If you are looking for some culture on your next holiday to Scotland, why not head to the theatre? This guide showcases some of the best regional theatres across Scotland and stay at a holiday cottage with your family and friends. We have some excellent self-catering options in our collection for theatre-going groups of all sizes - whether you are travelling as a romantic couple or a larger group.
Performance art can be transformative and immersive – it’s a great escape into the wonderful stories that we have been telling each other since the dawn of humanity. Since humans began to write, the art of theatre dates as far back as Ancient Greece. With its many faces, whether that be in the round or thrust stages, the theatre is a multi-sensory experience between actor and audience, where reactions are immediate. The shared space and experience provides intimacy and a sense of participation that movies and television don’t have. Sharing an experience with live actors and live audience members is not only valuable, but it’s also necessary for human connection.
Photo by Peter Lewicki on Unsplash
When we go on holiday, we want to have that perfect balance of rest and adventure, we want time to wind down and experience new things. Staying at a holiday home close to a local theatre offers an extra bit of culture you just cannot find out in the wilds. Start your night off with a tasty three-course meal at a local hostelry, filling the senses with gorgeous smells and delicious tastes, then wander along to an entertaining show for some raw talent and real-time entertainment. Unbeatable.
Here is a guide to our five favourite small theatres across Scotland - why not get the show on the road and book one of Cottages & Castles' fantastic holiday homes? All of which require their own curtain call!
Situated a few miles from Inverness is the idyllic town of Strathpeffer near Inverness. In its heyday during the Victorian era, it became a spa town, after the discovery of sulphurous springs which were believed to have healing properties and at the heart of the town is the Strathpeffer Pavilion. Built as a social centre for wealthy Victorians visiting the town spas, the Pavilion has been entertaining Highland residents and visitors to the area for over 135 years.
During World War I the pavilion was used as a hospital for US Navy sailors, and in 1960 it opened as a licensed dance hall and concert venue. It became hugely popular, with people coming to the dances from all over the Highlands. It fell into disuse at the end of the last century but was lovingly restored by the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust in 2003/2004. The Strathpeffer Pavilion has, in the past, hosted events as diverse as a rally by suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and a performance by the Kaiser Chiefs. It is now a stunning multi-purpose venue for the performing arts, dances, conferences, weddings and a variety of exhibitions, festivals and other events.
Browse our collection of cottages near Inverness and Strathpeffer.
Stay in: Torgorm No.1 | Conon Bridge | Sleeps 2 | 1 Dog
Nestled on the northwest coast, Ullapool is a bustling seaside town with a thriving arts, crafts and music scene. Various independent galleries and craft shops such as An Talla Solais and Highland Stoneware are found amongst delicious pubs, cafes and restaurants. The Macphail Centre makes up part of the Ullapool Community High School premises; incorporating the library, it is an integrated arts, learning and community centre. Although relatively new on the circuit of theatres, the Macphail Theatre is already proving a popular venue for some of the touring companies in Scotland. Ullapool’s theatre venue has a welcoming quality environment that lends itself to an extraordinary range of events. Past shows have included comedy, ballet, classical music concerts and touring theatre shows, bringing the delights of live entertainment to Ullapool.
Visit our inspiring selection of Ullapool holiday cottages.
Stay in: 2 Letters | Loch Broom | Sleeps 6 | 1 Dog
Located in Kirkcaldy’s town centre, the Adam Smith Theatre is a popular venue in a traditional setting, well-loved for its high-quality shows, cinema as well as its long history as the heart of the local arts scene. First opened in 1889 as a memorial to groundbreaking architect Adam Smith, this stunning theatre has an impressive facade and overlooks the Memorial Gardens and the Kirkcaldy Galleries. Enjoy a fantastically diverse and popular programme of events at this 475-seat venue, including comedy, dance, drama, music, and children’s theatre.
Visit our collection of cottages in Southern Scotland.
Stay in: Fulmar House | Anstruther | Sleeps 6 | 1 Dog
Located right on the banks of the Tummel, in Pitlochry with spectacular views of the river and the ‘Speckled Mountain’, Ben-y-Vrackie, Pitlochry Festival Theatre is known internationally as the 'Theatre in the Hills'. A focal point in Highland Perthshire offering a varied and exciting programme of events all year round, it attracts over 100,000 people each year. Famous for large scale productions delivered to international standards, there are multitudes of sumptuous costumes and exquisitely detailed sets that quite often get their own round of applause!
A trip to Pitlochry Festival Theatre makes a perfect day or night’s entertainment, a great place to visit during your long holiday or short break. Every Christmas (late Nov to Dec) there is a production that is sure to surprise and delight audiences, with previous Christmas musicals including White Christmas, Scrooge!, Miracle on 34th Street and Singin’ in the Rain. There is also a year-round programme of tours, talks, concerts, events, music and workshops. From contemporary comedies to period drama, musicals to concerts, tours to talks, there is certainly something to suit every taste!
Stay at one of our properties in Pitlochry.
Stay in: 4 Viewbank Gardens | Pitlochry | Sleeps 4 | 1 Dog
Scotland’s capital for five centuries, the ‘Fair City’ of Perth is now the country’s newest city. Bustling, compact and beautifully situated on the banks of the River Tay in the east of Scotland, this city is a sparkling cosmopolitan gem that keeps on giving, visit after visit. One of Scotland’s oldest theatres, Perth Theatre, reopened in 2017 following an extensive period of restoration and redevelopment. The transformed venue boasts a traditional Edwardian auditorium, new studio, dedicated community rooms, and spacious and welcoming public areas. As well as being one of the largest theatres in Scotland, it has its own touring company. The exciting mix of performances on offer cover drama, musicals, children’s shows, dance, comedy and music.
We have some lovely holiday properties in Perth.
Stay in: Horsey Reach Lodge | Stanley | Sleeps 6 | 1 Dog
To keep up to date with future shows and events at these five fine theatres, visit their websites before planning your holiday stay. We have some lovely holiday cottages close to each of the above venues in our wide collection. Visit our collection today for somewhere to holiday during your cultural break to Scotland.