Daydreaming about getting away on holiday this year? You’re not alone… It’s been a long lockdown.
But with the traffic light travel system threatening to scupper Scots’ plans to holiday abroad, your safest bet is a staycation for 2021.
While we can’t guarantee the best weather, Scotland has plenty to offer – gorgeous scenery, fascinating culture and history, great food and drink and a breath of fresh air away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
If you’re opting for a stress free break to explore your own back yard, get on it: Holiday homes in Scotland are being snapped up fast.
We’ve rounded up the quirkiest AirBNBs in Scotland to make your trip one to remember – from tree houses and hobbit holes to a restored air control tower.
Note: These are booking up fast and your chosen dates might not be available – but keep an eye out for cancellations.
Lord of the Rings fans, your very own Hobbit Hole awaits.
This gorgeous hand-built earth house is hailed as “a wee slice of Scottish paradise” and will make you feel like you’re coorying in The Shire – and nae danger of ring wraiths chapping your door either.
The house has been crafted with locally sourced, renewable and recycled materials including straw-bales, round-wood, stone, earth, and clay. Ideal for four people, it even comes with its own garden for picking your own veg and herbs.
Head outside and wander by the garden, waterfalls and through its peaceful fairy glen – the stuff of Tolkien dreams.
Converted Airship, Drimnin
This futuristic getaway near Oban looks out of this world – so it’s no small wonder it gets booked up for months on end.
The Airship 2 is an insulated aluminium pod designed by Roderick James Architects.
It has a private four acre site with plenty of wildlife, perfect for a weekend wander. At night, you can count the stars in the sky over the Sound of Mull while lying in a cosy queen sized bed. It sleeps two people, so it’s ideal for couples who like something a bit left-field.
The owners also have another “cosy curvy cabin” following the extraordinary success of this home. Enter…
Pilot House, Drimnin
The Spaceship’s wee sister: a tiny home that offers 360 degree views with its wraparound balcony. The building is on two floors, with the sitting room and kitchen on the top floor and the bedroom and shower room downstairs.
The unusual corrugated aluminium wall finish internally, with sheet aluminium exterior walls is designed to resemble a Conning Tower on a submarine. (We only learned what that was today.)
They describe it as having “a contemporary feel with a sense of fun, and the spaces are remarkable for projecting a feeling of tranquility and security.”
The living room is kitted out with a soft leather armchairs and a wood stove – and also has really good broadband. Leave the work laptop at home though, guys. Or else…
Low maintenance staycationers, this could be one for your list.
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The Bus Stop, Gifford
This wheely good stay is hailed as a “holiday experience with a difference” that takes glamping to a whole new level. These beautifully converted buses are situated within a working farm with panoramic views of the Lammermuir Hills, in the heart of the East Lothian countryside.
Offering both luxury and rustic buses the whole family (including dogs) can enjoy 360 degree uninterrupted views of the surrounding countryside and a soak in their own hot tub.
Each bus comes with a wood-burning stove and bespoke furnishings, while a converted stable block on-site offers a small farm larder, supplying essentials like wine, beer, and even ice cream.
Nature Observatory on a Secluded Island
There are getaways, and then there are GETAWAYS…
This self-catering cabin on Dry Island in Badachro Bay is ideal for people who need some true alone time to unwind…. Though high-speed wifi is available if you hate being entirely cut off.
“Otter Cabin” is fitted out to a high standard with a double bedroom, shower room, open plan kitchen and living room and its own hot tub and decking area. This is a traditional self-catering unit. Kitchen basics and linens are provided.
Guests are free to roam about the wild paths on the island and the property owners will let you know which areas are currently inhabited.
Set within the ancient grounds of Fernie, this treehouse has six living trees growing within and around it, with two floors, three balconies and a bathroom with a gorgeous free-standing bath.
The queen-size bed is hand made of oak with hand made furniture and a fireplace. There is a mini fridge and a microwave oven. Breakfast items are included.
There’s no wifi available here, so if you’re after a digital detox you’ll truly be cut off from the rest of the world. Sounds like bliss to us.
HMS Owl Restored Air Control Tower
Jetting off abroad might be ambitious this summer, but you can still experience the airside experience at this one-of-a-kind renovated control tower in Tain in the Scottish Highlands.
The former World War 2 military air base-turned-guesthouse has been featured on TV and in numerous design publications and we can’t blame them… Bags of historic charm, modern design that pays tribute to its wartime past. It deserves a good showing.
It’s also adjacent to the North Coast 500 scenic route – so you could do worse than a night or two here as you take in the stunning Scottish countryside.
Assich Zen Lodge
Designed as a playful cross between a Zen tea house and Highland hunting lodge, Assich Zen Lodge in Cawdor is a luxury log cabin with Zen garden, created within the grounds – and using many of the stones – of an ancient ruined byre.
It offers “truly romantic and luxurious accommodation in beautiful and tranquil surroundings”. You can enjoy a where guests can enjoy stunning panoramic views of mountain, sea, forest and a castle.
The open-plan space consists of a lounge with wood-burning stove, bedroom area with luxury super king size bed, dining and kitchen areas (each with its own panoramic bi-fold doors) – and a separate toilet and shower room. Beyond the bi-fold doors is a large decked area with access to sauna, fire pit, hot tub, log store and outdoor seating. This one’s a good all-rounder for a weekend away with your other half.
16th Century Scottish Borders Tower
Microdose aristocratic living with a stay in a mini castle this summer. The Tower rooms are in a refurbished historic defensive tower dating from 1574 – and are described as “medieval and bijoux.” We’re feeling it.
Enter through a huge stone entrance, into an inner panelled entrance hall and through a private door up an ancient and narrow staircase. You’ll find a tiny sitting area with shower room and kitchenette off. Finally up again with a spiral stone staircase leading to a romantic and secluded upper chamber.
This chamber is beautiful, light with beams exposed on the ceiling, a working stove, stone floors with underfloor heating, a reading nook and a bookcase full of books. Servants not included..
The Beekeeper’s Bothy
Nestled in the Aberdeenshire coast, the Beekeeper’s Bothy is a bespoke larch clad den that takes in a panoramic view over the Ythan estuary. It’s a back-to-basics, charming accommodation where you can relax in a cosy tranquil environment. Head out and you can enjoy nature reserves, beautiful unspoilt beaches and walking trails, which can be found in the surrounding areas.
The home boasts a floor to ceiling window looking out over the coast, where you can sit back and relax in quiet contemplation. It also includes a kitchenette that provides all you need with a fridge, sink, microwave, kettle, toaster, countertop electric hob as well as all cutlery, glass and dish wear needed.
There is a super king sized mattress in the mezzanine bunk area that sits above the living area and allows you to wake up looking out at the view.