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Special Self-Catering Spots in Scotland

Our self-catering spots give you the freedom to holiday at your own pace and come and go as you please, and with incredible surrounding scenery and views to choose from, your hardest decision will be picking your favourite place!There are hundreds of places, locations and hidden spots in Scotland where you can find self-catering accommodation, so to make it a little bit easier, we’ve broken it down into some of Scotland’s most incredible landscapes. Of course, these are just a flavour of what you can experience in Scotland, but keep reading for inspiration for your next self-catering break in Scotland.

Woodland Accommodation

Have you ever dreamt of waking up amidst the atmospheric woodlands of Scotland? Well, you’re in luck! There are hundreds of locations across the country where you can admire the fiery red colours in the sky as the sun sets, or escape the city and soak up the peaceful twitter-tweet of birds outside your forest cottage. Here are a few examples to get you inspired!

A Stay by the Sea

St Abbs Head Lighthouse © VisitScotland/Kenny Lam

Being part of an island of its own, Scotland is home to miles upon miles of incredible coastal landscapes and seaside spots that make for a magical self-catering getaway. Imagine the tranquil shores of Scotland with golden sands and the sound of crashing waves on your doorstep, or just come along and experience it for yourself! If you want to get a wee bit more adventurous, you can even stay in a lighthouse and get up close and personal to witness the power of the sea for yourself. We’ve listed a few examples that we think you’ll love.

  • St Abbs Lighthouse Cottages; embrace this unusual place to stay, perched on the cliff tops and featuring a winding staircase that gives magnificent sea views at the top.
  • Rascarrel Bay Lodge, Castle Douglas; indulge in a spot of luxury at this scenic southern location with a private hot tub and nearby bay to watch the sun go down.
  • Embo House, Sutherland; only a few miles from Dornoch Castle Hotel, indulge in a luxury self-catering stay in this historic house, complete with period furnishings and a stunning view over the Dornoch Firth.

Why not explore more about our coastal spots, fresh local produce and more, as we celebrate the Year of Coasts & Waters 2020?

Retreat to the Mountains

Majestic, towering and vast. Just a few of the many words we could use to describe Scotland’s mountainous landscapes. Scotland’s mountains come in their droves, where there’s one, you’re bound to find many more nearby, meaning it will be easy to find that special self-catering spot in the mountains. Experience a magical mountain sunset or sunrise, hike the peaks until your heart’s content, and soak up the peace and quiet of Scotland’s blissful countryside for yourself. Here are a few examples to get you started.

  • Croft 103 Hill Cottage, Sutherland; this beautiful modern cottage, surrounded by raw Highland landscape, is the perfect luxury escape for a couples’ retreat.
  • Mountain View Lodge, Cairngorms National Park; a great choice for a family or group getaway, this lodge offers magnificent views over the glen and River Spey, and is complete with its own sauna and pool table to enjoy.
  • Glenbeag Mountain Lodges, Perthshire; situated in The Glen of the Fairies, nestle yourself in these rustic cabins with hot tubs, which are the highest in Scotland and are surrounded by magnificent scenery and nature.

City Outskirts

You don’t need to venture far from the vibrancy of our fantastic cities to delve into a self-catering holiday – our cities themselves offer a variety of self-catering gems if you fancy a city break. Just outside our cities is a great place to base yourself if you want to experience the best of both worlds, as you don’t have to travel too far to experience the liveliness and rich culture of our thriving cities. We’ve suggested a few examples to inspire your perfect break.

  • The Lodge by the Lake, Dunbar; nestled in the Broxmouth Estate in Dunbar, this tranquil lake-side location is the perfect place to kick your feet up and relax away from the bustle of the city.
  • Apple Apartments, Aberdeen; this unique city accommodation experience is set in a transformed Victorian church and provides an exceptional place to stay for exploring all the city gems.
  • Ness Castle Lodges, near Inverness; set on the banks of River Ness, each lodge is stylish, unique and pet-friendly – it’s also a great place to base yourself for a Highland adventure.
  • Dovecot Cottage, Edinburgh; An architecturally fascinating ancient building sheltered in a secret garden. Calm and comfortable.

Experience Life on a Farm

Have you ever wondered what life is like on a farm? A self-catering farm stay is a great option if you love the countryside and don’t mind having a few sheep and cows as your next-door neighbours. Farms stays are perfect for that back-to-nature experience where you can wander for miles through Scotland’s lush countryside – see how many species of wildlife and birds you can spot on your travels.

  • Shantron Farm, Loch Lomond; recently featured on BBC 2’s This Farming Life explore this 5,000-acre working farm which offers lambing experiences and farm tours, as well as cosy cottages for the whole family.
  • Guardswell Farm, Perthshire; tuck into some delicious home-grown food, learn a new thing or two at a cooking working shop and enjoy the fresh air whilst being eco-friendly during your stay.
  • Nortower Lodges at MacKenzie Farm, Shetland; experience what life is like on this charming working croft, with incredible panoramic views of this beautiful island.

Learn more at Go Rural Scotland.

Self-Catering Top Tips

If you’ve not tried self-catering in a while, we’ve gathered together some top tips to make your trip that little bit easier:

  • Bring the essentials: self-catering accommodation usually provides all the furnishings of a typical home, but it is good to be prepared and bring your own food, even if it’s just enough for the first night and day.
  • Know before you go: if you can, it’s good to find out as much as you can about your accommodation; what facilities there are, furnishings, or extra bits and bobs you might need to bring with you. If you’re unsure, you can always contact the owner direct for more info. A good thing to do is plan through your first night, what you’ll need when you get there or things to do when you arrive.
  • Be a local: Scotland’s cities, coastal spots, and countryside havens are home to a wealth of fresh home-grown produce that you can find at local shops and farmers’ markets, and are a must-try when in the area.
  • Know your location: if you’re heading to more rural or remote locations, it’s good to know what local shops and supplies are nearby; where your nearest supermarket is, local road networks and best ways to get around are important to check to make the most of your time here.

Explore all self-catering options in Scotland.

We hope this has inspired you to try a self-catering break in Scotland. Find out more about self-catering in Scotland. If you’re planning a big group getaway, check out our budget-friendly lodges and cottages or our other fantastic accommodation options. Make sure to share your travels on our social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.