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Scotland Holidays

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For such a compact country, Scotland packs a mighty punch. An epic land of misty glens, craggy peaks and windswept isles, steeped with a magical mix of Celtic and Norse legends. Dramatic vistas are within easy reach but beyond the iconic cities is a vast untamed wilderness waiting to be explored.


Scotland Holidays


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Half the size of England with just a tenth of its inhabitants, Scotland is one of the least crowded countries in Europe. Most of the population resides in a narrow belt of fertile farmland, leaving great swathes of ancient moorland, craggy mountains and lush Caledonian forest virtually untouched. 

The rugged terrain is a haven for wildlife. Red deer roam across heather-flecked hills, golden eagles soar above remote island glens. Meanwhile, the convoluted coastline is one of the best places in the world to spot marine mammals such as freshwater otters, minke whales and a million nesting seabirds. 

Walk barefoot along a white-sand beach and kayak through turquoise waters. Bag a Munro before taking a bracing dip in an icy loch. Explore ruined castles then retreat to a cosy inn for a warming dram of single malt whisky. When the mist clears and the rain stops falling, there’s no more beautiful place on Earth. 


Scotland Map

OUTER HEBRIDES

The peaty, beach-fringed lands of Britain's wildest corner boast some of Scotland's most spectacular seascapes and rugged terrain.

INNER HEBRIDES

Crumbling off Scotland's west coast, from Skye in the north to Islay in the south, this stunning archipelago is perfect for an island-hopping escapade.

ORKNEY

Astonishingly ancient and impressive, Orkney's 70 or so islands, are home to some of the most remarkable prehistoric settlements in the whole of Europe.

SHETLAND

A spectacular seabird city, more than 100 wild islands, make up Britain's most northerly outpost, famed for its ponies, beaches, and dramatic maritime scenery.

THE HIGHLANDS

Heather-clad hillsides tumble between lofty mountain peaks in this magical land of epic proportions, making it the perfect place for heroic outdoor adventures.

THE LOWLANDS

From the peaceful shores of Loch Lomond to the bustling cobbled streets of Edinburgh, Scotland's lowest-lying region is rich in history, culture and beauty.

Tolsta Beach on the Isle of Lewis in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland

Outer Hebrides

Search for images of the Western Isles and you might think you’ve found the Caribbean: pristine white sands lapped by impossibly clear water and backed by endless skies. Yet, this Atlantic archipelago is remarkably diverse. From the haunting Callanish Stones of Lewis and the rugged Harris mountains, to the rocky patchwork of the Uists and towering birdcliffs of St Kilda, remote Gaelic communities live alongside an array of wildlife including puffins, porpoises and basking sharks.

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A View Of Portree Harbour, The Capital Town On The Isle Of Skyevisitscotland Kenny Lam

Inner Hebrides

These unspoiled islands, off Scotland’s western coast, are an easy hop from the mainland via the Skye Bridge or ferry. Known for the dramatic knife-edged ridges of its Black Cuillin mountains, crofting villages and medieval castles, Skye is a photographer’s dream. To the south are wildlife-rich Mull with its colourful harbour, the whisky capital of Islay and the brooding hills of Jura, together with dozens of stunning islets that would take weeks to explore.

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The stone-built Neolithic settlement and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Skara Brae on Mainland in Orkney, Scotland

Orkney

Six miles north of the mainland, Orkney is a fiercely independent archipelago with a bucolic charm. Largely low-lying and fertile, the islands are a pastoral patchwork of rolling hills and sheep-grazed moorland with clusters of cottages and quaint fishing towns. Set amongst the idyllic white sands are Stone Age settlements like Skara Brae and ancient standing stones, while in the far north the dramatic sea cliffs of Westray are a cacophony of nesting seabirds.

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Sumburgh Head Lighthouse on the southern tip of the Mainland of Shetland in Scotland

Shetland

Windswept and wild, rugged and remote, Shetland is like a paint splatter across the North Sea. Closer to Bergen than Edinburgh, the islands were once a Viking outpost and the landscape is steeped in Norse legends and Neolithic sites. Visit the maritime capital Lerwick, walk along soaring clifftops above deserted beaches, take a boat trip to spot seals and orcas. With spectacular birdlife and scenery to match, a journey here is well worth the effort.

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Bealach na Bà road through the mountains of the Applecross peninsula in the Scottish Highlands

The Highlands

In a country of spectacular beauty, the Highlands are the major draw. Severe glaciation has carved out a dramatic landscape of high peaks and ancient plateaux separated by loch-filled glens. Serious climbers flock to the high-level ridge walks of Lochaber and Glen Coe, while magnificent multi-day hikes can be found in the granitic Cairngorms and coastal mountains of Wester Ross. With five of the six highest UK peaks, this is Scotland at its most wild.

