Here in the UK we’ve got some of the most spectacular scenery in the world so it’s no surprise that more families are opting to spend their holidays exploring corners of the British Isles rather than flying abroad to the sun. Part of the fun of being on holiday is staying somewhere completely different, and if you opt to spend your holidays in Scotland, there are some unique properties to choose from.
If you’ve always liked the idea of living in splendor like a lord, then a castle holiday will be right up your street. There are lots of castles in Scotland which have been converted to provide self-catering apartments, such as Culzean Castle in Ayrshire which has a variety of different sizes of accommodation to suit all needs. Many hotels have been converted into hotels or guest houses if you like the idea of someone else doing the washing up, and if you really fancy pushing the boat out and booking something grand, Balfour Castle on the isle of Shapinsay in the Orkney islands is available for exclusive use.
The National Trust for Scotland owns several lighthouses which it lets to holidaymakers, and if you love nothing better than the sound of the waves crashing then a lighthouse can’t be beaten. Mull of Galloway lighthouse is at the far south western tip of Scotland, and as well as views over to Northern Ireland on a clear day, the area boasts nature reserves, unspoilt beaches and pretty fishing villages just waiting to be explored. Lighthouses are by definition remote, so don’t go on this sort of holiday expecting to be in the centre of a town or to have a hypermarket just along the road.
Overlooking the famous Loch Ness is the monastery at Fort Augustus, which has been converted into luxury apartments for self-catering holidays. Many original features have been retained in the apartments, and the emphasis is on quality with oak living furniture, luxury kitchens and beautiful soft furnishings. As you’re right on the banks of the Loch, it’s the ideal spot for all sorts of watersports, or even just sitting in the grounds with a picnic trying to catch a glimpse of the elusive Loch Ness monster. If the weather’s not pleasant, there’s an indoor pool and games room to keep kids of all ages occupied.
The outer Hebrides have some of the best beaches in the UK and even on a summer’s afternoon you’re likely to have the white sands to yourself. The “earth houses” in South Uist have been designed so that they are built into the hillside using local materials. They are warm, very well insulated and blend in perfectly with the landscape. Inside you’ll find all the mod cons, and the emphasis is firmly on rest and relaxation. If you’re a nature fan, you can expect to see lots of sea birds, and seals, whales and porpoises are often seen close to the shore. If you’re really lucky you may even see a basking shark or an elusive otter.
Being Scottish, guest blogger Morag Peers always tries to encourage visitors to her magnificent country. If you wish to recreate the stunning interiors of some of these properties you can find rustic oak living furniture online at National Furniture UK.