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Vacaciones

Staycation Ideas: Short Breaks in Scotland

Everyone loves a holiday. When deciding where to take your holidays the world is your oyster but there is nothing better than exploring your home country. With its wealth of historical, cultural and scenic attractions to choose from, Scotland is the perfect staycation destination. Are you a camper or glamper? A foodie or a sightseer? Plan your perfect staycation with our guide for the top things to see and do around the country.

Planning a Staycation?

Scotland has something for everyone. From the dramatic scenery, and rich, vibrant culture, to our tasty food and drink, experiencing your home country on a whole new level will make you fall in love with Scotland all over again. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning and discover some of Scotland's best kept secrets.

Staycations in Scotland

  • Camping: Nothing quite beats the independence and sense of freedom while on a camping holiday. Scotland is a treasure trove for campsites and there are plenty of locations with scenic views to pitch your tent in.
  • Glamping: Fancy having a weekend outdoors but still want all your home comforts? Then glamping should be right up your street. From camping pods, wigwams and teepees to treehouses and yurts, you are definitely spoiled for choice when it comes to glamping in style!
  • Caravanning: Experience the true essence of Scotland by going caravanning. Hit the road and experience some of the country's hidden gems along the way. Here are some caravan getaway ideas to help you get started.
  • Hotels: There's no better feeling than being tucked up in bed in warm and cosy surroundings. If you're planning a city break and need somewhere to rest your head, then a hotel stay might just be for you. From boutique hotels to 5-star luxury, Scotland has a wide selection of hotels to choose from to suit all tastes and budgets.
  • Lodges: Lodges are the perfect retreat to get away from it all. Whether you are celebrating a very special occasion or just fancy some time to relax and unwind, staying in a lodge in peaceful surroundings really offers you a sense of escapism.

Choosing the right staycation for you

Scotland has accommodation options for all types of staycations. Whether you are looking to camp under the stars or enjoy the finer things in life by booking a luxury hotel stay, Scotland has got you covered! First things first, let's find out what kind of staycation suits your style. Are you:

  • An Adventure Seeker - You are looking to release your inner Tarzan by pushing yourself to the limit with a range of exciting outdoor activities/experiences.
  • A Curious Traveller - You have an overwhelming desire to explore new destinations and new things from history and culture to visiting some of the finest beauty spots.
  • A Landmark Enthusiast - You enjoy general sightseeing, taking in historical places as well as scenery and nature.
  • A Food-Loving Culturalist - You like looking for places to whet your appetite as you experience the very best of Scottish food & drink with a bit of culture added to the mix.
  • An Outdoor Lover - You are looking to switch off from the real world by visiting different outdoor attractions while admiring the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Staycations for Adventure Seekers

If you're looking for a new adventure, then Scotland might just be on the cards. Live life on the edge as you explore the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland for the ultimate staycation. Whether you're visiting during summer or winter, there is always an adventure waiting to happen whatever time of year you decide to visit.

Staycations for Curious Travellers

Heading out to discover new things, people, places and adventures with your phone off and exploring hat on can be brilliant. Scotland is a place full of discovery for curious travellers. Whether you are looking to dip your toe into its rich historic past or be at one with nature by going on a walking holiday, the possibilities here are endless whatever direction you head in.

Staycations for sightseers

We don't like to brag but when it comes to sightseeing holidays, Scotland has a great selection of things to see & do. Get your camera at the ready as you discover everything from our amazing wildlife, pristine gardens, historic attractions and much more.

Staycations for Food Lovers

Our food is something that we take great pride in. From our traditional Scottish dishes like haggis, neeps and tatties to our succulent seafood dishes, Scotland's food & drink scene has something for everyone - even for the fussiest of eaters! If you are looking to build an appetite, why not visit our fabulous array of food & drink attractions? From whisky distilleries and farm shops to fruit picking, you won't be short on ideas!

Staycations for getting away from it all

There's nothing quite like switching off from the real world and recharging those batteries. The major cities may be a hub of activity when it comes to exciting things to do, but sometimes you might just like to enjoy things at your own pace.
A staycation also means that dog owners will be able to bring their furry companions along with them. Check out these pooch friendly places to help you plan your holiday, you'll be barking mad to miss out!

Live like a Scot during your staycation

It's really no surprise that people continue to flock to our cities after visiting them for the first time. From our wonderful array of festivals and attractions to our colourful history and heritage, our cities surely know how to stand out from the crowd. However, this is only just the beginning for your trip around Scotland. It's time to get off the beaten track and discover a whole new world outside of the cities. Spend a day exploring the nooks and crannies of our Scottish towns and live like a local!

Anstruther

From puffins to seals, Anstruther has no shortage when it comes to experiencing Scotland's fascinating marine life! During the summer months, take a boat trip to the Isle of May and get up close and personal where you will find a magical mix of seabirds, seals and smugglers. If you're looking to try out some good fish and chips, then Anstruther Fish Bar ticks all the boxes when it comes to your seafood fix.

Discover more of Anstruther.

Cromarty

Home to one of the more unusual film festivals in the UK, Cromarty sure knows how to put on a show for visitors. Every December, the town transforms itself into a mini film festival across various venues with even the Cromarty Lighthouse becoming a canvas, as short films are projected onto the side of it. When the weather is nice, make sure to take a stroll along the waterfront while you pass through the town's pretty cottages.

Discover more of Cromarty.

Pittenweem

Anstruther isn't the only town in the East Neuk of Fife which is filled with hidden gems, we think that Pittenweem is worthy of a special mention too. Did you know that 'Pittenweem' comes from the ancient Pictish language and means 'The Place of the Caves', and that James V granted the town status of 'royal burgh' in 1541? These are just some of the things that you will uncover during your trip here.

