Last Updated on 18/02/2021

If you’ve been dreaming of Scotland’s wild, rugged landscape, shimmering lochs and awe-inspiring castles then I’ve got you covered for the best places to stay while you’re there. 

The roundup I’m about to share with you goes a little bit further than your average hotel, guesthouse or B&B. These unique getaways in Scotland marry sustainability with novelty to create retreats that leave a big impact on you rather than the planet. The accommodation and its surroundings become the holiday itself. 

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From carbon-neutral cabins to castle gatehouses and airships in the middle of nowhere, there’s something for every type of traveller. So, without further ado, these are 15 of the most unusual places to stay in Scotland:

The best unique getaways for budget travellers

Affordable holiday homes that still offer something special: 

Hobbit Hideaway

Exterior of the hobbit hideaay with a grassy roof - a unique getaway in Scotland

Hobbit Hideaway interior with a seating area and rooms.

Photo credit: Hobbit Hideaway

The Hobbit Hideaway is a quirky eco-home in Scotland’s Speyside. It was hand-built using renewable materials that were sustainably sourced from the local area. In fact, it’s impressive eco-credentials led it to win the Best Green Holiday Home at the European Holiday Home Awards 2019. 

It’s a favourite among couples who want a unique space to unwind in. Every bit of the space has been used to its full potential, including a gorgeous roof dome that lets you look straight up at the sky. 

Stay here for scenic walks, cycling and watersports. History lovers should check out Elgin Cathedral, and Ballindalloch, Balvenie, and Duffus castles nearby. 

  • Room type: 2 bedrooms / sleeps 6
  • Location: the property is located in a beautiful valley at the foot of Ben Rinnes. The nearest village is Aberlour.
  • WiFi: Yes 
  • Hot tub: No
  • Price: £150 -£190 per night for the entire property

Read reviews and book: CoolStays

Burnhead Bothy 

Burnhead Bothy with glass walls on a patch of grass

Photo credit: Burnhead Bothies 

If you’re looking for unique without the price tag, why not check out an off-grid eco-friendly bothy? Burnhead Bothyis a rustic-chic holiday home set on a 1600-acre farm. 

The accommodation is solar-powered and insulated with sheep’s wool. Water is provided by a private spring. Enjoy the huge glass wall that looks out onto the surrounding countryside. 

For a remote retreat, the bothy is easily accessible from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Falkirk and Stirling. Stay here for walks in the Kilsyth Hills and Auchinstarry Marina. You also have the impressive 30-metre high horse-head sculptures known as the Kelpies nearby.  

  • Room type: 1 bedroom / sleeps 4 
  • Location: The bothy is located on Burnhead Farm in the Kilsyth Hills near Glasgow. 
  • WiFi: No
  • Hot tub: No
  • Price: £99 – £145 per night (minimum stay 2 nights)

Read reviews and book: CoolStays

High Lodge

High Lodge is one of the most eco-friendly unique getaways in Scotland for couples and it even has a private beach.

The kitchen and dining space inside High Lodge

Photo credit: Galloway House Estate

It doesn’t get much better than an eco-cottage with its own private beach. High Lodge may be small but it certainly doesn’t fail to pull out all the stops. This 18th-century gamekeepers cottage is an off-grid retreat for those who want to get away from it all – and I mean internet too. 

I promise you won’t be bored for a minute here. Not with your own private beach just minutes from your front door, miles of countryside to walk in and a wood-fired pizza oven for the best kind of date night. As for green credentials, the cottage is entirely self-sufficient and electricity is provided by solar panels and a windmill. 

Don’t forget to visit the charming town of Wigtown while you’re there. It’s home to historic architecture and nearly 20 second-hand bookshops!

  • Room type: 1 bedroom / sleeps 2
  • Location: The lodge is located on the Galloway House Estate in the Dumfries and Galloway countryside.
  • WiFi: No
  • Hot tub: No 
  • Price: From £490 per week (minimum stay 3 nights – 7 in high season)

Read reviews and book: CoolStays

Woodland Cabins

woodland cabin in a bluebell wood

Photo credit: House in the Wood

The Woodland Cabins in Glencoe offer off-grid luxury set in a bluebell wood on the picturesque shores of Loch Linnhe. The cabins strike a balance between comfort and rustic to create a beautiful place to relax in. 

