The Best Airbnbs in the Scottish Highlands

The landscape of the Scottish Highlands is home to many fantastic Airbnbs
The landscape of the Scottish Highlands is home to many fantastic Airbnbs | © David Lichtneker / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Chloe Byrne
24 August 2020

The towering mountains, desolate heather moors and serpentine rivers of the Scottish Highlands make up the wildest and most beautiful region of Scotland and the UK in general. The landscape is also home to many one-of-a-kind Airbnb properties that allow you to immerse yourself in nature and really get away from it all. Here’s our roundup of where to stay.

St Andrew’s Chapel

Map View
Courtesy of Joanne / Airbnb
Sleep soundly under the rib-vaulted ceilings of this cavernous chapel-turned-apartment in Fort Augustus, also known as the gateway to Loch Ness. The open-plan space is intersected by ornate stone arches – with a polished kitchen, two bedrooms and a dining area – all overlooked by Scottish Saints depicted in stained glass windows. The property is also part of the luxurious Highland Club, meaning you can make the most of on-site amenities such as an indoor pool, a sauna, a steam room, tennis courts, a gym and even a giant chess board on the manicured lawn.

The View, Duisdale Mor, Sleat

Map View
Courtesy of Skye Serviced / Airbnb
Gaze out at the Sound of Sleat through floor-to-ceiling windows in this two-bedroom house. Powered by a ground-source heat pump and solar panels, the property ensures an eco-friendly stay. You can ward off the winter chill by burying your toes in fluffy sheepskin rugs and curling up next to the wood burner in the downstairs living room, or bask in the summer sun with a morning coffee on the garden’s waterfront bench. The area is also full of wildlife, so tuck back the tartan curtains and pass time watching the dolphins, seals and sea otters from the comfort of your bed.

The Warren

Map View
Courtesy of Nina / Airbnb
Ripped straight from the rolling hills of fictional Hobbiton, this subterranean earth house takes a leaf out of J. R. R. Tolkien’s books. Ringed by silver birch trees, ancient oak woodland and a rocky stream, the two-bedroom property’s grass-and-rock facade blends seamlessly with its surroundings. Its interior is enchantingly cave-like, and thoughtful touches include swiss chocolates on the pillows of king-size beds. The two bathrooms have both a walk-in shower and a freestanding bath, while underfloor heating keeps it cosy. When night falls, soak under the stars in the private hot tub and crack open the complimentary bottle of wine.

Secluded airship with breathtaking views

Map View
Courtesy of Amanda / Airbnb
This converted airship is secreted away in thick woodland next to the Sound of Mull, making you feel as if you have crash-landed in your own private wilderness. Inside its insulated aluminium pod is a rustic-meets-industrial interior, featuring porthole-style windows, a practical kitchenette with a fold-out breakfast table, and one queen-size bed. Wake up to the sound of cuckoos in the spring, go for autumnal strolls through coppery leaves, or grab a tartan blanket, light up the wood burner and admire the wintery landscape through the glass.

Tigh Beg Croft Holiday Cottage

Map View
Courtesy of West Coast Cottages / Airbnb
The rippling sea, moss-veined cliffs and rugged hillside are your garden in this secluded cottage. A short drive from the town of Oban, the fenceless property has miles of otherworldly landscape on its doorstep and a raised patio perfect for sundowners. Fit for a family on a digital detox, the cottage has no wifi and two snug bedrooms, one with a king-size bed and the other with two single beds. Keep the little ones amused with the stash of children’s toys and books, and look out for the variety of wildlife that roams the land.

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  • Dark Skye Cottage

    Map View
    Courtesy of Gordon / Airbnb
    Escape to the spellbinding Isle of Skye and forget the world in this remote cottage. Sleeping two, the property is packed with thoughtful touches: a roll-top bath sits on a base lovingly crafted from a fallen Scots elm tree and beachcombed pebbles; a king-size oak sleigh bed looks out on views of Broadford Bay; and, in case of unpredictable weather, Barbour jackets and wellies are provided. After chilly walks, warm up your toes on the heated floors and break out one of the board games.

    The Lobster Pot, Shieldaig

    Map View
    Courtesy of Hazel / Airbnb
    The Lobster Pot, in the historic fishing village of Shieldaig, offers a stylish respite from whirling coastal winds and hours of hiking through the hills. Inside, you can pull up a stool and sip coffee at the reclaimed-wood breakfast bar, and a well-equipped kitchen has all you need for cooking up dinner (be sure to pick up some fresh local fish). In the two bedrooms, you’ll find snug Egyptian cotton sheets and down duvets. When you’re not savouring the salty Atlantic air while exploring the local inlets and bays, you’ll be reclining in front of the smart TV, watching Netflix with a glass of wine.

    Luxury croft overlooking Loch Ness and Urquhart Bay

    Map View
    Courtesy of Annie and Simon / Airbnb
    Adventure is steps away at this luxury three-bed croft in the hillside beside Loch Ness. Each morning, you’ll be gulping down coffees on the deck, torn between searching the glistening waters for mystical Nessie or whipping out your binoculars to spot the fatal swoop of a bird of prey. Fill your days with long walks through misty woodland and hearty pub lunches, and then return to put up your feet by the log burner or take a soothing bath in the roll-top tub before calling it a night.

    Oyster boathouse

    Map View
    Courtesy of Nina / Airbnb
    Fall asleep to the sound of lapping water after sunset soaks in the hot tub at this sleek boathouse. Set on stilts on the rocky shores of Loch Tay, this waterfront haven welcomes you in with a bottle of prosecco and swiss chocolates on the pillows. There are two-bedrooms (both with king-size beds), a contemporary kitchen (stocked with spices, teas and other necessities) and a cavernous living room with a wood-burning stove. Plus, there’s a glass-fronted barrel sauna that has magical views across the vast waters to the fog-shrouded hills beyond.
    These recommendations were updated on August 24, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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