accommodations

One of the glorious breakfasts at Mackay's Rooms in Durness, Sutherland, Scotland

Before I explored the North Coast 500 I performed quite a bit of research to pick the best stopping points along that mammoth and beautiful drive through Scotland’s northern highlands. There are vast stretches with no obvious place to bed down when your aim is to find a base for a few nights. Sure, you can book any B&B you stumble across, but I prefer not to switch accommodations every night. That’s simply not the best way to see Scotland, or, for that matter, most places.

The North Coast 500 takes you into the remotest parts of the Scottish mainland, places where the main road is a single track and oncoming traffic is sheep more often than not. Read more...

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East Heddle, Orkney Crofts, Orkney Islands, Scotland

Upon my last visit to the Orkney IslandsĀ five years ago I found a series of renovated self-catering crofts in the heart of Orkney’s mainland called Orkney Crofts. I spent a solid four nights in one of the smaller crofts, The Bu, with my dad as we explored my favorite place in Scotland. I was blown away by the quality of the renovation, location of the crofts, and Simon Treasure’s (the man behind the venture) ability to retain their authenticity without slipping into generic luxury all too common in the ravenous high-end accommodation market.

As I departed Orkney and ended that 2012 trip, I wondered when I’d return to these mystical islands… Read more...

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Keiss Harbour House, near Wick, Caithness, Scotland

Outside of Scotland’s cities accommodations are of a few types: B&Bs, small hotels, and self-catered houses. When I’m traveling solo I prefer the social aspects of B&Bs and small hotels, but when I’m traveling with a group or just with Sarah I like to add self-catered houses to the mix. Not only are self-catered accommodations highly cost effective, you generally get a taste of what it might be like to live wherever you’re staying.

I traveled around the North Coast 500 last year with Sarah and my parents and happened upon quite a unique self-catered house in the small town of Keiss, just north of Wick in Caithness. The Keiss Harbour House is… Read more...

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Knockendarroch House, Pitlochry, Scotland

When last I met Struan Lothian he was running the beautiful Torrdarach House perched above Pitlochry’s main street. He and his family had come to Pitlochry from the fantastic Kylesku Hotel in Sutherland to share their gifts as hosts and proprietors further south, and I was intrigued when I learned he had moved to another establishment within Pitlochry, Knockendarroch Hotel and Restaurant.

Pitlochry is graced with more excellent accommodations than your average Scottish town. It’s a pretty place along the River Tummel, situated on the main route into the northern highlands and amidst Perthshire’s natural glories. Read more...

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Antler chandelier at the Dunkeld House Hotel, Dunkeld, Scotland

It’s no secret that Dunkeld is one of my favorite towns in Scotland. The stone-built village hugs the River Tay and hides a ruined cathedral among Perthshire’s big trees. It just feels right.

For the longest time, however, I struggled to find a solid accommodation in town. Greater Perthshire overflows with excellent choices, many you can read about here on Traveling Savage, but Dunkeld proved to be a challenge.

That challenge may be a thing of the past.

The Dunkeld House Hotel looks to fill that gap, and I had the opportunity to visit during my trip last November. Read more...

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