K.C. was a featured writer for Yahoo! Travel before joining trips to discover in 2013. She is the author of Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland, an Amazon bestseller every year between 2013 and 2016. She has been a featured expert on Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, Travelocity, among others.
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Scotland has everything from wild coasts home to stunning beaches that look as if they should be in the Caribbean to heather-covered mountains, meandering streams, and cascading waterfalls. You’ll also find grand castles, mysterious standing stones, and charming historical towns. In fact, much of the county looks like it came straight from the pages of a storybook. It also happens to have a wide range of cottage rental options, and what better base to complete your idyllic escape? All boast breathtaking settings and many come with all sorts of perks that are likely to have you wishing that you’d never have to leave.
Set in what feels like a secluded garden, step inside this traditional coorie cottage and you’re likely to feel as if you’ve stepped into a dream. The host goes all out in making this an “experience” and not just a place to stay. Think music playing that perfectly complements the setting, maybe a bottle of Prosecco, some local snacks, and multiple fireplaces already stocked with wood and ready to light. Once you’ve settled in, you can whip up a meal in the very well-stocked kitchen and then perhaps relax with a wee dram while soaking it all in. A peaceful night’s sleep is practically guaranteed with ultra-comfy beds and you’ll even have a washer/dryer too. The cottage is located in the tranquil village of Boat of Garten right in the heart of Cairngorms National Park among native woodlands and heather-clad hills – there may be no better place to return to after a day of hiking the park’s scenic trails.
This secluded cottage for two sits high upon a hill and as it’s situated about a mile up a private single track, it’s incredibly peaceful, with only the sounds of sheep and wildlife disrupting the silence. Perfect for a romantic retreat, enjoy scenic walks right out your door and fabulous open views, whether you’re hanging out in the hot tub on the terrace outside or inside through the French doors in the living room, which also includes a DVD library, board games, and a log-burning fire. There’s a 32″ HDTV with Netflix and standard cable along with a full kitchen and laundry facilities too.
Enjoy panoramic vistas from this historic cottage, including everything from Morven and the Scarabens, Ben Klibreck, and distant views of Ben Loyal and Ben Hope. It sits on a working farm six miles from Halkirk village near the northern coast and although it’s been modernized, many original features were retained, including thick stone walls, flagstone flooring, and a large wood-burning stove. As the host notes, it’s the place to go for exclusivity, peace, and tranquility, with the only sounds you’ll hear from the birds and other wildlife.
Enjoy a charming stone bothy retreat by booking this rental (bothy comes from the Gaelic word bothan, originally the term used for a cottage that belonged to estate workers or farm laborers). It dates back to the 19th century and was beautifully restored, retaining the original stonework around a wood-burning stove. Look forward to serene views across the Kyle of Sutherland and a tranquil countryside setting just an hour north of Inverness. It’s an ideal base for hiking, mountain biking, and fishing along with modern amenities that include a small kitchenette with a kettle, toaster, sandwich grill, and microwave oven. Be sure to keep an eye out for the deer, white-tailed eagles, pine martens, otters, and other wildlife that inhabit the area.
If you’re looking for peace and quiet on the Isle of Skye while being close to shopping, dining, and other city amenities, Stoirm is ideal, just a few miles from Skye’s largest town, Portree. It’s located in the rural crofting community of Penifiler with sheep and horses right next door. An enchanting cottage, it accommodates up to four guests in two bedrooms, offering beautiful views of the Cuillin Mountain Range, Portree Bay, and the famous pinnacle, the Old Man of Storr. Among the many features is a full kitchen with a Nespresso, HDTV with premium cable, a washer/dryer, and a private, fully fenced backyard with a fire pit and outdoor furniture.
If you plan to visit the Orkney Islands, consider this secluded cottage that sits on 30 acres that includes coastal land with access to two beaches that offer water sports like windsurfing, sailing, and paddle boarding, while St. Magnus Way, a 58-mile pilgrimage route that follows the story of St. Magnus, is accessible right from the property too. When you want to enjoy the attractions in town, Kirkwall is just a 5-minute drive away. The cottage sleeps four in two bedrooms and sits by the sea. You’ll have a hot tub for soaking with views down Scapa Flow, a popular diving destination that preserves maritime war stories, a TV, a washer/dryer, and a full kitchen.