This gorgeous eco-friendly property has the abundant West Highlands on your doorstep. You’ve got castles, beaches, islands, nature trails, golf courses and the famous Jacobite Steam Train over Glenfinnan Viaduct. 

  • Room type: 1 – 2 bedrooms / sleeps 2 – 6 
  • Location: The cabins are located in the Scottish Highlands, 3.7 miles from Glencoe and 13.7 miles from Fort William. 
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Hot tub: No
  • Price: From £500 for 3 nights (minimum stay)

Read reviews and book: Booking.com

The best unique getaways for luxury travellers

For something unusual with all the luxury: 

Eagle Brae

Eagle Brae is an eco-friendly cabin in Scotland. It has a grass insulated roof.

The interior of the Eagl Brae cabin with a sofa and large window.

Photo credit: Eagle Brae 

Eagle Brae marries luxury with sustainability to create the ultimate eco-friendly retreat in the Highlands. These grassy-roofed huts look like something out of a fairy tale and each one has been hand-constructed out of enormous cedar logs. 

Guests are treated to a mostly carbon-neutral stay here. All huts are self-sufficient and come with underfloor heating and biomass wood-pellet burners to keep you toasty. You can cook your own meals, but if you don’t feel like it, you can indulge in Eagle Brae’s home-cooked delivery service. Perfection. 

Stay here for frequent wild deer visits and lochs and mountains at every turn. You have 8,000 acres of wilderness to enjoy so it’s the perfect place for nature lovers. 

  • Room type: 2 bedrooms / sleeps 2-6 
  • Location: The cabins are located deep in the Scottish Highlands. The nearest village is Beauly and Inverness airport is 30 miles away. 
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Hot tub: No – sauna 
  • Price: £1366 – £2454 per week (minimum stay 2 nights)

Read reviews and book: CoolStays

The Brochs of Coigach

Brochs of Coigach stone exterior hidden in the grass.

Brochs of Coigach interior with window. One of the best unique getaways in Scotland for couples.

Photo credit: The Brochs of Coigach 

Ever wanted to stay in a recreation of an iron age roundhouse? Well, here’s your chance. The Brochs of Coigach hold the impressive title of ‘one of the world’s top dream destinations for two.’ Their striking architecture blends seamlessly with the surrounding landscape and most of the materials have been recycled and repurposed. 

You’ll want to spend a lot of your time by the enormous windows that look out onto the most incredible sea and mountain views. The ‘Imax-quality’ views are what reviewers love most.

Make sure you head over to the observation area to see porpoises, seals and dolphins. Otherwise, stay here for an off-grid rest, a UNESCO designated Geopark, beaches, mountains, wildlife and rock climbing. 

  • Room type: 3 bedrooms / sleeps 2-6
  • Location: The roundhouses are located on the West Coast of Scotland. The closest village is Achiltibuie. 
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Hot tub: No – sauna 
  • Price: £984 – £1872 per week (minimum stay 2 nights)

Read reviews and book: CoolStays

Best quirky getaways in Scotland for couples and small groups

For travellers looking for something seriously out of the ordinary: 

The Bus Stop

Green double decker bus converted into a glamping experience.

Photo credit: The Bus Stop 

The Bus Stop is glamping like you’ve never experienced before. Forget bell tents and yurts, this is luxury camping on a converted bus. Parked on a working farm just outside the village of Gifford, these three buses have been cleverly converted with key home comforts in mind. 

You’ll find everything you need from enormous double beds, wood-burning stoves and even fully-equipped bathrooms and kitchens. Each bus has its own hot tub for that extra bit of luxury. 

Stay here for farm life and a stay on, well, a bus! Edinburgh is also just 30 minutes away. 

  • Room type: 2 bedrooms / sleeps 2-6
  • Location: The buses are set on a working farm in the East Lothian countryside near Edinburgh. 
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Hot tub: Yes 
  • Price: £150 – £250 per night (minimum stay 2 nights) 

Read reviews and book: CoolStays

AirShip 002

AirShip exterior with the large windows - a romantic getaway in Scotland.

