As winter draws in, you might think about breaking up the dreich weekends with a mini break. You’ll have to wait until summer for good weather, but there are venues across Scotland where the accommodation is actually an attraction in itself. From castles to shipping containers, here are ten of the best (and wackiest) places to stay across the country.

1. The Castle Snug, Edinburgh

493 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh

For bookings email

£115 per night (sleeps four)

As Edinburgh grows in popularity with tourists, hotel prices anywhere near the city centre are growing exponentially. Except, it seems, from the Castle Snug. Its location could hardly be more central, within spitting distance of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and Waverley Station, but it remains at the fixed price of £115 between four people sharing. Bargain rates aside, you aren’t getting a soulless hotel but a charming self-catering space, that wouldn’t look out of place in a historical TV drama. The cosy living room, perfect for this time of year, offers a real piece de resistance when its bookcase transforms into a huge double bed.

2. Door to the Shore Seafront Cottages, Aberdeenshire

27 High Street, Pittulie, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire

£120 a night Sunday to Thursday, £150 a night for Friday and Saturday (sleeps two)


Fancy waking up right on the seashore and starting your day with the freshest of fresh air? Of course you do. At the Door to the Shore near Fraserburgh this can be your reality, with each luxurious eco pod being located a mere two metres away from the slipway of Craighaven Harbour. The compact structures are inspired by traditional bothies and are made in the style of an upturned boat, but they break with tradition by offering underfloor heating, a wet room, smart TV, wi-fi and surround sound. Explore the local area if you fancy, but with the ability to watch the waves from the decking (or even from bed) there is little need to go anywhere else.

3. Glamness Luxury Containers, Inverness

Big Burn House, Torbreck, Inverness

01463 632019

£150 per night (sleeps two)

Ah, shipping containers. They don’t exactly scream glamour, but these luxury containers offer a state-of-the-art kitchenette, private bathroom and outdoor balcony, all set within five acres of tranquil woodland. The containers aren’t spacious but they are incredibly quiet, offering a cosy corner of privacy to escape the winter weather. And, their location, a five-minute drive from the centre of Inverness, offers the perfect springboard to go out and explore the city.

4. Barcaldine Castle, Argyll

Benderloch, Oban, Argyll and Bute

01631 720598

From £200 per room per night

It’s all well and good to visit a stately castle, but here you can go one better and stay the night in it. Barcaldine Castle was built in 1609 and restored in 1897, once serving as the home for Sir Duncan Campbell (and allegedly his ghost); but now operating as a six-room B&B. Both the castle’s exterior, and the views it offers over Loch Creran, makes it a picture-perfect choice of accommodation for those who want bragging rights on social media. Here, you really can be the king (or queen) of the castle.

5. Brockloch Eco Retreat Treehouse

Kirkpatrick Durham, Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway


£150 per night (minimum two-night stay, sleeps two)

If you want to truly get away from it all then this is the place to go. With no wi-fi or TV and only a small gas cooker, the Brockloch Treehouse offers pure escapism from our hyper-connected society. It is situated in the middle of a bluebell wood, with the only other inhabitants being a few birds and red squirrels. There’s a log burning stove (with unlimited wood) to fend off the winter weather, but the best way to keep warm is in the luxurious sunken bath, positioned right below the treehouse’s starlight. It offers gloriously unpolluted views of the night sky.

6. Sleeperzzz, Rogart

Rogart Station, Pittentrail, Rogart, Sutherland

01408 641 343

From £22 per person per bed

Akin to experiencing the Caledonian Sleeper on a budget, Sleeperzzz offers the chance to spend the night in a train carriage for a fraction of the normal price. The only catch? The train doesn’t actually go anywhere. Instead, this vintage Highland carriage has been converted into a 15-bed hostel, that offers a great starting point for those looking to explore the North Coast 500. The old waiting room has also been made into a B&B for those who want a bit more luxury – but where’s the fun in that?

7. Runach Arainn Yurts, Arran

The Old Manse, Kilmory, Arran

01770 870515

From £70 per yurt per night (sleeps three)

Camping might be a summertime activity, but glamping can be enjoyed all year round. These state-of-the-art yurts offer log burning stoves, private bathrooms and proper comfy beds, but with all the peace and quiet that you would hope for from a camping trip. Each yurt is fully insulated to keep out the Scottish weather, but if you want to immerse yourself in nature you need only step out the door. There is even an outdoor decking area with its own firepit, so you can brave the weather if you dare.

8. The Broch, Harris

Borve Lodge Estate, Borve, Harris, Outer Hebrides

01859 550358

From £643 for three nights (sleeps two)

You wouldn’t have seen the rounded dry-stone shape of a broch being built in Scotland since the Iron Age, until this one came along. Standing at three storeys high, it follows the traditional design of a stone broch, but with delightful modern twists like underfloor heating and a grand, free-standing bath. But the biggest draw is the broch’s glass window (though calling it a ‘window’ doesn’t quite do it justice). This is more of a glass wall, running from the floor of the broch right up to its roof, and offering uninterrupted views of the Borve glen and the Atlantic ocean beyond. Yet impressive as it is, the broch merges into the rugged island surroundings, with even its roof being covered in grass to match the valley. But if the weather isn’t great, its free wi-fi and Sky TV should keep you suitably busy.

9. Loch Tay Waterfall Lodge, Killin

Loch Tay Highland Lodges, Milton Morenish Estate, Killin, Stirling

01567 820323

From £165 per night (sleeps six)

Waterfalls are lovely. But what’s even more lovely is observing the powerful crash of a waterfall from the warmth of your own personal hot tub. That’s what’s on offer at the Loch Tay Waterfall Lodge, which boasts a south-facing balcony with a private hot tub and sauna, directly overlooking a picturesque waterfall. The property also has a stylish interior, a log burning stove and steps directly down to the falls themselves, but then why would you want to leave the comfort of the hot tub?

10. Roulotte Retreat, Melrose

Bowden Mill, Melrose, Scottish Borders

0845 0949729

From £115 per roulotte per night (sleeps two, minimum two-night stay)

A roulotte, more commonly known as a gypsy caravan, is a hand-crafted Romany-style wooden caravan that’s built in France. Each of the six on offer at the Roulotte Retreat has taken at least half a year for two carpenters to complete. The caravans provide a real change from traditional hotels and B&Bs. Don’t worry, though, the owners refer to a stay in a roulotte as "glamavanning": with a wood-burning stove, power shower and even a hot tub on offer. The location is a bonus too: the roulottes are located on a private meadow near the Eildon Hills, with nothing but a small loch and its associated wildlife to keep you company.

With thanks to and Visit Scotland for inspiration.