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Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

The best Airbnbs in the Scottish Highlands

From cosy loch-side cottages to sixteenth-century castles, the Scottish Highlands is dotted with one-of-a-kind Airbnbs

Written by
Rose Johnstone
&
Rhys Thomas
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The Scottish Highlands. Say it. There's nowhere quite like it. Those rugged mountains, pristine lochs, white sand beaches and lush forests make the region a must-visit any time of year (although keep in mind that the days are very short indeed in winter!). Whether you're exploring the majestic Cairngorms National Park or you're keen to visit the islands just beyond the coast, there are plenty of top-notch accommodation options. Airbnb offers some real left-field options, from bona fide castles to adorable bothies. Sometimes they're the best value spots too. So, if you're ready to plan your post-lockdown getaway, scroll below to find a selection of our favourite places to stay in the Scottish Highlands. 

Note: please check the latest travel guidance before booking your trip

RECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in the UK

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Where is it? Between the villages of Lochinver and Clachtoll.


For matchless views and pristine white beaches along the rugged Sutherland coastline, look no further than this cosy semi-detached cottage. Relax with mountain and seaside views on the spacious patio, and take in glorious sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean (bring your binoculars for a chance to spot whales and dolphins!). With two bedrooms and a fully-fitted kitchen, it makes for a great family stay. 

Where is it? Broadford, Isle of Skye.


This is glamping completed. Full nature immersion without the faff of setting up a tent and braving the chilly Highlands windsx! This adorable pod on the Isle of Skye is tailor-made to make the most of the jaw-dropping loch and mountains, which you can enjoy from your bed or on your private deck. The space is minimal and stylish. There's kitchen facilities, a shower room, double bed and sofa bed, plus an oil-filled heater. If you want modern comforts then the TV and Wi-Fi are available too – though who needs the screen when you've got endless acres of pristine nature trails?

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Where is it? Lochgilphead, Argyll & Bute.


Fancy living like a medieval lord or lady for a few days in an actual castle? Kilmartin Castle (which accommodates ten guests, so you can make the price a little less royal) is calling. This recently restored sixteenth-century castle is the real deal. The dining room has its original stone-barrel vaulted ceiling, there's a great hall with an immense fireplace, ancient forts, burial tombs, and ancient rock carvings. For the price, you'd expect modern luxury, too, and the property more than lives up to that with underfloor heating, copper baths, five bedrooms with ensuites, a fully equipped kitchen, and speedy Wi-Fi. There's even a local chef who (at extra cost) will come and prepare a locally sourced five-course dinner for you. There's a getaway. 

Where is it? Drimnin


What do you do with a stunning spot of land on a Scottish lakeside? Pop an airship on it, of course. Sitting in delightful juxtaposition against sweeping views of the stunning Sound of Mull, this aluminium pod designed by Roderick James Architects is a highly sought-after Highlands Airbnb. Diminutive in size yet comfortable for two people, this insulated space features a queen bed and modern kitchenette. At either end of the airship, glass-panelled noses offer heart-melting views of mountains and lochs, reaching as far as the Isle of Mull. A load of natural light pours through the big glass ends and (aero)nautical circle windows throughout the accommodation.

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Where is it? Logie Coldstone


The Cairngorms National Park (the UK's largest national park) is situated in the heart of the Scottish Highlands and is world-famous for its majestic mountains, gorgeous walks and great winter snowsports. This luxurious apartment comprising of the bottom floor of a Victorian mansion offers the perfect spot to call your temporary home. Feel like a 19th century elite strolling about the opulent rugs and huge fireplace with up to six guests. If you decide to leave the house at all, there's a wonderful set of woodland walks awaiting. 

Where is it? Lochgilphead, Argyll & Bute


The Highlands aren't all lochs and mountains (though they're not exactly short on that kinda thing). The UK's northernmost city, Inverness, is a thriving hub filled with boutique shops, top pubs, and Michelin-starred restaurant Boath House. Of course, it's also near the Loch Ness (and its famous inhabitant, if you believe, Nessie). This luxurious apartment is situated right in the centre of town, but it offers great value too. With a modern and stylish interior you'll quickly be in love with the home when you get back in from the city. Plus for real adventure, you can always go and try spotting nessie!

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Where is it? Fort Augustus


This is a chapel not a castle, but it'd be fit for royalty if they wanted it. Luxurious beyond belief, this two-bedroom apartment located within The Highland Club, an award-winning development of luxury apartments within a former fort, monastery and abbey, overlooking the Loch Ness. Gorgeous original stained glass windows show the Scottish saints, while arches and vaulted ceiling create an undeniable sense of grandeur. You'll have full access to the property's sauna, swimming pool, tennis court and more; but it's the proximity to Loch Ness which is the real drawing card.

Where is it? Duisdealmor

A property with a view? Check. Located on the south side of the Isle of Skye, on the Sleat peninsula, this two-bedroom house has floor-to-ceiling windows, is flooded with light and even a mezzanine viewing platform that thrusts out from the upstairs bedroom. There's a full kitchen and all the essentials, so you can make the space your own and enjoy full privacy on the edge of the world. The views make the most of gorgeous mountains and tranquil water. The house makes use of renewable energy sources too.  

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Where is it? Bernisdale, Isle of Skye


This converted post office is just a 10-15 minute drive to the super-cute town of Skye, Portree. Via post van or otherwise. Despite its proximity, you'll feel nice and secluded in a quiet village which is walking distance to hiking trails and the glimmering waters of Loch Snizort. It's ideal for families, with a double bed and two single beds, and a cosy log-fire stove along with a garden at the front and rear. We've never wanted to live in a post office more! 

Where is it? Culnacnoc, Isle of Skye


I mean, look at it. You ever seen a view quite like it? With snow-capped mountains behind and the sea to the front, being stuck in the middle has never been better. Despite being only a short drive to the capital village of Portree, its hilltop location gives it a feeling of perfect seclusion. Inside is a sleek and simple decor ensuring nothing distracts you from the beauty outside. Equipped with a separate bothy accommodation, the Eyrie sleeps four comfortably.

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Where is it? Fort William


Thinking of tackling (we mean walking up) Ben Nevis Scotland's highest mountain? Or simply dreaming of full Highlands immersion? This luxury eco-cabin offers three private acres with incredible views of the Nevis Range, so that you can look at it and either say "yes, I'll do that" or "it's lovely here and that's massive so I'll just say I've been there". This log cabin is powered by a solar and micro-hydro system, making it super energy efficient. It's mega-comfortable, too, thanks to underfloor heating, a wood fire, and a huge bath to soak your cares away. The three-bedroom space can fit up to five guests, making it ideal for a group excursion (or exertion).

Want more holiday inspiration?

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Right now, more than ever, we could all do with some post-lockdown inspiration. Why not start planning your summer road trip now? We're here to inspire you with swoon-worthy UK getaways that are guaranteed to expand your horizons. Before you know it you could be enjoying an afternoon treat in a traditional tea room, hiking up a mountain or spending a night under some of the darkest skies in the UK. What are you waiting for?

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