Want to escape to a self-catering cottage in Scotland? From rural boltholes to ultramodern hideaways, here are Love From Scotland’s favourite self-catering cottages in Scotland. They have all been tried and tested by us, so you are guaranteed a truly fabulous place to stay in Scotland.
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Loch Tay Boat Houses, Perthshire
If you are looking for somewhere to unusual to stay in Scotland, I have just the place for you – Loch Tay Boathouses– ‘Otter’ and ‘Dipper’ are beautiful Scandinavian-style boat houses, perched on the edge of Loch Tay. Hidden down by the loch, this is seclusion at its very best. With your own lochside beach for a candle-lit bbq and red squirrels visiting for breakfast, I promise you won’t want to leave.
The Washhouse and the Cartshed – Eastside Cottages, Edinburgh
Romantic bolthole hunters, the Washhouse and the Cartshed at Eastside Cottages are for you. Perfectly formed inside the farm’s steading, these two Eastside cottages have been imaginatively designed to be perfect spaces for a romantic retreat – away from kids and pups! With sharp interior lines, dramatic use of colour, gorgeous wood notes, and huge windows framing the gardens and hills beyond, both cottages offer style and substance.
With a split level layout, the cottages each have a double bedroom with crisp cotton Bedfolk sheets, and linens, a luxury bathroom with a rain shower, a full kitchen and dining space (the Washhouse has a breakfast bar, the Cartshed a dining table) and a cosy living space with a window seat and comfy armchair, a toasty wood burning stove and internet TV hidden away if you really need it. There is luxurious underfloor heating throughout.
The Cartshed also has a space in the loft for stargazing or reading – there are lovely books provided in each cottage. Both cottages also have access to Eastside’s own farm wellness spa, including sauna yurt and plunge pool.
The hipster hangout: Glen Dye Cottages and Cabins
At the heart of a beautiful 15,000 acre Aberdeenshire estate which rises up from the River Dye to the peak of local icon Clachnaben, are Glen Dye cabins and cottage.
Offering up rural Highland adventures with a large dollop of luxury, at Glen Dye you can book into one of eight luxury holiday cottages alongside more adventurous glamping options including a 1950s airstream, a converted sawmill and a ‘garden camp‘.
My favourite is the North Lodge and River Cabin, a pretty three-bed self catering cottage which comes with its own fabulous cabin in the woods, an off grid hot tub and even its own stretch of the River Dye for wild swimming.
Tign Na Mara, Portavadie, Argyll
‘Tigh Na Mara’ is a one-bedroom couple’s retreat hidden around in the next bay from the Portavadie marina, but just a 10-minute walk away from the spa and restaurants of the resort. Inside, the cottage had everything we needed to escape for the weekend – complete with a wood burning stove and plenty of cosy fluffy throws to keep the Argyll winter breezes away.
Nearby: Say hello to Scotland’s ‘secret coast’ – the Cowal Peninsula. Explore Puck’s Glen, a spooky walk through a deep glen, visit Ostel Bay – arguably Cowal (and Argyll’s) best beach with a view of Arran, find Benmore Botanic Garden – a huge mountain garden filled with redwoods and Hike the Kyles of Bute along the coastal path from Tighnabruaich.
The Hideaway Experience, Dundee
With views across seemingly endless barley fields, choose between one of three ultra-modern lodges at the Hideaway Experience – the Dreamers, the Honeymooners, or the Lovers, or the cute and cosy (and dog-friendly) the Romantics cottage and settle into your own tiny piece of rural heaven.
Inside you have our own miniature boutique hotel complete with a bathroom which could grace a five-star spa, a sauna, a wood-burning stove in the bedroom, a dining table with a very big view – and all the privacy you need for a romantic weekend away – including your own hot tub outside.
Nearby: Emerging from a waterfront make-over to become Scotland’s coolest design city, Dundee is a 15-minute drive or taxi from the Hideaway Experience. Art fans will love the newly opened and rather spectacular V&A Dundee, as well as Dundee Contemporary Arts and the ‘McMenace’ Gallery.
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.
The Birdwatcher’s Cabin, Golspie
The North Coast 500 might be right outside your door, but hidden on its own beach, the silence at the 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.
Inside, the cabin is a lesson in minimalist luxury. Designed by Anta, East Sutherland’s famous architects & interior firm, there is a stunning rainfall shower in local Caithness slate, beautiful vintage furniture, stylish rugs and cosy blankets and an incredibly comfy bed with really thick sheets – the sheer quality of the cabin will just blow you away. If you need it there is wifi and satellite TV, but I promise you won’t want to turn it on once
Nearby – visit the fairy tale, Dunrobin Castle, to explore the gardens and watch the daily falconry displays. 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!
Westside Woodshed, Edinburgh
In the hills just to the south of Edinburgh is Westside Woodshed, an incredibly stylish Scandi-inspired self-catering cottage for two hidden amongst the trees.
The cabin 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. It is the perfect place to escape the city.
Nearby: 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. History buffs will love Rosslyn Chapel and the walk around Roslin Glen.
Book the Westside Woodshed
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 Lochinver
Elderburn lodges, St Andrews
Elderburn Lodges are a cluster of six luxury self-catering cottages located just 10 minutes drive from St Andrews. If you are looking for a self-catering cottage in Scotland, Elderburn Lodges are perfectly located for exploring both the town and the coastal villages of the East Neuk but are set in the quiet rolling Fife countryside with views for miles.
Nearby: Whilst most famous for golf and Scotland’s oldest university, St Andrews is actually a buzzing little town surrounded by spectacular Fife countryside. With Michelin-starred restaurants, quirky traditional bars, beaches galore, the villages of the East Neuk of Fife are arguably Scotland’s prettiest. From Crail to Elie, fishing villages hug the coastline, joined up by the 117 mile Fife Coastal Path. Stroll from village to village, grab fish and chips or a lobster roll and sit on a seawall and watch the fishermen come and go.
Book Elderburn Lodges
Lochinshelloch Cottage, Cawdor Estate, Inverness
In the Highlands of Scotland, 12 miles from Inverness, and home to a castle dubiously connected to Shakespeare’s Scottish Play is the Cawdor Estate.
Sleeping up to six, downstairs at Lochinshelloch Cottage there is a large country kitchen, a huge well-scrubbed dining table and a cosy lounge complete with open log fire and the ultimate in squishy sofas. There is also a three double bedroom and a luxury shower room – perfect for scrubbing up for dinner after a long muddy walk.
With four more cottages across the 42 thousand-acre estate – Ivy Cottage in the village, and Achneim Cottage next door (ok, nearby) to Lochanshelloch. To the south down by the River Findhorn is a hunting lodge for 22, the delightfully retro wooden Fisherman’s Cottage and a three-bedroom whitewashed bothy which was what was once the home of the Cawdor Estate gardener. Take your pick – they are all gorgeous.
Nearby: the Culloden Battlefield is just a short drive from Cawdor, then day trip to Inverness – walk along the River Ness and the Caledonian Canal, discover Leakey’s Bookshop, take a boat trip out on Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle, visit the Nessie centre and then head back into town to the Black Isle Brewery Bar which serves up organic beers accompanied by delicious pizzas. The Castle pub also serves a huge range of beer overlooking the river.
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.
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.
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Love, from Scotland x
I’m Kate – a travel writer and photographer living in Scotland. Love, From Scotland is the Scotland travel guide that shows you where to stay and how to get outside in Scotland.