Holiday rentals in Scotland
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Your guide to Scotland
Welcome to Scotland
One of Western Europe’s last great wildernesses, with large areas of it sparsely populated and elemental, Scotland is a vast natural adventure playground of huge mountains, dark forests, and pretty valleys, home to rare wildlife and spangled with deep, sparkling lochs. Around its fringes, turquoise seas lap silver sands, while hundreds of islands — the Hebrides, the Orkneys, Skye, the Shetlands — offer fantastic adventures. If your aim is to cycle, hike, birdwatch, surf, or snowboard, set your sights to the northernmost third of Great Britain.
But Scotland also has vivacious cities with a hotch-potch of fun, grit, world-class culture, and sophistication. Everywhere, tiny, friendly communities welcome you to ancient pubs and chef-focused restaurants to eat fine fare from Scotland’s sublime natural larder. A fascinating history lies close to the surface here, and extraordinary sites abound. Yet these days the land of castles and kilts is just as much about sleek contemporary venues and mindfulness in nature as the classic pursuits of golf, fishing, and mountaineering.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Scotland
The jury’s out on this one. Summer sun can make Mediterranean swimming pools of the lochs and ease the challenge of tougher hikes. A wealth of spring and summer events welcome visitors, including the world-famous Edinburgh Festival, but also obscure village shindigs and boutique music festivals in remote spots. Summer is also peak season for midges; these pesky flies can spoil outdoor fun in July and August, so late spring can be preferable, or autumn, when landscapes are aflame with colour. True adventure can be found in winter, when hiking into ethereal mountain snowscapes is enjoyed in pin-drop silence. The Cairngorms’ ski resorts roll into action from November till May, when the Northern Lights might perform in the far north. And everyone goes wild for the New Year Hogmanay celebrations and January’s Burns Night, in tribute to the national poet.
Top things to do in Scotland
Scottish mountains over 3,000 feet are called Munros, named after Sir Hugh Thomas Munro, who catalogued them in 1891. There are so many iconic peaks to conquer, from Ben Nevis, the United Kingdom’s highest peak, to pyramid-shaped Buachaille Etive Mor in the spectacular Glencoe region. Or partake in trickier challenges, such as the Black and Red Cuillins on Skye. Sound too aspirational? Opt for a visit to one of Scotland’s 222 Corbetts instead — peaks of 2,500 to 3,000 feet.
Indigo, sylvan-cloaked mountains tower over exquisite white sand beaches and deep sea lochs along the astonishingly beautiful Northwest Coast. Top thrills include the dramatic scenery of Torridon, otherworldly Loch Ewe, and the looping road to the Applecross Peninsula for a slap-up seafood lunch. Durness, an arty outpost beside one of Britain’s most wild and windswept beaches, is a fabulous final hurrah.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow’s vibrant West End has one of Europe’s most impressive collections. Inside the redbrick building, a high-ceilinged space and more than 20 galleries display treasures including 19th-century French art and furniture by one of Scotland’s most influential designers.