About Cottages & Castles
Cottages & Castles is the UK’s No. 1 for self-catering holiday properties in Scotland. With over 500 cottages, large houses and castles to choose from, and over 30 years experience, we’ll help you find the perfect base for a rejuvenating change of pace. Cottages & Castles. Where dreams and reality meet.
If you have any questions concerning the holidays offered by Cottages & Castles please take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.
If you require additional information please click on the link at the bottom of the page and we will respond promptly with the answer.
Finding a house for your holiday
We show the actual number of beds in a house but it may be that some are not in separate bedrooms. For example, a sofa bed, bunks or a family room. The full layout of rooms, Bedrooms etc is written within the "Layout" section of text.
All our houses should be supplied with sufficient kitchen equipment for the number of people the house is advertised as sleeping.
As a general rule, the more remote the house and the further north you travel, the less dependable the phone signal. However, if it essential to you, then call us and we will ask the owner how strong the signal is and if there is no signal we will ask how far you need to travel to receive a signal.
We recognise this can be irritating and we try our best to make the availability accurate at all times. Unfortunately, when a house is not available to book online, we have to call owners to check availability. We are also dependant on owners to update their availability and sometimes this does not happen as efficiently as we would like.
This should be listed in the main description of a property. If you have an essential criteria for your holiday then call us – our sales team will be pleased to help and can call the owner if we do not know ourselves.
We try and list if a house has a fully enclosed garden as it is important to both families with children and to dog owners. If we do not say it is fully enclosed then call us and we will check with the owner for you.
Some owners prefer pets to be kept in specific areas and you must abide by these house requirements. No dogs are allowed on furniture or in bedrooms.
You may be refused entry by the owner of the house and if they are prepared to accept the dog will still charge you for it.
There is always additional cleaning for a dog no matter how careful an owner you are and these costs are covered by the charge. You are still required to clean up any dog deposits in the garden and any obvious dirt and hair in the house and if you fail to do so the GHD or part of it may be retained by the owner.
The owner stipulates how many dogs they are prepared to accept in the house.
Good Housekeeping Deposit (GHD)
The GHD is a damage surety deposit. It is held until after your holiday and will be returned in full if the house is left in good condition and there is no damage.
You will have the contact details for the owner and can communicate directly with them to resolve the issues.
We or the owner will contact you as soon as we are aware of damage which is considered to be of the type where the GHD will be retained or partially retained. You have the right to discuss this with the owner. Where a claim against your GHD is made, the owner should provide you with relevant receipts or quotes for repairs, services or replacements.
Where Cottages & Castles hold the GHD we aim to pay it back to you within 7-10 working days of completing your holiday. It will be paid back by the same method you paid. Where the owner or caretaker holds the GHD then they should also return your GHD within 7-10 working days if there is no damage.
Yes we always cash cheques or debit credit cards when we take the GHD, and we also advise our owners to do this as well.
The owner has the right to refuse entry to the house if you have not paid the GHD. There will be no refund on your holiday if you are refused entry for this.
We request the GHD at the same time that the balance is paid because this is generally the last contact we have with you before your holiday.
The GHD is retained when damage is above and beyond what could be termed “wear and tear” and there is a significant cost to the owner to rectify the damage. For example, a broken cup is wear and tear. A bottle of wine spilt in the bedroom will result in a deduction from the GHD. A house left in a particularly dirty state will also mean a deduction from the GHD for additional cleaning costs.
Going to your house
Generally, the cleaning of a house requires a 6 hour turnaround. However, if the house is empty before or after your holiday it may be possible to arrive early or depart late. Call us and we will see what we can arrange for you or when you are calling regarding key arrangements if may be worth asking the caretaker then.
We suggest to owners that cleaning products and sufficient basic supplies for initial days are available in the house. This would include things like toilet paper in each bathroom as well as some washing up liquid. This is the sort of detail you can confirm when speaking to the caretaker ahead of your holiday.
Often caretakers have a regular day job so also try in the evening. If you still cannot get them then call us during working hours and we will try for you.
As a general rule you can get access to the house from 4pm and must depart by 10am.
In some cases you will need to do this in order to get key instructions but where you have these on your travel directions then it is really to give you and the caretaker a chance to introduce yourself, ask any questions you might have, confirm an arrival time and give you peace of mind that they are expecting you.
Call us and we can email the Travel Directions to you. If you do not have email then we can read them out for you. The sales offices closes at 5pm on a Friday and is not open over the weekend.
You need to have a look at our Holiday Protection Scheme which covers the cost of cancelled holidays under specific circumstances. If you are not covered by the scheme then you are liable for the full cost of the holiday including the balance. We will endeavour to re-sell the holiday for you but may have to do this at a discounted price and if we are successful you will remain liable for any difference.
Making a Booking
We will send you directions to the house as soon as we have received your balance payment.
You can change the date of the holiday if the owner agrees to do so. You cannot change to a different house however as all our houses are individually owned.
No we do not take the balance automatically. You will need to make a note to do this, 6 weeks before your holiday. You can either do this on the website or call us.
We do not charge you for using a credit card. The only card we do not take is American Express.
No. We require a 30% deposit to confirm the booking. The balance is due 6 weeks before your holiday. However if your holiday is within 6 weeks of arrival then yes the full amount is due on booking.
Office hours (excluding Bank Holidays and the Festive Season): Weekdays: Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5.30pm and Friday 8.30am to 5pm.