THE more observant Herald readers will have noticed that it rains in Scotland.  A lot. 
In truth there are only two seasons in the Scottish year: “I’m Sure Glad I Brought My Umbrella” season and “Drat! I Really Should Have Brought My Umbrella” season. 
That isn’t to say that a weekend break in our soggy nation is a washout. Far from it. 
There’s much to enjoy, including lumpy scenery, a clutter of castles and fuzzy, gingery cows a-plenty. 
Though you’ll probably feel inclined to canter back to your digs when the next tsunami/hurricane/blizzard/biblical flood [delete as appropriate] replaces the brief guest-appearance by the sun.
None of the above should put a dampener on your weekend entertainment, however. For Scotland has the most delightfully unconventional holiday homes, meaning you’ll be content to dodge the drizzle by enjoying a grand old time loafing around indoors.
The following are our favourite gloriously goofy gaffs. Dig those quirky vibes …

The Herald: JuniperJuniper (Image: unknown)

Alexander House, Auchterarder, Perthshire 
Horses have a tendency to look annoyingly pleased with themselves, loitering in fields and smugly chewing on a wodge of hay.
One of the reasons they’re so chipper is they get to spend quality time in horseboxes, and for your average equine that’s more fun than spending the summer months clubbing in Ibiza.
Humans, on the other hand, are slightly less fond of horseboxes. 
Perhaps this is because such accommodation can be a bit of a squish and a squash, especially if the horse has already settled into the premises. 
Also, horseboxes tend to be devoid of the dinky appliances that homo sapiens yearn after. 
However, the clever folk at Alexander House have converted two horseboxes in their grounds, named Thistle and Juniper, and transformed them into genuine luxury accommodation, even for our demanding species. 
Thistle boasts inside seating for four, plus a cooker, fridge, bed etc. (There’s plenty of etc.) 
Outside there’s a wood-fired hot tub and picnic table. 
Juniper has an outdoor bench swing-seat, while inside there’s a classic claw-foot bathtub.
Both boxes are nestled in the pretty Perthshire countryside.

The Herald: Lighthouse CottagesLighthouse Cottages (Image: unknown)

Lighthouse Holiday Cottages at the Mull of Galloway
Working as a lighthouse keeper was once the most solitary of occupations. No painting the town red with a rabble of rowdy colleagues; no regular deliveries from Uber; and at Christmas time, the Secret Santa shenanigans invariably ended up being a damp squib.
Nowadays UK lighthouses are no longer manned, though holidaymakers can enjoy a stay at the Lighthouse Holiday Cottages at the Mull of Galloway, situated on Scotland’s most southerly point. 
The three cottages were originally used by the keepers, and stand close to the lighthouse, which was built by Robert Stevenson, the grandpa of that bloke who wrote Treasure Island. The abodes look out upon the dramatic coastline and maintain their original charm. Each cottage is fully equipped, centrally heated and spacious. 
A monotonously solitary way of life has been transformed into something sublimely sociable.

AirShip 002, near Drimnin
Fans of the old Thunderbirds TV show will adore AirShip 002, which is steampunk sassy and as modernistic as it gets. Forged out of glittering metal and shimmering glass, it could easily have been built by a giant child playing with an oversized Meccano set. 
Staying in it will certainly give you a sci-fi high. You wouldn’t be surprised to gaze through one of the portholes and be confronted by the rocky red landscape of the planet Mars. 
But it’s definitely Scotland, so instead you’ll enjoy delightful views of the Isle of Mull, minus the zap gun wielding Martians. 
(Disclaimer: The previous sentence may be a lot less true if the Martians have invaded Scotland by the time this article sees print.)

The Herald: The Five Turrets, SelkirkThe Five Turrets, Selkirk (Image: unkown)

The Five Turrets, Selkirk
Many holidaymakers endure the queues of Disneyland Paris merely to enjoy a fleeting visit to the fake fairytale castle on the premises.
Which seems a tad masochistic when, with much less fuss, you can stay in a bona fide Scottish castle.
OK, perhaps we mean bona fide-ish, for Five Turrets is slightly more mod than medieval, having been built in the baronial-style in 1870, though it is topped off with castle-like turrets.
Inside it’s more cultured than a genuine Dark Ages fortress as there’s a mezzanine library loaded with books, plus a piano room. 
But be warned! Don’t attempt to get into the spirit of things by arriving at Five Turrets in a suit of armour. True, you’ll look magnificently regal, though wearing metal gloves will mean it’s a real faff tinkling the ivories in the piano room.


The Castle Snug Apartment, Edinburgh
Located in the James Court Lawnmarket on the Royal Mile, this accommodation really is miles ahead of the competition. 
The apartment has a unique history. The 18th-century building was once the crash pad of James Boswell, the famous scribbler and chum of polymath Samuel Johnson, whose biography he wrote to great acclaim.
Mod cons are blended with classical features such as a stained glass window and hanging tapestry.

The Herald: The Whisky Barrel, InvergordonThe Whisky Barrel, Invergordon (Image: unknown)

The Whisky Barrel, Invergordon
This could be more of a horror story than a cool place to stay, for a whisky barrel without whisky inside it is the stuff of nightmares for many thirsty Scots.
However, the barrels in question are actually cosified, curvy dwelling pods, similar to Tolkien’s vision of a Hobbit house. 
Each pod includes a king-sized bed, en suite shower and TV. A genuine barrel of laughs.


The Four Sisters Boatel, Edinburgh
A holiday cruise is fun, though there’s always the concern that Long John Silver and his freebooting buddies will arrive unexpectedly, nab your suntan oil, then make you walk the plank. 
No such possibility arises while staying in the Four Sisters Boatel, a luxury barge bobbing along the Union Canal in the heart of Edinburgh.
Water lotta fun.


Cuttieshillock, near Banchory, Aberdeenshire
Creative types rarely take a vacation from the ever-present muse, which is why they’ll love staying at Cuttieshillock. This 300-year-old property sleeps six, has an open fire (plus central heating) and a kitchen with a pizza oven.
It also has an outbuilding housing an artist’s studio, with wood burner. You and your muse will be right at home here.
(PS. You don’t pay extra for your muse to stay at Cuttieshillock, though a bed isn’t provided for him/her/it.)


Dragonfly Wigwam, Banffshire
This snug wooden hut, with steep pitched roof, is built in Swiss chalet style. In other words, it looks like a giant, wooden Toblerone.  
Situated in Mid Clochforbie, a family-run farm near the Banffshire coast, it includes a gas camping stove, while outside there’s a barbecue
A treat in the shape of a triangle.


The Tree Howf, Dunblane
There are many hideous symptoms connected with the terminal condition known as adulthood. Getting a job, paying bills, not being able to skip down the street, even if you really feel like it …
And worst of all? No more larking around in treehouses.    
At least that used to be the case, though now you can stay at the Tree Howf, built in the branches of an ancient ash tree. 
Inside it’s comfy with rustic charm, and includes a king-size bed and wood-burning stove.