Bed and breakfasts in Scotland are you chance to explore one of the world's most handsome countries in a unique and different way. They beckon to long-lost lochs and mist-gathering mountain chains. They sit beneath ghostly castles and next door to centuries-old whisky brewers. There are even some with mighty Ben Nevis or shimmering white-sand beaches on the doorstep. Use this guide to book yours today…
Amazing settings for B&Bs in Scotland
You can roughly divide the various bed and breakfasts of Scotland into three categories. Some await in the whisky-sloshing cities, between pubs, theaters, and haunting castles. Others magnetize hikers, skiers, and loch swimmers to the national parks in the Highlands. And then there are the places that dot the islands and coast, with icy waters and even glimmering beaches on the doorstep.
In the mountains
If there's one type of terrain that really defines Scotland, it's got to be the mountains. The bulk of the nation is carved by cloud-splintering peaks and high Munros – summits over 3,000 feet. They score the landscapes around Loch Lomond and reach above the lakes of the Cairngorms, where you'll even find them hosting ski slopes. Between them are lodges and B&Bs that are perfect for outdoorsy types, putting hiking trails and wild swimming opportunities on the menu.
By the ocean
Prepare to be left stunned by the sight of some Scottish beaches. Up in the Hebrides, the sand stretches can look positively Caribbean – provided the sun is shining, of course. Check out far-flung places like Luskentyre on the Isle of Harris to see what we mean, or hidden Langamull with its turquoise waters. Adding to that are rugged shorelines in Skye and the Orkneys, where you catch mountains crashing into the Atlantic or primeval archaeology sites right by the ocean.
In the cities
More of a city slicker? That won't be a problem. Many of the top-rated bed and breakfasts in Scotland are to be found in urban areas. Of course, Edinburgh tops the bill. It's got a UNESCO-tagged Old Town where cobbled lanes lead to handsome Edwardian mansions, all while the mighty turrets of Edinburgh Castle loom overhead. But Glasgow's arty center is a buzzy mix of boutique B&Bs and beer bars, while Inverness – the gateway to the Highlands – has its own castles and whiskey-tasting halls.
The hottest destinations in Scotland to think about
Whether you're sold on a mountain escape to the wild Highlands or want farm-to-table meals while looking at the green fields, there's sure to be a spot in Scotland that's got you covered. Read on for a little in the way of travel inspiration…
Edinburgh – the historical capital
Edinburgh is crowned by the strong walls of Edinburgh Castle, which stands tall over the Old Town district where the Royal Mile runs past grand statues, church spires, and countless gastropubs. If you're looking to delve into museums and trace the history of the famous Scottish clans, this is a great place to begin. One of the best selections of guest houses and inns in the country also helps.
Aviemore – the gateway to the Cairngorms
The little town of Aviemore is inundated with hiking outfitters, boot shops, and even the odd ski rental – one of Scotland's best resorts, Glenshee, is just over the valley. It's the stepping stone into Cairngorms National Park, which is home to 3,000-foot peaks and vast woodland estates where deer and buck roam free. The B&Bs are cozy and cute, mostly in stone-built cottages close to the hiking trails.
B&Bs on the Isle of Skye – romance and seclusion
The Isle of Skye is a lesson in jaw-dropping nature. Quaint fishing towns with white-painted cottages and fire-warmed Highland homes are what greet you as you hop over from the mainland. Then, it's all about needle-like summits and hidden glens, each peppered with country lodges and hostels, along with the occasional age-old clan castle or whiskey distillery.
Score bargain deals on Scottish B&Bs
You shouldn't have to fork out oodles of Scottish pounds to secure a great stay in this eye-watering country. In fact, B&Bs, pubs, and inns offer great bang for your buck, particularly if you follow the booking hints listed below…
Always do things in advance
Because bed and breakfasts in Scotland are so darn enticing and characterful, don't be surprised if they get snapped up fast. That means you'll want to plan your trip as early as you can, when good deals are still available in the captivating homes of the Cairngorms and the salt-washed Isle of Skye. Booking at least three months in advance can also help reduce the cost of transatlantic flights over to the UK.
Consider some of Scotland's lesser-known jewels
Yes, Skye is wreathed in legend and myth, with spiked mountains and gushing waterfalls. And it's true that Edinburgh is a city you'll never forget. However, places like that tend to have some of the more expensive B&Bs in Scotland. Costs will generally be lower if you venture off the beaten path – think Loch Lomond, the towns of the Great Glen, or the Lowlands region, perhaps.