From city breaks to family escapes, island hopping to Chihuahua cafés and shopping, Scotland really does have it all. Here are 9 glorious Scottish staycation ideas you can enjoy with your Scotland Loves Local Gift Card.
1. Island hopping in Argyll and Bute.
With 3000km of coastline, 1500km of hiking and biking trails, 4 national nature reserves and 23 inhabited islands, it’s little wonder that Argyll and Bute earned its name as ‘the adventure coast’. There’ll be lighthouses, castles and wildlife aplenty as you see the stunning west coast by powerboat with a tour from Wreckspeditions. Or head out onto the water when you hire a sea kayak or paddleboard from Argyll Kayaks. Argyll and Bute is also a foodies’ haven, so get island hopping as you sample the delights of Mull, Bute, Islay and beyond. And for places to stay, The Lochside has 12 rooms and is ideally situated for discovering Islay’s 8 distilleries. See even more places to spend an Argyll and Bute Gift Card.
2. Culture and character in Glasgow.
From culture to shopping, eating out to exploring, Glasgow is one of the best staycation cities in the UK and a UNESCO Music City. Turn up the fun factor at eek Escape Rooms and Bowlarma. Listen to live music at Cathouse Rock Club. Blend your own gin at Crossbill Distilling or take a whisky tour with Once Upon a Whisky. Soak in the culture at the Gallery of Modern Art, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and Glasgow Science Centre. You can even try whitewater tubing on Scotland’s only artificial whitewater course at Pinkston Watersports! For accommodation with oodles of character, there’s family run Rab Ha’s in the heart of Merchant City and The Artto Hotel, a family business for over 20 years. Discover more with the Glasgow Gift Card.
3. Paddleboarding and biking in the Outer Hebrides.
For white sand beaches, rugged mountains and Gaelic culture, head to the Outer Hebrides, a collection of Atlantic islands stretching for over 100 miles. Make the outdoors your playground on the Isle of Lewis when you hire bikes or paddleboards from Store 67. Explore the mountain bike trails at the Lews Castle Grounds, and ride to the ancient Calanais Standing Stones or the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village. The lochs are ideal for paddleboarding beginners but there are plenty of sheltered beaches good for watersports and swimming. Then there’s hiking on the Isle of Harris and wildlife spotting too. For accommodation, how about the beautiful and remote Scarista House on Harris, a Georgian manse overlooking the ocean. Check out the Na-h-Eileanan an Iar Gift Card.
4. Riverside cycling and wild swimming in Dundee.
Blending city experiences with countryside activities, Dundee is an exciting Scottish staycation destination and a UNESCO City of Design. Visit the V&A Dundee, the McManus and Dundee Contemporary Arts for your fill of culture. You can even ride your bike along the riverside to Broughty Ferry and pop into Eduardo Alessandro Studios, or visit the award winning Brought Ferry Beach and nature conservation site- keep an eye out for the seals! A short distance from the city, you’ll find the awe inspiring Angus Glens, like Glen Cova, ideal for a spot of wild swimming in Loch Brandy. Back in Dundee, hop aboard the HMS Unicorn- one of the 6 oldest ships in the world. Later, enjoy some family time at the Camperdown Wildlife Park or the Dundee Ice Arena, before settling in for the night at the Staybridge Suites or Hotel Indigo. See even more places to spend a Dundee Gift Card.
5. Walking in the footsteps of royalty in Fife.
Home to the UNESCO World Heritage Forth Bridge, Fife is an ancient kingdom of historic castles, charming fishing villages and family adventure. Take on the Fife Coastal Path, 117 miles of rugged coastline. Visit Dunfermline Abbey, resting place of King Robert the Bruce, Aberdour Castle, one of the oldest castles in Scotland, and the glorious St Andrews Cathedral. Learn a new skill- or hone an existing one- at Cluny Activities in Fife, from clay pigeon shooting and archery to Segway driving, cricket and golf. You can even walk in the footsteps of Stuart kings and queens at Falkland Estate with 3 peaceful holiday cottages to choose from. Find out about the Fife Gift Card.
6. Once Upon a Time in South Ayrshire.
Coastal villages, dune covered beaches, harbours overlooked by castle ruins; there are over 45 miles of sandy shores to discover in South Ayrshire. Southern Ayrshire, alongside Galloway, has been designated a UNESCO biosphere, a world class environment demonstrating the balanced relationship between people and culture, and one of 13 sites on Scotland’s UNESCO trail. 2022 is a great time to visit with Once Upon a Time in South Ayrshire taking place; a year of events, exhibitions and experiences. The area is renowned for its golf too, so check out Belleisle Park, Dalmilling and Maybole. You can lay your head at ‘seafarer’s den’ Marine Troon looking out over the Ayrshire coastline. See more on the South Ayrshire Gift Card.
7. Chihuahua Cafés and castles in Edinburgh.
Perched high above the city on Castle Rock, the mighty Edinburgh Castle is just one reason that the Scottish capital is such a popular staycation destination. Explore the winding medieval streets of the Old Town and the Georgian splendour of the New Town, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Experience the best of Edinburgh’s cafés and restaurants, like the Chihuahua Café where you can pet, cuddle and play with the resident Chihuahuas as you eat your cake, or indulge at the iconic The Dome. Shop at Edinburgh’s quirky independent shops like Fabhatrix in the city’s vibrant Grassmarket and the Edinburgh Bow Tie Co. And when you’re ready to rest your head, there’s 28 York Place, Eden Locke apartments and Edinburgh Castle Apartments. Discover the Edinburgh Gift Card.
8. Fairytale castles, gardens and battlefields in the Highlands.
Rugged and mysterious, the Highlands has so much to offer. Hire an ebike from Loch Ness Travel and take on the Loch Ness 360, a 130km circular trail around Loch Ness. Take a trip to fascinating Fort George or Urquhart Castle. To really see the Highlands like a local though, take a tour with Airts and Pairts. They’ll show you the fairytale castles, gardens and battlefields, and tell you the stories that make these places special. Nairn is a real hidden gem in the Highlands, a seaside resort with tranquil beaches, award winning bars, restaurants and places to stay. Try family run boutique hotel Cawdor House with its quirky vibe and delicious organic food. Part of the Highlands Gift Card.
9. A woodland adventure in Dumfries and Galloway.
The Scottish Lowlands are blessed with some of the best scenery in Scotland. Like the Galloway Forest Park aka the Highlands of the Lowlands! This ancient woodland attracts nature and adventure enthusiasts from all over the world. Visit the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve, the unique triangular Caerlaverock Castle or the many beaches dotted along the coastline. Accommodation wise, choose from The Eskdale Hotel, the Kings Arms Hotel in Lockerbie or get back to nature at Marthrown of Mabie, with its yurts, tipis and even a Celtic Roundhouse hidden deep within the forest. Find out more about the Dumfries and Galloway Gift Card.
Scottish staycations just got easier with the 30 plus Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards available now. Discover more at: https://scotlandgiftslocal.com/