ROMANTIC HOTELS IN SCOTLAND
SCOTLAND – WHY GO?
With their backdrop of lochs, mountains and wildlife, Scotland's romantic hotels have some of the most glorious settings you could wish for. After a day out exploring scenic lochs and glens, you’ll adore coming back to a crackling log fire and a warming wee dram. You'll find a list here of our favourite romantic hotels in Scotland.
You won’t want to go far up here without an umbrella, but the scenery is a knockout. The Highlands and Islands have a haunting beauty whatever the weather, the twin cultural capitals of Edinburgh and Glasgow are unmissable, and – aside from the hooch and haggis – you're sure to sample plenty of delicious Scottish fare.
HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS
Take the high road to the the Scottish Highlands – Britain’s last wilderness. This is a region that’s heaven on earth on the right day. You can glimpse eagles, ospreys, stags, seals and dolphins, and experience all four seasons in a day. Whales, too, can be spotted off the Western Isles.
The Isle of Skye is hauntingly beautiful and still resonates with the history of Bonnie Prince Charlie. The islands of Mull, Iona, Tiree, Colonsay and Eigg provide their own brand of magic.
Serious walkers will get an adrenaline kick from climbing Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak. And even armchair travellers will get a buzz from driving through the soaring beauty of Glencoe and the Cairngorms.
The great indoors is often as good as the outdoors hereabouts. There’s nothing quite like sitting by a log fire at your welcoming Highland hotel on a chilly night, sipping hot chocolate and an amber shot of local malt whisky.
THE GRAMPIANS AND ROYAL DEESIDE
Head west from the granite city of Aberdeen into the heart of Deeside and the Grampian mountains. These pine-forested slopes give way to the rivers and woods of Royal Deeside – with Balmoral castle, the summer home of the royals, at centre stage. You can tour parts of Balmoral castle itself when the royals are not in residence.
North-west of the oil capital Aberdeen, Speyside’s whisky country beckons. Eight major distilleries make up the world’s only malt whisky trail, and welcome visitors for tours and tastings.
For a more sober adventure take the Castle trail instead and see some of the region’s finest turrets at Ballindalloch or Cawdor. Come back in winter for another of the region’s great adventures – bracing walks and hill climbing in crisp mountain air.
EDINBURGH AND FIFE
Dominated by its hilltop castle and jostling with elegant buildings, Edinburgh is a graceful mix of times and styles. Walk down the cobblestone Royal Mile to the palace of Holyroodhouse, passing the arresting steel, oak and granite home of the Scottish parliament en route. Then wander through the squares and crescents of Edinburgh’s quirkily named New Town, whose old Georgian houses centre around Charlotte Square and Princes Street.
Climb up to Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park for windswept views of the city at your feet, or tour the royal yacht Britannia in the former docks at Leith.
Edinburgh fills up with writers, street artists and some of the biggest names in comedy for its famous August Fringe festival. Be sure to book tickets – and your hotel – well ahead.
THE SCOTTISH BORDERS
There’s no shortage of things to see and do in and around the Scottish Borders. Bookworms visiting southerly Dumfries and Galloway will love Wigtown, Scotland’s national book town, while creative spirits will love the artists’ town of Kirkcudbright. You can visit the birthplace of Scottish bard Robert Burns at Alloway near the city of Ayr.
If city lights are your thing then you can’t go wrong with Glasgow. Splashes of Art Nouveau architecture mix with contemporary and Victorian buildings and the achievements of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh are celebrated city-wide.
A vibrant arts scene, prolific nightlife, top-notch museums and shopping to compare with London and Milan ensure that Glasgow is never dull. From here you can head off to the scenic shores of Loch Lomond or set sail for the islands of Islay, Bute and Arran.
• Bagpipe music (if you must)
• Toy Nessie
GET IN THE MOOD
• Read: Robert Burns, JM Barrie, Ian Rankin, Arthur Conan Doyle.
• Listen: Travis, Annie Lennox, Franz Ferdinand, Wet Wet Wet, bagpipes.
• Watch: Braveheart, Billy Connolly, Highlander.
• Arbroath smokies
• Real porridge
• Malt whisky
MAKE A DATE
Burn’s Night – across Scotland
Have a toast to Scottish bard Robbie Burns and tuck into the traditional feast of neeps and tatties.
Fife Festival of Music – Kirkcaldy
Scotland’s young vocal talents compete for glory.
Edinburgh International Harp Festival
Concerts, classes and workshop celebrate the art of the harp.
St Andrew’s Golf Week
Your chance to play over the famous links where the world’s top golfers compete.
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
The West End Festival – Glasgow
The summer party that thinks it’s a fiesta.
T in the Park – Kinross
More than 80,000 music fans converge to see some 180 artists.
Edinburgh Festival and the Military Tattoo
Scotland’s capital city comes alive with entertainment.
Braemar Gathering and Carrbridge Highland Games
Grab your kilt and sporran and join in the fun.
Walking and art around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs national park.
St Andrew’s Week
Music, drama, dance and a kite-flying competition prove there’s more to At Andrew’s than simply golf.
Hogmanay – Edinburgh and elsewhere
Join in Scotland’s big New Year party.
• Cheer together from the stands at a Rugby Sevens match
• Share a wee dram of the local amber nectar any time of day or night
• Read some Robbie Burns poems to each other.