Where to Stay in Scotland

The search for Nessie goes on.

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Cairngorm National Park, Ballater, Scotland

Wait, is it a country? Or is Great Britain the country? Hang on, so it’s the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on our passports… but we’re sure that Scotland and England are also countries? So... it would seem that nobody has the answer. Not least, the Brits. But, we can say this: we defy you to read through this post without once trying to read a line in an affected Scottish accent. If you can get through it all without doing so, we’ll give you a fried mars bar. Disclaimer: not only will we not actually do that, but the fried mars bar thing is a semi-myth that is quite insulting to some Scottish people. It’s also extremely tasty and likely to halve your life expectancy with every bite.

The country – we’re going with it – is known for its fierce traditions and legends, whether for the story of William Wallace and Braveheart or as a filming location for Harry Potter. That’s not to mention Trainspotting, Loch Ness, Outlander and all sorts of Scottish folklore. So we at the Plum Guide will be using our expertise to show you exactly where to stay in Scotland.

Edinburgh

Hey, we told you not to do the accent, stop it. We can hear you from here; it’s terrible, doesn’t sound Scottish at all. OK, so Edinburgh is quite simply one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and a no brainer when it comes to where to stay in Scotland. It can be quite a shock for the Little Englander who has never previously ventured north of the border, arriving to find this uniform layout of medieval homes adorning the hilly city. Overlooking the whole thing is the clifftop Edinburgh Castle. Embark on a walking tour or one of the many haunted circuits to learn about the legends and ghostly parts of the city, as you wind your way up to the castle. Go easy on your knees, they’re not as flexible and durable as they once were. If only your kneecaps were as sturdy as the centuries-old edifices that overlook the city centre. Reach the viewpoints of Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat, which have been immortalised (they were never mortal to begin with, to be fair) by postcards and works of art. The vistas include much of the old town district and the sea. 

Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Calton Hill, Edinburgh

If you have more than a day in Edinburgh, there's plenty more to do. Wander through the cobbled lanes of the Royal Mile and soak up the culture in the pubs, where you can try the scotch (resist the urge to ask if they do fried mars bars). Check out some of the main highlights, from the National Museum of Scotland and the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. 

Let's Go Fly a Kite, Plum Guide home in Edinburgh

Let's Go Fly a Kite, Plum Guide home in Edinburgh

Embark on a wee journey (stop it) to the Inchcolm Abbey and Island, and cross the famous Forth Road Bridge that everyone’s always talking about. Just don’t look down. Do pay attention to the road though. While you're in Edinburgh, book a stay at a Plum Guide-vetted home. We quite fancy this charming apartment, but there's also this modern beauty.

Glowing Ember, Plum Guide home in Edinburgh, UK

Glowing Ember, Plum Guide home in Edinburgh, UK

Glasgow

This is the other big city in Scotland, which had a bit of a reputation back in the day, if you know what we mean. The Glasgow of today is completely transformed and modernised, while retaining its fierce traditions and idiosyncrasies. In fact, it’s home to some of the country’s most refined institutions, including the Scottish Opera, the Scottish Ballet and the National Theatre of Scotland. So, screw you Edinburgh, is what a Glaswegian might say. And that’s without a trip to the Glasgow Cathedral, which is the oldest cathedral on mainland Scotland. So if it’s culture you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with Glasgow.

Glasgow Merchant City, Scotland, UK

Glasgow Merchant City, Scotland, UK

Head down to the Riverside Museum for its modern, avant-garde displays and complement it with a trip to the impressive dome of the Glasgow Science Centre. For something a little more old-world, try the majestic and historic exhibits of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and trace the social history of the city in the People’s Palace.

The Highlands

One of the most incredible places to visit in Scotland, the Scottish Highlands are a region of rugged and immense natural beauty. Take on a road trip up into the Highlands and admire the impressive countryside passing you by. Obviously, you’ll have to stop at Loch Ness and get a few souvenirs of Nessie. You obviously know the monster is not real. We all know the monster is not real…and yet…are you casting your eye over the surface of the water? Just checking out the view, you’ll tell yourself and your companions. But really, are you scanning for the slightest hint of a bump or a head? Find the monster and tame it. Then, make your way up to the sleepy town of Inverness to admire the slower pace of life up here.

Heather & Stone, Plum Guide home in Dalkeith, Scotland

Heather & Stone, Plum Guide home in Dalkeith, Scotland

Now you have a rough idea of where to stay in Scotland, it's time to think about where you're going to put your feet up after a long day of exploring. At Plum Guide, we professionally vet every home we list. So whether you fancy this rural retreat or this majestic estate on a peninsula, you know you're in for a good night's sleep in a Plum Guide home.

The River Grass, Plum Guide home in Dunoon, Scotland

The River Grass, Plum Guide home in Dunoon, Scotland

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