While the islands and the highlands often get the most attention when it comes to Scotland road trips, the borders region and area below Edinburgh and Glasgow are more than worthy of their own trip.
The Landmark Trust provides a great database of accommodation options to choose from, all of which are in historic buildings.
Stay in a lighthouse on the South West Coast 300
Popular castles to stay at include the 12th-century Tulloch Castle, not far from Inverness, where striking vies of the highlands await, or the adorable Kilmartin Castle, a 500-year old beautiful building that offers bed and breakfast options in the Argyll region.
You can never go wrong with a cottage stay in Scotland, a cosy and comfortable staple for a British Holiday. This especially rings true on the Islands, where self-catering options to really get away from it all might become even more appealing.
Rock yourself to sleep on a canal boat
Located on the northwest coast – looking out to the ‘Summer Isles’ –these Iron Age roundhouses are almost hidden in the greenery of the surrounding area. Fully renovated, and now complete with luxury furnishings, the stone exterior of these historic homes hides the modern style of the interiors.
A land of lochs and munros, castles and craggy coastlines, Scotland brings breathtaking beauty to any trip. With cliff-hugging lighthouses and grand castles to admire, there is plenty to explore. Even better though, did you know you can even stay in these unique attractions? Yep, there is a wealth of unusual places to stay in Scotland which will help you make your trip even more special.
If you are looking for an unusual place to stay in Scotland and nature is calling your name, then checking into a working farm in the highlands or along the coast is a wonderful idea, especially for families.
Check-in to a legit Castle
For one of the more unusual camping spots in Scotland check out the camping pods at Brodick Castle. Set in the gardens of this castle on the Isle of Arran, these little wooden huts, some with fire-places, offer much more rainy weather-friendly camping options in a stunning location.
Chose from the likes of an eccentric 18th-century home built in the shape of a pineapple for a rather unusual stay, or something a little more traditional such as a laird’s house (a laird is the Scottish equivalent of an English Lord).
Enjoy the chance to breathe the fresh air, see the farm animals in their natural environment, and enjoy fresh farm-to-fork dining with either a BnB stay, or a self-catering option.
Escape city life with a country farm stay
Often set in more scenic locations than hotels, traditional cottages in stone-work with open fireplaces and spacious gardens can usually cater for larger groups or extended families, as well as the smaller, more quaint cottages.
So, forget the chain-hotels to typical accommodation ideas, and opt for something a little bit different instead.
Add a splash of history with a Landmark heritage stay
For something really special, and to feel like you are being transported to middle earth, the Brochs of Coigach are waiting for you.
Go traditional with a Scottish island cottage vacation
When the students are in term, which covers most of the festival season, the halls are rented out at fairly reasonable prices, ideal for a longer stay. You can see find more money-saving tips in my Edinburgh Festivals budget travel guide.
I am often working in Edinburgh during August, and not wanting to spend all my wages on a place to stay, I book to stay in the University accommodation, which is plentiful.
Sleep in an Iron Age roundhouse
The South West Coast 300 is a route that celebrates this, and encaptures plenty of Scotland’s finer things – from castles to fortresses, woodlands to coast.
Lush hills and green open spaces define Scotland, and with the woolly Scotland coos a staple of the countryside, it’s not surprising that farm stays are growing in popularity.
Camping in Scotland is unsurprisingly popular, given the epic views and stunning nature of the country. While wild camping is legal in parts of Scotland, some areas have their own by-laws so it’s worth planning where to stay in advance.
Cosy up in a Castle ground camping pod
I’m throwing this option in for anyone who is looking to visit Edinburgh during the festival season when accommodation is not only scarce but the prices skyrocket.
Canal Boat trips and tours are popular too, with routes such as Falkirk to the Kelpies always a winner, as you sail through lochs and along the beautiful natural waterways of the country. With a growing number of people deciding to buy a canal boat as an alternative to a camper van, it’s not surprising that these options for a unique stay are becoming more common on the likes of Air BnB.
Grab a budget stay in an Edinburgh Uni Hall
Regardless, if the weather isn’t on your side, or you simply want a shower, the occasional stay in an official campsite is always welcome.
While settling in for the night isn’t going to be possible in the famous Edinburgh Castle, luckily Scotland is a land of castles, so there are plenty more options for those seeking a more regal stay.