A CHRISTMAS break in a cosy cottage with a log fire in the beautiful Scottish countryside is hard to beat, whilst spending New Year in an idyllic country mansion or stunning castle with a group of friends is the perfect way to see in the New Year in style.
Celebrating a festive getaway in Scotland need not break the bank as many stunning castles, large country retreats or cosy cottages can be all yours at a reasonable price, with some good discounts available through Cottages & Castles Ltd.
Cottages and Castles, a specialist holiday lettings agency, has experienced an increasing trend this year from large groups of family and friends booking Scottish castles and country mansions over the Christmas and New Year period, as they are one of the most affordable options, according to manager Sue Bourne.
To stay in some of the most spectacular large rural properties available in Scotland, it can cost as little as £20 per person per night.
Sue said: “In a difficult economic period, booking a self-catering holiday in Scotland allows people to control their own costs for food and drink without having to pay high prices at bars and hotels. Our customers, both from home and abroad, love the individual touch and the unusual settings that our properties can offer, especially over the festive period – and what could be better than your very own Hogmanay Ceilidh in a stunning Scottish castle!
“This year has seen a number of bookings where people are coming in from all over the world to meet in a Scottish house to celebrate Hogmanay, with the added appeal of the chance of some winter snow.”
Holidaymaker, Charles Morrison, has been booking New Year breaks through Cottages & Castles for three years now as part of a large group of friends.
Charles said: “We have booked a variety of properties in the past and this year we’re staying in Loch Avich House, a large Victorian Lodge in Taynuilt, Argyll. The advantage of booking self-catering is the space a large exclusive house offers and the ability to be with close friends in a relaxed private environment where we can also do our own cooking, which we find very sociable.
“Living near London it’s nice to escape the city life at this time of year. As our group of friends live all over the country, New Year is the ideal time to get together and there’s no better place to celebrate Hogmanay than in the beautiful Scottish countryside.”
An enviable range of properties to suit all tastes and budgets is still available over the festive period through Cottages & Castles. Some of the best deals for large groups include:
* The Shieling – Troon, Ayrshire – sleeps ten – Christmas week £2500 and New Year week £2,750.
The Shieling is set in an exclusive and beautiful area of Troon and is a formerly Gardener’s House to a large Victorian House, which benefits from mature vistas, privacy and a real sense of calm. A mere walk from the famous championship golf course, seaside or woodland walks, this house really is a perfect base to enjoy the countryside, especially over the festive period.
The house itself has been renovated and extended to an exceptionally high standard and it is designed to ensure you have a wonderfully sociable stay with the many attractive public rooms leading on to each other and to the gardens – you’ll certainly feel that you are living in five-star comfort.
As well as the numerous golf courses, you can visit spectacular Culzean Castle, explore Burns Country, take advantage of the excellent local restaurants and see the beautiful Troon marina. http://www.cottages-and-castles.co.uk/properties/South-Scotland/Ayrshire/South-Ayrshire/The-Shieling:A750
* River Lodge, Inverness – sleeps 12 – £5000 for Christmas or New Year week with short breaks over festive period available from £3,750.
River Lodge is a five-star luxury property which offers exceptional holiday accommodation in a tranquil wooded location between Loch Ness and the city of Inverness. The lodge enjoys picturesque views over the River Ness providing an ideal retreat, perfect for large groups. The lounge with its truly magnificent fireplace and double height cathedral ceiling forms the centre point of the property with the grand picture window allowing guests to marvel at the breathtaking views over this famous river. http://www.cottages-and-castles.co.uk/properties/Central-Highlands/Inverness-And-Loch-Ness/Around-Loch-Ness/River-Lodge:P079
* Glenfeochan House, near Oban – sleeps 14 – New Year week reduced from £3,900 to £3,600.
Glenfeochan House is in a wonderfully secluded positioned on a private estate overlooking its own lake with glorious views to Loch Feochan yet only five miles from the harbour town of Oban.
This impressive baronial-style house has tremendous character and history and is furnished to the highest standard.
The drawing room offers sumptuous leather seating and open log fire and stunning views across the loch is sure to create the backdrop to memorable evenings.
The private tennis court, well equipped gym, snooker table, table tennis and table football will offer hours of entertainment whilst the rowing boats on the private seven-acre lake or walks round the walled garden and Victorian Arboretum offer some tranquil afternoons. http://www.cottages-and-castles.co.uk/properties/Argyll-And-The-Isles/Argyll/Oban-And-Loch-Awe/Glenfeochan-House:P136
* Burgie House – Burgie, near Forres – sleeps 25 – Christmas week was £3,000 now only £2,250
A large beautiful country house set amidst 1,500 acres, Burgie House is a welcoming and family friendly holiday house that is perfect for a large group offering an abundance of charm and character.
This much-loved family house includs a wonderful basement billiard room and a fantastic Ceilidh room – a great ‘play area’ for young and old. Outside, there are beautiful grounds complete with Arboretum and lochans, paddocks (you can bring your own horse if you wish), natural woodlands and walking/cycling tracks as well as large lawns and BBQ areas.
Burgie can offer you field sports on the estate, catering for all or some of your meals if you prefer not to self-cater and some housekeeping should you wish. http://www.cottages-and-castles.co.uk/properties/Central-Highlands/Moray-and-Lower-Speyside/Burgie-House:P111
* Easterheughs Castle – Aberdour – sleeps ten – Christmas week £3,900 and New Year week £4,600
Grade A listed Easterheughs Castle is situated high above the Firth of Forth and enjoys a dramatic and breathtaking location with views of Edinburgh Castle.
The tower holds many architectural surprises and is immersed in history and to add to the prestige, the castle was once the home of the famous Scottish painter Jack Vettriano. The interior of the castle is immaculate and full of character and the accommodation is beautiful and boasts traditional atmospheric steep twisty stair cases.
The master bedroom has sole access onto an outside turreted terrace complete with cannons for protection!
The grand drawing room has a cleverly hidden false door which leads to a small movie cinema whilst the timber lined dining room is charming and lends itself nicely to formal dinner parties or even a Scottish ceilidh. http://www.cottages-and-castles.co.uk/properties/Central-Scotland/Angus-And-Fife/Dunfermline-And-West-Fife/Easterheughs-Castle:P074
For more information on all properties available over the festive period through Cottages & Castles please visit http://www.cottages-and-castles.co.uk or call 01738 451610.
About Cottages & Castles Ltd
Cottages and Castles Ltd is Scotland’s specialist holiday lettings company 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.
The firm is operated by CKD Galbraith, one of Scotland’s leading independent property consultancies with 12 regional offices throughout Scotland.
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 chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, and managing director is public relations consultancy Fame Publicity Services proprietor, Murdoch MacDonald.
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