A taste of city and country in Scotland

City break or country break? How about a bit of both?

Most of us have limited holidays which means we have to think wisely about how to spend them each year and we want to make the most of that time and often see as much as possible.

Don’t get me wrong, many people like to go on holiday and stay in one place, but it is quite common in groups to see you all wanting a bit of everything and swaying between city breaks and countryside locations. Whilst it is never possible to see EVERYTHING in an area, you can see a lot if you base yourself in one place and do day trips to others. This is where self-catering with Cottages & Castles really comes in handy. You have the luxury of staying remotely but can take a day trip or two to get that taste of Scottish city culture to. You have the freedom to come and go at your own leisure and leave your belongings somewhere safe.

City in Scotland, Inverness

Photo credit: Inverness by Daniel Wilcox

Today we are featuring 6 fantastic self-catering holiday homes which are close by to some of the major cities in Scotland: Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. These holiday homes can all offer the peace and tranquility of the countryside but are within easy reach of the hubbub of city life too.

EDINBURGH, Scotland’s capital city, is a buzzing hive of entertainment, art, culture, history and beauty which thousands flock to every year to experience. Architecturally stunning, this wonderful city offers so much to a visitor looking for adventure in a traditional Scottish city which is so steeped in history. Not only do you have the beautiful Old Town to discover, you can sample the more cosmopolitan areas such as Stockbridge or try the hipster lifestyle for a day down in Leith. Believe it or not the beach is close by so a potter to Portobello is worth fitting in, and of course the famous climb of Arthurs Seat is a must to get a good view of Holyrood Palace and the impressive Scottish Parliament. With thousands of restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes there are endless places to grab a bite to eat which suit all budgets and for those Harry Potter fans ‘The Elephant House’, where it all began, sits just below the Royal Mile and is perfect for a lunch stop!

City in Scotland, Edinburgh

Photo credit: ‘Dean Village’ by Julia Romano


Try a countryside retreat close by…

BELSES MILL lies south of Edinburgh in the Scottish Borders and is a lovely Scottish farmhouse surrounded by rolling countryside and trees. Furnished with antiques and traditional fabrics it is stylish and comfortable offering a cosy base. You can enjoy the natural surroundings and get out and about fishing, golfing, walking and more and you can potter around the historic border towns and visit their famous woollen Mills. Being 1hr 15mins away from Edinburgh means a day trip is not out of the question either!

City in Scotland, Belses Mill near Edinburgh

City in Scotland, Belses Mill near Edinburgh

Sleeps 8. From £500/week. Pet friendly, Wi-Fi included and short breaks welcome. VIEW HERE

HALL TEASSES is an exceptional large house located in rural Fife with lovely peaceful views across surrounding farmland. The ‘upside down’ layout takes advantage of the lovely views and the 3 bedrooms – all en suite – have that perfect combination of luxury and welcome. Outside there are lawns and a charming patio with furniture where long summer evenings can be spent with a glass of wine watching the wildlife. Being close to St Andrews means the keen golfers can take advantage of the course whilst others potter and explore the historic town and castle. You are 1hr 10 mins from the city, with an easy drive over the recently built and very impressive ‘Queensferry Crossing’ bridge!

City in Scotland, Hall Teassus near Edinburgh

City in Scotland, Hall Teassus near Edinburgh

Sleeps 6. From £740/week. Pet friendly and wifi included. VIEW HERE

GLASGOW, the largest city in Scotland, is home to world-class museums, vibrant festivals, top end shopping and the most characterful Scots you will ever meet! Sitting West of Edinburgh the city has grown over the centuries into a wonderful hive of creativity and wonder. It boasts an array of top-notch restaurants and bars, many of which can be found dotted along ‘Ashton Lane’ the picturesque cobbled street hidden away in the city’s West End. Grand and enormous buildings can be admired, The Mitchell Library being one of them, Scotland’s largest public library and Glasgow University which is an architectural delight! Glasgow is also well known for its amazing shopping culture but for the quirkier dressers you will enjoy all the vintage retro shops which stock everything from antique wedding dresses to military regalia – a popular haunt for the art students!

City in Scotland, Glasgow

Photo credit: ‘Glasgow Quay by night’ by Elaine Howarth


Try a countryside retreat close by…

CLADDOCHSIDE is a wonderful place for family holidays as its location makes it possible for the children to run freely and enjoy the peace and privacy. Not many places have their own wooden walkway down to a secluded sandy beach, but Chaddochside does which adds to the overall magic of the holiday home. The house is new and modern and has been finished and decorated to an exceptional standard which makes it welcoming and homely. The views stretch over to Ben Lomond, Conich and the Arrochar Alps and the location lends itself well to outdoor adventure. Being 1 hour from Glasgow means you could have a mid-holiday jaunt to the big city for a day offering that extra bit of variety to your trip!

