8 Ways To Enjoy a Quiet Getaway in Scotland Without Missing Out

Sometimes a change of pace is exactly what we need. On your next trip to Scotland, take the chance to explore the peaceful pockets of the land, discover something totally new, and take a step back from the fast-paced nature of modern life. 

Whatever your holiday style, here are some sustainable ideas to get ahead of the curve and find the quiet getaways that your heart desires.

  1. The city of coast and culture Aberdeen

    Aberdeen Art Gallery

    © VisitScotland

    For a city break, cast your eyes to the north east. Not only will you find lots of stylish, well-priced hotel rooms, the city's architecture is thought to be some of the finest and most unique in Europe, with sparkling granite buildings standing tall in all directions. Visit for the whisky bars and distilleries in the surrounding Aberdeenshire area with eight distilleries making up the Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire. Browse the stunning new collections inside the refurbished Aberdeen Art Gallery and discover the growing street art and comedy scene. In the summer, instead of battling the crowds and heat of other cities, watch the leaping dolphins from the Torry Battery, close to the city centre. 

    Tip - travel to Aberdeen in just two hours from Edinburgh by train.

  2. The outdoor escapade in a wild landscape Wester Ross, North West Highlands

    Het Loch Torridon Hotel

    © VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

    This far-flung corner of the north west Highlands is simply breathtaking. Your days could be spent in the mountains and hills, enjoying an ascent of Beinn Eighe - a mountain with seven peaks, two of which are Munros. Or go on a gorgeous stroll around Glen Torridon keeping an eye out for wildlife and west coast island vistas.

    Leave the stresses of the daily grind behind as you wander through the incredible geology and take in the stark beauty of the wilderness. You might have heard of a certain monster that lurks in the Highlands that everyone wants to see, but there's in fact another one - Muc-Sheilche of Loch Maree! Book a quiet cottage stay and fall in love with this corner of the Highlands. 

    Tip - travel by electric car with 11 rapid charging points in the Highlands.

  3. The island-hopping adventure to soothe the soul The Small Isles, Inner Hebrides

    Veerboot van Port Askaig, Islay naar Jura

    © VisitScotland / Wild about Argyll / Kieran J Duncan

    If you want to experience true tranquillity, spending time on the Small Isles will reawaken your senses. They can be found scattered between the larger isles of Mull and Skye.

    On Rum, don't miss the chance to see the impressive Kinloch Castle or witness the resident wildlife, with sea eagles soaring above and red deer at Kilmory Bay, who occasionally pop down to the beach to munch on seaweed!

    Explore the scenery and quiet sandy beaches of the smaller Muck where all you need to do is admire the gorgeous scenery, appreciate the silence in the air and explore the calm rocky shores.

    On Canna, don't miss the chance to see the striking St Columba's Church which overlooks the harbour.

    Tip - these isles can be reached by ferry from the mainland at Arisaig or Mallaig (from Fort William). Please check ferry schedules and availability in advance of travelling.

  4. The back-to-nature glamping experience Dumfries & Galloway, South West Scotland

    Galloway Activity Centre

    © VisitScotland / Stuart Brunton

    The benefits that the region of Dumfries & Galloway can offer to the stressed-out city slicker are endless! As soon as you arrive, you'll be met with green countryside and rolling hills for miles around, as well as deep forests, perfect for exploring and self-discovery.

    There's no better way to experience this region than with some good old-fashioned camping or glamping. The area is a designated Dark Sky Park and during the winter, the night sky sparkles with stars and in favourable light conditions you can see the milky way with the naked eye. Why not try an eco-pod, tipi or wigwam beside a loch or in a woodland and really get back to basics?

    Tip - book your glamping pod in advance to avoid disappointment.

  5. The blissful escape at sea The swirling Scottish seas

    Stromness

    Nothing says 'escape' like jumping in a boat and taking to the high seas. There are many options for a sailing holiday in Scotland, whether you have your own boat or would like to step aboard one with a skipper and crew all ready to sail away. Fuelled by wind power alone, explore the secrets of the west coast from Oban, discover the isles of Argyll & The Isles, or navigate your way along the Viking Trail from the Caledonian Canal up north to Orkney and Shetland and find amazing places that cannot otherwise be reached.

    Tip - it's possible to reach Oban from Glasgow by train in approximately 3 hours.

  6. The wellness retreats to help you hit reset All over Scotland

    Yoga bij Loch Faskally, Perthshire

    © VisitScotland / Julie Howden

    Choose a retreat in Scotland and head home feeling revitalised. At EcoYoga, you can recharge and unwind in a wild river bath or hot tub, and perfect your downward dog in the calming landscapes of Argyll. The We Love Retreat in Abernethy is another brilliant getaway, with cosy lodges to stay in whilst you explore the mind, body and soul with yoga and meditation workshops.

    If writing is your passion, book a stay at Moniack Mhor. Take advantage of the serene surroundings and expert teachings and see if you can make the big breakthrough with your novel or perhaps start scribbling down a brand new idea.

    Tip - a retreat is a great option for solo travellers.

  7. The coastal town you'll never want to leave Fife, East Scotland

    Elie Harbour in the East Neuk of Fife

    © VisitScotland / Stuart Brunton

    Hide away in a pretty coastal town in the East Neuk of Fife and discover the joys of this coastline. Spend your days watching boats at the 16th century harbour, set out on a scramble through rocks and caves along the Elie chain walk when the tide is out. Be sure to make a few visits to the Ship Inn, a pub which hosts beach cricket on Sundays in the summer.

    The Fife Coastal Trail takes in miles and miles of the glorious coastal scenery. Stop in the chocolate café at Pittenweem for an espresso milkshake and chocolate scone, or devour a legendary chippy at Anstruther.

    Tip - Elie can be reached by bus or train from Edinburgh or cycle the NCN Route 1 from Edinburgh to Elie. 

  8. The lesser-travelled walking trail The West Island Way, Isle of Bute

    Rothesay Castle

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    A lovely way to the see a fab wee island, the West Island Way is a 30 mile (48 km) long distance option for walkers looking for a serene, off-the-beaten track path. It takes in the entire island of Bute over two days and passes unique attractions such as Victorian gem, Rothesay Castle, and the grand stately home, Mount Stuart. It's one of Scotland's most accessible islands and can be reached entirely by public transport.

    Tip - catch the short ferry to Rothesay from Wemyss Bay with Calmac.

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