The Most Beautiful Cottage Rentals to Book in Scotland

Leave the bustle behind when you escape to one of Scotland’s most charming cottage rentals
Leave the bustle behind when you escape to one of Scotland’s most charming cottage rentals | © Damian Waters / Alamy Stock Photo
Mara Curechian

Junior Production Assistant

If you’re looking to head for the hills and take a well-deserved break in Scotland, the country offers an incredible variety of beautiful cottages to rent. Many are in remote locations, surrounded by nothing but some heather and the odd pheasant, so draft a gone-fishing note and set off for one of these charming spots. Looking for something more refined? Take a look at these incredible hotels in the Scottish Highlands.

1. Spey Cottage, for exploring the Cairngorms


This traditional stone-built holiday cottage in Scotland can sleep up to eight people, in four well-appointed bedrooms. Set in Aviemore and within walking distance of the train station, this is the perfect base for those seeking to explore the Cairngorms National Park and the Scottish Highlands without a car. In the morning, have breakfast on the outdoor deck overlooking the River Spey; at night, huddle around the wood-burning fire in the living room and share the day’s adventures with your family.

2. Crinan Canal Cottage No8, Kilmartin, for an active holiday


Cosy room at Crinan Canal Cottage No8, Kilmartin, with a double bed, wooden floor and patterned rugs
Courtesy of Crinan Canal Cottage No8, Kilmartin / Expedia

Originally built in 1876, this whitewashed terraced cottage beside Crinan Canal can sleep up to four people and is in an ideal location for a range of outdoor activities such as walking, sailing, fishing and canoeing. Perfect for a family retreat, the cottage can sleep up to four people in two spacious bedrooms. The views of the canal and surrounding hills from the front room, the wood-burning fire, the garden with seasonal flowers and herbs and the claw-foot bathtub are all big draws. If you begin to feel cabin fever setting in, the pub is just a 10-minute walk away.

3. The Five Turrets, for a fairytale stay

Hotel, Cottages

Exterior of the Five Turrets, a grand stone building with turrets on the roof
Courtesy of the Five Turrets /

Dating back to 1870, this baronial-style coach house looks as if it has been plucked straight out of a fairytale. The traditional exteriors don’t give too much away, but inside, you can expect teal sofas and red bar stools, a mezzanine library stacked with page-turners, a piano room and a crackling fireplace. The bright furnishings bring out the unique character of the property and make this one of our favourite holiday cottages in Scotland – with four bedrooms, it’s perfect for a family trip. With the Scottish Borders right on your doorstep, there’s plenty for you to explore, but if you’re missing the thrum of city life, Edinburgh is just an hour’s train ride away.

5. Finnich Cottages, for wood-fired Scandinavian hot tubs


Patio terrace at Finnich Cottages with wood-fired hot tubs and a table and chairs
Courtesy of Finnich Cottages /

The 19th-century red sandstone cottages on this estate are rustic and comfortable, featuring both standard essentials such as 100% cotton sheets, fully equipped kitchens and large living areas, and thoughtful extras including Scottish Fine Soaps Company toiletries, Nespresso coffee machines and barbecues. With only miles of uninterrupted grassland separating the Finnich Cottages from Loch Lomond National Park, you will be well placed for a host of outdoor adventures here, and the pet-friendly policies ensure the whole family can join in the fun. If you’d rather relax, take in the views from one of the private wood-fired Scandinavian hot tubs adjacent to your cottage.

6. Sandford Country Cottages, for Arts and Crafts architecture


Room at Sandford Country Cottages with a wooden floor, two blue sofas and a kitchenette
Courtesy of Sandford Country Cottages /

Set in the rolling Fife countryside just 10mi (16km) from St Andrews, the luxury Sandford Country Cottages offer a picturesque getaway in an Arts and Crafts House designed by notable architect Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott in the early 20th century. Each property features a private entrance, an outdoor terrace, an ensuite bedroom, an open-plan kitchen, a wood-burning stove and a mix of boutique and antique furniture. Spend some time exploring the shared garden, or hire the barbecue hut for the afternoon if the weather turns sour. The Coach House is wheelchair accessible, while Lady Bluebell’s Apartment welcomes one or two well-behaved pets.

7. The Old Tea Shop, for a traditional feel


Cosy room at the Old Tea Shop with wood-burning stove, sofa and coffee table
Courtesy of the Old Tea Shop /

Simple, rustic accommodation is the goal at the Old Tea Shop. Sleeping up to four people, this converted tea room is a great place to share with friends. Chilly nights are made more bearable by a dip in the wood-fired hot tub, and there’s a wood-burning stove back in the main living area. Set in Thurso, this cottage is a perfect base for exploring the Northern Highlands, or a great stopover on the way to Orkney. Should you want to explore a little closer to home, Dunnet Head Lighthouse and Duncansby Stacks are notable local landmarks.

8. Willowbarn Rafford, for an adventure-filled stay


Exterior of Willowbarn Rafford, a timber-clad building surrounded by trees
Courtesy of Willowbarn Rafford / Expedia

In the peaceful countryside setting of Moray Speyside, Willowbarn is a luxury barn-style property perfect for the whole family. Featuring two large bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen, you are guaranteed all the comforts of home here. There is also plenty to keep you busy year-round – take out your binoculars and observe a colony of seals at Findhorn Bay, make a splash with white-water rafting on the River Findhorn, perfect your aim at a championship golf course in Nairn or dust off your skis in the Cairngorms National Park.

9. Plum Tree Cottage, for a romantic getaway


Small terrace next to a brook with a table set for tea at Plum Tree Cottage
Courtesy of Plum Tree Cottage /

Planning an anniversary present or celebrating a special occasion with a loved one? Plum Tree Cottage is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway. This boutique cottage for two is set on an organic farm on the Scottish Borders just 3miles (5km) from Kelso, making it hard to choose between taking in the views from your south-facing patio or heading out to explore the surrounding area. The cosy atmosphere is complemented by quirky design touches, and all the usual comforts are guaranteed – you can expect a fully equipped kitchen, a sitting room and a comfortable king-size bed.

10. Skye Fall, for unbeatable views


Exterior of Skye Fall, a remote cottage next to Loch Lochy surrounded by hills and trees
Courtesy of Skye Fall / Expedia

While woodland views have a certain charm, the glistening vista of Loch Lochy from Skye Fall is pretty hard to beat. This luxury waterfront cottage can sleep up to six people in three ensuite double bedrooms and also offers a fully equipped kitchen, an outdoor area with a barbecue, a private beach and a jetty. It’s just 15 minutes from the Nevis Range Mountain Gondola, so make sure to pack the bikes in the summer and the skis in the winter. If you’re getting tired of your own cooking, the closest village of Spean Bridge, just a ten-minute drive away, has a delicious selection of restaurants to choose from.

This is an updated version of an article by Tori Chalmers.

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