Any trip to Scotland is enhanced by its lochs and Munros, castles, and rocky coastlines. From cliff-hugging lighthouses to beautiful castles, there’s a lot to discover. The best part is that these one-of-a-kind locations are available for overnight stays. Yes, Scotland offers a wide range of unique lodging options to help you make the most of your vacation.
For this reason, stay away from the usual hotel chains and accommodations in favor of something a little more distinctive.
Visit the South West Coast 300 and stay in a lighthouse
In spite of the fact that road trips to Scotland focus on the islands and mountains, the border region and the area beneath Edinburgh and Glasgow are well worth visiting on their own..
On the South West Seashore 300, you’ll see many of Scotland’s best attractions, such as strongholds and castles, as well as the countryside and the seashore.
Scotland’s southernmost point, the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, a 200-year-old beacon, is one of the journey’s most scenic and historically significant stops. If you’re looking for an unusual place to stay in Scotland, consider renting one of the estate’s cottages for a night or two and sleeping in a medieval setting.
You can drift off to sleep while floating down a canal in a boat.
Taking a canal boat vacation in Scotland allows you to stay in both the city and the countryside.
In Edinburgh, you can rent a houseboat, or you can stay on the famed Loch Ness and search for the phantasmagorical monster aboard the Scotia W houseboat.
Itineraries such as Falkirk to the Kelpies, which take you past lochs and along Scotland’s natural waterways, are always popular. Canal boat trips and cruises are particularly popular. There is no surprise that unconventional lodging choices like canal boats are growing more popular on sites like Airbnb due to an increasing number of people choosing them over camper trailers.
Visit a real-life castle to check-in
Because Scotland is full of castles, there are lots of other possibilities for individuals who want a more luxurious vacation than staying in the world-famous Edinburgh Castle.
Depending on where part of Scotland you plan to visit, you have a wide range of choices.
Inverness’ Tulloch Castle from the 12th century offers spectacular vistas of the Highlands, while Kilmartin Castle in the Argyll region is a 500-year-old gem that offers bed and breakfast options.
A farm stay in the country is a great way to get away from the city.
Farm stays are becoming increasingly popular in Scotland, thanks to the country’s lush highlands and wide-open spaces, as well as the presence of the woolly Scotland coos.
You can stay on a working farm in Scotland’s highlands or along the coast, especially if nature calls you. This is a great option for families.
With a B&B or self-catering stay, you may enjoy the fresh air, see farm animals in their natural habitat, and eat farm-to-fork meals.
Staying at a Landmark heritage property will give your trip a little extra flavor.
The fact that Scotland has so many historic housing options means that you should stay in one or two of them throughout your road trip through Scotland.
All of the accommodations listed on the Landmark Trust’s website are housed in historic buildings.
Consider a pineapple-shaped house from the 18th century for an unusual stay, or a typical mansion, such as a laird’s mansion (a laird is the Scottish equivalent of an English Lord).
An island cottage vacation in Scotland
A vacation in a Scottish cottage is always a sure bet for a relaxing and serene time in the United Kingdom. When it comes to the Islands, where self-catering options make it possible to fully detach from the outside world, this is especially true.
As an alternative to sites like Vrbo, there are specialized websites like the Independent Cottages portal for reserving this type of lodging.
Traditional stone-built cottages with open fireplaces and vast gardens, which are more attractively positioned than hotels, may accommodate larger parties or extended families in addition to the smaller, more basic cottages.
Spend the night in an Iron Age roundhouse
The Brochs of Coigach are the place to go if you want something truly special and want to feel transported to Middle Earth.
These Iron Age roundhouses, which once stood on the northwest coast overlooking the ‘Summer Isles,’ have been nearly completely overgrown by the local vegetation. Old-world stonework conceals gleaming interiors, which have been totally renovated and decorated with high-end furnishings.
Nature’s noises rule supreme here, and the Brochs offer a lovely getaway from reality. The Brochs provide a truly unique holiday experience in a gorgeous setting.
Spend the night in a camping tent on the grounds of the Castle
The popularity of camping in Scotland is unsurprising given the country’s stunning natural beauty. However, while wild camping is permitted in some parts of Scotland, some regions have their own ordinances, so it’s worth planning ahead for your trip there.
If the weather isn’t cooperating or you simply need a shower, an official campsite is always a welcome alternative.
For a unique camping experience in Scotland, head to Brodick Castle’s camping pods. These charming little wooden homes, some of which have fireplaces, are located in the gardens of a castle on the Isle of Arran and are an excellent alternative to tent camping when the weather is bad.
Stay for less at Edinburgh University Hall
This is a good choice for anyone planning a trip to Edinburgh around the time of the festival when hotels become scarce and prices spike.
Since I usually work in Edinburgh during the month of August, I reserve space in the University housing, which is more than enough for me.
Since most of the festival season is during term time, venues can be rented at a discount and used for longer stays. My budget travel guide to the Edinburgh Festivals includes more money-saving tips.