The Best Wester Ross Holiday Cottages for your UK Short Break

When it comes to British minibreak destinations, Scotland’s rural Wester Ross region, located in the Northwest Highlands, sets the bar pretty high. With picture-perfect vistas, amazing wildlife, and so much to see and explore, you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere better to spend a couple of relaxing nights.

You can stay in traditional lodgings, on the shores of Scotland’s famous lochs, spending your days hiking, exploring or just chilling out, and your nights enjoying characterful bucolic pubs with new friends. Here’s some of the very best cottages for you to choose from, allowing you to create the perfect Scottish getaway.

An Cos, Shieldaig

An Cos

An Cos image © An Cos Shieldaig

 

This luxury highland holiday cottage sits on the shores of Loch Shieldaig, and is not only breathtakingly beautiful and secluded but is also relatively easy to get to. Featuring luxury self-catering facilities, as well as local award-winning restaurants, there’s plenty of options when it comes to food.

This traditionally styled, but modern built cottage is perfect for a family, or a group of up to 10 people. The local village, Shieldaig, offers lots of different activities and sports, not to mention a top-notch pub. It’s also utterly gorgeous, and a conservation village.

 

 

 

Cruinn Leum Round House, Toscaig

Cruinn Leum Round House

Cruinn Leum Round House image © Unique Cottages

When it comes to finding a really unique option for your highland getaway holiday cottage, look no further. The Cruinn Leum Round House in Toscaig offers luxury, environmentally friendly lodging, with an original twist. As the name suggests, it’s a quirky round house!

With its ancient looks, spectacular views and luxuriously designed interior, this cottage was originally built as an artist’s retreat but has since proved incredibly popular with a holidaymakers. This is perfect accommodation for a couple or small family. Continue reading

UK Day Trips That Make Perfect Gifts

Sometimes it’s just too hard to find a present for someone who seems to have everything they want already, so a great solution is to give them something we could all use more of: fun activities and happy memories!

It’s not necessary to jet off to another country to experience something new, either, because across the UK there are many fantastic day trips and weekend getaways that could make for great gifts, whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion.

Head to a shopping village

If you think your friend or loved one would enjoy picking out their own gift, combining that experience with a trip to somewhere new could be the ideal solution. Bicester Village is one of the best of these locations in the country, with a huge range of discount designer shops (plus food outlets so you can refuel and extend the trip).

Relax with a spa weekend

An alternative to a fast-paced shopping spree could be more suited to someone who needs some personal time to relax. If you want something a little different to the usual spa experience, you’ll find various unusual treatments on offer at the Turkish Baths & Health Spa in Harrogate, one of the most impressive spas in the UK.

Stay at The Chocolate Hotel

Located in Bournemouth is one of the UK’s most desirable boutique hotels. This trendy, confectionery-themed destination is perfect for chocolate lovers, who can learn the perfect wines to pair with different chocolates during their stay, as well as tucking into plenty of complimentary treats.

Get them a historical society membership

If you know the person you’re buying for has a keen interest in historical sites, but you’re not sure where they’d most like to visit next, why not get them a membership with either the National Trust or English Heritage? Between the two, almost all of the best buildings and sites in the country are covered, so they’ll be able to enjoy free or discounted entry to countless attractions in the coming year.

Professional cooking classes

If your friend or family member is interested in cooking, professional lessons in a commercial kitchen setting could be a fantastic experience. Many top restaurants in London (and increasingly across the country) are now offering these sessions as a bonus for fans of their food. Several celebrity chef-owned establishments are doing the same, so you might be able to tie in your gift with their favourite TV cook.

The Foreign Tourist’s Guide To The UK

If you’re visiting the UK from overseas for the first time, welcome! A lot of things in this country are a little confusing for people who aren’t familiar with them, so a little advice can go a long way. Here we’ve tried to compile some of our best advice for anyone entering the country for the first time on a tourist holiday.

Firstly, it’s important to bear in mind that London is not the only place with interesting things for tourists to experience in the country. In fact, many people would argue that spending a lot of time in London when you first visit the UK is actually a waste of money, because prices are significantly higher on the whole compared to the rest of the country. There are many lesser known tourist attractions all over the country which may be less recognisable than Tower Bridge or Big Ben, but are much cheaper, less crowded and sometimes even more impressive.

It’s easy to spend a lot of money on food here, because there is a strong culture around going out for meals and a huge number of commercial restaurant chains trying to take advantage of the latest culinary trends. However, like anywhere else, you can find bargains if you’re happy with takeaways and lesser known restaurants. Be sure to look up places online before you eat there, but luckily you’ll find almost all UK food establishments can be found online as we take our reviews seriously!

Alternatively, of course, you can cook for yourself. Budget European supermarkets are the best places to buy ingredients, such as Lidl and Aldi, and if you’re from another European country you’ll already know this. If you’re really concerned about keeping costs down and you’re used to cheaper food prices, you might find you have to do this at least some of the time. Again, though, outside of London you will find much more affordable food.

Getting around the UK as a tourist could cost a lot if you catch the train everywhere without much forward planning. The rail service is a lot more expensive than it is in most other countries, especially at peak times when commuters are travelling between home and work. A cheaper alternative is to get buses and coaches, although this can cost you more time.

Fortunately, many of the actual attractions in the UK are free to see or enter, which can lower your overall costs. There are many wonderful castles, stately homes and other historical buildings that are unlike anything any other country has to offer, many of them costing nothing or very little to visit. In fact, there are a huge range of different attractions on offer and most of them outside the capital are not widely known, so the best thing to do is look up the top attractions in any area you’re planning to visit and see what’s highly rated.

Top Scottish Tourist Attractions

Scotland is a great destination for anyone searching for rich history, a breath of fresh air and a sense of adventure. There’s so much to see and learn in this relatively small country, and its residents are famously proud to call it home, with good reason. It offers plenty of stunning attractions, although you may not be familiar with them. Here are some of the best.

Loch Ness –

Loch Ness

Perhaps the most famous of all Scottish attractions, Loch Ness is stunning for its sheer size alone. Once you factor in the incredible views along its shoreline, the ancient ruins nearby and the infamous legend of the Loch Ness Monster said to swim in its depths, it’s no wonder why this place is so popular with visitors.

Cuillin Hills, Skye –

Starting from the most northerly point you can reach within Scotland, these breathtaking hills are unique thanks to a clash of different geological forces. Black volcanic rock meets red granite in spectacular fashion, resulting in an amazing landscape not found anywhere else.

Melrose Abbey –

Melrose Abbey

Dating back almost 900 years, King David I of Scotland commissioned this impressive monastery was said to be the final resting place of many Scottish legends. Comprising of ruins from many different periods, Melrose Abbey is well worth a visit today for anyone interested in historical architecture. Continue reading