Five stunning Scottish cottages to escape to this Autumn

The stunning Old School House on Eilean Shona. Picture: EileanShona.com

The stunning Old School House on Eilean Shona. Picture: EileanShona.com

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FROM castle-like bridgehouses in Perthshire to converted mills on Skye, here are five striking Scottish holiday cottages to stay in this autumn.

Return to Neverland - The Old School House on Eilean Shona

The quirkily designed The Bell in Nairn. Picture: SykesCottages.com

The quirkily designed The Bell in Nairn. Picture: SykesCottages.com

There’s something wonderful about escaping the city for a small, remote island in the Highlands and Eilean Shona certainly fits the bill as a perfect escape from the rigours of modern life.

The island served as the setting (and possibly the inspiration) for JM Barrie to write Peter Pan, and was described by the author as a “wild rocky romantic island”.

Nowadays, the island offers several holiday cottages for rent and there are none prettier, or in more of a unique setting than the Old Schoolhouse.

Situated on a beautiful part of the island, the pretty gas lit and stove heated (no electricity or wifi) building is perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway or artists looking for inspiration.

The impressive Blackcraig Bridgehouse. Picture: Unique-Cottages.co.uk

The impressive Blackcraig Bridgehouse. Picture: Unique-Cottages.co.uk

Oh, and dogs are welcome too (for a small surcharge), though it’s not recommended for young children as it can be involve quite a trek to get to.

• Two double bedrooms, sleeping up to four, costs £1250 for up to a week’s rental, transportation to and from the house is included. Available most of the year, though it is closed November to late March.

Turrets and river views - Blackcraig Bridgehouse, Perthshire

Though all of the cottages listed here are unique in their own way, none are as striking as the Blackcraig Bridgehouse, an unusual hideaway that is actually part of a castle-like bridge that straddles the River Ardle, in rural Perthshire.

The beautiful building was built as part of the Blackcraig castle estate but has been renovated to become a beautiful holiday home that’s perfect for those seeking a fairytale setting for a weekend away.

Inside there is a double bedroom, wifi and of course a modern bathroom, and guests can enjoy sitting by the open fire as the sounds of the river rushing by adds to the cosy ambience.

The cottage also has a winding stone spiral staircase that leads up through a little turret and out into a pretty courtyard area with patio furniture and wonderful views of the river.

Perfect for a romantic getaway but perhaps not suitable for children.

• Double bedroom, sleeps two. Prices vary throughout the year but start at as little as £295 during the winter months. Available all year round.

The Perfect Location - Renovated Mill Overlooking Portree Bay, Isle Of Skye

It would be remiss of us not to recommend at least one cottage on the beautiful Island of Skye and this gorgeous building, a 200 year old renovated mill that formerly served as the main part of Portree’s grain mill, has now been transformed into an idyllic holiday cottage.

The house sits close to the shore with panoramic views of the bay and the Isle of Raasay, and serves as the perfect blend of mod cons and rustic charm. The town of Portree is ideally located for all Skye’s attractions: from walking and wildlife watching to eating and drinking.

Inside the three floors of the building, which offer two double bedrooms, studio space and an attractive open plan living area with the original mill stone, are all connected by the centre piece of the house - a gorgeous spiral staircase.

Easily accessible, it’s the perfect place to take an adventurous family for a fun week away.

• Two double bedrooms, sleeps six. Prices begin at just under £700 for the week and the house is available all year round.

The Grand Design - The Bell, Nairn, Northern Highlands

Those seeking striking architecture will love The Bell’s barn like structure and quirky design, which sits perfectly within a private 7 acre woodland setting with its own natural pond, secluded seating areas and abundance of wildlife.

The curved roof, larch cladding and floor to ceilings windows wouldn’t look out of place on Kevin McCloud’s Grand Designs and its beautiful open plan interior and mezzanine look out to the beautiful countryside, with a wood fire stove and under floor heating.

However it’s the stunning little summer house, which happens to be a converted bus on the grounds, that really adds to the magic of the place and makes it more distinctive than your average holiday home.

The Bell lies close to the Malt Whisky Trail, Loch Ness and Culloden Moor making it ideally located as a base for some fun days out.

• Three double bedrooms, sleeps six. Prices begin at £430 in the winter months and the house is available all year round.

One for the traditionalists - Forget Me Not, Dalmellington

The wonderfully named Forget Me Not cottage in Dalmellington is a throwback to the halcyon days of old, with thatched roofs and idyllic settings, placing real emphasis on the rustic theme that many people love when they look for a countryside getaway.

The cottage’s beautiful and remote setting in the southern Uplands is the perfect place to escape the daily grind and really find some peace and quiet to enjoy yourself.

Located in 3000 acres of undisturbed woodland - inhabited by an abundance of wildlife including red squirrels, ospreys and golden eagles - the cottage offers a beautiful open plan kitchen and living area as well as an open fire and enclosed garden.

• One double bedroom, sleeps four. Prices start at £400 for the week and the cottage is available all year round.

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