Photo credit: Out of the Blue

AirShip 002 is probably one of the most unusual places to stay in Scotland if not the whole of the UK. If you’re looking for something remote and quirky then this might just be the place for you. 

One of the best features is the curved glass windows that look out onto dramatic mountain and sea views. In fact, you can even see the Isle of Mull. 

The kitchen is nothing fancy but it has everything you need for self-catering – just remember to stock up on food before you arrive as the nearest shop is 8 miles away. 

Stay here for a digital detox with your significant other. Go on hearty walks, enjoy the local wildlife and take a ferry out to some of the neighbouring islands. You can’t get much better than that for an unusual romantic getaway.

  • Room type: 1 bedroom / sleeps 2
  • Location: The AirShip is situated on a private 4-acre plot in Drimnin on the West Coast of Scotland. 
  • WiFi: No 
  • Hot tub: No 
  • Price: From £150 per night (minimum stay 2 nights)

Read reviews and book: CoolStays

East Gatehouse Lodge

East Gatehouse Lodge is a real gatehouse that guards a castle

The hounge with a roaring fire in East Gatehouse Lodge

Photo credit: Monzie Estate

Has anyone else added a stay in a turreted gatehouse to their bucket list? East Gatehouse Lodge has all the cosiness of a cottage with the grandeur of a mini castle. Better still, Monzie Estate takes sustainability seriously and they’re committed to achieving their Green Tourism badge. 

The East Lodge has the important role of guarding Monzie Castle but despite its duties, this gothic 19th-century accommodation is elegant and comfortable. Inside, you’re treated to bright interiors, open fireplaces and bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms – all maintained with eco-friendly cleaning products. You’ll also find delights such as jams and cruelty-free toiletries made by local producers. 

Stay here for 4,000 acres of Scottish countryside, wildlife and tours of the castle you’re protecting. Explore historic towns and mysterious stone circles. Walk up Kip MacLyne for seriously stunning views. 

  • Room type: 2 bedrooms / sleeps 4 (there are also other properties on the estate)
  • Location: The lodge is located on the Monzie Estate near the market town of Crieff in Perthshire. 
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Hot tub: No
  • Price: £145 -£250 per night (minimum stay 2 nights)

Read reviews and book: CoolStays

Best unusual city escapes 

Unique getaways in Edinburgh: 

Dovecot Cottage

the outside of Dovecot cottage with a tower and a garden. A unique getaway in Edinburgh.

Bedroom with the dove nests in Dovecot Cottage

Photo credit: Dovecot Cottage

The 17th-century Dovecot Cottage was once a home for pigeons and now it’s become a quirky holiday cottage for those who want to experience a unique side to Edinburgh. Although close to the city centre, the cottage’s intimate atmosphere makes you feel like you’re in your own secluded hideaway. 

Much of the character is unchanged, however, the interiors are cosy and modern. You have underfloor heating, two kinds of showers and a kitchen complete with cedar wood counters made from a tree in the garden. 

The bedroom is my absolute favourite. Up in the tower, the double bed fits snugly under a wall of original illuminated nesting boxes. 

  • Room type: 1 bedroom / sleeps 4
  • Location: The cottage is located in Midlothian, just a 20-minute stroll from Edinburgh’s city centre. 
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Hot tub: No
  • Price: £130 – £270 per night (minimum stay 2 nights)

Read reviews and book: CoolStays

Planning a trip to Edinburgh? Here are 10 of the best things to do in the city. 

Best unusual glamping experiences

Geodesic domes, glamping pods and more:

Loch Tay Glamping Domes

Exterior of the geodeisc dome - a unique getaway in Scotland for glampers.

inside the geodesic dome on Loch Tay

Photo credit: Loch Tay Highland Lodges and Glamping Park

Loch Tay Glamping Domes is a collection of geodesic domes on the shores of Loch Tay. Each dome is spacious and well-equipped to provide the right amount of comfort. Wooden floorboards line the ground, beanbags make up the seating area and a wood-burning stove keeps you toasty. There are also USB charging ports. 

Loch Tay Glamping is a very much self-contained Highland glamping site. There’s an on-site Italian bar and bistro. It also has a selection of watersports activities with equipment to hire.

