Scotland is a truly special place to visit, with stunning scenery and a rich history making it a popular holiday destination. The sight of its pristine lochs, soaring mountains and rugged landscapes guarantee a getaway you'll remember forever. It's also well worth exploring the country's fascinating heritage, from its incredible castles, palaces and abbeys to its ancient monuments and sites of interest. And don't miss out on its fantastic cities, towns and villages. Whether you're looking to stay in a lodge, a cottage, or even a castle, you'll never run out of things to do on a holiday in Scotland.
The beautiful Highlands of Scotland have lots to offer in the way of culture, scenery and entertainment. Perfect for a short break or a staycation, tourists visit this area to experience its dramatic landscapes, friendly people and high quality holiday accommodation.
We offer a huge variety of places to stay in Scotland, wherever you're looking to visit. Read on for our guide to the country and the range of lodges, apartments and cottages we have on offer.
Michael Paul Holidays’ stylish eco-lodges are the perfect base for discovering more about John O’Groats. The eco-lodges are a great option for those looking for secluded holiday cottages by the coast. Our cosy cabins are situated just a stone’s throw from the beach with wonderful views out to Orkney. Each cabin has a glass frontage to make the most of the sensational seascape. Should you prefer, we also offer apartments which are part of the John O’Groats Inn. Beautifully appointed with a modern luxury feel, these apartments are of the highest standard.
Our traditional Scottish lodges in Perthshire are perfect for anybody looking to experience rural Northern Scotland. The landscape is truly spectacular with acres of natural woodland, impressive mountains and narrow glens. Ben More at 1174m is the highest mountain in the area and it is joined by close friend Stob Binnein near Crianlarich.
In fact, there is no higher land in the British Isles south of Ben More, so it is well worth climbing and a must for munro-baggers. The Perthshire lodges have wonderful views of the mountains and surrounding landscape. For a relaxing holiday in amongst the mountains, valleys and stars our Perthshire resort at Portnellan is ideal.
Sitting on the bank of Loch Tay you'll find Taymouth Marina, with an impressive variety of luxurious accommodation. A range of apartments, townhouses and cottages are available, all overlooking the gorgeous loch and the hills which lie beyond. It's easy to get out on the water thanks to the resort's watersports centre, which runs all kinds of aquatic activities including kayaking, paddleboarding and water trampolining.
If you'd rather just relax and take in the stunning scenery of Highland Perthshire, you'll be equally well catered for, with a luxurious lochside restaurant serving delicious local produce. You can also unwind in the Hot Box, a giant wood-heated sauna with sweeping views across the water.
Holidays in the Highlands
The Scottish Highlands are a unique blend of dramatic landscapes, spectacular scenery, wonderful architecture and friendly locals. Visitors to the area will agree, there is nothing quite like the magic, mystery and romance of the North of Scotland.
The Highlands are renowned for their wild and unpredictable character. One of our favourite places to visit in North Scotland is John O’ Groats which lies on the most North-Eastern tip of Scotland and is bounded by dramatic coastal scenery. The area is home to the most amazing species of sea bird and marine life. A great way to explore is by boat; a wildlife cruise is one of the best ways to observe the amazing aquatic wildlife in their natural habitat.
Other places of note in the Highlands are Fort William, Inverness, Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Fort William is the second largest town in the Highlands and is close to the famous Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. Ben Nevis is a big draw for climbers and mountaineers; the high cliffs on the north face offer some of the best scrambles and ice climbing in the UK. You can also go skiing and snowboarding nearby with Nevis Range offering a year-round ski resort. Visitors to Nevis Range can also experience a High Wire Adventure or take a scenic chair ride above the Leanachan Forest. At the bottom of Ben Nevis is the Ben Nevis Distillery where guests can tour one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland and take part in a complementary tasting.
Things to Do in the Highlands
There are loads of great things to see and do in the Highlands. From historical landmarks such as Dunrobin Castle through to the famous Loch Ness, home of ‘Nessie’, there are plenty of attractions to suit a variety of interests. The Jacobite steam train is a fantastic way to see the Highlands. The rail journey begins in Fort William and ends at Mallaig where passengers can catch a ferry to the Isle of Skye. The Jacobite famously featured as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films. Crossing the famous Genfinnan viaduct, as shown in the films, is the real highlight for ‘potterheads’.
Passengers who do decide to take the ferry to the Isle of Skye will find lots of interesting things to do there. Armadale Castle with its beautiful gardens and heritage museum is the perfect place to learn a little bit more about the area’s history. The gardens and woodland are dog friendly and the views are spectacular.
The Highland Wildlife Park is another fun day out. The animal high points are: the red pandas, snow leopards, tigers and the UK’s only female polar bear.
Top Tip: Check the website ahead of time to get the low down on the animal talks and feeding times.
The South of Scotland boasts a rich heritage with many traditions and unique cultural quirks. The main towns and cities in southern Scotland are Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. Further south you’ll find Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll and Bute and the Scottish Borders, whilst further north lies Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. Each region has its own individual flavour; visiting one town or region is never enough to get a true taste of Scotland.
Holiday Cottages in South Scotland
Loch Lomond is equally as beautiful with our 5 star lodges situated directly on its shores. Loch Lomond is an amazing area with acres of natural woodland scattered with spectacular rivers, lochs and waterfalls. The region is brilliant for all manner of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, canoeing, water skiing, mountain climbing and fishing. If you fancy a livelier atmosphere, Glasgow and Edinburgh are just 30mins or 1hr away respectively.
Things to do in South Scotland
There are lots of historical and cultural treasures in Southern Scotland. One such example is the Crannog Centre situated near Loch Tay, the largest loch in the region. Another historical place of interest is Inveraray Castle. Its fairy tale exterior is amazing to behold and the castle has played host to a number of filming crews in its time, most notably Downton Abbey. The castle is home to the 13th Duke of Argyll and has an 18th century neo-gothic style. The castle boasts a wonderful selection of rooms including the tapestry room, dining room and saloon. There are also some beautifully maintained gardens and grounds to explore.
In Perthshire you’ll find everything from championship golf courses, medieval castles and beautiful National Parks through to whisky distilleries. For shops, restaurants, art galleries and theatres head into the city of Perth. Enjoy a Michelin starred meal in one of Perth’s fine restaurants or take in a museum exhibition or art gallery. The city is alive with culture, art and history and regularly hosts a fantastic selection of events and festivals. For a true taste of Scottish hospitality, culture and history, Perthshire is a great place to visit.
The Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park is another great place to explore and is particularly renowned for its unique beauty and rare wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for otters, deer, ospreys and the elusive red squirrel. There are some fascinating attractions to visit in the Loch Lomond National Park including the National Wallace Monument, The Deanston Distillery and Stirling Castle.
One interesting pursuit you might consider whilst staying in Loch Lomond is exploring some of the Loch's many islands. The islands can only be reached by boat. Many day trippers enjoy exploring the different islands before choosing one to stop off for lunch.There are approximately 50 islands in total and each one is individual with its own charms. Inchconnachan Island, for example, rather bizarrely has its own colony of wallabies and is one of the few places not in Australia to host a wild colony.
Visitors can hire their own private rowing or motor boat or catch an organised cruise with one of the local boating companies. Alternately, you can use your own boat and launch it at the resort. Loch Lomond Lodges has its own private beach which is perfect as a launching site.