Scotland is home to a vast variety of terrains, places, cities and experiences far beyond what you may expect. With this variety comes an even greater range of possibilities when it comes to finding accommodation to suit your needs and desires.
Whatever type of trip you are planning, from a weekend break to monthly stays, city breaks to rural escapes, busy bustling bnbs to private Airbnbs, Scotland has an option for you. You can also find accommodation for any budget or style, from cheap and cheerful hostels to luxury hotels in unique or refined surroundings.
The sheer range and diversity of places and accommodation in Scotland can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t visited the country before or are none the wiser to its regions, history and landscape. So how do you begin planning a trip and finding accommodation when there is so much out there?
First, choose a region to explore. Ask yourself, are you looking to explore a city and its galleries, restaurants and shops, or are you more interested in hiking and exploring nature? Scotland truly has the best of both worlds, and some locations will be better than others for your specific plans. Think about what you want to see and do and the proximity and accessibility that your accommodation needs to have. Keep reading below for more information on the regions of Scotland.
Next, define your trip in as much detail as possible and figure out what you need and want from your accommodation. Do you value the privacy of a private apartment, or the amenities of a hotel? How long are you staying? Do you drive or does it need to be accessible by public transport? What do you want to be close to? Are you bringing any pets and are you staying alone or in a big group? What is your budget and preferred level of comfort or style? Each of these parameters will help you decide what accommodation is best for you.
Finally, explore your options! There is so much out there to choose from and once you have discovered what you need from your accommodation and where you want to be, you can enjoy looking for that perfect fit.
So, where do you want to stay? Scotland can be roughly split into 25 regions, each of which are unique and fascinating in their own right. Here is a brief breakdown of each region and its key features to inspire your research and help you determine where in Scotland you want to find accommodation.
On the South West Coast and providing a less touristy local feel. Take the ferry to the isle of Arran and hike Goatfell, see the Machrie moor stone circles and enjoy the seaside and excellent seafood.
For a rugged coast and dense woodland which has inspired many artists and writers. There is also Wigtown, the national book town and Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, where you can have the opportunity to spot shooting stars, and the Aurora Borealis.
Perhaps the most popular Scottish tourist destination. The capital is romantic, great for exploring on foot and boasts a range of shops, galleries and restaurants. It is also known for its links to Harry Potter, excellent Christmas Market and landmarks Arthurs seat and Edinburgh Castle.
Sometimes referred to as Edinburgh’s grittier sibling home to nightlife, green spaces and parks as well as a Cathedral and street art tours within the city. You can also easily escape to the Falls of Clyde and rolling countryside.
Archipelago of 70 northern islands with neolithic henge and stone circle, sandstone cliffs, white sand beaches, clear water. These islands are a UNESCO World Heritage site and you can even (though very rarely) spot the northern lights!
Now that you know where you want to live, you can look into the types of accommodation that best suit your needs. Different types of accommodation will fit into your trip in different ways, but all of these are readily available across Scotland.
Camping and glamping are often great budget-friendly options and if you search the area you want to stay in, there will be a range of affordable options and more luxurious glamping alternatives. Choosing a campsite will allow you to stay among nature with easy access for hikes and expeditions across the vast and wonderful landscape.
If you want to be amongst nature or in a more rural village setting, without sacrificing any home comforts, cottages and cabins can be a great accommodation type for you. Enjoy majestic surroundings and a unique home whilst you are in Scotland.
Budget-friendly BnBs can be found even in the smallest villages in Scotland whilst hostels offer cheap shared accommodation in bigger cities. Whilst these options offer shared spaces and may be noisy and bustling, they are a great option for staying close to the action whilst saving money. They also offer a local experience and great local recommendations.
Airbnb is a great resource to find beautifully furnished private rooms or entire apartments and homes all over Scotland (and the world). As these are individually listed, they come in a full spectrum of prices and stays, but particularly suit a longer stay or a self-catered, live-in stay. This type of accommodation is great for the range of styles and interior decoration you can find to make you feel at home in any new place.
Scottish cities, like anywhere else, offer a wide range of hotels of different prices, but they are a particularly good option for short city stays where everything you need is in one place. Although luxury hotels are pricier than other options, they are great for central locations, added amenities and special occasions.
Wherever you decide to stay in Scotland, you are sure to find something perfect for your trip. If this post has helped you to establish what you are looking for, start browsing and explore all that Scotland has to offer.