Otherwise, head out into the spectacular Highlands. Make sure you add Castle Menzies, Dochart Falls and McQueen Gin distillery to your itinerary. 

  • Room type: 1 bedroom / sleeps 4
  • Location: The glamping pods are located next to Loch Tay in the Scottish Highlands. 
  • WiFi: No
  • Hot tub: Yes
  • Price: From £110 per night (minimum stay 3 nights)

Read reviews and book: CoolStays

Braeside Retreats

Orkney islands beach

Fancy a spot of luxury camping on the most northerly point of the Scottish mainland? Braeside Retreats offers stunning views out towards the Orkney Isles, private hot tubs and a rural lifestyle.

The glamping pods are big enough for a small family and there’s even an onsite playground for the kids. Each one has a fully-equipped kitchen, dining area and terrace with sea views. 

Stay here for adventures on the northernmost tip of Scotland. Here you have beaches galore, boundless tranquillity and Rock Rose Gin distillery tours. Make sure you check out Castle of Mey and the landmark village of John O’Groats too. 

  • Room type: 1 bedroom / sleeps 4
  • Location: Braeside Retreats is situated on Sibmister Farm in the North Highlands of Scotland. It’s just 4 miles outside of Thurso.  
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Hot tub: Yes 
  • Price: From £250 for 2 nights

Read reviews and book: Booking.com

Hillhead Glamping Farm

Hillhead Glamping pods with a view out towards the hills at dusk.

Side view of Hillhead glamping pod with an outdoor seating area. A great unique getaway in Scotland for families.

Photo credit: Hillhead Farm Pods

Looking for a glamping holiday in Southwest Scotland? Hillhead Glamping Farm offers unique holiday pods that are compact yet fully-furnished. Each pod features a kitchenette, seating area and shower room. There’s one bedroom with a double bed and there’s also a bunk bed for the kids. 

Stay here for an area of outstanding natural beauty on your doorstep. There are three National Scenic Areas nearby: Nith Estuary, the East Stewartry Coast and the Fleet Valley.

  • Room type: 1 bedroom / sleeps 4
  • Location: The luxury glamping pods are located in the Dumfries and Galloway region. It’s 10 miles from Dumfries, the largest town in Southwest Scotland. 
  • WiFi: No
  • Hot tub: No
  • Price: From approximately £300 for 2 nights 

Read reviews and book: Booking.com

Don’t forget to pack these handy essentials for your glamping trip.

Best unique island retreats 

Gorgeous places to stay on the Isle of Skye:

Lusa Bothy

For getaways on the Isle of Skye, you can’t get much better than Lusa Bothy. This quaint stone cottage has oodles of character inside and out. It was once an animal byre before it was renovated and upcycled into a cosy cottage for two. 

I love the fairy tale woodcutter vibe but most of all, it’s the location that makes it a winner for reviewers. You’re right on the coastline and you have stunning mountain views in the distance. It offers a slice of remote island life, but you still have pubs, restaurants and Eilean Donan Castle nearby. 

  • Room type: 1 bedroom / sleeps 2
  • Location: The bothy is located in Lusa on the Isle of Skye. 
  • WiFi: No
  • Hot tub: No 
  • Price: From £555 for 3 nights (minimum stay)

Read reviews and book: Booking.com

Lorien Lodge

Lorien Lodge is one of my favourite unique getaways in Scotland because it’s essentially a love letter to light. Its glass walls and high, pointed roof allow sunlight to stream through for a beautiful, airy space. In fact, reviewers love that it gives you the illusion that you’re outside whilst enjoying the comfort of the lodge. 

Its breathtaking views make it a hideaway for all seasons. With a garden and sun terrace to match, the lodge is ideal for couples and small groups after a remote island escape. 

  • Room type: 2 bedrooms / sleeps 4
  • Location: The lodge is located in Breakish on the Isle of Skye. 
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Hot tub: No
  • Price: From £600 for 3 nights (minimum stay)

Read reviews and book: Booking.com

Those were your unique getaways in Scotland!

Scotland is a bucket list destination for its remote, rugged landscape, abundant wildlife and so much to do. These unique eco-friendly getaways are guaranteed to make your trip a truly memorable one.

 


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