The ins and outs of holiday cottages in Scotland

Breakaway to a Scottish cottage and feel the wilds of this untamed nation for yourself. There are all sorts of stays to choose from, which is why we've put together this guide to the main features, the extra frills and some of the top locations.

Features to expect from holiday cottages in Scotland

There are some standard aspects of cottages in Scotland that tie the whole range of properties together. From stovetops to quaint designs, here are just 3 things to which you can look forward.

Self-catering Scottish cottages abound

The vast majority of home rentals in Scotland, as in the rest of the UK, will have the benefit of their very own kitchen. For budding Gordon Ramsays, with a penchant for hunting through farmers markets for prime Angus cuts and the tastiest oak-aged Scottish cheddars, that could mean plenty of cooking nights in.

Age-old architecture in Scottish holiday cottages

Don't seek out a Scottish cottage expecting a swish new build with PVC doors and windows. Travellers come here to get a taste of something authentic and old. That means hardy, white-washed homes on the Isle of Skye, with thick walls to brace against the sea winds and steep-sided slate roofs. Or, it means stone-clad Highland nooks, with smoking fire hearths and tight-knit lounges.

Dog-friendly Scottish cottages are plentiful

There's no reason why the family pooch has to miss out on your escape to the Great Glen. Pet-friendly cottages are everywhere in the country. You simply need to ensure that you check what sort of canines they welcome and whether there are any associated charges to pay. Then, it's just about planning a trek up Ben Nevis that those 4 shorter legs can handle.

Frills in luxury holiday cottages in Scotland

Looking to treat yourself? Look no further than the luxury end of the Scottish cottage spectrum. Adding an element of opulence to their traditional design, along with a hot tub or 2 for good measure, these are the places to book for a bout of Highland R&R.

A fusion of rustic and modern in Scottish cottages

It's by packing steaming hot tubs and saunas into the very same building as crackling wood fireplaces and original architectural features that many a bolthole in Scotland achieves their balance between old and new. It means you can enjoy a characterful, immersive escape, all without leaving behind any creature comforts.

Secluded locations for Scottish holiday cottages

One of the great draws of Scotland is the sheer isolation that's on offer from many of the destinations here. You could venture all the way to the wind-blasted Shetland Isles in the depths of the North Sea or choose the hardy Orkneys or Hebrides. A cottage stay in those parts achieves a certain level of luxury by giving plenty of space and often just a distant whale or a Highland cow for company.

Pampering yourself in a Scottish cottage

You can home in on cottages in Scotland that will let you relax and unwind in the same way that a spa hotel might. Just filter your search to show the accommodation that comes with spa baths or saunas. You could find that they sit close to golf courses or country clubs, making use of shared facilities in those complexes.

Different places to find holiday cottages in Scotland

Ranging from the stern isles of the North Sea to the spiked peaks of the Highlands to the giant ridges of the Southern Uplands, Scotland certainly covers plenty of environments. That means it's a good idea to decide exactly where you want to explore around your cottage, before booking.

Scottish cottages on the beach

While Scotland might not spring to mind at a mention of beaches, there are actually many stunning sands to tread and wander in these parts. Granted, they aren't going to be the sun-splashed Costa del Sol. However, if you're into bracing, cobweb-busting strolls by the shore, the wild Isle of Lewis and Harris is sure to check the boxes.

Rural Scottish holiday cottages

Most cottages in Scotland will fall into the rural category. These are the places that pepper the rising fells of the backcountry. You'll catch them nestled in the Great Glen by Fort William, with trekking trails leading from their doorstep to the tips of Ben Nevis. You'll find them dotting the heaths of the Cairngorms, near ski slopes and lochs.

Look to the towns for other cottages in Scotland

Cottage stays in Scotland don't always have to be about going off-piste. In the towns, the scents of haggis and potent whisky drams are what wash over the rentals, meaning you get eateries and pubs surrounding your stay. Aviemore and Inverness are excellent gateways to the Highlands, while a cottage in Portobello could mean that the celebrated sights of Edinburgh are on the menu.