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Looking for self-catering cottages in Scotland? From rural boltholes to ultramodern hideaways, here is Love From Scotland’s favourite cottages in Scotland. They have all been tried and tested by us, so you are guaranteed a truly fabulous place to stay in Scotland.
Self-catering cottages in Scotland
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.
Nearby: the bright lights of Edinburgh are only 20 minutes away. 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
Dundonald Cottage, self-catering cottages on the Isle of Islay
Immerse yourself fully in Islay life by staying in a cosy self-catering cottage. Dundonald Cottage is located right on Bowmore’s main square and just steps from the pretty harbour. The cottage has two bedrooms, a cosy lounge with a peat fire and the most wonderful view across Loch Indaal to the Paps of Jura, a view you could spend hours watching from the kitchen table. For those who prefer to get away from it all, Islay Cottages also have holiday cottages at Kilchoman Cottages close to the island’s best beach, Machir Bay.
Nearby: Islay is both the ‘Queen of the Hebrides’ and Scotland’s whisky island – there are 9 to visit – my favourite is Bunnahabhain. Explore Islay’s beautiful landscapes – walk out to the American Monument on the OA cliffs, discover the remote Machir Bay – a sweep of perfect sand, visit Portnahaven to see the Rhinns of Islay lighthouse on the island of Orsay and spot dolphins from the lighthouse at Carraig Fhada.
Read more: fall in love with the Isle of Islay
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, the 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. Elderburn Lodges are based around a traditional Scottish steading but with all the mod-cons you need, sleeping up to six with squishy sofas, comfy beds, free wifi, full kitchens and dining spaces.
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*
Bell Tower at Mains of Taymouth, Perthshire
The Mains of Taymouth is a 160-acre family-owned luxury estate in Perthshire, located just to the north of Kenmore and a 5-minute walk to Loch Tay and village centre. With five-star self-catering cottages and apartments of all shapes and sizes, a restaurant, bar, and shop on site, it is the perfect place to base yourself for exploring Highland Perthshire.
My favourite is Bell Tower Cottage, a luxury ‘honeymoon’ bolt-hole for two with a four-poster bed hidden up in a bell tower. The cottage retains many of the A-listed steading’s original features – including a tiny doorway into the bedroom. With a gorgeous spa bathroom, sauna, and wood burning stove it was a perfect space to cosy up as a couple (or with your dog too!) and relax and rejuvenate after a day out exploring.
Nearby: Located just 2 hours north of Glasgow and Edinburgh, Loch Tay is a great place to base yourself for a Scotland holiday. Loch Tay is one of my favourite lochs as whatever the weather there are lots of things to do, from discovering the loch with Loch Tay Safaris on their rigid inflatable boat (RIB) Iolaire, horse riding at Mains of Taymouth Stables, gentle bankside Loch Tay Walks, to whisky tasting at Dewars Distillery.
Book: Mains of Taymouth*
Hideaway Experience, Dundee
With views across seemingly endless barley fields, choose between one of three ultra-modern lodges, 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. History buffs? Explore Discovery Point, which tells the tale of ‘Scott of the Antarctic’. Foodies will love the fine dining on offer at The Tayberry Restaurant or The Newport. For lunch try Gidi Grill in the docks, or Sol y Sombra or Project Pizza.
Book: The Hideaway Experience*
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.
Read more: Lochinshelloch Cottage
Newhills Farm, self catering cottages in Fife
In the countryside of rural Fife but just two miles to the north of the village of Auchtermuchty (pronounced ‘och-ter-muck-t’ and famous for the BBC series Dr Finlays Casebook) is Newhill Farm. Offering up accommodation for up to fourteen across three self-catering cottages – the Old Stables, Horse Mill Cottage and the Old Cart House – Newhill Farm is more than a place to just rest your head after a long day exploring, with a swimming pool, hot tub(s), tennis court and games room and if you really need it, free wifi – it’s your own mini resort in the Scottish countryside!
Nearby: just to the south of Auchtermuchty is the pretty conservation village of Falkland, hike up Maspie Den to the waterfall, visit Falkland Palace or just have a wander around spotting Outlander locations – Falkland stood in for Inverness in the TV series. There are plenty of cafes and bars for lunch including Pillars of Hercules. The Lomond Hills Regional Park is just 20 minutes drive away from Newhill Farm and has plenty of routes to explore – why not walk to the Bunnet Stane or if you are feeling energetic, climb East Lomond.
Read more: Newhills Farm
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*
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.
Read more: Eagle Brae
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. With no phone signal in the cottage (although there is wifi if you really need it) you can just switch off and watch the light change across the throughout the day…
Nearby: Say hello to Scotland’s ‘secret coast’ – the Cowal Peninsula. Forming part of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and sitting on the spectacular Loch Fyne, the Cowal Peninsula stretches from the pretty town of Inveraray to the stunning Ostel Bay – and right out to sea. 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.
Instabilllie, self catering cottages in Orkney
Instabillie is a self-catering cottage in a traditional Orkney croft house, with stunning views over rolling countryside and the Bay of Skaill. Inside Instabillie are three bedrooms, sleeping up to five (one double, one twin and one single) two bathrooms, a huge living and dining space with a full kitchen for self-catering and a cute conservatory with those gorgeous views. The cottage is decorated in a traditional Orkney style with local artwork on the walls. Outside there is even an outbuilding with a pool table and games for the kids.
Nearby: Discover the incredible Skara Brae, a 5000-year-old Neolithic village discovered after a storm in the 1800s. Walk around the 104m wide Ring of Brodgar and the nearby Stones of Stenness and Discover Viking graffiti in the Maeshowe tomb. Just 10 minutes from Instabillie is the west Mainland coastal path – hike from Stromness to Birsay along 20 miles of path. Climb up to the Kitchener Memorial above 100m cliffs filled with seabirds to spot puffins and find Yesnaby Castle, a huge sea stack, popular with climbers.
Read more: Instabillie
Looking for more places to stay in Scotland?
Love, from Scotland x