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SPONSORED: Oh we do like to be beside the sea…

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Harbour towns that line the rugged coastline of Scotland are the perfect places to escape to if you want to be beside the sea.

With their own unique charm, independent boutiques, quirky guest houses and beautiful restaurants providing the freshest fish as well as local produce, Scotland’s coastal towns are thriving.

When was the last time you escaped the stress of the city and headed for the coast? Perhaps you fondly remember family holidays and playing on a Scottish beach as a child, bucket and spade in hand?

Well, now is the time to relive those childhood memories in adulthood and rediscover some of Scotland’s best-loved coastal towns, not just on the mainland but in the Highlands and Islands too.

With all these delights on offer at our coastal towns, isn’t it time you became a tourist in your own country this summer? Here we bring you the best places to visit beside the sea…


A warm and friendly welcome awaits you at The Hillside Hotel

Whether you have booked one of The Hillside Hotel’s comfortable rooms or are simply visiting to dine in its stunning restaurant, from the moment you walk through the doors of this traditional and very friendly family-run hotel, you will feel right at home.

While you choose from the menu, you can relax in the well-appointed and comfortable lounge bar, and enjoy a drink from the bar and cellar. You can decide to make dinner an occasion, and eat in the newly-refurbished restaurant or simply choose from the traditional bar menu – or at this time of year, you can laze in the newly landscaped beer garden which is a real suntrap. Either way, you can relax knowing that we serve freshly cooked, homemade food using locally-sourced ingredients.

The Montrose hotel’s nine bedrooms are furnished to a high standard, with en-suite bathroom with shower, WC, colour television, tea and coffee-making facilities.

*Click here to find out more about The Hillside Hotel.


At Craig Tara is it wall-to-wall family fun

Craig Tara is a just an hour from Glasgow, but it feels like it’s a million miles from everywhere.

At Craig Tara in Ayrshire, it is wall-to-wall family fun. To start with, its indoor swimming pool is its largest-ever and is decked out with flumes, slides and splash-worthy water features.

Then there’s the weatherproof Airspace sports hall where you can try climbing, play virtual golf, or have a stab at fencing, and on sunnier days, take a swing on the 9-hole golf course.

When you buy a holiday home at Craig Tara you will have your very own place to spend time and make a lifetime of memories with loved ones.

And this summer your family can enjoy an even greater adventure with the opening of the brand new Lighthouse Harbour Adventure Village.

The adventure village has an interactive climbing wall, crazy golf, aerial adventures and mini aerial ropes course, sports bar, indoor events arena and a play village for the younger children. On the outside you can experience The Jump and The Extreme Jump off 6m and 12m platforms, plus the ‘Adrena-Line’ – Haven’s longest zipline.

*Start your adventure, visit Craig Tara’s website by clicking here.


Craigtoun Meadows is an ideal location for a family holiday

Craigtoun Meadows Holiday Park is in a beautiful, rural woodland setting just 1.5 miles from the centre of St Andrews. It’s an ideal location for a family holiday in a lodge, caravan holiday home, motor home, touring caravan, tent or for glamping.

A short drive or nice walk through the lade braes woodland walk takes guests into St Andrews where they will find everything from quirky shops, tea rooms and restaurants to museums and other cultural attractions such as the ruins of the castle and cathedral.

The town is also well known for the 600-year-old university where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met and finished their educations. The town is perhaps best known for its world famous golf course, which hosts the Open Championship in 2021.

For the past two years Craigtoun Meadows has also been one of only two parks in Scotland to be awarded the prestigious AA Platinum award for quality.

The facilities around the park are great for children with a large play area with zip slide, all-weather sports court, in ground trampoline, basket swing, climbing frames, swings etc, all in a very safe enclosed environment. There are also two indoor games rooms, a launderette and restaurant.

Craigtoun Meadows hire out 18 caravan holiday homes, four luxury lodges and four little lodges (glamping) and new for 2019 is a wheelchair accessible caravan that is specially designed for wheelchair users.

The touring area has won most awards and is greatly popular, with tourers coming, year in, year out.

*Craigtoun Meadows Holiday Park has been providing 5 star holidays for many years and is well worth a visit, to find out more click here.

