People are magnetised to Scotland by visions of sweeping mountains and deer-stalked peaks, shimmering lochs and empty fir forests. If that's what's drawn you to these parts, too, it's worth bearing in mind that there's arguably no sort of accommodation that offers such immersion in nature as a lodge. This guide to holiday lodges in Scotland runs through the most common features and some of the top locations of these sorts of stays.
Where will I find Scottish lodges?
With such vast tracts of hinterland between its borders, Scotland could just be the perfect place to seek out a remote cabin or lodge. Here are some of the environments where you can expect to find them hidden.
Scottish holiday lodges in the Highlands
People have been raising rustic lodges in the Scottish Highlands for centuries. Some were simple bothies to shelter walkers and shepherds when the rains came in. Others were homes for hunters and clansmen. Many are now converted to offer a truly unique stay. You'll find them close to far-flung towns like Aviemore, perched on the edge of the Cairngorms, and around more popular outdoors adventure destinations like Fort William.
Holiday lodges in Scotland on the islands
It's not just the fells of Scotland's great Grampian Mountains that host lodge stays. You could also settle somewhere on the islands. Nature engulfs the lean-to cottages and cabins on the Shetland Isles, for example, so far out in the North Sea that you're almost closer to Norway. Nearer to home, the Isle of Skye has its own timber-built boltholes, nestled by whale-splashing, seal-swimming coastal waters.
The Lowlands have other lodges in Scotland
The Lowlands of Scotland are often overlooked by travellers. They spread over the whole south of the country and creep up towards the cow-spotted farms of Aberdeenshire, too. They might host the major cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, but they remain a wild and untamed place at heart, beset by pine-scented woodlands, lakes and hills, such as those at the remote Galloway Forest Park.
Choose the sort of Scottish lodge you're after
Lodges in Scotland aren't always what you might expect. Yes, there are moss-caked cabins built of wild timbers, but there are also luxurious boltholes that artfully fuse the rustic character with special features. Before booking, it's a good idea to think about what type you're after.
Luxury lodges in Scotland
While the strong winds bluster through the Highlands outside and the waves of the North Sea crash against the coast, some Scottish lodges can help you crank up the cosy factor to get comfy. There is a wide range of luxury properties in this category. Roomier and more bespoke than many of their rustic compadres, they tend to tout features such as wood-burning stoves and steaming hot tubs.
Pet-friendly log cabins and lodges in Scotland
One of the real joys of opting for an escape to the wilder corners of Scotland is surely in taking the pup along for the ride. In fact, a reason that lodges remain so popular with outdoorsy types is that they regularly welcome 4-legged friends. Some will limit the number of dogs you may bring, while others might charge an extra fee per visiting pet.
Romantic Scottish lodges for couples
Real romance often relies on keeping things simple. So, shun those fine dining restaurants and candlelit cocktails for a return to nature, Scotland style. A lodge is the sort of accommodation that fits the bill. Compact and secluded, it offers plenty of privacy, while that timber shell and those coal-crackling stove warmers are great at creating the snug atmosphere you've been searching for.
Handy hints for cheap deals on holiday lodges in Scotland
Keeping costs low when you head to the untamed backcountry of Scotland is an important factor in many a traveller's escape. Follow these 3 tips to help ensure you don't pay over the odds for any lodge or cabin.
Book early if you're coming in the summer
Scottish holiday lodges are just like any other type of rental accommodation in the UK – they can get pricy when they are in higher demand, while demand is often dictated by school breaks. If you're determined to settle in the Cairngorms or Trossachs come the summer – the most popular time – try to pre-book your stay as early as you can.
Cosy up in Scottish lodges in the winter
There's plenty to be said for a winter break to Scotland. First off, the Highlands gather snow at this time of year, so you could don the skis and salopettes in Glenshee. Secondly, the haggis-brimming pubs are truly enticing, with smoking fireplaces and hearty drams of whisky. And then there are the prices, which tend to stay low between November and March, excluding Christmas and New Year.
Think about more off-beat corners of Scotland
Another way to save on your Scottish lodge escape is to home in on the accommodation that is spread over less popular parts of the country. That means swapping the Highlands for the Lowlands, with their sweeping runs of pine woods and hills, or trading Skye for the Isle of Lewis and Harris, which means less famous peaks and beaches