Short Breaks in ScotlandBehold stunning natural beauty with a weekend break in bonny Scotland
HomeAway travel expert
Not so long ago, Scotland proudly declared itself to be “the greatest small country in the world”. This slogan has since adorned airport walls, postcards and any number of artefacts found in your typical tourist gift shop. A bold statement you may think, but for anyone who has explored this beautiful and diverse country, it’s not much of a stretch to accept this as fact. From the convivial bustle of the cities to the breathtaking natural beauty of the Highlands, there is enough diversity to please any short term traveller.
Even if you’re only visiting for a few days, Scotland is compact enough that you needn’t restrict yourself to one area. For example, in a matter of three hours you can leave behind the urban pleasures of Glasgow and find yourself basking in the shadows of Fort William’s mountainous terrain. Regardless of where you go, HomeAway has your accommodation covered. Choose from a wide selection of rental accommodations the length and breadth of the country, ideal for party animals and nature lovers alike. Start planning your getaway now with our short list of suggestions.
Top five destinations for a short getaway to Scotland
Short Breaks in Edinburgh
Simply put, Edinburgh is tailor made for any short break. A proud yet often macabre history alloys seamlessly with a vibrant modern scene that has made the city a haven for tourists and students over the years. If scenery is your thing, don your hiking shoes and ascend Arthur’s Seat for a bird's eye view of the entire region. If not, the famous castle dominates the city skyline on its volcanic perch in the heart of the capital. The zoo is also amongst the most revered in the entire UK, particularly with the recent addition of rare giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang. If you’re feeling brave, the countless ghost tours on the historic Royal Mile will give you some insight into the bloodier side of Edinburgh’s heritage.
Short Breaks in Glasgow
Those in the know will often tell you that if Edinburgh is a hotbed of culture, Glasgow is the place to be for a party. It’s difficult to argue. The largest city in Scotland, Glasgow offers more in the way of bars, nightclubs and shops than tourist-orientated allurements. Not that it doesn’t have these things as well; the majestic Kelvingrove Museum, George Square and Charles Rennie Mackintosh Art School are all fine architectural achievements. The West End is the real jewel in the crown, with Ashton Lane the perfect place to enjoy a few cocktails, whiskeys or a pint or two of locally brewed Tennent’s.
Short Breaks in Highlands
The northern areas of Scotland could scarcely be more antithetical to the madness of the concrete jungles, and as such this is what you will find in any postcard or tourist brochure. The haunting valleys of Glencoe sweep towards the rugged terrain of Fort William, home to the Britain’s largest mountain in the form of Ben Nevis. Keep heading North and you’ll find yourself coasting along the shores of Loch Ness. Realistically, you probably won’t spot its most famous resident rearing her head from the depths, but the awe-inspiring view is reason enough to make the trip. Inverness is the northernmost city, a charming and picturesque port to spend one or two nights.
Short Breaks in St Andrews
A town fit for a prince. The ancient university here is, after all, where William and Kate first gazed into each other’s eyes. This building and the cathedral are popular tourist haunts, whereas golfers will recognise St Andrews as the home of their cherished sport. Its coastal location and ecclesiastic charm are ideal for anyone looking for a relaxed getaway, but if you have access to a car, the surrounding region of Fife is also worth exploring. Head down the coast to Anstruther, for example, and tempt your taste buds with fish and chips widely regarded as the best in the country.
Shot Breaks in Orkney Islands
There are so many offshore outposts scattered around the Scottish mainland that you can really take your pick, but the Orkney Islands are the pick of the bunch. Easily accessible by ferry from Aberdeen or John O’Groats, the islands are a world away in terms of lifestyle and culture. To walk around main town Kirkwall is to step back in time, with the looming Viking Cathedral just one of many evident nods to the area’s Scandinavian heritage. Elsewhere, you can visit Skara Brae, an astonishingly preserved Neolithic village that outdates Stonehenge and the pyramids of Egypt, wander around the captivating Italian Prisoner of War Chapel or check out the shipwrecks at the Churchill Barriers.
View Orkney homes to rent
Cottages in Scotland