Winter trips and quick getaways have never been as popular as they are now — it has recently been estimated that they have doubled in popularity over the last decade. And many of the most enchanting possibilities for snowy escapes from the humdrum are actually much closer to home than you might think. Scotland, in particular, has emerged as one of the new favourite destinations for quick breaks. The Scottish highlands hide all manner of enchanting possibilities, and we’d like to mention just a handful of them here.
Be the lord and lady of the castle
The turreted spires and soaring walls of Scotland’s highland castles are some of the most impressive and iconic of all Caledonian sights. But why limit yourself to looking at the outside? Many Scottish castles can now be rented to guests — among them Dalhousie Castle and Liberton Tower in Edinburgh, and Brodie Castle in Moray. All are easily accessible to drivers and can be booked online. So if you’re itching for a unique encounter on your quick break, look no further.
At the other end of the scale, the open roads can whisk you away to a cottage by the ocean, to press up against the elemental forces of nature while staying warm and cosy indoors. The options range from the spartan to the luxurious, and from simple one- or two-bed options to full groups. If you’re looking for an experience that will no doubt be an enduring memory, a cottage trip could be the perfect fit. There are plenty of locations to choose from, from seaside and lakeside right through to the interior of the Cairngorms National Park.
Out to the islands
We can’t talk about the possible quick-break activities that await in Scotland without mentioning the islands. The raw majesty of the crags rising from the sea has been an inspiration to generations of poets, writers, and artists — and not a few whisky-distillers, too. The experience of driving the winding island roads of this elemental landscape is truly exceptional, and it soothes and softens the soul like little else.
Hit the city
Of course, not everything needs to be about climbing mountains or staring at the ocean. A quick city break in Edinburgh will reveal many of the wonders of this ancient and fascinating town — whether through diving into the city’s architectural heritage, or getting busy with the vibrant arts scene that underpins the success of the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Make sure to pack your walking shoes to really get up-close with the city, and jump right in.
This is just scratching the surface of what is available for a winter break in Scotland. We haven’t even mentioned the lochs, the music, the whisky, the tartan, the bagpipes, the haggis, the philosophers, the folklore — and so much more. So, if your appetite is whetted to get in the car and head north to the highlands, remember that car hire from Sixt can cover whatever your style or budget might be and will let you concentrate on your Scottish adventures.