Category Archives: Holidays in Scotland

Will you Choose England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland for Your Holiday This Year?

Thinking of ideas of places to discover on your summer holiday this year or for a short break at some point? Many of us like to jet off somewhere where good weather is guaranteed at least once a year but lots of us also like to discover fantastic places during a staycation in the UK. Whether you have just a few days available or a week or more, the UK has plenty of fantastic destinations to choose from.

What Makes Great Britain So Great

Who can blame us for wanting to spend time in our home country? There is so very much that makes Great Britain great and all of the countries that make up the UK have their own unique draws which attract visitors. When the sun is shining on our definitely green and pleasant land there really is no better place. Who can beat sitting out in an English country garden and enjoying an Afternoon Tea with the sun on your back? Or meandering along one of our beautiful beaches with the dog or marvelling in the views once you’ve reached the summit of one our majestic fells or hills? Whether you tend to return to the same part of the UK year after year or are just looking for ideas, we aim to make you think about the possibility of discovering new places in our truly beautiful country.


Seaside in Scotland

Seaside in Scotland

The land of big skies, friendly locals and nature in abundance, Scotland is wonderful for remote holidays and for discovering the magnificence of nature. Whether you want to feast your eyes on mountains, lochs, sea or sky, Scotland will not disappoint. Wonderful wildlife in this fine country include deer, squirrels and even wild cats, and that’s not the mention the resident population of dolphins in the Moray Firth or the whales that can be spotted in the seas around the Scottish Islands.


Chiltern Hills in England

Chiltern Hills in England

With so many beautiful quintessentially English villages and towns with splendid historical buildings, parklands, hills, heaths and areas of outstanding natural beauty, there is much charm to be found in England, plus National Parks and a stunning coastline. Reasonably highly populated, finding remote hideaways in England is still possible and there are plenty of wonderfully rural locations to discover but perhaps without the remoteness to be found in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which suits those looking to experience a bit of peace and tranquillity with the added benefit of having the hustle and bustle of busier places within reasonably easy reach.


Undoubtedly best known for its National Parks, Mountains and Coastline, Wales promises vast areas of unspoilt countryside along with ample opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. A mecca for outdoors enthusiasts, Wales offers plenty of adrenaline pumping activities as well as more sedate options like walking. Whatever you want to do on holiday, Wales can be wonderful for getting out and exploring the great outdoors.


Ireland is renowned for its magic and with vast unspoilt landscapes and big skies, loughs and rivers it really isn’t surprising. Add to this the Irish sense of humour, great music, fascinating legends and a European feel and Ireland has plenty to recommend it. Just when will you discover Ireland on an Irish cottage break?

Wherever you choose to visit in the UK, you can be assured that there are some great options open to you. Just where will you discover next?

Top Things to do on Countryside Holidays or Farm-stays in England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland

1.      Wildlife Watching

Pheasant on haystack

Spot wonderful wildlife on a country break

One of the best benefits of staying in a farm or in a countryside location is the wealth of wildlife opportunities available to you from the doorstep.

Whether you love to watch birds or larger animals, keep your eyes peeled and watch out at the right time and your persistence should pay off.

Avid wildlife watchers know that sightings can never be guaranteed but are usually more likely when there is peace and quiet. The early hours of the morning and evening just before sunset offer the best opportunities. From deer to badgers and awe inspiring birds such as owls and pheasants, Britain’s green and tranquil countryside is teeming with fascinating wildlife.

If you are someone who likes to watch animals but wants more of a sure thing or have children who want guaranteed sightings, why not book a stay at a farm where you can feast your eyes on and meet farm animals?

On some farms there are ample opportunities to meet animals. Some places offer opportunities to meet and pet goats or cute friendly animals like ponies, which are sure to bring a smile to yours and your child’s face.

2.      Walking

When holidaying in the country or in a rural location, there is usually ample opportunity to discover walks on site or footpaths that criss-cross across the countryside nearby.
To make walks more interesting why not enjoy some wildlife watching en-route or take snapshots of your favourite scenes?

3.      Photography

Stunning sunset

Some of the best sunsets can be enjoyed in the countryside

When staying in a scenic green place why not capture some scenes to look back on and enjoy fond memories of in the future? Whether you love to take snapshots of family, friends, farm animals, wildlife or sunsets, there are plenty of scenes and fantastic photography opportunities to inspire you in the Great British countryside.

