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Scotland meets Scandi: our favourite Scandi-style luxury cottages in bonny Scotland

Carmen McCormack Profile Image

Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

5 min read

Wild and glorious Scottish landscapes lend themselves particularly well to the clean lines, muted colour palettes and elegant mid-century modern furniture that conjure up the much-loved Scandi-chic style. In this hand-picked collection of rustic-luxe holiday cottages in Scotland we’ve highlighted places that allow the outside to do all the talking, where nature is framed in vast picture windows, leaving you with a feeling of peace and tranquillity no matter the weather. Each self-catering cottage is deeply comfortable with books to browse, wood burners to warm toes and sleek kitchens to cook feasts with all the fantastic produce you’re sure to pick up locally. Get lost in nature then return to your peaceful base, pour yourself a wee dram and kick back.

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Slackbrae at Brucefield Estate

A very pretty eco-cottage on a history-rich estate over a thousand acres of pasture, ancient woodland, meadows, heathery heath and wetland humming with wildlife and brilliant conservation projects. Hop on a bicycle and you can be at Alloa station in minutes, for a train to Edinburgh (one change) or Glasgow direct. Listen to the dawn chorus, explore the estate by foot or on wheels, hire a bat detector. Indoors is joyful with vaulted ceilings and vast windows letting light flood in, a sociable kitchen with every gadget possible and a very welcome hamper of Scottish produce: sourdough from Wild Hearth Bakery, local eggs, sausages, honey and jams. Calming bedrooms are at either end, so feel private. In summer you’ll be in the herb-scented garden till late, round the fire pit, barbecuing supper, making fond memories, feeling lucky.

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The Net Store

Surrounded by wildlife and water, this ultra-modern, loch-side house is blissfully remote. Perched ten feet from the shores of Loch Beag, it’s a dazzle of windows designed to make the most of the views: across the Minch to the Hebrides, to the mountains on the far side of Loch Torridon, plus non-stop sea and birdlife. While outside is wild nature, inside is calm, crisp minimalism: a smooth, Scandi-chic look softened with deerskin rugs. Sleep downstairs, with patio doors to the loch, or up in the larger room with huge windows for hill and star gazing. White-marble bathrooms are top-notch and the kitchen is a hi-tech gleam of everything you could need. Grab a book from the shelf, curl up in front of the wood-burner or tuck away on the mezzanine-level sitting area. There’s a patio for sunset drinks. Walk, swim, fish or simply gaze.

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The West Nest

It’s cosy here even if the weather is blowing a hooley – lovely to sit in front of the wood-burner and gaze at hillside views to North Uist. Clever lighting illuminates a mix of modern and mid-century furniture, hues of green, rust and black make the place sing, and the kitchen is swish with kit. It’s a generous place too: Skye gin and Talisker whisky are waiting, the logs are unlimited (you’ll find loads in the stack outside) and soft wool throws adorn your bed. Stride out from the door with an OS map, cycle to Lephin, the nearest village with a shop that sells everything and a café. Neist Point is a ten-minute drive, the most westerly point on Skye for dolphin spotting and spectacular sunsets. Wild swim at The Fairy Pools, take a boat trip, do not miss hand-dived scallops. Return to the fire pit and watch each star turn into a blanket.

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Eastside Cartshed

Walkers, mountain bikers, wild swimmers and nature lovers have over 10,000 acres of playground. The heather-clad Pentland Hills Regional Park is criss-crossed by hundreds of paths and dotted with rivers, lochs, waterfalls and reservoirs. Roam moorland and glens, discover myriad wildlife – the feel is remote yet you’re only a 20-minute drive from Edinburgh. Your base is a rustic stone hay barn with a thoroughly modern interior. If you’re trapped by bad weather, get cosy by the wood burner or up on the mezzanine watching moody skies and scudding clouds. A sleek kitchen has all the gear and you eat at a small dining table with views to South Black Hill. Plump pillows, woollen blankets and perfect peace beckon in the cosy bedroom. Book into the spa yurt with a wood-fired steam sauna hiding in the wild woodland garden, plunge into the outdoor stock tank to cool off.

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The Crofter’s House

A classic crofter’s cottage in minimalist-chic style tucked next to a quiet bay, beside soft green hills, beneath big skies, down a single-track road. The set up is as peaceful and calm as it gets. Traditional on the outside, inside the cottage is stylishly cool with a Scandi-design touch. White tongue-and-groove panelled walls and open-raftered ceilings create luminous, airy spaces. Step straight into a small but perfectly formed, bright and contemporary kitchen. Move up two steps into a wood-floored living space carefully set with Danish-style furniture, wood and peat-burning stove and clever lighting. You sleep in a beautifully uncluttered bedroom and there’s a useful outhouse (with washer and dryer) for bike storage and clothes drying; this is Skye, remember. Walk and cycle from the door, take photos, wildlife-spot – there’s a small front garden, terrace and a meadow. Or explore Portree, five miles.

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Strathspey Lodge

A smart, no-expense-spared house – warm, generous and welcoming – with lots of treats and masses of space indoors and out. Hike along the Strathspey Way – it’s an hour or two to Aviemore, and then get the steam train back. Try salmon fishing on the Spey; borrow two bikes from the garage, return with muddy boots and hose down in the separate utility room. The house has a wonderful flow to its design: perfect for families or groups of friends. Books are arranged into cookery, maps, guidebooks; board games and televisions are many and the wood burning stove belts out the heat. French windows open onto a large terrace with a second dining table for summer eating facing the wonderful views. The master bedroom has its own west-facing terrace for escaping with a sundowner, and you’ll find everything from hot chocolate and marshmallows to Prosecco and Cairngorm Brewery beer waiting for you.

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Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

Carmen is a freelance writer specialising in travel. She once lived in a bus in north Wales, skipped off to study in Barcelona, and now calls Bristol home. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found reading (a lot), lake swimming (a little), and pottering on the allotment with husband and two kiddos. She’s currently dreaming about cold cerveza and torta in Mexico.

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