Book your table at popular bistro Crofters’ for a night to remember

Previously known as Fiddlers’, Crofters’ on the Isle of Arran has developed into a vibrant and friendly bistro specialising in authentic Scottish hospitality, which showcases Scottish provenance and the talent of local musicians.

It has earned its reputation for being quirky, innovative, entertaining and welcoming and is committed to providing imaginative vegetarian, vegan and gluten free dishes, alongside the very best of local produce, Scottish meats and seafood.

So go in, settle down and let the Crofters’ look after you in true, island, family hospitality style! Whether it’s coffee and a cake, lunch, a beverage or an evening meal to listen to the music, its passionate and welcoming staff are here to help.

A small bistro with only 40 seats means that tables are in high demand – especially throughout the summer months. You’d be best to book to avoid disappointment!

*To find out more or to book a table click here to visit the Crofters’ website.

Go to Green Shutters and enjoy a meal by the sea

Welcome to the famous Green Shutters Bistro in Largs. They are proud to help continue the long tradition founded almost a century ago and are still an independent, family-run business.

At Green Shutters they aim to serve you with high quality home-cooked food in cosy surroundings and to provide great value for money. They offer the very best balance of value and quality so why not put them to the test and let them know what you think?

Sunsets are particularly striking at the Green Shutters in Largs as the view is unobstructed and second to none.

They serve their breakfast menu from 8am to 11.30am and this menu from 11.30am till 4pm. After 4pm on Fridays and Saturdays they offer an evening menu that varies with season. Open until 7pm weeknights and 10pm Friday Saturday.

*Green Shutters, at 28 Bath Street, on the Promenade, Largs look forward to welcoming you! To arrange a visit to Green Shutters, click here or call  01475 672252.


Moonfish offers casual dining in a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere

Established in 2004, Moonfish Café is located on the medieval streets of Aberdeen’s Merchant Quarter with views of the 12th century kirk of St Nicholas.

The kitchens constantly changing innovative menu of modern British cuisine consists of a focused menu for lunch and dinner.

Moonfish offers honest food made with local and seasonal produce, with a beverage list to match and close attention paid to an extensive gin list.

Find them at 9 Correction Wynd, Aberdeen.

*To book your table at the Moonfish Cafe, click here to visit the website, email: or call 01224 644166.


You’re invited to stay at Port Askaig Hotel in the Highlands

Port Askaig Hotel is a picturesque, family-run Highland inn on the shores of the Sound of Islay, overlooking the pier at which daily car ferries berth on arrival from the Scottish mainland.

Port Askaig has a maximum spring tide range of approx 2.2metres and the new inner harbour has a designed depth of at least 2 metres at MLWS. Fuel is available beside the harbour.

Its Port Bar is the oldest continually licensed premises on the island (dating from the 16th Century) and carries an extensive selection of Islay Malts in addition to a display of old and rare bottles, which may interest the visitor.

The hotel has 13 en suite rooms. Its Starboard Restaurant is are open all year to non-residents with group bookings for mixed or purely seafood buffets and Malt Whisky parties catered for. There are 30 covers maximum in the bistro but food can also be served in either bar or our harbourside beer garden. Open all year.

*Plan your trip to the port, by emailing Port Askaig Hotel on Isle of Islay at: or call 01496 840 245.


The Dreel Tavern is an impressive setting where you can enjoy the sun all day long

One of Anstruther’s most historic buildings dating back to the 17th Century, the Dreel Tavern has served the area as a venue for fine food and drinks over the years.

Alli, Hannah, family and the team are proud to be the current custodians of this impressive setting, contributing to the growing reputation for hospitality businesses within the East Neuk providing local produce at its very best from the land and the sea.

Daily food and cocktail specials include produce from our own allotment plots, when crops are in season e.g. New Potato Salad & Rhubarb Margaritas.

Apart from the delightful atmosphere available, there is an awesome beer garden overlooking the Dreel burn, enjoying the summer sun all day long. For those dark winter months the Dreel boasts a grand open fire to add to that cosy feeling whilst enjoying good company and fare!

The Dreel welcomes friendly dugs to the pub area and beer garden. Treats and water bowls available on the house.  If your pooch is photogenic, snap a pic at the Dreel and send it over to them to be included on the “dugs@thedreel” picture board.

*To book, or find out more, visit the Dreel Tavern website by clicking here, or call 01333 279238.