VisitScotland and Forest Holidays launch a new holiday experience – Scotland’s first Picnic Butler

Press release   •   Mar 24, 2015 09:00 GMT

VisitScotland and Forest Holidays have today (Tuesday 24 March 2015) launched an exclusive new experience for holiday makers to Scotland - The Picnic Butler, which has been created to celebrate the country’s Year of Food & Drink and promises to create many brilliant moments for visitors to Scotland.

The Picnic Butler is currently an exclusive experience offered by Forest Holidays at their two Scottish locations at Ardgartan in Argyll, and Strathyre in Perthshire. Each location is nestled in the natural luxury of breathtaking Forestry Commission land, on the edge of stunning lochs and surrounded by dramatic mountains. The Picnic Butler will take guests out to extra special places at each location to experience a picnic of local produce. The Picnic Butler is an experienced forest ranger and will offer guidance on foraging, making fires, spotting wildlife and outdoor survival – creating brilliant moments guests will remember for a lifetime.

Guests at Forest Holidays’ two Scottish locations will be able to choose from a range of Picnic Butler experiences tailored towards couples or families. Guests will be able to suspend the reality of the clock and let the Picnic Butler lead them to the magical locations, learning all the secrets of the forest and its inhabitants.

Each of the Forest Holidays locations will source produce from local suppliers for the picnic hampers, including Scottish smoked salmon and Caboc cream cheese bagels, Scottish crisps, Arran cheese and Arran oat cakes, seasonal fruits, Tunnocks tea cakes and caramel logs, Heather Honey tablet, Irn Bru, Scottish spring water and a glass of sparkling wine for romantic walks.

Jack Black, The Picnic Butler, is a true force of nature, with a fascinating career which has taken him to every far-flung corner of the world. He has climbed Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro and Ben Nevis, worked as a wildlife ranger in Kenya, ferried Chinese refugees through the mountains into Nepal and escaped from a bear in Canada. Now, as Scotland’s only Picnic Butler, Jack said: “Having travelled the world exploring and visiting some the highest mountains and greatest wilds, it’s only fitting that I am now taking on the greatest challenge of my career – being Scotland’s only Picnic Butler. Scotland’s incredible landscape and the natural larder go hand-in-hand, and the two Forest Holidays locations offer excellent opportunities for picnics and discovering wildlife. It’s a pleasure for me to be a part of people’s holidays, creating moments they will treasure forever.”

Forest Holidays’ Ardgartan location has 40 luxury cabins on the banks of Loch Long and is surrounded by enchanted forest and pine-clad mountains. On the edge of the Argyll Forest Park, it’s also just a short drive to Loch Lomond. Meanwhile, at their Strathyre location, guests can also spend time looking for rare wildlife including red squirrels, wild deer and buzzards, while surrounded by the majestic peaks of Ben Ledi.

The Picnic Butler is available at Forest Holidays’ two Scotland locations and can be booked directly through the website as a pre-bookable extra when booking a holiday. It can also be booked on-site at both of the locations for resident guests.

The Picnic Butler experience costs from £75 and cabins at Forest Holidays in Ardgartan and Strathyre start from just £255 for a weekend break in a two bedroom cabin.


Jack Black, The Picnic Butler, is available for interviews. High resolution images and more information available from:

Frances Allan

PR Executive, VisitScotland | 0131 472 2337 |

Yasmin Sethna

Voyager PR on behalf of Forest Holidays | 0208 630 9487 | 0777 5574183 |

Notes to Editors

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VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.

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Forest Holidays

Forest Holidays offers year-round short breaks and holidays in luxury timber and glass cabins. Nature is at the very heart of Forest Holidays’ ethos. Forest Holidays is a joint venture Public/Private Partnership that originally came into being in May 2006 through a competitive tender process. It is now co-owned by The Forestry Commission and Lloyds Banking Group and currently owns nine cabin sites on Forestry Commission land in some of the most stunning forest locations in Great Britain. The company operates entirely within the Forestry Commission estate, and has a 125-year lease on the land on which the sites are based.

2015 - The Year of Food & Drink

In 2015, Scotland will be celebrating The Year of Food and Drink, showcasing the wonderful local produce and gastronomy the country has to offer. A visit to Scotland isn’t quite complete without a taste of the natural Scottish larder. Scotland boasts a fantastic range of high quality produce and has world-class restaurants to satisfy the appetite of even the most seasoned foodie. From delicious meals served in bars and inns, to stylish cafes and charming tearooms, appetite-whetting fish and chip shops, to farm shops and delis stocking fresh, tasty delights and sweet and savoury preserves, a taste of quality Scottish produce is around every corner…


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