Lighthouse to hobbit hole: 13 unusual and quirky places to holiday in Scotland – Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald

IF you are looking for a staycation that stokes the imagination, Scotland has no shortage of unusual and quirky gems.

With the nations tourism sector now reopened, weve put together a list of some of our favourite awe-inspiring holiday accommodation.

Places that bring together architectural wizardry and painstaking refurbishment to breathe new life and use into everything from a lighthouse to a modern-day broch and erstwhile modes of transportation, including buses, train carriages and even a helicopter.

Roulotte Retreat, near Melrose, Scottish Borders

There is something wonderfully romantic about this circle of seven colourful roulottes (Romany-style caravans) located in a pretty wildflower meadow below the Eildon Hills.

Each roulotte faces onto a lochan at the centre of the site. Facilities include sunset decks, wood-burning stoves, eco saunas and hot tubs. Its a perfect getaway for nature lovers with owls, deer, foxes, and badgers among the regular visitors.

Prices start from 115 per night. Call 07990 744044 or visit

Helicopter Glamping, Mains Farm Wigwams, Thornhill, Stirling

Stay in a Sea King helicopter complete with mini kitchen, bathroom and a cockpit seating area offering stunning views over the Forth Valley. The helicopter part of Mains Farm Wigwams sleeps two adults or a family of five (two adults and three children). Theres a double bed, a single bed in the tail and seating which converts into a second double bed. The owners are currently renovating a 1959 Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer plane set to open for overnight stays next year.

Prices start from 170 per night. Call 01786 850735 or visit

Sleeperzzz, Rogart, Sutherland

Choose between a vintage railway carriage, a freight wagon or the Waiting Room B&B.

Located beside a functioning train station at Rogart (on the line between Inverness to Thurso and Wick), Sleeperzzz offers budget accommodation for backpackers, families, walkers, cyclists or those who simply fancy spending the night somewhere a bit different such as a 12-ton goods van from the 1950s.

A great base for exploring Dunrobin Castle and the North Coast 500.

Prices from 22pp per night. Call 01408 641343 or visit

Craighead Howfs, Dunblane, Perthshire

Be transported to The Shire which could be Perthshire or JRR Tolkiens fictional Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings, depending on how you look at it with these magical Hobbit Howfs.

The Burrow and Bagend are built into the hillside with grassy roofs and round doors for an unforgettable glamping experience. Craighead Howfs also offers the chance to stay in a treehouse with panoramic views over the Ochils and a secluded summer house.

Prices start from 105 per night. Call 01786 880321 or visit

The Bus Stop, Gifford, East Lothian

If you have ever wanted to enjoy a Summer Holiday in the vein of the 1963 film, look no further. This fleet of buses in a field belonging to an arable farm in East Lothian have been transformed into holiday accommodation with armchairs, sofas, lanterns, hot flasks, log stoves and beds.

Each bus has a private wood-fired hot tub and barbecue/fire pit. Choose from rustic or luxury the latter have en suite bathrooms and swish mod cons. Oh, and theres gorgeous views of the Lammermuir Hills.

Prices from 180 for a two-night stay. Call 07508 421888 or visit

Brockloch Eco Retreat, Kirkpatrick Durham, Castle Douglas

Featured on George Clarkes Amazing Spaces, Brockloch Eco Retreat is small but perfectly formed. Located on a working farm, theres two units: a contemporary, off-grid, micro-timber bothy facing into an open field and an incredible treehouse hideaway within a bluebell wood where the closest neighbours are red squirrels.

The treehouse has a built-in double bed with a skylight to gaze at the treetops and stars as you drift off to sleep. This part of the world is a great place to see red kites.

Prices from 300 for a two-night stay. Call 01556 650249 or visit

Black Isle Yurts, Eathie Hill, Rosemarkie

Set in private woodland, all of the yurts within this eco-sensitive, wild-glamping site are based on designs used by nomadic people in Central Asia for thousands of years.

In keeping with the Scottish climate, the traditional felt outer shell has been replaced with a waterproof canvas and theres a wood-burning stove to stay cosy on cooler nights. The site is a short drive from Chanonry Point which is fantastic for dolphin spotting.

Prices from 180 for a two-night stay. Call 01381 620634 or visit

Rua Reidh Lighthouse, near Gairloch, Wester Ross

Built in 1912 by David Alan Stevenson, a cousin of the writer Robert Louis Stevenson and one of the famous Lighthouse Stevensons, this beautiful, remote location offers B&B and self-catering, the latter in the charmingly named First Officers Quarters.

Endless views, a glorious stretch of coastline, abundant bird and sea life, tranquillity, solitude and the thrill of potentially catching a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis on dark, starry nights awaits.

Prices start from 115 per night. Call 01445 771263 or visit

Calgary, Mull

Not to be confused with the skyscraper-filled city in Alberta, this little corner of Mull is a delight.

A byre, hayloft and dovecote are among the self-catering properties available at Calgary, each with its own distinctive character. Calgary also has an excellent cafe, art gallery and a woodland sculpture walk.

Theres a beach within strolling distance where Robins Boat sells Isle of Mull ice cream. Sea eagles, otters and basking sharks can all be seen nearby.

Prices start from 400 for a seven-night stay. Call 01688 400256 or visit

The Scriptorium Apartments at St Benedicts Abbey, Fort Augustus

The Scriptorium the once secret writing room of the monastery has two one-bedroom apartments with vaulted ceilings, gothic archways and stained-glass windows. Theres plenty to do in the grounds and gardens, be it tennis, badminton, croquet or giant chess. The former Monks Refectory has been converted into a Club Lounge and a chapel refurbished to incorporate a heated pool, sauna and steam room.

Prices start from 500 for a two-night stay. Call 07748 867825 or visit

The Brochs of Coigach, near Achiltibuie, Ullapool

Brochs are an ancient dwelling found only in Scotland, dating back to 500BC. Gille Buidhes Broch and Scals Broch are a bit younger than that (around a decade old) and beautifully enchanting structures.

If you love upcycling, they will impress, built using stones from old, crumbling walls on nearby land and timber recovered from a dilapidated Victorian pier. Oil paintings by John Bellany hang on the walls, alongside display cabinets filled with weird and wonderful objects.

Prices from 140 per night. Call 01854 622368 or visit

The Four Sisters Boatel, Edinburgh

Tucked away in the heart of the Scottish capital, this houseboat is permanently moored at the Lochrin Basin on the Union Canal the eastern terminus for the 32-mile stretch of water that comes all the way from Falkirk. Sleeping up to six adults and two children, it is an ideal base to explore Edinburgh, with Bruntsfield and the West End, as well as the Old and New Towns, all just a stones throw away.

Prices start from 120 per night. Call 07445 494331 or visit

The Sawmill at Glen Dye, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Talk about enjoying the great outdoors in style. Stay in a sleek, refurbished 1950s Airstream Safari caravan in a small pine wood beside the fast flowing lade of a sawmill.

A rustic, wooden seed store with roots back to the 1800s serves as the kitchen, dining and sitting room. There are games, books, a record player and a memorable barbecue spot. Glen Dye also offers a river cabin, a bothy and two steading cottages, as well as running residential courses in crafts and wild food.

Prices start from 490 for a two-night stay. Call 01330 850689 or visit

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Lighthouse to hobbit hole: 13 unusual and quirky places to holiday in Scotland - Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald

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