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The top places to enjoy staycations in Scotland

Written by Fiona

October 09 2020

Are you looking for staycations in the UK this year? Fortunately, the UK, especially Scotland, has some of the best places to experience a staycation, from places where you can enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature to luxury break in a manor hotel.

Enjoying a Scottish staycation offers visitors so much.  You could choose an outdoor adventure in the Highlands, on far flung islands, such as the Outer Hebrides, and also in the nation’s two national parks, the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond.

How about a city break in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Dundee, Perth, Aberdeen or Inverness? The cities are small by UK standards and offer a wealth of history and culture.

Five great staycation ideas in Scotland 

Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides, Highland

Staycations on the Island of Skye

Skye, off the north-west coast of mainland Scotland, is popular thanks to the island’s outstanding scenery and perfect Instagram moments. You can reach the island over the Skye bridge or by ferry.

It’s the place to come for the outdoor adventurer with hills, mountains, lochs and coast. There are plenty of outdoor activities on Skye, including mountain walking, climbing and scrambling in the Cuillin (hire a guide if you are not experienced; mountain biking, road cycling, kayaking, paddle boarding and boat trips. There are also the amazing Fairy Pools.

There is a lot for the indoor explorer, too. Staycations in the UK offer lots of indoor activities due to the unpredictable weather (especially in Scotland). Enjoy a whisky tour or visit a castle.

You should plan to head to the island for more than a weekend and stay for a fortnight if you can.

Skye is a very popular place to come for a staycation, so a good season to choose is autumn, when there will be fewer people, as well as amazing autumnal views.

Start of the West Highland Way at Milngavie.

Explore the West Highland Way

The West Highland Way is Scotland’s original and most popular long-distance walking trail. It celebrates its 40th anniversary this month.

The WHW is a great place for an adventurous staycation and you can choose to camp (you need to plan ahead because there are some summer bye-laws that require permits) or stay in accommodation at the many towns and villages along the 96-mile route, from Milngavie, near Glasgow, to Fort William.

Exploring Scotland on the trail allows you to see some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery up close.

It’s easy to navigate in good weather thanks to the waymarking and signposting, but you should also be able to navigate with a map and compass for safety.

Book accommodation and luggage transfer with a travel company or do it yourself with separate bookings.

Arthur’s Seat. Pic credit: Wikipedia.

Hotels in Edinburgh for an idyllic Scottish staycation

Edinburgh is one of Scotland’s gems. The capital city is great for a staycation, even if you live close by. Edinburgh has so much to offer visitors with its historic sites, such Edinburgh Castle, and trendy areas like Leith on the shore of the Firth of Forth.

You can also explore the Royal Mile, with many bars and quirky coffee shops. Edinburgh is a diner’s paradise, with numerous award-winning restaurants dotted all over the place.

Edinburgh oozes history and culture and you will enjoy amazing architecture and cobbled streets.

For outdoor adventurers, there’s the city hill, Arthur’s Seat, plus Craiglockart Hill Local Nature Reserve and Blackford Hill.

If you are planning and capital city staycation, you can find lots of great hotels in Edinburgh deals online.

Loch Lomond at Balloch.

Have an adventure with staycations in Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is a great staycation option. Not far from Scotland’s largest city of Glasgow and on the edge of the southern Highlands, there is plenty to see and do on the doorstep. From the charm of quaint villages like Luss, to boat tours to islands and jaw-dropping views of the loch and the famous mountain, Ben Lomond, there is a lot to fill your time.

Loch Lomond is at the heart of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park with many hills, mountains and lochs to see and visit.

Beaches in the south of Harris. Pic credit: Sunnydesert

Isle of Harris

Explore the true edge of Scotland on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. It’s an amazing destination for panoramic views, scenery and its endless white sandy beaches. It ticks all the staycation boxes. 

Outdoor adventure is a must here with the beaches of Luskentyre and Scarista, as well as hiking hills, such as Beinn Dhubh.

Experience the best self-catering cottages on Harris, too.

Although the weather can be variable, enjoying a week on the island here is recommended due to its proximity from the mainland. It will also allow you to explore the strong of islands that harris is part of and see others such as Lewis, the Uists and Benbecula.

Scottish staycations

These are just some of the places and experiences to try when looking for staycations in Scotland this year. Whether that’s city breaks in Edinburgh or a week-long trip to Skye, Scotland has it all. 


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