Discover Scotland

Food and Drink, Activity, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Kate Atkin on 28th June 2023

Continuing our Great British Outdoors series, we’re dreaming of Scotland. This epic land of magnificent snow-capped mountains which tower above glistening lochs, heather-strewn moorland and wooded glens is the perfect destination to enjoy adventures in the great outdoors. From the peaks and plateaus of the Highlands to the shimmering bays, sandy beaches and enchanting islands of the coast, you’ll find some of the most pristine, undiscovered landscapes of unimaginable beauty in this part of the UK.

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Holidays in Scotland

An endless land of glens and Munros

Scotland is a vast country overflowing with things to do and beauty spots to admire. Explore the seal-speckled isles of the Outer Hebrides by kayak, watch golden eagles soar above the Cairngorms National Park, scale Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in the British Isles – or take the time to savour a delicious dram of Scottish whisky at a distillery. Whether you’re looking to catch a glimpse of the elusive Loch Ness Monster or the magical Northern Lights, visit ancient castles or mysterious stone circles, you simply couldn’t wish for a better spot for a staycation. Make special memories to last a lifetime in one of our holiday cottages in Scotland.

10 best places to stay


Coastal Scotland

Beautiful bays to rival the Caribbean

From the sparkling white sands and crystal-clear waters of the west coast to the undulating dunes of the east coast and the untouched, remote coves of the north, Scotland’s beaches are among some of the finest in the world. Whether you’re looking to experience the wild Atlantic swells of some of the top surfing beaches, step out on wildlife-rich trails on the country’s best coastal walks, or simply find a secluded stretch of sand to soak up the epic views, you’ll find the perfect beach in Scotland to sink your toes into.

Best Scottish beaches

Coastal Scotland

Dog-friendly Scotland

Lead your dog on a tail-wagging adventure

Not only an outdoor paradise for two-legged tourists, but Scotland is also a haven for dogs with an endless list of escapades to be had among the dramatic scenery. Enjoy long walks together around glens and lochs and soak up the sights from the top of towering Munros. Or if your pup likes to feel the sand between their paws, treat them to a scamper along the coast; there’s a huge selection of dog-friendly beaches in Scotland to choose from. Our dog-friendly guide to Scotland highlights some of the best days out for the whole pack.

Dog-friendly beaches

Dog-friendly Scotland

National parks

Explore these unspoilt and untamed landscapes

You can discover Scotland’s wilder side at one of its spectacular national parks. The Cairngorms National Park is a wildlife watcher’s paradise where pine martens, wildcats, red squirrels and reindeer can be spotted, while further south in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, you might glimpse osprey and capercaillie black grouse among its 22 impressive bodies of water.

Scotland's national parks

Scotland national parks


Walking, water sports and wild swimming

Set amidst a landscape that has inspired countless artists, writers and creatives from around the world, holidays in Scotland herald exciting possibilities for embracing the outdoors. Don your walking boots and bag yourself a Munro, enjoy exhilarating water sports on one of the atmospheric lochs, tee-off on one of the first-class golf courses, or hit the rolling surf of the North Sea. Whether it's an amiable wander to discover hidden coves or a more arduous hike along clifftops that you're after, take a peek at some of the best Scottish walking trails

In winter, this mountainous realm is blanketed in snow, bringing more adrenaline-fuelled challenges, with ice climbing, snowboarding, and skiing available on the dramatic slopes of Fort William. Then, when the ice melts, Scotland’s lochs, rivers and waterfalls become a haven for wild swimmers braving the cool waters for the ultimate back-to-nature experience. If you think that this is an experience you need to have for yourself, dive into our guide to wild swimming in Scotland and find the perfect stretch of water to dip your toe into this invigorating activity.

With such a rich, multi-layered history, it’s not surprising that there’s a multitude of fascinating relics to uncover in Scotland too. Peppered throughout its awe-inspiring landscape are six incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as countless castles, standing stones, and historic battlegrounds.

Top 10 things to do

Activities in Scotland

Food and drink

Shortbread, seafood and single-malt whisky

From mouth-watering Aberdeen Angus steaks to world-renowned seafood such as hand-dived scallops, wild trout, salmon and langoustines, Scotland is a bountiful pantry of dreams. Thanks to its fertile lands and clear coastal and mountain waters, Scotland’s unrivalled natural larder is sure to be a highlight of your visit - and there’s certainly no shortage of fine eateries to savour these sought-after delights.

A must-try for anyone visiting Scotland is the country’s national dish: haggis. This traditional Scottish staple - a savoury meat pudding - has a long and famous history and is best enjoyed with a generous helping of neeps and tatties (mashed turnip and potato), and a dash of whisky sauce.

Other local culinary highlights include Ayrshire potatoes, Stornoway black pudding, Arbroath smokies, Orkney Cheddar, Dundee cake, traditional buttery shortbread, and Cullen skink – a deliciously creamy seafood soup.

Want something to wash it all down with? There are over 120 whisky distilleries in Scotland, each producing this evocative amber-hued liquid with their own distinct flavours. Sample the true flavour of Scotland with a wee dram in one of the many pubs and restaurants dotted across the country or visit one of the distilleries for an informative tour and tasting. Fine dining Scottish style can be very romantic, for more ideas for couples, read our inspirational guide.

Food and drink guide

Food and drink in Scotland

Where to stay

From cosy cottages to captivating castles

Whether you’re looking for an action-packed getaway, a cultural escape or a relaxing break, you’re sure to find the perfect place to experience the great outdoors within our collection of self-catering holiday cottages in Scotland.

Follow the salty sea breeze to the soft, golden shores of Scotland’s west coast or wind your way through the undulating mountain roads to the snowy peaks of the Highlands. Discover dramatic castles in the Scottish Borders or spot dolphins and whales from one of Scotland’s islands. Alternatively, if you’re drawn to the bright lights of the city, then our holiday homes in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness have a wealth of entertainment right on the doorstep.

Celebrate special occasions in one of our Scottish cottages with hot tubs, bring the whole family to one of our large properties, or spend quality time with your loved one in one of our romantic hideaways. You could even stay in one of our log cabins for the ultimate rural retreat or bring your four-legged family members along to one of our dog-friendly cottages – they too will love the breathtaking terrain that Scotland has to offer.

All Scotland cottages

Holiday cottages in Scotland

The Great British Outdoors

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.