Three of the best country cottages for sale in Scotland right now

Charm and modesty is an attractive combination in a home, thinks Kirsty McLuckie

There is a saying: “Better joy in a cottage than sorrow in a palace” and certainly cottage homes do conjure up an idyllic life, particularly for those moving from the city.

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They do have a wide appeal; not just to those moving out of an urban environment but downsizers, retirees, young families and second-home buyers are all likely to be competing for the best properties which have character without a hefty price tag.

The best examples can have all the charm, privacy and period features of a grand country house but on a modest scale.

While not always detached, or even in the country, having an address which includes the word cottage is an aspiration for many too, implying gentility, cosiness and bucolic charm.

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

Cockleshell Cottage in the East Lothian village of Aberlady is pretty enough to melt the heart of anyone who dreams of a place by the sea.

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

The three-bedroomed detached stone cottage is practically on the beach and has uninterrupted panoramic views over Aberlady Bay towards Gullane Hill plus a beautiful, enclosed south-west facing walled garden.

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

The cottage, which has undergone a full refurbishment, has features such as a natural timber floor in the living room and dining area and ceramic tiled floors in the kitchen and sunroom.

While it is very traditional and quirky on the outside, it is more spacious and contemporary than cosy on the inside.

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

An impressive double-height living room is separated from the dining kitchen by a staircase with a galleried landing above.

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

It has a glass-roofed boot room, patio doors out to the garden and a landing study area.

It is certainly understandable why Cockleshell Cottage has already attracted a great deal of interest since coming on the market a week ago.

Picture: Galbraith

Croys Lodge is a charming traditional Gate Lodge which has been extended in recent years to provide a comfortable three-bedroom home whilst retaining the "traditional cottage" charm.

Picture: Galbraith

With an extensive open plan kitchen/dining/living area greatly enhancing the accommodation space the property offers, three double bedrooms (one of which en-suite) modern fitted kitchen with a range of integrated appliances, bathrooms, oil fired central heating, double glazed sash and case style windows to the recent extension and single glazing sash and case style to the original part of the lodge.

Picture: Galbraith

The property is situated in a beautiful location in the hamlet of Old Bridge of Urr, near to the River Urr with farmland surrounding and at the southern entrance to the main residence at Croys House.

The market town of Castle Douglas is known as Scotland's Food Town and has many local individual shops and businesses, with both primary and secondary schools.

Picture: Baird Lumsden

Garden Cottage in Strathyre, north of Callander, is all about potential. It is a modest detached home set down a private drive in mature gardens in the national park.

Picture: Baird Lumsden

It isn’t huge, but has a lounge with log burning stove, fitted kitchen, two bedrooms and a bath and shower room.

Some upgrading has been carried out, but the next owner would want to do more.

Picture: Baird Lumsden

However, a pleasing exterior, an attractive decked area at the back, lovely views to the surrounding hills and a blank canvas of garden – plus a very competitive price – could make this an interesting project.

At a glance

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

Where is it: Cockleshell Cottage, Aberlady, East Lothian.What is it: A refurbished three-bedroomed detached cottage with a fully enclosed walled garden.Good points: The location is in a pretty village within half an hour of Edinburgh. It overlooks Aberlady Bay and has panoramic views across the water and towards Gullane Hill. The interior is bright and spacious with a double height sitting room adjoining the dining kitchen. The suntrap cottage garden is another delight.Bad points: Its recent refurbishment has probably removed the opportunity for further adding value.Price: Offers over £410,000.Contact: Simpson & Marwick on 01620 567984.

Picture: Galbraith

Where is it: Croys Lodge, Bridge of Urr, Castle Douglas.What is it: A three-bedroom cottage which provides modern comforts whilst retaining the "traditional cottage" charm.Good points: The property is situated in a beautiful location in the hamlet of Old Bridge of Urr, near to the River Urr with farmland surrounding, making it ideal for anyone looking for a rural retreat.Bad points: Probably not much chance to add value.Price: Offers over £200,000.Contact: Galbraith on 01556 505346.

Picture: Baird Lumsden

Where is it: Garden Cottage, Strathyre, Stirlingshire.What is it: A two or three-bedroomed cottage set back from the road in a quiet village.Good points: All on one level, the house has a woodburner, fitted kitchen and pretty outside space.Bad points: Needs work, including roofing and a new central heating system but the price reflects this.Price: Offers over £105,000.Contact: Baird Lumsden on 01786 833800.