4.      Relax

When enjoying a rural treat break it may sound obvious but a great thing to do is relax whilst on holiday and just enjoy some quiet downtime. Whilst sightseeing and getting out can be great fun, spending time making the most of your countryside location is highly recommended and can often help you feel relaxed.

Whether there is a garden where you can laze around and may be read a book, grounds where you can enjoy a picnic with family or friends or jut an outdoor dining space where you can enjoy eating al-fresco, spending time outdoors in the countryside can really help you reconnect with nature and discover that inner calm.

Outdoor pool set in countryside

Outdoor pool in countryside

Large country houses or complexes of farm cottages also sometimes offer excellent leisure facilities to help you fully relax. Facilities on offer can include swimming pools, hot tubs, games rooms and even tennis courts. With opportunities to relax as good as this, you may not be able to bring yourself to leave your rural idyll at all.

5.      Cycling or Horse Riding

When it comes to exploring the great outdoors, taking to 2 wheels and biking around the farm or country lanes can be great fun. Feel the wind blowing through your hair and enjoy the exhilaration of a bike ride. For those who haven’t cycled for a long time, it really is something that you never forget to do and once on a bike again it won’t be long until you are re-experiencing the long forgotten thrill of riding.

Another great way to discover some of the best of Britain’s countryside is on horseback. Whether you have in mind a gentle pony ride in the local area or a trek around tree-lined bridleways, taking to a horse can help you feel at one with nature again and offer a new perspective on your surroundings.


Find out more about rural retreat breaks and farm-stay holidays on our Countryside Holidays page.

Aberdeenshires Inspirational Castle Country for Wondrous Cottage Holidays

Slains Castle Aberdeenshire

Slains Castle, said to have inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Scotland’s Castle Country

Do you love castles, stunning countryside, beautiful beaches and birdwatching? If so, Scotland’s Castle Country in the rugged and wild North East of Scotland could be perfect for your next cottage holiday.

Scotland’s Castle Country is to be found in Aberdeenshire and extends in to the awe-inspiring landscape of the Cairngorms National Park. Earning the title of ‘Castle Country’ by virtue of the high concentration of castles in this area of Scotland, there are a total of 17 castles in Aberdeenshire, guaranteed to keep ghost hunters and history lovers entertained and entranced on a cottage break.

Add to this attractions like Royal Deeside, the Aberdeenshire countryside and coastline and it’s easy to see that Aberdeenshire has more than one string to its bow. Aberdeenshire has so much to offer for self-catering breaks in fact that your only challenge may be deciding on the best things to see and do in the time you have available. Do the Castle Trail, follow walking trails through Aberdeenshire’s wonderful rural landscapes or plan your own unique adventure, it’s up to you!

Top Attractions in Scotland’s Castle Country include:

Slains Castle, this dramatic ruin sits high on a cliff and literally on the cliff edge where the waves of the North Sea crash angrily against the rocks, well worth a visit.

Cruden Bay, home to Slains Castle, this pretty fishing village has a long sandy beach, high sand dunes which the kids will love jumping from and a quaint harbour, for pure Scottish charm it doesn’t get any better than this!

Pennan, another very pretty seaside village, this village has a pebble beach, picture-perfect fishermen’s cottages and a sea cave, the approach is steep and dramatic.

Royal Deeside, visit and discover just why the Queen loves to holiday in this part of Scotland. Visit at the right time of year and you might be lucky enough to visit Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s very own holiday home.

Speyside, renowned for its whisky trail and excellent walking and wildlife watching opportunities. Discover Scotland’s natural beauty and enhance your visit with a taste of a ‘wee dram’.

Cairngorms National Park – with lochs, mountains and glens, the Cairngorms is an inspirational place and a paradise for walkers, hikers and wildlife watchers. Watch out for wild cats and eagles soaring proudly in the sky.

Wherever you choose to go in Scotland’s Castle Country you can be assured of a warm welcome and stunning natural beauty at every turn. So when will you be going? To whet your appetite and for ideas on places to stay, take a look at Cottages in Aberdeenshire.