Scotland’s most unusual Airbnb destinations

Ride aboard the Swan to tour Shetland's coastline for a week. Image: Airbnb

Ride aboard the Swan to tour Shetland's coastline for a week. Image: Airbnb

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A whisky barrel in Forres, a boat in Shetland or a 12th century castle in Fife - these are just some of the quirky properties listed on the ‘sharing economy’ website throughout Scotland.

The number of residences and rooms available to rent in Scotland via the online accommodation marketplace continues to rise and diversify off the back of increased tourism levels throughout the country.

The whisky barrel in Forres comes with circular beds. Image: Airbnb

The whisky barrel in Forres comes with circular beds. Image: Airbnb

As well as a life-sized whisky barrel complete with a circular bedroom that’s just 3.5 metres in diameter.

Intrepid travellers can spend a week aboard a boat for 15 touring the natural beauty of Shetland with a free guide. Those who board the ‘Swan’ will be expected to take part in all on board activities, including tacking and helming the boat as your tour Shetland’s coasts over the week, with no previous experience necessary.

If you’d rather keep your feet dry, there’s always the historic Dairsie Castle in Cupar. At £500 per night it certainly isn’t cheap, though you do get to stay in the residence where escapee monarch King James VI once absconded to. With six bedrooms, a large dining hall and no less than ten beds, the castle is an ideal location for a large holiday party or wedding.

Those who wish to be in remote solitude can enjoy a log cabin overlooking the picturesque Loch Awe, complete with a wood-fired hot tub and veranda.

The interior of Dairsie Castle, Fife. Image: Airbnb

The interior of Dairsie Castle, Fife. Image: Airbnb

Snug Armadillas in Aberfeldy also offer a sense of escape while giving glampers a chance to retain some key home comforts.

But if Scottish oddities aren’t quite your thing, then there are still countless numbers of trendy eco-huts or stylish city flats to stay in during your holiday or business trip, due to an increase in the number of properties or rooms available to rent via the site.

Figures obtained by The Scotsman show that Aberdeen saw an increase of 270 per cent in 2015 on the number of Airbnb-registered properties in the city compared to 2014.

Scotland’s highland city, Inverness, also saw a 169 per cent increase, taking second place in the list. The proximity of both cities to the countryside and outdoor activities were big draws for tourists visiting each region.

One of two Armadillas in Aberfeldy. Image: Airbnb

One of two Armadillas in Aberfeldy. Image: Airbnb

The availability of rooms and properties to let in across the northern Highlands also increased to 164 per cent; only five per cent behind the whole of Inverness.

Both Ayrshire and Arran and Dundee were popular with visitors, with the region edging out the Tayside city by just 1 per cent to post a 146 per cent increase in 2015.

READ MORE: Edinburgh among most expensive cities on Airbnb

Founded in 2008, Airbnb recently announced that over 2.2 million people used Airbnb to visit the UK in the past year, and 3.1 UK residents used Airbnb to travel.

In addition, the typical Airbnb host was said to earn approximately £2,000 per year for sharing their home for up to 46 nights in a year.

Patrick Robinson, Head of Public Policy at Airbnb, said:

“We are pleased to support the UK Government’s aim of being the world leader for the sharing economy, and to work with them to support a nation of innovators who show the best of the UK by sharing their homes and their communities.”

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