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Scottish Holiday Rentals… taking self-catering to a 5 star level

Written by Linda Jackson

Year of Natural ScotlandEnjoy space you can truly call your own - rent a luxury lodge in Scotland, stay in a unique boathouse or hire a luxury holiday cottage in Scotland.  Why share your luxury holiday accommodation in Scotland with others? Be selfish, be spoilt and … be free!

Rainbow over Loch Linnhe & Morven Mountains

Scenery is breathtaking on the drive from Loch Ewe in the North West Highlands of Scotland, via Torridon, down to Port Appin on the West Highlands coast – 172 miles of jaw-dropping landscapes. Concentrating on the Scottish Highlands I am checking out special places to stay, namely luxury lodges, holiday cottages and unique boathouses to rent in Scotland but a journey that, on paper, should have taken around 4.5 hours is taking twice as long.

Castle Stalker near Port Appin

The compulsion to obtain photographic evidence of the outstanding landscapes of Scotland is overwhelming… around every bend, over every mountain and through every glen the vista presents more WOW-factor than the vista before.

Being one who relishes freedom, I really appreciate having the deserted single track roads, the tranquillity, and the stunning panoramas virtually to myself.

Stunning Scottish Scenery around Loch Torridon

Ashamedly selfish at times, I do need my own space. So, I’m thinking, what could be better than to rent a holiday luxury lodge or cottage in Scotland from which the views will be mine to behold, and in which I can feel at home the minute I step through the door.

Should I desire the company of other travellers though, I do want the option to wine and dine in style if the mood takes me. I’m delighted that the luxury holiday rentals in Scotland I’m checking out all offer excellent dining facilities on-site (they’re owned and operated by some of the best hotels and luxury accommodation providers in Scotland).

The Poachers Caravan Kitchen

The Poachers at Pool House

Pool House - BBQ Hut

Skyfall Sitting Room at Pool House

First stop on my search for the best holiday rentals in Scotland is Pool House, located adjacent to the River Ewe where it joins Loch Ewe in the tiny village of Poolewe, under a mile from famous Inverewe Gardens, 76 miles from Inverness. Family-run Pool House is stylishly and artistically unique; it has just four suites, all spacious and absolutely stunning.

The welcoming friendly family which owns Pool House is related to the Captain of the Titanic so there are plenty of fascinating historical snippets to hear and unusual artefacts to admire, each with its own captivating story... just ask about the Chinese wooden carving sitting in the bar (where you’ll find a full-sized snooker table incidentally).

Skyfall at Pool House

Skyfall at Pool House

River Ewe beside Pool House

Skyfall Lounge at Pool House

Nestling in the gardens fronting the loch are two unique rental cottages, beautifully furnished: both sleep two, have a deluxe bathroom, and each enjoys a private hot-tub and loch views. There is also a garden ‘barbecue hut’ which can be hired; it’s circular, subtly lit, and really cosy.

The facade of Skyfall Cottage is all windows, offering great views from both the lounge and mezzanine bedroom.  The Poacher’s, my cosy retreat for the duration of my stay, is a contemporary boathouse; its kitchen-dining room located a few steps away in a cute tailor-made Romany caravan complete with under-floor heating and all mod cons. Falling in love with Pool House accommodation and the whole family is easy to do. As for the cuisine, it’s superlative. The Chef (yes, a family member) is a kitchen wizard, the food the best I’ve savoured for some time. A word of advice though, diet before you stay at Pool House, the gastronomy is seductive.

The Boathouse at the Torridon

Bidding fond farewells to the Pool House family I have a 37-mile drive to The Torridon, located in a secluded Highlands lochside setting in Wester Ross.

The scenery on my journey, yet again, is breathtaking as it is also, I soon discover, from the roll-top bath in my elegant Torridon bedroom.

Torridon is an impressive chateau-style hotel in Scotland offering a luxury boathouse for holiday rent, proving a very popular holiday let with lots of repeat business booked well in advance. That says it all really, doesn’t it?