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Sunset over Loch Trool Glen Trool in Galloway in Scotland

The Lowlands

South of the Highland Boundary Fault, this vast region is home to most of Scotland’s cities and 80% of its people. From the heather-clad hills of the Borders to the sparkling lochs of the Trossachs, the landscape is rich in human history, with ruined abbeys and picturesque castles bearing testimony to the country’s turbulent past. Many a poet has been inspired by Edinburgh’s Old Town, serene Loch Lomond and the romantic rivers of Ayrshire.

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We'll send you a complimentary copy of Lonely Planet's Scotland Travel Guide Book when you book your Scotland trip with us


Highlights of Scotland

Driving the Quiraing on the Isle Of Skye in Scotland

Take to the open road

Scotland was made for road trips. Single track lanes snake across snow-patched moorland. Scenic coastal routes hug rugged clifftops and skirt secluded beaches. Dramatic detours lead to atmospheric abbeys and crumbling castles. Whether you take the sleeper train from London to Edinburgh, fly to Inverness for the North Coast 500, or land on Barra's tidal beach to ferry-hop through the islands, a self-drive holiday allows you to move at your own pace and take in the spectacular views.

Victoria Street in the Old Town of Edinburgh in Scotland

Scotland City Breaks

No visit to Scotland would be complete without visiting its historic cities. Each has a unique character and makes a great stop-off before venturing into the wild. Edinburgh is an obvious choice for its cobbled streets, royal castle and world-famous Fringe festival. Glasgow, too, is a creative hub with a vibrant music scene and contemporary galleries. Stop off at Stirling or Inverness before visiting the Highlands, soak up Aberdeen’s maritime history or stroll along the picturesque riverfronts of Perth or Dundee.

A red deer in a field with bracken in Scotland

Where The Wildlife Is

Sparsely populated and wild, Scotland’s land, sea and skies offer diverse wildlife encounters. In summer, the Hebrides are a haven for porpoises, minke whales and basking sharks, while orcas hunt for seals year-round off remote Orkney and Shetland. Seabirds flock to the rocky coasts with cute puffins, elusive ospreys and white-tailed sea eagles amongst vast numbers of noisy visitors. Inland, herds of red deer, highland cows and wild ponies graze peacefully on open moorland, while golden eagles soar high above remote northern glens.

Eilean Donan Castle on Loch Duich at Dornie in Scotland

Classic Castles & Fairytale fortresses

Every corner of Scotland has a story to tell – and more often than not, it's a bloody tale of treachery and high treason. Fairytale fortresses rise silently out of misty lochs, stately stone bastions tower over historic towns and grand medieval palaces nestle amidst landscaped parks. Many of these national treasures now offer exclusive accommodation. Choose from breathtaking bed and breakfast at Glengorm Castle on the Isle of Mull to 5-star luxury and Michelin-starred dining at romantic Inverlochy Castle Hotel.

View down the valley of a train going over the Glenfinnan Viaduct in The Highlands in Scotland

Famous Film & TV Locations

With brooding mountains, desolate moors, ancient monoliths and moody skies, Scotland’s atmospheric scenery has been the backdrop for many memorable films. Who can forget Bond's epic drive through Glen Etive in Skyfall, or the Hogwarts Express steaming across the incredible Glenfinnan Viaduct? From the rugged Highlands of Macbeth and Braveheart to Edinburgh's stunning Rosslyn Chapel featured in The Da Vinci Code, we can include a number of photogenic film locations within our itineraries. Just don’t forget your camera.


Wonderful places to stay in Scotland

The view of Cantick Head Lighthouse from the sea in Orkney in Scotland

Cantick Head Lighthouse

Perched atop a craggy cliff on the edge on the Isle of Hoy, the quaint self-catering cottage at Cantick Head Lighthouse offers dramatic sea views out towards the Pentland Firth and Caithness.

Orkney, Scotland

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Ariel view of Dun Aluinn House and the woodlands beyond in Perthshire in Scotland

Dun Aluinn

Once an old Victorian school boarding house, now a remarkable nine-bedroom fully staffed holiday home, set in five-and-a-half acres in the Perthshire countryside.

The Lowlands, Scotland

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The Hebridean Huts on a sunny day overlooking the ocean on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland

Hebridean Huts

Romantically remote, these luxury eco-cabins are a world away from anywhere. Overlooking the mighty Atlantic, enjoy panoramic views of the rugged Lewis coastline.

Outer Hebrides, Scotland

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View through the flowers over the lawn of the exterior of Glenapp Castle in the Scottish Lowlands

Glenapp Castle

Winner of the 'Independent Hotel of the Year' 2019 award, the iconic Glenapp Castle is an exclusive Scottish retreat with a rich heritage, stunning natural surroundings and outstanding dining.

