With the Scottish tourism industry preparing to open up again, Janice Hopper rounds up the best in budget, quirky and luxurious self-catering accommodation across the country
Staycations are predicted to soar in popularity as a result of the coronavirus situation, and self-catering properties look set to be many people’s preferred holiday option in light of their social-distancing practicalities. We take a look at some destinations you may want to visit this year or next.
Glen Dye, Royal Deeside
Scheduled to open on Friday, Glen Dye’s lodge beckons those seeking a simultaneously rugged yet luxurious weekend escape. The colourful lodge comes complete with its own riverside cabin for holding barbecues on long summer evenings. The cabin also features a wood-fired outdoor hot tub. Alternatively, Glen Dye’s silver airstream caravan is a stylish accommodation offering for couples. Hikers can ascend nearby Clachnaben – when permitted – or the slightly easier option of Scolty Hill.
Another to reopen its Scottish properties yesterday, Forest Holidays has a range of properties across the UK. We were very at home at their Strathyre site, and spent hours in the hot tub. From here we explored Loch Katrine, and went wild at Blair Drummond Safari Park, which reopened on Monday.
For a spooky, atmospheric offering, these cosy glamping pods are located on the site where Macbeth is said to have met the three witches, at Brodie, near Forres. Set on a family farm, it’s a remote location to roast marshmallows and chill out. Macbeth’s Hillock is now open and taking bookings.
Gilsland Caravan Park, North Berwick
This site offers glamping and large mobile homes, but we stayed in a rather smart studio. A double bed for mummy, and a bunk bed for the tot; some lodges have hot tubs too. Located just out of town, we drove down to North Berwick to eat lobster by the harbourside, and we loved the National Museum of Flight in East Fortune, although it is currently closed. Gilsland Caravan Park reopened for owners, and lodge and caravan holidays, yesterday, and you can book a glamping holiday from July 15.
Mar Lodge, Royal Deeside
The National Trust for Scotland has an array of self-catering properties at its fingertips, ranging from castles and cottages to stately homes. We visited the Mar Lodge, just outside Braemar, following in the footsteps of Queen Victoria, who was also a guest here. Ski-ing, castles, distilleries and Balmoral Castle are all on the doorstep, although check opening dates before travelling. Outdoor options include the circular walk around Loch Muick, or picnicking at the Linn of Dee. Mar Lodge is planning to reopen in mid-August.
Moness Resort, Aberfeldy
In lush green Perthshire, this resort’s self-catering cottages are particularly reasonable, especially when you consider there’s a pool on-site. Moness also has a restaurant, if you don’t fancy cooking. It’s a great location to visit the Scottish Crannog Centre (when it reopens), hand-feed red deer at Highland Safaris (reopening later this month), or take a walk in search of the famous Birnam oak. The self-catering cottages started welcoming guests yesterday and the hotel plans to open on July 15.
Highland Apartments, Inverness
With views over the beautiful River Ness, these smart apartments – set to reopen on July 15 – are at the centre of the action. From here, you can visit Loch Ness, Culloden and beyond. What’s not to love?
Knight Residence, Edinburgh
The Knight Residence apartments combine the bustle of the capital with the relative isolation of self-catering. They’re well situated for Edinburgh Castle, or why not inhale a breath of fresh air at the Royal Botanic Gardens (which reopened this week), Calton Hill or from the summit of Arthur’s Seat. The Knight Residence can be booked from July 15.