SCOTTISH specialist holiday lettings agency, Cottages & Castles Ltd, has officially launched a new website that will transform the way families and visitors book holidays on the Isle of Arran and Ayrshire.
Cottages & Castles has been operating for over 25 years providing a dedicated holiday lets service offering a supreme range of self catering holiday cottages, exclusive large houses, holiday castles, mansions and sporting lodges for rent throughout Scotland, with a fantastic choice of properties on Arran.
Having recently conducted a survey with over 500 of their customers, it is apparent that holidaymakers are as interested in what they can do and see in the area as they are in the facilities provided by the accommodation, with 76 per cent of respondents claiming local activities and places to visit are top criterion when booking a holiday.
The results have allowed Cottages & Castles to design a website www.cottages-and-castles.co.uk with unparalleled interactive search functions.
To make it easy for users to find their ideal area and holiday, the website has split Scotland up into distinct regions including Arran, with each into more localised areas with suggestions for activities, attractions, eating out and events in the area.
Activities have been categorised into three main interests; adventure sports, country sports, great outdoors, with additional search criteria including for example if a property has an open fire, a swimming pool and if it’s located near a beach or close to a ski resort.
The Isle of Arran is well known for being ‘Scotland in miniature’, and with justification, for although small in size, its wonderful scenery combined with the great array of things to see and do enable you to sample the best of Scotland in one distinct area.
Set in the Firth of Clyde, the island takes only four hours to drive around, yet is packed with stunning scenery and dramatic views of the surrounding area.
The island is ideal for those looking to kick back and get away from it all; however, for the more active there is also a wide range of activities including some spectacular walks on and around Goat Fell, golf, cycling, horse riding, sailing, sea kayaking and canyoning. Whilst some of Arran’s top visitor attractions include Brodick Castle, the Isle of Arran Brewery, the Isle of Arran Distillers, and the Heritage Museum.
Most recent figures available, for 2009, indicated that just over one million visitors came to Ayrshire & Arran, of which 900,000 were from the UK (source: VisitScotland.org).
Through the launch of its new interactive website, Cottages & Castles aims to increase visitors to the region particularly through domestic holidaymakers as they have experienced a trend towards more people choosing to holiday at home.
Supporting the new website, Hazel Pearce of House of Bruar of House of Bruar, renowned as one of Scotland’s most prestigious, independent stores, said: “We have worked with Cottages and Castles closely for a number of years and are delighted to now feature on their fantastic new website.”
Sue Bourne (pictured above), manager of Cottages and Castles, said: “With the internet being an essential tool when booking a holiday, what we wanted to achieve was a website offering visitors a ‘one-stop shop’ for all their queries about holidaying in Scotland, where to stay, what to do and what to see.
“At present, approximately 60 per cent of our bookings are made online, a trend we hope to increase over the next few years aiming for over 75 per cent of all our bookings via our new interactive website.
“Whether you are a new visitor to Arran or you know the region well and are seeking inspiration on alternative activities and visitor attractions in the area, then our website will equip you with all the information needed to book that perfect holiday.”
John Miller owns Banner Cottage, the former office and print shop of The Arran Banner newspaper, located in the heart of Brodick, Arran and lets his property out through Cottages & Castles.
John Miller said: “Being in the self-catering holiday business our number one priority is to ensure we are providing the best accommodation facilities that our customers have come to expect.
“We are also aware that of paramount importance is the close proximity of our property to local activities and places of interest to visit.
“The two go hand in hand when thinking about where to holiday and we are delighted that the new Cottages & Castles website has made it easy for users to establish these vital links.”
As part of the new website launch Cottages & Castles Ltd is running an online competition titled ‘Where are Wills & Kate?’ to celebrate April’s Royal wedding.
Cottages & Castles are offering a £500 holiday voucher for a stay in one of their outstanding Scottish cottages or towards a stunning castle, for one lucky winner who can find where Wills & Kate are hidden on their website.
Visit www.cottages-and-castles.co.uk for full competition details and to entry by Thursday 28 April.
For information on properties availability to rent, please visit www.cottages-and-castles.co.uk or call 01738 451 610.
About Cottages & Castles Ltd
Cottages and Castles Ltd is one of Scotland’s specialist holiday lettings companies, with over 600 properties in its portfolio. The firm’s dedication and attention to detail has made them one of the largest self-catering companies in Scotland offering an enviable range of holiday cottages, exclusive large houses, holiday castles, Scottish mansions and country lodges.
Cottages and Castles was established in 1983 and is operated by CKD Galbraith, one of Scotland’s leading independent property consultancies with 12 regional offices throughout Scotland.
About CKD Galbraith
CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy specialising in serving the needs of private clients. It employs over 180 people in offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Cupar, Inverness, Aberfeldy, Castle Douglas, Ayr, Elgin, Galashiels, Kelso and Peebles.
The partnership provides the full range of property consulting services across the commercial, residential and rural sectors throughout Scotland. The company enjoys a successful relationship with its associate firm in London, CKD Kennedy Macpherson.
The company’s rural arm specialises in farm sales and purchases, the management and sale of large estates and woodland, valuations and building surveying work.
7 Killoch Place
Ayr KA7 2EA
Contact: R A Cherry BSc MRICS
Tel: 01292 268181
Fax: 01292 292300
CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is a founder member of The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.
THE ELITE AYRSHIRE BUSINESS CIRCLE
The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is an association founded in 2007 by some of the top companies in Ayrshire.
Its purpose is to publicise its members, and to celebrate and promote the wealth and rich diversity of entrepreneurial talent and business excellence that abounds here within the county boundaries of Ayrshire.
Members include the Clydesdale Bank, Ayr Racecourse, Western House Hotel, Turnberry Golf Resort and South Ayrshire Council. Member company activities include broadcasting, building and construction, architectural practice, estate agency and land management, chartered accountancy, insurance broking, legal services, golf club management, marketing services and brand creation, web design and public relations consultancy.
Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors senior partner Norman Geddes is executive chair of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, and managing director is public relations consultancy Fame Publicity Services proprietor, Murdoch MacDonald.
Founder members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle:
South Ayrshire Council http://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk
Clydesdale Bank http://www.cbonline.co.uk
Turnberry Hotel and Golf Resort http://www.turnberry.co.uk
Ayr Racecourse http://www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk
Western House Hotel http://www.westernhousehotel.co.uk
CKD Galbraith Property Consultants http://www.ckdgalbraith.co.uk
Frazer Coogans Solicitors http://www.frazercoogans.co.uk
Accident & Injury Claims Centre http://www.accidentclaims.com
MacKay Corporate Insurance Brokers http://www.mackaycorporate-brokers.com
Donald Ross Estate Agents: http://www.donaldross.co.uk
Westgale Ltd Building Contractors http://www.westgale.co.uk
Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants http://www.sinclairscott.com
Paligap Creative Agency http://www.paligap.com
ARP Lorimer & Associates Architects http://www.arpl.co.uk
JB Management – Training Providers http://www.jb-management.com
Brunston Castle Golf Club http://www.brunstoncastle.co.uk
Fouters Restaurant http://www.fouters.co.uk
Christie Financial Planning Ltd http://www.christiefp.com
Allison Lightbody Waddell Chartered Surveyors http://www.alwsurveyors.com
Kestrel Press http://www.kestrelpress.com
Fame Publicity Services Public Relations Consultancy http://www.famepublicity.co.uk
West Sound Radio http://www.westsound.co.uk
Easton Kitchens & Bathrooms
For further information about The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and to apply for membership, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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