The Lowlands, Scotland

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Aerial view at Alladale Lodge

Alladale Lodge

This beautiful and remote Victorian manor house is the ultimate luxury getaway. Set within an ancient Caledonian pine forest in the Scottish Highlands, Alladale Lodge boasts stylish interiors with stunning views of the wilderness beyond.

The Highlands, Scotland

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The Jacobite Risings Bedroom, Scottish Highlands

The Fife Arms

Lavish, ornate interiors meet critically-acclaimed artworks at The Fife Arms, where guests can enjoy exquisite luxury accompanied by first-class food.

The Highlands, Scotland

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Ghillie's Rest exterior, The Scottish highlands

Ghillie’s Rest

Ghillie's Rest is a comfortable and cosy two-bedroom lodge designed to offer tranquillity and an intimate Scottish retreat. The cabin provides easy access to the Alladale Wilderness Reserve.

The Highlands, Scotland

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View of the exterior of the hotel boat, Fingal in Edinburgh docks at dusk

Fingal

Scotland's first luxury floating hotel in Edinburgh dock. Formerly a lighthouse tender, Fingal is an exquisite 23 cabin boutique hotel with specular interiors and first-class service.

Edinburgh, Scotland

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External Candacraig (1)

Candacraig

Surrounded by manicured gardens and 18 acres of woodland that guests can privately roam, Candacraig is more than a hotel, it’s a personal oasis into which guests can escape the bustle of the modern world.

The Highlands. Scotland

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Eagle's Crag wilderness

Eagle's Crag

A remote, idyllic three-bedroom lodge where stylish modern interiors meet wild, scenic views. The remote location of Eagle's Crag makes it the perfect place to escape and unwind in the Scottish Highlands.

The Highlands, Scotland

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External view of The Torridon Resort with the snow-capped mountains beyond in the Scottish Highlands

The Torridon

The exceptional Torridon Resort is surrounded by soaring mountains and mirror-still lochs, offering guests a unique opportunity to connect with nature and re-discover a peace that comes from deep within.

The Highlands, Scotland

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The ornate fireplace and wallpaper in the drawing room of the Kinloch Lodge in the Scottish Highlands

Kinloch Lodge

Discover the Isle of Skye's outstanding natural landscapes whilst indulging in highland luxury and world-class food at this loch-side lodge.

Inner Hebrides, Scotland

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The exterior, Stucktaymore, Scottish Lowlands

Stucktaymore

Situated on the shores of Loch Tay, the private luxury estate of Stucktaymore allows up to 29 guests to enjoy locally-sourced dishes from your own private chef whilst marvelling at views over spectacular Scottish scenery.

The Lowlands, Scotland

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Stuckgowan exterior, The Lowlands, Scotland

Stuckgowan

Offering sweeping views from its vantage point overlooking Loch Lomond, the charming 19th century estate of Stuckgowan is a now a luxury exclusive-use house for 19 guests.

The Lowlands, Scotland

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Stuckdarach exterior, Scotland, The Lowlands

Stuckdarach

Newly-refurbished Stuckdarach is a converted barn full of traditional and charming features, situated in picturesque woodlands just a stone's throw away from Loch Lomond.

The Lowlands, Scotland

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Aerial view of Uist Retreat

Uist Forest Retreat

Nestled high up within secluded woodlands on the beautiful island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, this luxury treehouse accommodation invites guests to discover unique Scottish wildlife amid exceptional natural surroundings.

Outer Hebrides, Scotland

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The Dunstane House Bath View

The Dunstane Houses

This five-star family-run retreat offers guests a romantic escape into the heart of Scotland's capital. Discover deep relaxation enveloped in vintage comfort, all day dining and one of the best spirit selections in the city.

Edinburgh, Scotland

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Scotland in Pictures

Alamy Images Eilean Gas Lighthouse HGC4H1
Sunset at Eilean Glas Lighthouse, Outer Hebrides
Visitscotland 32641014581 Mealt Falls And Kilt Rock Isle Of Skye Visitscotland Richard Elliot
Mealt Falls & Kilt Rock, Isle of Skye
The View Across The Wick Of Mucklabrek Visitscotland Paul Tomkins
The view across the Wick of Mucklabrek, Shetland
A Highland Cow On The Road To Elgol Visitscotland Kenny Lam
A highland cow
Loch Lomond Visitscotland Paul Tomkins
Loch Lomond, The Lowlands
Sunset At Lochan Na H Achlaise On Rannoch Moor South West Highlands Visitscotland Kenny Lam
Sunset at Lochan Na H Achlaise, The Highlands
AIKERNESS BEACH COLIN KELDIE 3 Orkney
Aikerness Beach, Orkney

We can't wait to help you plan your holiday to Scotland