Published: 22.01.2018

Recommendations for an enjoyable cottage holiday in Scotland

self catering holiday cottages in Scotland

Scotland is a great country for a memorable holiday but it's another world for those who normally book a package holiday and head for the sun - especially if you're organising your own holiday.

The weather

Firstly, you may not have sunshine every day.  Have the attitude of not expecting sunshine and if you experience a heat wave then you will feel truly blessed.  It's not that the weather is always terrible, but it's generally not anywhere as warm as the south of England and it is possible to experience 3 different seasons on the same day.   I remember a lovely picnic in the snow at Easter.  Scotland is best for activity and sightseeing types of holiday - not for sitting on a beach every day.

Clothing and other items

Pack a selection of clothing suited to the different types of weather conditions that you might encounter. If you're travelling in the summer, pack that cardi or jacket just in case the evening is chilly.  Walkers usually realise that they will need to be properly equipped with stout walking boots and a foldaway waterproof.  It's a good idea to take a mobile phone with you whether you're walking or driving in isolated places  such as the Highlands in case the car breaks down otherwise it can be an extremely long walk to the nearest croft.   If you're spending any length of time on the west coast, do take wellington boots and insect repellant - it can be showery and the midges are a pest in late summer but you will be safe enough inside your holiday accommodation.   If you want to avoid both of these problems, visit the east coast.

country cottages online scotland


Some parts of Scotland are sparsely populated, with great distances between towns and villages.   If you're planning to stay in the countryside and have booked a remote holiday cottage in Scotland, you will definitely need a car to get around. Driving in Scotland is a pleasure - once you're away from cities, the traffic is very light and drivers generally courteous.  Make sure that you have a good road map.   Getting from one place to another is pleasant; the scenery is wonderful, there aren't any traffic jams unless they're caused by sheep on the road, so you will be able to cover large distances fairly quickly. A mobile phone would be useful in case of breakdowns.


Make a list of things that you would like from your holiday

Scotland is a great place to visit for people with all sorts of interests:

  • Birdwatchers will find some great sites for observing ospreys, other birds of prey and sea birds.  There are numerous nature reserves and bird sanctuaries throughout Scotland. The north east is especially recommended for coastal birds.
  • Culture vultures will love Glasgow, 'the city of culture' and Edinburgh for 'The Fringe Festival' and the Tattoo.  Aberdeen also has several arts and music festivals. Local festivals of all kinds are held throughout the year.
  • Lovers of the countryside will adore most areas of Scotland - the scenery is fantastic.
  • Walkers will find a number of well-known major walks like the Speyside and West Highland Way as well as numerous forest walks maintained by the Foresty Commission in all areas of Scotland. View cottages for walking holidays in Scotland - somewhere pleasant to resturn to after a ramble.
  • Fishermen will thoroughly enjoy fishing in Scotland's clean rivers and lochs for salmon and trout. Discover fishing holidays in Scotland, staying in self-catering accommodation.
  • Gourmets will find superb restaurants offering Scottish cuisine in all parts of the country. Glasgow is especially good for eating out with a wide range of excellent restaurants and lively nightlife.

nights out on holiday in scotland

Research things to see and do

To get the most out of your holiday, find out in advance the places you might want to visit and what's on.  Good sources of information are:

  • Tourist Board offices provide free information leaflets
  • local councils publish 'What's On' guides which are available in hotels, public libraries etc.
  • local newspapers will also keep you informed of  events, so buy one as soon as you arrive.
  • the Forestry Commission publish leaflets about forest walks, orienteering and other organised activities. 
  • the Internet for a wealth of free information that you can print and read at your leisure.  
  • the library and bookshops for books
  • the National Trust have an excellent web site and information leaflets for visitors
  • and when you arrive, talk to the local people to find out what they recommend.
  • if you're staying in a country cottage, your hosts will be more than delighted to guide you in the right direction and most should have a selection of tourist information leaflets.

Personally, I find that I can take only so much sightseeing and prefer to participate.  If you're sporty then that shouldn't be too difficult.  There are numerous sports activities and outdoor centres, most of which advertise on the Internet.  But whether it's sports, arts, clubs or anything else you're after, quite often you will have to book in advance, so research these things before you depart.

Guided tours are another option open to you.  These often provide depth of knowledge and colour to a place of interest.  I would recommend anyone going to a city to take one of the open top bus tours to provide an overview of the main visitor attractions and a general idea of where they are located so that you can visit the ones you choose at your leisure later. And if you're into history then do employ the services of a knowledgeable local guide - you will get so much more out of your trip.

Scottish people are friendly with a unique culture and dialects of their own. It's their country that you will be visiting and exploring - they're proud of it and glad to share its treasures with you. Enjoy.

Useful Pages for cottage holidays in Scotland

Self-catering log cabin holidays in Dinnet, Royal Deeside,  Scotland


self-catering log cabins north east scotlandSelf-catering log cabins to rent in Royal Deeside near the Cairngorms National Park.  If you are looking for a cosy base from which to enjoy discovering the beautiful area of Royal Deeside or the many activites on offer at the Caingorms National Park then these log cabins may appeal to you.

Situated near the village of Dinnet, these log cabins are well located for a holiday in Royal Deeside and also for accessing the Cairngorms National Park.  There are many country activities to be enjoyed in this part of Scotland including walking, fishing, hiking and wildlife watching.  It is even possible to go skiing at Glenshee or the Lecht.  Aberdeenshire is also known for the Castle Trail and the Whisky Trail, making the area a particularly interesting place to visit for a self-catering holiday



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