Get off the grid – gorgeous log cabins in Scotland
Looking for log cabins in Scotland? From remote mountain bothies, traditional ‘but an’ bens’, tiny houses, glamping pods, eco treehouses, luxurious wood sheds and rustic huts – the lure of getting off-grid and remote is a simple one. Read by candlelight, explore the great outdoors, enjoy the peace and quiet, or just put your feet up… here are seven log cabins in Scotland which make a perfect retreat from the world.
Birdwatcher’s Cabin, Loch Fleet, Golspie
At The Birdwatcher’s Cabin* in Balblair Woods near Golspie, the North Coast 500 might be right outside your door, but hidden on its own beach, the silence at at Birdwatcher’s Cabin is only interrupted by the whistling cry of an osprey taking flight over Loch Fleet’s endless stretch of sand dunes, mudflats, and 100-year-old scots pinewoods.
You won’t find Loch Fleet or Balblair Woods on any list of things to do on the North Coast 500, but this National Nature Reserve is home to some of Scotland’s rarest residents – the aforementioned ospreys, along with clouds of crossbills, greedy pine martens – and on the very rare occasion red squirrels and Scottish wildcats. For those lucky to live out here amongst all the wildlife, it is a tiny piece of paradise – and you can check-in for your own private getaway…
Nearby: visit the fairy tale Dunrobin Castle to explore the gardens and watch the daily falconry displays. You can walk to the castle along the beach. Visit the waterfalls at the Big Burn, and if you are feeling energetic there are mountain bike trails on Ben Bhraggie – or you could climb to the top for a view!
Tree Lodge, Inverkeithing
Gimme Shelter might only be 20 minutes from Edinburgh but this campsite is a world away from the busy city. Gimme Shelter is completely off grid – there is no electricity or water, and everything from the fireside seats & signs, the huts housing the eco-loos, camping shacks made entirely of doors, to a new glamping hut made out of a world war II bomb shelter is homemade, Gimme Shelter offers up some of the most unique log cabins in Scotland. Choose from one of six brilliant handmade glamping huts and log cabins quietly situated across the site – my favourites are Tree Lodge which sleeps up to six and the couples-only Shepherds Hut – with its perfect balcony for sundowners.
Nearby: Inverkeithing is just a 15-minute walk away for supplies and Edinburgh & the Fife coast are accessible by train. Aberdour has a pretty castle and a lovely beach and you can jump on the Fife Coastal Path. If you have a car, head out to the pretty villages of the East Neuk and sample Fife’s foodie delights.
Read more: Gimme Shelter
On a hillside above Loch Kirkaig in remote Assynt sits Batbox, a luxury wooden hut with incredible views. With a comfy double bed, full kitchen and luxury bathroom, this is hutting in style. Just 10 minutes from the foodie village of Lochinver, the batbox gives you total seclusion in touching distance of an excellent meal. Be warned up on the hillside there is no internet or phone signal – you are truly remote from the world here – and if you can’t live without it, then the owner’s other log cabin, the Lazy Bed cabin, closer to the wifi signal might be a better option.
Nearby: Lochinver is the perfect base to explore Assynt. Climb Suilven or Stac Pollaidh, two of Scotland’s most iconic mountains, or just head to Achmelvich or Clachtoll Beaches to relax on perfect white sand. Batbox is also well located for those doing the North Coast 500.
Book the Batbox with Airbnb (first-time user? use my referral for £25 off!)
Wee Haven, Benbecula
Armadillo pods are popular right across Scotland, but it is rare to see one as well kitted out as Wee Haven on the Isle of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. Sleeping up to 4 (well, in a pinch) this micro lodge has a mini kitchen complete with a welcome pack, perfectly formed shower room, double bed and beautiful views across the island. Looking to make your retreat even more relaxing? Wee Haven also offers up on site complementary therapies and yoga in a purpose-built yurt… or just relax on the terrace and watch the sun go down over the croft.
Nearby: Connected by causeways to both North and South Uist, Benbecula is a good base for exploring the Outer Hebrides Island chain. Head to Hosta beach for those incredible white sands the Western Isles are known for, jump on a horse at North Uist Riding School or ferry hop to check out beautiful Barra.
Book the Wee Haven Online
The Woodman’s Hut, Nethy Bridge
The Lazy Duck’s owners (and Django the spaniel who takes his guest manager duties very seriously) have been welcoming guests to their smallholding just outside Nethy Bridge near Aviemore for the last 40 years. The Woodman’s Hut is a tiny house for two made out of a 260-year-old Scots Pine, recycled from where it fell.
With a little house on the prairie interior, complete with cabin bed (at a height perfect for viewing the hills), a skylight for stargazing at night, and two old, overstuffed armchairs in front of the fire – it instantly transports you back to a much simpler time. Book into the Lazy Duck’s hot tub to truly relax.
Nearby: The Cairngorms National Park is literally on your doorstep. Climb the mighty Bynack More and hike up to the beautiful An Lochan Uaine. Eat at the Mountain Cafe over in Aviemore and visit the Highland Wildlife Park to see the UK’s only baby polar bear, red pandas and wildcats.
