Looking to get away from it all? Far, far away? Scotland might just hold the key to your perfect break. Essentially, if you’re looking for a remote holiday location, Scotland has them in ‘spades’.
From mountain tops to beaches and forest retreats you can find dwellings in some remarkable spots all across the Scottish mainland and its islands. Ancient abandoned crofts and farms litter the landscapes and yet many areas are still synonymous with farming and agriculture.
For sheer isolation try the north west of the mainland. Road wise you are even further away from Land’s End than you are in John O’Groats out there. Arguably the most remote café on the British mainland is the one at Cape Wrath Lighthouse, accessible only by coach (booked in advance). Elsewhere, Kinlochbervie once campaigned to have its name inserted into the Oxford Dictionary under the word ‘remote’. A thriving west coast fishing port it’s still very much your text-book definition of ‘the end of the line.’ It’s picturesque though.
Another place is the north coast – east of the Kyle of Durness, where the infamous killer McMurdo used to prowl. It’s single-tracked roads out that far, but the views out to sea and inland to the mountains are quite distinct and attractive.
Applecross is a good prospect because it is at the very western end of the famous Applecross Pass, one of the most challenging yet beautiful stretches of country road in the British Isles. The sunsets are legendary and memorable, and well worth the trip.
The Shetland Islands are very isolated but have a great sense of community. Further north than Oslo, Norway they are worth travelling to find out about island living and the history of some of the oldest stone buildings in Europe. To the south are the Orkneys, which are spread out around a natural deep water sound. The area once played a big part in the First and Second World War because the waters provided natural protection for the British fleet. It’s also the most popular diving site in Scotland, as it’s the final resting place of several scuttled war ships.
It’s not surprising that a high proportion of Scotland’s population live within short range of the main cities, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ayr, Dundee, Inverness and Aberdeen. But the train and travel networks in rural Scotland are good, particularly trains and ferries. Ferries can cut hours off journeys by road so consider factoring some helpful crossings into your travels.
Besides the shy wildlife you’re guaranteed some privacy and quiet time during your stay. We have selected a pair of cottages to hide away to in rural Scotland.
19th Century Schoolhouse, Lochinver
Lochinver is way up in the Western Highlands close to the water’s edge at Loch Inver. The 19th Century Schoolhouse is the perfect bolthole to spend time relaxing, far away from the business of the large towns and cities down south. See if you can spot any wildlife from a window or out on one of your walks.
Glen Ridge, Scourie
If finding a remote holiday location in Scotland is at the absolute top of your list of priorities then Glen Ridge is probably the cottage for you. Located in Scourie in the Outer Hebrides, this timber bungalow is half a mile from the North Sea coast and a four mile walk to Sandwood Bay, the UK’s loneliest, accessible beach.