From rugged highlands and glassy lochs to coastal expanses and wooded glens, Scotland is the ideal location to rediscover nature.
Scotland is a treasure trove of spectacular scenery, breathtaking biking and hiking routes and an award-winning foodie scene. The country’s thriving wildlife and vast wilderness make it a top choice for adventurers and those seeking an escape from the fast-moving pace of everyday life. A road trip through Scotland is an adventure in itself. Be prepared for striking mountain vistas, historic architecture and welcoming people.
Set in rolling grounds that take in a riding academy and livery with indoor and outdoor riding arenas, the 30 contemporary rooms at this equestrian-focused country-club hotel aren’t just for horsey types – opt for one of the 13 self-catering pine lodges, and you might even get a hot tub or sauna. The latter are great if you’ve little ones, who’ll love the pony lessons and alpaca walking, which they can do on-site. Past pony rides? The Italian restaurant and cocktail bar Palomino’s, traditional Scottish breakfast (included in all room tariffs), walks in the extensive grounds and jaunts to Glasgow just 15 minutes away offer lots of opportunities to unwind.
Refurbished in 2017, this hotel has a majestic ambience surrounded by elegant furnishings with a royal touch – think deep-purple sofas and antique-style mirrors. Bespoke Craigie tartan wallpaper decorates the walls of the four different types of room. Only 7mi (11km) from Edinburgh, the hotel is close to many activities and local attractions – you can explore the historic city itself or hike through the rugged Scottish countryside. You can even do a spot of fishing at one of the nearby lakes. It all makes the Craigie the ideal place to relax and unwind.
Built in 1625 as a hunting lodge, Roman Camp Country House Hotel has functioned as a place to stay for nearly a hundred years. Its pink exterior makes it recognisable, and it’s a welcome retreat where you can relax into the Scottish way of life. There are 15 sumptuous suites and rooms with William Morris wallpaper and travertine-tiled bathrooms. Enjoy afternoon tea in the oak-lined library or drawing room, where the menu includes specials such as gougères stuffed with liver parfait, home-made pork and prune sausage rolls, and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and home-made strawberry jam.
Four-star Perthshire country hotel Dunkeld House, in the depths of the Scottish countryside, has 98 bedrooms, many of which offer sweeping views of the surrounding woodland. You’ll enjoy a comfortable stay here, with flexible check-out times. Whether you’re visiting for a jam-packed adventure or a romantic weekend getaway, Dunkeld House Hotel ticks all the boxes. Although it’s tempting to stay put and explore the 280-acre (113ha) estate, you can also go wild salmon fishing or quad biking nearby, both of which the hotel can arrange for you.
Portavadie Loch Fyne gives you an authentic slice of real Scottish life. Located in Argyll, it makes for the perfect base, with holiday apartments for bigger parties or studios for something more intimate. Hire a kayak or yacht and head out onto the sea, keeping your eyes peeled for basking sharks. Or you can follow one of many forest trails, hop on a bike for a scenic coastal ride or head to Benmore Botanic Garden to enjoy the hundreds of species of plants and wildlife on display here – with the mountains as your backdrop.
This luxury hotel is set in the seaside town of Oban, so there are ample outdoor activities to keep you busy. Hike to McCaig’s Tower for great views over the town, or take the ferry to the nearby Isle of Mull, otherwise known as Scotland’s Island of Eagles. All the rooms have Bose sound systems and high-pressure rain showers, and there are six nautical-inspired room types and two suites to choose from. The hotel restaurant, Baab Meze & Grill, specialises in eastern Mediterranean fare, and the locally sourced menu features dishes such as za’atar salmon and rose harissa mussels.
If you’re after a dreamy place to relax and unwind, look no further than the Marine Hotel. Located on the Ayrshire coast, it has luxury bedrooms that promise a comfortable stay, along with impeccable service. Sea rooms boast sweeping views of the North Sea, and you can choose from five different types of room to suit your style. Prestwick Beach is a 10-minute drive away, a long, sandy spot that’s ideal for swimming or sunbathing – and it’s dog-friendly, too. The Truin Restaurant is where you can enjoy a seasonally inspired meal with great sea views.
Within walking distance of Ben Cruachan and other mountains, Ben Cruachan Inn, northwest of Glasgow and inland from Oban, overlooks Loch Awe in the remote Scottish countryside. There are plenty of outdoor activities, with access to wildlife right on your doorstep. So, whether it’s hiking through woodland or climbing a mountain, you won’t be short of nature-focused adventures. Rooms look out onto the loch or rolling Scottish hills. If you’re after optimum space, choose the Garden Suite, where you’ll have your own kitchen, living and dining area, and an outdoor decking area where you can sit and mull Loch Awe.
Situated on the Isle of Arran, off the west coast of Scotland, the multi-award-winning Douglas Hotel has a contemporary exterior that exudes a luxury feel, complementing the stylish neutral interior. It’s in a beautiful setting that’s just begging to be explored – from rugged mountain peaks in the north to long stretches of green hills in the south. Popular with walkers, Arran is rich with wildlife and scenic coastline – and the Douglas makes the perfect base to discover it from.
For views of dramatic mountains and glittering waterways, the Sligachan Hotel should be at the top of your list. Welcoming guests to the Isle of Skye since 1830, and managed by four generations of the same family, it offers the chance to explore the spectacular Highlands that attract explorers year on year. There are 21 comfortable rooms to choose from; most are spacious and all come with ensuite bathrooms. The hotel restaurant serves fresh, locally sourced, premium dishes – think traditional haggis and seared west coast scallops.