7 unusual and idyllic cottages in Scotland

THERE are some amazing worldwide holidays on offer for families, but why not try a break at one of the more unusual destination on Scotland's doorstep?

The Signal Box in the Cairngorms. Picture: Sykes

The Signal Box, Newtonmore

Built in 2004, in the form of a signal box, this quirky detached wooden property sits next to the station in the Badenoch and Strathspey village of Newtonmore.

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To make the most of the panoramic views towards the River Spey and Cairngorm Mountains, the accommodation is upside down, with a spacious, open plan living area on the first floor. On the ground floor there is a double bedroom and bathroom with sauna.

The Tower House in Avoch, the Highlands. Picture: Sykes

The cottage is in an ideal location to explore the village and take advantage of the walking in the area. It is 150 metres from a link into the Wildcat Trail - a 7km orbital walk and path network.

Tower House, Avoch, Highlands

The semi-detached church conversion provides spacious, comfortable and stylish accommodation with a touch of luxury, set in the harbour village of Avoch.

Tower House has been refurbished to provide a unique location for a holiday and boasts a central spiral staircase which connects the different levels of accommodation.

Kidleugh Hide. Picture: Sykes

From the top level, guests can look down to the central sitting room on the ground floor. Situated off the central sitting room is the library with comfortable sofas.

On the other side of the central sitting room there is a large, split-level, well-equipped kitchen with a dining area. Also on the ground floor is a double en-suite bedroom, a cloakroom and a utility room.

All of the bedrooms have their own en-suite facilities, and at the top level is the main sitting room, with its high-arched ceiling, and windows offering views across the village, the Moray Firth and to Chanonry Point where there are views of dolphins.

A few miles further along the coast brings you to Rosemarkie, which has a wide bay and one of the finest beaches on the Moray Firth Coast.

The Cabin. Picture: Sykes

It is also one of the best locations in the United Kingdom from which to spot dolphins. For walkers, cyclists, golfers and wildlife lovers.

Kidcleugh Hide, Duns, Scottish Borders

Set in an idyllic rural location offering total relaxation, the apartment is in the Lammermuir Hills, right on the final section of the Southern Upland Way, six miles north of Duns in the Scottish Borders.

Kidcleugh Hide is the perfect destination for a break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The Steading Tower. Picture: Sykes

The first floor is all open plan, a bright and airy studio room filled with handcrafted wooden furniture, fur throws, cushions and mood lighting.

There is a dining area with exposed timber beams, large windows and a woodburner to add to the luxury that exudes throughout.

French doors lead from the living area to the decking, a perfect spot to relax at any time of day looking over the fields and woods below spotting deer, buzzards and jays.

The dark skies around Kidcleugh Hide come alive at night with owls hooting from the nearby owl and lodge woods as well as the estate’s own RSPB owl house.

The Cabin, Skye

A detached log cabin situated to the rear of the owner’s home is ideal for cosy escapes away from it all.

The Old Sawmill. Picture: Sykes

The property has a riverside location and overlooks the stunning Loch Roag to the surrounding mountains and, to fully appreciate this location, there are double doors from both the sitting room and bedroom out to the front of the cabin.

The stylish bedroom is beautifully presented with lots of space and light and great views, even from the bed.

The kitchen and open plan living area, with its smart furnishings and big leather settee, ensures that lovely meals and cosy evenings can be enjoyed together around the stove.

On the warmer evenings venture into the garden and sip a glass of wine whilst gazing across the loch and soaking up the beauty of the views.

Close by is the world-famous Dunvegan Castle and just a short distance beyond the castle are the Coral Beaches where the beach is made up of crushed white coral, giving the water a tropical blue look. Also from the castle there are boat trips out to see the seals basking on a nearby island.

The Steading Tower, Kinloss

The stone tower accommodation is located in open countryside and provides accommodation over three floors.

Forming part of an original steading, the Kinloss cottage has been thoughtfully constructed and offers guests a unique holiday experience.

The village of Kinloss benefits from a local shop, pub, petrol station and golf club, which is open to visitors.

The cottage is so close to wonderful beaches, interesting villages and historical towns.

The Old Sawmill, Glenborrodale near Salen

Privately situated and surrounded by large gardens, the coastal, detached whitewashed stone cottage is a holiday retreat in Glenborrodale Bay, where the river meets the sea, midway along the Ardnamurchan Peninsula.

Set near Salen with its shop/café and hotel with restaurant and bar, the cottage offers open views to the surrounding hills and mountains, where an abundance of wildlife thrives.

Guests can expect to see red deer, fallow deer and a pine marten who regularly visit.

The area boasts outstanding coastal scenery and whether you’re seeking scenic walking/hiking, cycling, angling, sailing, and canoeing/kayaking.

The area has much to offer including Glenborrodale Castle, the Ardnamurchan distillery with visitor centre, Nadurra Natural History Visitor Centre and Ardnamurchan Charters, where boat hire is available as are day trips to the islands and sealife tours.

There is also an RSPB reserve within walking distance with wonderful walks and wildlife and where you may experience many birds that live and visit the area, including the golden eagle and the rare white-tailed eagle.

There are also many great, white sandy beaches to relax upon and marvel at the turquoise waters and here you may encounter otters and be lucky enough to spot dolphins and whales.

Why not also visit Ardnamurchan Lighthouse to enjoy afternoon tea? Also visitors can take the ferry from Kilchoan on a day trip across to Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, where you can spend the day enjoying the delights of the island.

Katchanan, Strathspey

An appealing and unusual detached property in the isolated hamlet of Farr, one mile from the village of Kincraig, between Kingussie and Aviemore.

In an elevated position overlooking Loch Insh on one side and with magnificent views of the Cairngorms from the other, this welcoming and extremely well equipped cottage offers superb accommodation, with an open fire and well placed windows to afford easy viewing of the plethora of bird and wildlife on the doorstep, including red squirrels, pine martins and ospreys.

Sit and relax in the fabulous hot tub or enjoy outdoor activities in the Cairngorms National Park, relax in the wonderful surroundings or tour the area’s many attractions and trails. Katchana is the perfect base.AccommodationAll ground floor.

Katchana. Picture: Sykes
The Tower House in Avoch, the Highlands. Picture: Sykes
Kidleugh Hide. Picture: Sykes
The Cabin. Picture: Sykes
The Steading Tower. Picture: Sykes
The Old Sawmill. Picture: Sykes
Katchana. Picture: Sykes