City in Scotland, Claddochside near Glasgow

City in Scotland, Claddochside near Glasgow

Sleeps 8. From £900/week. Pet friendly, wifi included and short breaks welcome. VIEW HERE

THE STEADING is a hidden gem settled on the edge of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park which was renovated with rest and relaxation in mind. Inside the sociable spaces are spacious and bright with a double height ceiling in the sitting room. Outside there is a lovely private garden with generous lawn and the nice decking area offers a peaceful place to sit in the sun admiring the nature and surroundings, or a fun space for entertaining with a tasty BBQ. Being just 46 minutes from Glasgow means that it is well situated for a day of city culture amongst the calm!

City in Scotland, The Steading near GlasgowCity in Scotland, The Steading near Glasgow

Sleeps 6. From £575/week. Pet friendly and short breaks welcome. VIEW HERE

ABERDEEN is an impressive city located on the east coast of Scotland and is famous for its granite buildings and stately monuments. As it is on the coast visitors favour the fact you can walk to a harbour within minutes and find yourself looking out to sea, perhaps spotting a dolphin or two playing in the water! Don’t forget to visit the well-known fishing quarter of Footdee as the colourful gardens and quaint cottages will please the eye. The cobbled streets of the city centre and the historic university buildings of Old Aberdeen are steeped in history and hours can be spent exploring, discovering and photographing the special parts you stumble upon – an Instagrammers delight! Like most cities in Scotland there are ample shopping centres, restaurants and pubs, cafes and patisseries and cinemas too in case you fancy catching a movie. There is plenty here for a fun day out!

City break Aberdeen

Photo credit: ‘Aberdeen University Library’ by Anne-Marie Westwood


Try a countryside retreat close by…

MAR LODGE is a charming, secluded cottage, hidden away in the 300 acre Knockespoch Estate with superb uninterrupted views over the Aberdeenshire countryside. The cottage has been renovated from a traditional Victorian dwelling to provide wonderfully spacious holiday accommodation, which is both comfortable and stylish. This area of Aberdeenshire is steeped in history, with Pictish standing stones, one of which is at the front door of the mansion nearby, and the castle trail which includes 17 of Aberdeenshire’s famous castles; there are also battlefields, ruins and ancient monuments to be explored. For adventurists there are ample opprotunities for biking, golfing, fishing, walking, touring and whisky tasting. You are roughly 45 minutes from Aberdeen making a day trip or two very possible.

City in Scotland, Mar Lodge near Aberdeen

City in Scotland, Mar Lodge near Aberdeen

Sleeps 2. From £350/week. Pet friendly, wifi included and short breaks welcome. VIEW HERE

THE ICE HOUSE is a unique, quirky and historical beach house snuggled into a backdrop of volcanic cliffs behind the dunes of St Cyrus Beach. Originally used by the fishermen to arrange their nets, this former Skippers quarters was then turned into an ice house in the late 1700’s so that locally netted salmon could be kept then sent to the London market. The interiors are quirky and it is very tastefully presented, enjoys rooftop sea views and is set in its own private 3.5 acre plot right next to the sea. Within half an hour you can reach St Cyrus village where ‘The Village Inn’ serves fantastic food and the local coffee shop has a variety of home bakes. Activities such as rock climbing, hand gliding, fishing, horse riding, cycling, golfing to name but a few activities available locally. For your city fix/cinema trip you are 45 mins from Aberdeen! A perfect holiday retreat for family and friends to get together.

City in Scotland, The Ice House near Aberdeen

City in Scotland, The Ice House near Aberdeen

Sleeps 7. From £850/week. Pet friendly, wifi included and short breaks welcome. VIEW HERE

If you are interested in any of the properties listed here feel free to give us a call on 01738 451 610 or email us at [email protected] if you have any questions. We hope you have enjoyed this post and it has been food for thought in planning your next trip to Scotland, tying in both the city and country. Until next time, the C&C team.

NEW TO THE YOUTUBE CHANNEL – Come and enjoy a walk around tour of this amazing holiday home sleeping 4 in the Highlands of Scotland. TO SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE CLICK HERE

If you are in need of a hire car you should check out rhinocarhire.com where they are offering a 10% DISCOUNT to Cottages & Castles customers!!! You can book on their website HERE. Remember to read instructions on how to book.


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1 Response

  1. August 22, 2018

    […] We recently wrote a blog on country/city breaks, check it out HERE […]

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