Tigh Na Mara Cottage is aptly named, translating to “at the edge of the sea.” Offering two bedrooms for up to four guests, it sits at the edge of Loch Fyne, a sea loch off the Firth of Clyde, located in the quiet fishing village of Newton near the renowned Inver Restaurant that’s been named the very best in all of Scotland. Look forward to spectacular views over the loch, watching the boats and the birds go by while enjoying modern comforts like a full kitchen, indoor fireplace, and TV.
A luxury cottage nestled in the woods near Glencoe, one of the most scenic regions of the Highlands, the Bluebell offers accommodation for four with two bedrooms and lots of high-end perks. While you may spend your days exploring, while you’re here, you can look forward to relaxing outdoors with a picturesque view over the hills, soaking in your own private hot tub, and warming up next to the wood-burning stove. There’s even mood lighting for ambiance while soaking in the two-person bath and underfloor heating in the bathroom too. If you can tear yourself away from the view, the 50″ Smart TV includes satellite channels for watching your favorite shows. You might even wish for a rainy day simply to enjoy the chance to listen to the rain fall while digging into a good book.
The Duck House Cottage is a three-bedroom cottage that was converted from a steading (farmhouse), offering lots of charms on a property with ponds, paddocks, sheep, hens, goats, and donkeys. You’ll have a private hot tub that’s available year-round along with a private garden that has seating and a BBQ for cookouts. Ideal for a family, it sleeps up to five in three bedrooms, and the farm animals will ensure the kids never get bored. You’ll have all the modern comforts too, including a fully equipped kitchen, cable TV, and washer/dryer.
Set right along the banks of Loch Striven, this two-bedroom cottage for four is located on the Glenstriven Estate, in an area furthest away from the gates. Enjoy total tranquility and uninterrupted views over the water along with your very own beach. You’ll be among seals, porpoises, deer, and pheasants, with few humans around, yet despite the isolation, it includes plenty of modern comforts. You’ll have a full kitchen, Wi-Fi, a TV, a washing machine, and a fireplace.
Located near the Royal Burgh of Lauder in the Scottish Borders, the Old Mill is a converted 1700s water mill that’s ideal for a solo traveler or a romantic couples’ stay. Many of the historic features were retained, including the stable doors that make it unique, but there are lots of luxurious touches too. The kitchen and dining areas open out into a living space that has a huge wood-burning stove that serves as the focal point of the room. Satellite TV, a DVD player, board games, and a selection of books and maps are all included too. The host has gone above and beyond when it comes to comfort, with a roll-top bath and spa-style products for heavenly soaks and an ultra-comfy king-size bed with anti-allergy bedding and pure Egyptian cotton linens. Outdoors, there’s a small woodland garden area with a table and chairs for alfresco dining.
For a unique stay in Edinburgh, the Dovecot is hard to beat. While you’ll be close to city attractions, you’ll enjoy a quiet setting tucked away in a private garden. The cottage dates back to the 16th century, offering lots of historical character, but it includes all of the usual modern amenities, complete with heated floors, a full kitchen, and a TV. It sleeps up to three, with wooden stairs leading to a tiny bedroom in the tower that has ancient dove-nesting boxes and a garden view surrounding the double bed. After a day of exploring, come back and unwind next to the cozy wood-burning fireplace.
Cleadale Bothy is a cozy stone cottage that sits at the northern end of Eigg, boasting spectacular views to the west of the Atlantic and out toward the Isle of Rum. Here you’ll be immersed among the island’s renowned beauty and natural heritage, archaeology, and geology, enjoying easy access to many historical and cultural attractions. The cottage was once a croft cattle shed, but it’s been lovingly transformed into an idyllic retreat for up to four. There’s no TV, but you will have Wi-Fi, a kitchen, and a wood-burning stove along with direct beach access.