Read more: Lazy Duck
Osprey Boathouse, Loch Tay
‘Osprey’ and ‘Oyster’ are beautiful Scandinavian-style boat houses perched on the edge of Loch Tay. Hidden down a steep road this is seclusion at its very best – you will only have curious ducks, a greedy pheasant and my favourites, a pair of cheeky red squirrels who popped out from behind the trees for company. With your own lochside beach for a candle-lit bbq, I promise you won’t want to leave. Due to the remote location, you will need a 4×4 to get down the hill and there is no internet and who needs Instagram when you have it for real in right in front of you?
Nearby: Drive up to 3000 ft in a 4×4 with Highland Safaris and then back to feed red deer. Hike up to the falls at Acharn a series of dramatic waterfalls, located about two minutes drive from the boathouse or Bag Ben Lawers (the 10th highest mountain in Scotland) and explore the Ben Lawers Nature Reserve.
Read more: Loch Tay Boathouses
Loch Lomond Waterfront, Balmaha
On the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond sits Loch Lomond Waterfront – eight five-star luxury lodges and three wooden chalets. Flanked on one side by the looming Conic Hill and on the other the endless waters of Loch Lomond, you can’t get many more iconic locations for a holiday in Scotland. Whether you are looking for a romantic break or a family group trip to Loch Lomond, each lodge sleeps between two and six people, most are dog-friendly, and all have stunning views over the loch.
Nearby – the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is right on your doorstep so you have no excuse to get out and explore. A 10-minute walk from your Loch Lomond lodge is Conic Hill. Sitting on the Highland Fault line, Conic Hill’s slopes offer up one of Scotland’s best views and you don’t have to climb up far to see it. After your walk, pop into the Oak Tree Inn for a pint of real ale and haggis rolls! Weather not so great? drive the Scenic Route to discover more of the National Park’s best views – discover Woven Sound at Falls of Falloch, The Lookout at Loch Voil, Faerie Hollow at Loch Lubnaig and An Ceann Mor at Inveruglas.
Book: Loch Lomond Waterfront*
The Lambing Bothy at Lazy Duck
Sitting in its own acre of land, and surrounded by woodland, the Lambing Bothy at Lazy Duck comes complete with its own small herd of goat-like Soay sheep from Shetland and a group of nosy, bustling, chickens. Best described as ‘off-grid plus’, inside, the Lambing Bothy it is all farmhouse rustic chic – there is a comfy high box bed with stargazer skylight and even wifi if you really need it.
Time spent at the Lazy Duck is all about lighting the fire, pulling on the cosy socks, popping on the vintage radio rather than the TV, pouring a glass of wine and settling in for the night under a thick woollen blanket. You check into the Lazy Duck to check out – and settling into your wee log cabin you really do feel like you are embarking on a homesteading adventure.
Nearby – Hike up to the beautiful green An Lochan Uaine, spot the Cairngorms reindeer in their mountain wilderness, or go on a sled dog safari, learn to drive a sled, or go on a night sledding experience at the Dog Sled Centre. Just need to relax? Book into Lazy Duck’s infrared sauna or the fabulous wood-fired hot tub (£10 per couple) and swim by candlelight in 32-degree pine scented waters with a view of the mountains….
Read more: The Lambing Bothy
Westside Woodshed, Edinburgh
In the hills just to the south of Edinburgh is the Westside Woodshed, an incredibly stylish Scandi-inspired log cabin for two hidden amongst the trees. The cottage sits in 3000 acres of the beautiful, rolling hills and valleys of the Pentland Hills Regional Park on a working free-range blackface sheep farm which has been in the Cowan family since 1850. With sleek retro style all that’s left to do is swing open the patio doors, pour yourself a gin & tonic and slip into the outdoor hot tub – bliss.
Nearby: the bright lights of Edinburgh are only 20 minutes away, and history buffs will love Rosslyn Chapel and the walk around Roslin Glen. From your doorstep, you can walk up into the Pentland – hike the Kips to Scald Law, or the Capital View Walk for incredible views across to the Forth Bridges – look out for pheasants, deer, highland coos and rare black grouse on the way.
Read more: Westside Woodshed
Eagle Brae, Beauly
Eagle Brae is a small and exclusive village of seven utterly beautiful self-catering cedar log cabins in Scotland surrounded by the business of Highland life; grouse moors, wandering red deer, wheeling birds of prey. Part of an 8000 acres estate, for those looking for unique Scottish Highland accommodation, Eagle Brae offers true luxury – an incredible sense of place in the landscape, wonderful peace and quiet, and a genuine warmth in welcome. Read more: Eagle Brae
Nearby – Eagle Brae offers all the sporting estate activities a budding Highland laird could wish for – from camera stalking to husky racing and fly fishing. Visit Glen Affric and Glen Strathfarrar and Loch Ness where you can explore Urquhart Castle. Further afield is the Highland capital of Inverness – don’t miss the organic pizza & beer at the Black Isle Bar.
Love, from Scotland x