The best Scottish lodges to enjoy with friends this winter

Picture: Taymouth Marina lochside Cottage, Kenmore . TSPL
Picture: Taymouth Marina lochside Cottage, Kenmore . TSPL

Despite shorter days, Scotland is still a beautiful place in winter so why not explore it with friends from one of these idyllic lodges?

Airhouses, Oxton near Edinburgh

This grouping of lodges is located 25 miles south of Edinburgh, making them an ideal weekend escape for capital city dwellers. Airhouses have six different sizes of accommodation, from the Rowan Pods which sleep two to the super-sized Capercaillie, which can cater to a group of ten - perfect for a large group of friends,

Most lodges come complete with a super king sized bed, en-suite bathrooms and a hot tub. If you decide to bring the kids they won’t be short of activities or distractions - the farm that the lodges are located on is home to a treasure trail and puzzle trail, as well as a host of farm animals.

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 for up to four people. 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 well appointed, with lots of space and light and great views - a theme that runs throughout the Cabin thanks to its location. The kitchen and open plan living area are ideal for groups to enjoy meals and cosy evenings together around the wood burning stove.

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.

Ness Castle Lodges, Inverness

Completed in 2011 and comprising four lodges of varying sizes, an original cottage and bothy all of which sit on the estate of Ness Castle, this is a tranquil escape that is conveniently only a short drive from Inverness city centre.

Owner and local property developer David Sutherland has transformed the estate to include Ghillie’s Lodge, Benula Lodge, River Lodge, Red Squirrel Lodge and the original Weir Cottage and bothy in a venture that was influenced by a vacation to Colorado.

Large parties of up to 14 can stay in River Lodge. The main focal point of this eye-catching building is a large, open-plan lounge with a double cathedral-height ceiling, fireplace and a picture window overlooking the river.

Guests can take advantage of the facilities at the newly refurbished bothy, including a hot tub and steam room. And don’t worry about cooking if you don’t feel like it; a local chef will prepare meals and snacks for the party. Avid fisherman will also appreciate the bothy’s wet room and location – just a stone’s throw from the river.

Cameron Lodges, Loch Lomond

Located in a quiet stretch of the loch’s southwest shores overlooking the mature woodland on the island of Inchmurrin, the cluster of lodges that form part of the Cameron House resort offer a spectacular setting for a short staycation that is ideal for families or large parties looking to mark a special celebration.

The resort offers a variety of detached, semi-detached and terraced luxury lodges, and it is the four bedroom lodges which acommodate up to eight people that are perfect for large groups looking for a getaway this winter.

All lodges are self catering but have the added bonus of offering guests the facilities available at the resort, such as the spa, boat cruises and golfing, without the need to stay at the hotel.

Loch Lomond Waterfront Lodges, Balmaha

Each of these lodges enjoys views of Scotland’s most famous loch, and come complete with private hot tubs and en-suite bedrooms. During the day you can explore the glorious Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and in the evening you can retreat to your lodge and let off some steam in your very own sauna. Sleeping up to six, the lodges offer a great escape for a group this winter.

Piperdam, near Dundee

With a range of lodges that sleep from two to ten, including the games themed Vegas Lodge that sleeps twelve, Piperdam is ideal for a weekend away. Its central location is accessible for most plus the resort offers a range of activites that are perfect for groups from golfing to Archery,

Braes Lodge, Aberfeldy

Hidden behind the town of Aberfeldy, in the shadow of one of Scotland’s most iconic mountains - Schiehallion - sits Braes Lodge.

Braes lodge offers airy accommodation, a roaring fire and outdoor hot tub - complete with sweeping views of the Perthshire countryside.

If you want to hit the country roads in style, you can rent Braes Lodge’s spectacular Morgan sports car.

Taymouth Marina, Kenmore

Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, Taymouth Marina sits in the picturesque location on the banks of Loch Tay and offers acomodation from two to eight people in lodges, apartments and cottages.

With a watersport centre on site and the Scandi style Hot Box sauna, this is a perfect spot for a true getaway.