Scottish Cottages

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A land of myth and legend, historic castles, ruined abbeys and ancient battlegrounds, one of soaring peaks and wide open vistas on a scale rarely to be found elsewhere in the UK, a Sykes Scotland cottage is your key to unlocking an invigorating and exhilarating Scotland holiday. Whether you're looking for culture, adventure or time out away from it all; for a romantic weekend retreat or a family holiday home for an extended stay, a Sykes Scotland holiday cottage gives you the ultimate freedom of choice.

A Scottish holiday home in the beautiful Borders country offers the best of both worlds; the stunning coastal resorts of Northumberland in England and the gentle, rolling upland of the Scottish Borders, dotted with ancient castles and ruined abbeys, a legacy of a dark and turbulent past. The country's capital, Edinburgh, is a World Heritage Site and one of Europe's most attractive cities, famous for its history, architecture, cultural attractions and cutting edge performing arts scene. Nearby, resorts such as Portobello and Musselborough on the Firth of Forth offer traditional seaside fun. In southwestern Scotland, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway offer spectacular coastline, country estates such as Threave and Caeverlock Castles, and the Robert Burns connection, with a host of related attractions and sights. Explore the Galloway Hills on foot or by bike in this unspoilt and under-visited outdoor playground. Further north and west, a Scottish holiday cottage in Argyllshire gives you the freedom of the isles; take a boat trip to the islands of the Inner Hebrides; see the William Wallace memorial and the magnificent castle at Sterling, or explore the stunning natural beauty of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Follow the Scottish Whisky Trail, witness master craftsmen producing the famous single malt in time honoured fashion, from the smallest local distilleries to renowned international brands, or opt for culture, shopping, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the world-famous artwork of the Burrell Collection in vibrant Glasgow.

Golfers will need no introduction to St. Andrews; enjoy a round or two at one of its five superb courses; explore the fishing villages of the Fife coast, such as Crail with its pretty harbour and whitewashed houses or Anstruther, home of the Scottish Fisheries Museum. In the centre of the country, a Scotland cottage is your gateway to skiing or walking in the beautiful Cairngorm Mountains, discovering the delights of Scotland's Great Glen or visiting historic sites such as Scone Palace, where Scottish Monarchs have been invested for centuries. On Speyside, in the Cairngorm region, you're in Monarch of the Glen country; explore its forest parks and country estates, where deer roam on wild heather moorland. Enjoy boating and wildlife spotting from the serenity of Loch Insh, fishing for wild salmon, or discovering popular Highland towns aboard the Strathspey Steam Railway, Aviemore's heritage railway attraction.

For sheer getting away from it all, on an unrivalled scale, a Scotland cottage holiday in the Highlands brings peace, tranquillity, stunning scenery and a renewed sense of freedom. Experienced walkers tackle Ben Nevis from Fort William; one of many Munros to be bagged amid the towering peaks of the Glencoe area. Go monster hunting at Loch Ness, visit romantic Urquhart castle, hunt for bottlenose dolphins from Cromarty or relax on the east coast's resort of Nairn, with its twin sandy beaches and child-friendly family attractions. Visit Cawdor castle, or reflect awhile at one of the nation's great historic sites, such as the battlefield of Culloden. Choose a Scottish holiday cottage in the far northern Highlands and opt for invigorating walks on empty, sandy beaches; marvel at puffins, dolphins, seal, osprey and eagles in their natural habitat. Further south and west, the Kyle of Lochalsh is the gateway to Skye; follow in the steps of Bonnie Prince Charlie; nowadays the toll-free Skye road bridge makes the journey considerably less arduous. Visit picture-postcard Plockton, with its palm trees and pretty harbour, setting for the BBC's popular Hamish Macbeth television series, and framed by the alluring mountains of Wester Ross. Still further south and west, discover at your own pace the atmospheric beauty of the Mull of Kintyre, immortalised in the lyrics of Sir Paul McCartney's eponymous song. Wherever you choose your Scotland holiday cottage, enjoy traditional home cooked food; Haggis, tatties and neeps, and a dram of heart-warming, local whisky.

Whether you want to follow the literary trails of Burns or Scott, the seventy miles and numerous distilleries of the Scottish Whisky Trail, or the splendid nature trails of forest, glen, coast, mountain and moor land, Sykes' collection of hand-picked Scottish cottages allows you to discover Scotland your own way. For golfing, family holidays, walking, outdoor sports or visiting cultural attractions, historic castles and battlefields, Scotland offers something for everyone. With unspoilt beaches, from fine white sands to rocky and dramatic sea cliffs, where nature can be experienced in the raw, discover it all from your own Scotland holiday cottage. From Argyll to the Angus Glens and from John o' Groats to Gretna Green, Sykes' collection of handpicked Scottish cottages gives you freedom of choice.

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