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Scotland driving holiday - self catering cottages - ideas?

Parkwood, Australia
Level Contributor
4 posts
3 reviews
Scotland driving holiday - self catering cottages - ideas?

We have 3 weeks to travel Scotland (mid-Sep to 9 Oct 2011), and plan to book 3 different self-catering cottages in villages for one week each to use as a base. We will hire a car and do day trips from our base cottage. We may spend the first week around Yorkshire Dales, and then just 2 weeks in Scotland - not sure yet. We really love staying in quaint cottages outside major cities - but somewhere that is a good central place to do these day trips. As Australians we are fine with driving 1-2 hours daily each way to visit different places. We like pretty villages, mountains, seascapes, maritime areas, historical areas, scenic train trips. Will probably buy a NT card or similar. We are a couple so only need a single bedroom cottage. Any ideas or recommendations most welcome, as are ideas for day trips / places to visit.

Level Contributor
984 posts
1. Re: Scotland driving holiday - self catering cottages - ideas?

You could try the Glenernan Guest House in Ballater which in addition to the guest house letting rooms has two self-catering cottages on site. You may find details of them both on the Glenernan website which is here


and TA reviews here


Both places are for the maximum of two people, so will have the single bedroom you require and a graded 4 Star by Visit Scotland. 1 Star is lowest 5 Star is highest, so you have nothing to worry about regarding standards of accommodation.

Ballater is within easy drive of several National Trust for Scotland properties and you could even drive so far as Inverness and back for a day trip should you choose to do so. I know, I have done this several times. Perth, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee are comparative distances by car too. Stonehaven and the coast are also within easy reach.

Further details about Ballater and Royal Deeside may be found here




Hope this helps.

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
Level Contributor
8,448 posts
70 reviews
2. Re: Scotland driving holiday - self catering cottages - ideas?

Another suitable base might be Lochalsh - the area around the mainland end of the Skye Bridge. Look at villages such as Plockton or Dornie. It's a good centre for day trips: Applecross, Glen Shiel, over the bridge to Skye. Eilean Donan Castle is there, and the local railway line is very scenic.

Destination Expert
for Scotland
Level Contributor
8,518 posts
29 reviews
3. Re: Scotland driving holiday - self catering cottages - ideas?

Dhmellor's suggestion is a good one. Also look at Onich or Ballachulish. Handy for trips to Oban, Glencoe, Fort William etc.

Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
4,660 posts
28 reviews
4. Re: Scotland driving holiday - self catering cottages - ideas?

What about something in the East Neuk of Fife (near St Andrews) . Stunning beaches and coastal walks, historic castles/ university/ palaces all local and only just over an hour to Edinburgh. Look at little fishing villages such as Pittenweem, Crail, Anstruther, or Elie.


Level Contributor
94 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: Scotland driving holiday - self catering cottages - ideas?

My thoughts would be to spend 1 week in or near to Edinburgh and radiate out to the Borders, St Andrews, Stirling, Trossachs and there are lots of places of interest around East and West Lothian.

Then head up to Inverness or the Cairngorms national park so that you can visit the Moray Coast, Speyside, Loch Ness (yawn!), Glen Affric, Sutherland area.

Then head over to west coast and base yourself in Oban or Lochaber area so that you can do things like a day trip to Mull, Inveraray, Moidart, Road to the Isles, Jacobite Steam Train.

So much many options that this forum doesn't really have space for listing in enough detail.

Parkwood, Australia
Level Contributor
4 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Scotland driving holiday - self catering cottages - ideas?

Thank you for these suggestions - I'll get the road map book out and start some serious planning. Keep those suggestions coming - we like to discover the places that the locals would recommend to their friends - not just the places all the tourist brochures advertise...

thanks again.

7. Re: Scotland driving holiday - self catering cottages - ideas?

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