The Boathouse at The Torridon

Although the Boathouse is not available for me to “test”, I am allowed a sneak preview. Wow… luxury holiday rentals in Scotland don’t get much better than this. The two-bedroom boathouse at Torridon is idyllically situated overlooking and adjacent to Loch Ewe, backing onto woodland. It’s spacious, tastefully furnished, has an all-glass bay-fronted extension to the lounge, and is just feet from the loch where otters and heron might be spotted.

The Torridon is a special place to stay in Scotland, particularly for anyone wanting an activities-packed holiday (the Torridon is one of the best multi-activity providers in Scotland), while the Boathouse, I can see, will be bliss for anyone wanting a secluded hideaway in which to chill out. Don’t keep yourself to yourself too much should you stay in the Boathouse, there’s a lot to discover: more than 350 malt whiskies in the hotel’s Whisky Bar for starters. Dining in the hotel’s restaurant is a “must” and for casual eating out pop into the Torridon Inn on the estate, just a few minutes’ walk.

Self Catering Cottage at the Airds Hotel

The 135-mile drive from The Torridon to The Airds Hotel & Restaurant in the pretty West Coast Highlands hamlet of Port Appin, near Oban, is akin to a non-stop slideshow of picture-postcard landscapes. For years I’ve hankered after taking walking holidays in Austria or Switzerland. No longer: the Scottish Highlands are now in my Premier League.

Eventually I drag myself away from the spectacular scenery of Loch Linnhe and the Morvern Mountains on the doorstep of the unpretentious yet renowned gourmet country house hotel. Stepping into Airds, I find the interior stylish, comfortable and serene. And what a bonus for anyone wanting independence - this welcoming Highlands hotel in Scotland has a luxury two-bedroom holiday cottage tucked away in its own garden in the hotel grounds. I like the cottage’s contemporary open-plan layout and stylish furnishings, the complimentary WiFi, and the privacy the Scottish rental cottage offers.

The hotel also offers dining packages to occupants (should they tire of self-catering) from having breakfast and/or dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.

When renting a holiday cottage attached to a hotel in Scotland, the option to eat in an award-winning restaurant is a big fat bonus. The restaurant at Airds is elegant and relaxed, with superb service and superlative cuisine but it’s a wonder I don’t chain myself to the dining table, or at the very least kidnap the Chef, as the mouth-watering creations delivered to my table are truly exceptional.

The cottages and boathouses at Pool House, The Airds Hotel & Restaurant, and The Torridon are just a few examples of many special places to stay in Scotland for anyone looking for an extra touch of independence and privacy. There are plenty of others… 

Nestled in yet another dramatic location are two luxury self-catering cottages within the grounds of Inverlochy Castle. Situated near Fort William, Inverlochy was a favourite holiday location for Queen Victoria who was a regular visitor.

Further south in Scotland’s central belt there are luxury lodges and apartments sitting on the picturesque loch banks at Cameron House on Loch Lomond.



At the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire there are 2, 3 or 4 bedroom Glenmor Holiday Homes for holiday lets.  The hotel is famous for its three championship golf courses, one of which - The PGA® Centenary Course – will be hosting the 2014 Ryder Cup.

The Turnberry Lodges

On Scotland’s south west coast we have luxury apartments and cottages at Turnberry, A Luxury Collection Resort. Ideal for groups and families of all sizes these also offer unrestricted access to Turnberry’s championship golf courses.

Over on Scotland’s east coast the Greywalls Hotel & Chez Roux in East Lothian is perfect for golfing groups or families. Here you will find a large luxury house available for holiday rental. Located just 200 yards from the hotel it overlooks the famous Muirfield golf course.

Staying on the east coast you can enjoy luxury serviced apartments in a prime city centre spot in the heart of Dundee. Westport Apartments come complete with 24-hour concierge service and with stunning views – perfect for business or as a base to explore the Kingdom of Fife.


Finding luxury accommodation to rent in Scotland - space you can call your own - whether in a luxury lodge, cottage, city apartment, or unique boathouse, is easier than you think and more pleasurable than you can imagine… so why share luxury holiday accommodation in Scotland with others.

Be selfish, be spoilt… be free.


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(Images copyright Linda Jackson and The Torridon)


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