Discover more of Pittenweem.

Kirkcudbright

The first thing that you should know about Kirkcudbright is how to pronounce the name. Kir-coo-bree is about right and don't worry, this is the only complicated thing you need to know about this wee town. Sitting on the banks of the River Dee, Kirkcudbright is the only town on the Solway coast with a working harbour. The town is also renowned for its link to the Glasgow art world between 1880 - 1980 with many of the Scottish Colourists spending time to work here, including Samuel Peploe and Francis Cadell. If you can't get enough of Kirkcudbright's art and culture scene, make sure to add in the Tolbooth Art Centre and Harbour Cottage Gallery to your visit.

Discover more of Kirkcudbright.

Oban

Nicknamed the seafood capital of Scotland, there's a whole lot more to Oban than just fish. The possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing your next staycation here. From sea kayaking and hiking, to cycling and exploring history, your holiday itinerary will certainly be jam-packed. Did you know that Oban's growth was all thanks to whisky? Make sure to take a tour around Oban Distillery where you will learn about the ancient art of distilling and finish off with a nice dram of whisky. If you're looking for somewhere to stretch your legs and explore the great outdoors then we recommend that you walk up MacCaig's Tower for breath-taking views across the nearby islands.

Discover more of Oban.

How to be a responsible neighbour during your staycation

Travel isn't just about the sites, but the people too. Visiting somewhere new can be very exciting but it's important to remember that you're a guest; so it's important to behave like one. Here are some of our top tips on how to be a responsible neighbour during your trip to Scotland.

  • Cycling is popular and welcomed in Scotland, but please do so responsibly. Many cycle paths can get easily congested especially during the summer months. If you are cycling, please remember to slow your pace and respect signage along the way.
  • Be a responsible dog owner - always put your dog on a lead near farm animals and remember to clean up after them.
  • Be safe while out on the water. If you are swimming in the lochs, be sure to wear a bright swimming cap so you can be seen or try and swim with someone else by your side.
  • Drive carefully on Scottish roads. Local people tend to drive quite fast as they know the roads well but please don't be tempted to speed up. When driving along Scotland's rural roads, stick to an appropriate speed limit. During the winter months, police will sometimes have to close roads because of the snow and we strongly advise that you check the weather forecast before you travel.
  • If you are taking on any adventure sports such as rock climbing or canyoning, we recommend that you go with a qualified expert.
  • Be sure to stay safe when you are in the mountains. We recommend that you pack the following essentials including maps, a compass, a safety kit and appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • If you enjoy wildlife watching, please make sure that your movements are steady and predictable and do not approach directly. We also strongly advise that you do not feed the animals.

Understanding your rights to roam anywhere in Scotland

As part of Scotland's access legislation, the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, you can go on to most land to enjoy the outdoors - as long as you behave responsibly.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code applies all year-round and offers some great tips and advice so that you can enjoy these spaces safely.

Navigating your way through Scotland's landscape

Scotland's landscape is one of its most iconic assets. However, it is important that you can navigate your way around safely. The Scottish weather can be very unpredictable at times. A day of blue skies with good visibility can quickly turn to grey and stormy weather with poor visibility, giving you very little warning. Here are our top tips to help you plan your holiday:

  • Make sure you study the map and plan your route before you travel so that you know where you want to go and how long this will take you.
  • Learn how to use a compass before your trip.
  • Have the map and compass at hand at all times during your walk.
  • Why not book a course? Mountaineering Scotland offer a series of one day navigation training courses to help you safely prepare for your trip.

Scotland's Best-Known Walking Routes

Get your walking boots on and explore the natural wonders of Scotland by going on a walking holiday. Whether you want to walk along one of its coastal routes or if you're in the mood for a more challenging hike, you will be treated to some of the most spectacular scenery whatever your preference.

The Four Border Abbeys

  • Start & Finish: The Borders Abbey walk can start and finish at any one of its five stages in Jedburgh, Hawick, Selkirk, Melrose or Kelso.
  • Length: 68 miles (109km).
  • Timing: 5 Days

Discover the magnificent ruined abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh, Jedburgh and Kelso while admiring the picturesque scenery of the countryside. If you enjoy a bit of fishing, parts of this route follow the River Tweed and River Teviot where you might catch a bite or two.

Falls of Glomach

  • Start & Finish: Morvich
  • Length: 12 Miles
  • Timing: 6 Hours

It might be 12 miles long but the Falls of Glomach is well worth the hike! Experience one of the highest and most isolated waterfalls in Britain.

The Hermitage

  • Start & Finish: The Hermitage Car Park, just to the west of Dunkeld near Inver Bridge.
  • Length: 4 miles
  • Timing: 2 hours

A favourite amongst families. Walk along this magical stretch of forest where you will be treated to a stunning array of wildlife and the roaring Black Linn Falls. The Hermitage is also home to some of the tallest trees in Britain, the giant Douglas firs.

Arran Coastal Way

  • Start & Finish: Brodick
  • Length: 65 miles (105km)
  • Timing: 4-6 days

Recognised as one of 'Scotland's Great Trails', the route is suitable for all abilities and ages. Teeming with wildlife and beautiful scenery, the route is perfect for outdoor lovers who are planning an epic walking holiday.

Rob Roy Way

  • Start & Finish: Start at Drymen, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and finish at Pitlochry in Perthshire
  • Length: 77 miles or 94 miles (123 or 150km)
  • Timing: 7 days

Beginning in the Trossachs where Rob Roy Macgregor spent most of his time, take a journey through history where you will come across many connections with events in his colourful life from the Falls of Leny, near Callander to the stone circle in Fonab forest.

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