There are few places as dramatic and diversely picturesque as Scotland’s countryside, making it a gift for walking holidays, whichever part you choose to visit. Bringing us a selection from a wide range of hotels that make the perfect resting places, the Good Hotel Guide recommends 10 walking hotels in Scotland…
The Airds Hotel, Port Appin
On Loch Linnhe, with the Morvern mountains beyond, Relais & Châteaux’s The Airds Hotel is a former ferry inn that takes hospitality to another level. Spectacular views and a breathtaking drive lead you to this place of culinary excellence and impeccable style, but if you can tear yourself away for a couple of hours, the surrounding environment offers you the chance to walk around Clack Thoull, Loch Laich and Castle Coeffin.
Pool House, Poolwe
On the shores of Loch Ewe, Pool House is a quirky guesthouse that’s been in the Harridon family for generations. Brimming with antiques and curiosities, the house is 300 years old and showing no signs of ageing. While inside there’s plenty to do from playing the piano to reading from the library or playing billiards, it’s hard to resist wandering in this highland landscape, or perhaps even doing a spot of rock climbing or mountaineering!
Balcary Bay Hotel, Auchencairn
In an idyllic setting on the water, Balcary Bay Hotel takes its name from its beautiful bay location, overlooking the Solway and in blissful isolation. Romantic and secluded the area has a seductive history of smugglers and intrigue, but then again it’s also got all the elements of a peaceful country house complete with log fires and ample reading material available. When the weather is fine, head out and explore the variety of scenery and terrain with miles and miles of rugged coastline and seashore, dense forests, and of course the Galloway hills. You can even bring the dog with you.
The Colonsay, Colonsay
A short wander up a single track road from the ferry on the Isle of Colonsay and you will find a modest hotel – you have reached your destination. The Colonsay is an unpretentious and informal inn with a buzzy bar populated with locally brewed island beer and malt whiskies. The occasional music evening will add extra fuel to the log fires, and in the sea facing views tempt you out into the surrounding area reminiscent of a scenes from the Famous Five and ripe for adventures on foot.
Blackaddie House, Sanquhar
A warm and welcoming restaurant with rooms, Blackaddie House Hotel is situated on the banks of the stunning River Nith in South West Scotland. The 16th century country house is a haven for foodies who are rewarded with a feast for the senses after a day exploring sandy beaches and hidden coves, heather clad hills and steep glens, waterfalls and sparkling mountain burns. Wildlife is in abundance and any walk is nothing short of an adventure.
Killiecrankie Hotel, Killiecrankie
On the beautiful, wooded Pass of Killiecrankie, Killiecrankie Hotel is a fusion of efficiency and warm hospitality in a 19th-century dower house. Afternoon teas in the garden, which is a little world of its own, are a joy in the summer months, and the surrounding area is teeming with outdoor activities from pony trekking to salmon fishing, while the Highland Wildlife Park is a pleasure to wander around.
Foveran, St Ola
An award-winning restaurant with rooms overlooking Scapa Flow, Foveran is a thoroughly modern and entirely contemporary approach to high end customer service, and it just so happens to be surrounded by the most spectacular location. Food is a literal flavour of the area with Kirkwall Bay shellfish, North Ronaldsay mutton, Orkney beef and locally made cheeses in plentiful supply, and walks are available for all abilities from a gentle stroll along the beach to coastal paths and clifftop walks.
Burrastow House, Walls
In a thoroughly remarkable location on the remote west side of Shetland, Burrastow House is in the kind of environment that movies are made of. Watch the Arctic terns tumble above Wester Sound in this unusual spot from this laid back country house. Totally informal and thoroughly accommodating, the owner Pierre Dupont is master here, overseeing wonderful food over which you can recount your day’s adventures.
Cosses Country House, Ballantrae
Cosses Country House itself has plenty of space for a quiet wander, between the surrounding woodland and the garden dotted with spring and summer flowers, if you’re lucky the estate’s black Labrador Monty may even be your guide. The house is lovingly put together by the charming owners, and from its beautiful spot on the edge of Crailoch Burn, the views alone are enough to tempt you out to explore one of the recommended walks, whether it be on a mountain ridge, a coastal path, a forest trail or a moorland track.
Argyll Hotel, Iona
On a spectacular island off the Isle of Mull, Argyll Hotel is a small village hotel overlooking the Sound of Iona. Everything here feels as though it’s another world, on built on high values and carefully crafted beauty. It is a small, remote island that’s only 3.5 miles by 1.5 miles, but as it’s sympathetically developed it retains its natural wonder as you explore red, green, white and pink sand beaches, and hike and cycle through its history.
From a selection of the Good Hotel Guide’s hotels in Scotland.