The Highlands have dominated a top five list of the best getaway destinations in Scotland.
Arran, Inverness, the Cairngorms National Park region, Fort William and Glencoe and Skye have come out as firm favourites for self-catering holidays and mini-breaks.
Cottages and Castles, a leading Scottish holiday lettings company, said that staycations are as popular as ever and attract a wide range of holiday makers, from families to young couples and large groups of friends.
The company reported a 25% increase in the total volume of bookings for 2016 compared to the previous year, with the majority being from holiday makers in the UK.
A steady increase in the number of international visitors booking self-catering properties was also witnessed, with the company reporting a 10% increase on last year’s figures, with holiday makers from Germany and America supporting this trend.
Sue Bourne, manager of Cottages and Castles, said: “One of the growing trends we have experienced throughout the year is the increase in popularity of large properties for group bookings.
“Destinations including the Highlands and the west coast have enjoyed a surge in popularity this year where a large group of family or friends can enjoy their own private house located in some of the most spectacular scenic locations around.
“The draw of Scotland, steeped in history, is evident with its numerous castles, beautiful scenery and fantastic outdoor activities for all ages to enjoy.”
The firm has grown its portfolio of large top quality self-catering houses to cater for the demand from group bookings. They have more than 600 self catering properties from cottages, to exclusive large houses, holiday castles, Scottish mansions and country lodges.
A new addition includes Old Milton, Kingussie, a former sporting lodge renovated to mix traditional features with modern aspects. The dining room, with its hand crafted chandeliers and wooden beams is capable of seating 20 guests.
Other popular properties include Balnain Farmhouse, Muir of Orde, a sandstone farmhouse set amidst 4000 acres of the Brahan Estate in Easter Ross; and Muckrach Castle, Grantown-on-Spey, which set in an acre of ground in the Cairngorms National Park. The historic and romantic castle has fairytale turrets.