British Isles Slow Travel

Slow staycations in Scotland

As travel slowly rebuilds, escapes close to home are bound to have great appeal.

Navigating travel restrictions has proved to be quite the headache when planning holidays. But anyone considering a holiday this year can look forward to open spaces and almost-guaranteed social distancing in Scotland. The country is ideal for Covid-era travel, with natural attractions lending themselves to a new desire for freedom. As travel slowly rebuilds, escapes in Scotland will have great appeal.

Bidroom, a membership-based travel marketplace where hotels do not pay a commission, gives members savings of up to 25% off, in addition to hotel perks such as late check-out and upgrades. Travellers can experience Bidroom for free or upgrade to the premium membership for £49 per year to unlock further partner deals and savings and share benefits with friends.

Here is a selection of Bidroom’s top accommodation options in Scotland that are cheaper than other online platforms, with live price comparisons on the website:

Hotel Hebrides, Isle of Harris

The Isle of Harris is one of the islands that make up the Outer Hebrides north of mainland Scotland. The reason to come here is for the magnificent scenery, best admired by walking along the white sandy beaches or climbing the hills.

This boutique-style hotel boasts a great location in the pretty waterside town of Tarbert. Each en-suite bedroom is filled with considerate local touches, such as Highland Soap products made on the mainland at Fort William. 

The hotel’s restaurant, the Pierhouse, uses meticulously sourced local produce, offering an all-organic creative menu. Those opting for a more casual evening should try the rustic Mote Lounge Bar. which has a great selection of Scotch whisky, bar food and a brilliant buzz. There is also regular traditional live music.

Nearby attractions include Luskentyre beach, said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, as well as the atmospheric Callanish Stones.

Bidroom offers a one-night stay at Hotel Hebrides from £175pp – based on two people sharing. Based on 19 June check-in.

The Orkney Hotel, Kirkwall

Kirkwall, a vibrant and fascinating ancient Norse town, is located on the enchanting Orkney Islands off Scotland’s north coast.

Dating back to 1670, The Orkney Hotel offers every modern convenience, while retaining its original features and charm. Ideally situated in the town centre, the hotel is minutes from magnificent St Magnus Cathedral, the Bishop’s and Earl’s Palaces and plenty of local jewellery shops.

The infamous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Skara Brae, Maeshowe and the Ring of Brodgar are also an easy 25-minutes drive away.

Bidroom offers a one-night stay at The Orkney Hotel from £122pp – based on two people sharing. Based on 17 May check-in.

Clan Macduff Hotel, Loch Linnhe

Overlooking Loch Linnhe, the Clan Macduff Hotel offers spectacular Highland, with a restaurant serving traditional Highland cuisine, including local venison and salmon in the evenings and freshly cooked full Scottish breakfasts in the morning. With Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, only 10 minutes’ drive away, this stay is ideal for those seeking restorative rambles during their staycations in Scotland.

Once Ben Nevis is ticked off the list, guests might want to enjoy an afternoon at the Ben Nevis Distillery. Or for those with a bit more energy left, grab the walking boots and explore the surrounding wilderness, where local wildlife including sea otters, hares, seals, and a vast array of birdlife, are frequently spotted.

Bidroom offers a one-night stay at the Clan Macduff Hotel from £121pp – based on two people sharing. Based on 9 October check-in.

Loch Lomond Arms Hotel, Luss

Loch Lomond is a stunning slice of Scotland’s landscape, teetering on the border between the Scottish Highlands and lowlands.

When picturing the perfect Scottish staycation, look no further as this beautiful loch has everything travellers need within reach. There are a handful of small, quaint towns at Loch Lomond, each one oozing with charm and personality. 

The loch is also on the doorstep of Trossachs National Park – filled with the raw, untouched beauty of Scotland. 

Set in the village of Luss, the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel is a traditional inn that has welcomed guests for over two centuries. Retaining charming original features, guests can relax in the cosy bar with its log fires, the intimate courtyard or the outdoor terrace in landscaped gardens. Awarded four stars by VisitScotland, it also offers hearty Scottish breakfasts.

Bidroom offers a one-night stay at the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel from £196pp – based on two people sharing. Based on 9 October check-in.

The Priory Hotel, Beauly

Glen Affric is often described as the most beautiful glen in Scotland. This slice of paradise immerses travellers in complete wilderness and is one of the best bases in Scotland for those who enjoy hiking, mountain biking and wildlife spotting.

Wildlife enthusiasts can walk along the circular path around Loch Affric, keeping their eyes peeled for deer, fox, badger, red squirrel, osprey and golden eagle.

The most popular place to stay is Beauly, as it is the nearest town to Glen Affric. Run by the same owners since 1972, The Priory Hotel retains an excellent reputation for quality and value for money. The hotel offers total flexibility from early check-in, late check-out, breakfast until lunchtime and room service that will deliver anything from champagne and smoked salmon to lager and pizza.

Bidroom offers a one-night stay at The Priory Hotel from £93pp – based on two people sharing. Based on 16 September check-in.

Macdonald Aviemore Resort, Aviemore

In the northeast of Scotland’s Highlands is the Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in the country. This vast wilderness is perfect for visitors looking to get away for a weekend to enjoy the outdoors, especially hiking and birdwatching.

Aviemore, a pretty town considered the gateway to the Cairngorms, is the perfect jumping-off point for exploring the region. Macdonald Aviemore Resort is surrounded by an abundance of breath-taking scenery, outdoor activities and local attractions. A short 5-minute drive away takes guests to the Macdonald Spey Valley Championship Golf Course with its breath-taking views of the Cairngorm Mountains. Enjoy lunch or a few drinks in The Clubhouse; non-golfers and non-members all welcome.

Bidroom offers a one-night stay at Macdonald Aviemore Resort from £198pp – based on two people sharing. Based on 9 October check-in.

All photos licensed by Bidroom.