mini Land Rovers, to Petit Bateau clothes and Derek Rose pyjamas.

HOW: Wee Ones are Free Ones stays at Gleneagles start from £485 per night based on two adults and two children up to 14 years old sharing a Sovereign Room on a bed and breakfast basis.