Chances are you’ll get a more authentic local experience, with delicious home cooked food and unique lodgings, opting for a bed and breakfast in Scotland – often at a cheaper price than a hotel. These are some of the country’s best.
Check into this award-winning boutique bed and breakfast in Glasgow if you’re looking to immerse yourself in Scottish heritage: it’s located in a grand 19th-century terrace house in the city centre and pairs atmospheric original details with modern conveniences. Guests can choose from one of five individually themed rooms – Tartan, Thistle, Heather, the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Suite or the Blue Suite – and enjoy access to a beautiful private garden. The hearty, home-cooked breakfast, which is served in-room, is a highlight – think a full Scottish breakfast or creamy porridge.
This quaint guest house is located in the charming town of Coatbridge, just east of Glasgow, in a 100-year-old renovated farmhouse. It has views over the surrounding farmland, so you’ll feel like you’ve properly escaped the city, but it’s also within easy reach of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Looking for a spot to relax? Head to the sun-drenched conservatory or the cosy garden cottage. The back garden also has a sitting area and a barbeque, which is perfect for al fresco dining on warmer days.
At this B&B in the heart of Dumfries and Galloway, your pets will be just as warmly welcomed as you – think gourmet doggie treats and a dog-friendly map of the surrounding area. The luxurious country house boasts rooms rich in country charm and an award-winning restaurant specialising in rustic cuisine with many ingredients sourced locally from Dumfriesshire, such as braised rabbit with wild garlic, pancetta and Ramsay black pudding. Need to unwind? Visit the “micro spa” in the garden, which has a wood-fired Swedish hot tub and Finnish sauna cabin alongside Reiki therapies.
Step into a magical world of colour and pattern at this boutique bed and breakfast in Edinburgh. The handsome Georgian building is just a 10-minute walk from Scott Monument in the city’s most popular shopping neighbourhood, and has 33 designer rooms. Make sure you book in for a signature Afternoon Tea, which is served with a variety of Eteaket teas. There’s also a Gentleman’s Tea with 36-hour gunpowder brisket and horseradish slaw sliders, haggis and smoked cheddar bon bons, and Stornoway black pudding and pulled ham hock sausage rolls. After dinner, party it up in the on-site nightclub.
Escape to an ancient fortress set in 11 acres (4.5ha) of private woods and parkland, just eight miles (13km) from Edinburgh, to live out your fairytale dreams. With more than 700 years of history, Dalhousie Castle is Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle, and there are plenty of activities to get you into the spirit of things, from falconry and archery to exploring secret passageways and the dungeon. For the most immersive experience, book into one of the historic themed rooms, some of which feature elegant four-poster beds fit for a queen.
If you’re looking for all the charm of a bed and breakfast (but with a bit of extra space and privacy), book one of the cottages at Gask House Farm in the Scottish Highlands. The three cottages are located around a shared courtyard, and all feature well-equipped kitchens and comfy lounge areas. There are two suitable for couples and another that sleeps four and is perfect for families. You don’t have to travel far to find historic landmarks, either – the farm is home to the 4,000-year-old Gask Ring Cairn, a Scheduled Monument of Scotland.
Scotland is known as the home of golf, as the game originated here back in the 15th century – and, as a result, the country is home to some of the world’s best golf courses. Perfect your swing at the championship golf course of this historic estate turned luxury B&B. Set in the countryside of the Scottish Borders, the course was designed by the internationally renowned golf course architect Dave Thomas. After a game, relax in front of one of the grand open fireplaces in the soaring rooms of the manor house, which have been decorated in Scottish tartans.
Explore Edinburgh from the comfort of this small, friendly B&B that boasts panoramic views over Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat. Hosts Paul Lightfoot and John MacEwan will do whatever they can to help make their guests’ stay more enjoyable, from restaurant recommendations to guided tours of the city. Paul is a trained chef, and breakfasts are a highlight. Try the homemade granola, which has a different flavour each day, or the full Scottish breakfast with local black pudding and haggis. It’s also great for families – kids will love the Wee Dram, a hangout with books, DVDs, games and Xbox.