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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

By Rose Johnstone
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There is, simply, no place like the Scottish Highlands. 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, there are plenty of top-notch accommodation options. Airbnb offers some real left-field options, from bona fide castles to adorable bothies. 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. 

RECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in the UK

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Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

Myrtle Cottage

Where is it? Between the villages of Lochinver and Clachtoll
For matchless views along the rugged Sutherland coastline and white, pristine beaches, this cosy semi-detached cottage is a great choice. Relax on the spacious patio and take in glorious sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean (bring your binoculars; you could spot whales and dolphins!). With two bedrooms and a fully-fitted kitchen, it makes for a great family stay. 

Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

The Little Skye Bothy

Where is it? Broadford, Isle of Skye
For near-total nature immersion (without the faff of setting up a tent or braving the chilly Highlands winds!), book this adorable pod on the Isle of Skye. It's 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 simple, yet stylish, with kitchen facilities, a shower room, double bed and sofa bed, plus an oil-filled heater and TV. Wi-Fi is even available – although who needs the screen when you've got endless acres of pristine nature trails?

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Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

16th Century Scottish castle

Where is it? Lochgilphead, Argyll & Bute
Got a bit of cash to splash and want to live like you're a medieval lord or lady for a few days? Kilmartin Castle (which accommodates ten guests) is calling. This recently restored sixteenth-century castle is the real deal: think dining room with the original stone barrel vaulted ceiling, great hall with immense fireplace and surrounding glen dotted with standing stones, 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, fast Wi-Fi and even a local chef who (at extra cost) can come and prepare a locally sourced five-course dinner for you. 

Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

The Airship

Where is it? Drimnin
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, kitchenette, Wi-Fi, and – perhaps most importantly – matchless views out of its massive windows.

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Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

Historic Highland mansion

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 luxe apartment, which takes up the first floor of a Victorian mansion, is a great base to explore the region from – particularly the nearby Royal Deeside area. The four-bed flat accommodates up to six guests and features a fireplace, kitchen and Wi-Fi. 

Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

Blueness

Where is it? Lochgilphead, Argyll & Bute
The Highlands aren't all lochs and mountains – the northernmost city of Inverness is a thriving hub filled with cute shops, great pubs, Michelin-starred restaurant Boath House and of course, proximity to Loch Ness (and its famous inhabitant, Nessie). This luxurious (yet relatively affordable) apartment is situated right in the centre of town. With a full kitchen, king bed, modern furnishings and Wifi, it's the perfect base from which to explore the city and the wilderness beyond.

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Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

St Andrew's Chapel

Where is it? Fort Augustus
For a Highlands stay fit for royalty, you can't do better than this luxurious two-bedroom apartment located within The Highland Club, overlooking Loch Ness. Gorgeous original stained glass windows depicting the Scottish saints, plus stone 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 and the Nevis Range ski area during the winter months that's the real drawcard.

Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

The View

Where is it? Duisdealmor
Now here's a property that really knows how to make the most of its views. Located on the south side of the Isle of Skye on the Sleat peninsula, this two-bedroom house has floor-to-ceiling windows, a vaulted ceiling 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.

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Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

The Old Post Office

Where is it? Bernisdale, Isle of Skye
Get the best of both worlds at this lovingly converted post office which is just a 10-15 minute drive to the super-cute capital town of Skye, Portree. Despite its proximity, you'll feel nice and secluded in a quiet village which is close to top-notch hiking trails and the glimmering waters of Loch Snizort. It's ideal for families, with a double bed and two single beds, with a cosy log fired stove and garden at the front and rear.

Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

Skye Eyrie

Where is it? Culnacnoc, Isle of Skye
Seriously, do views get any better than this? With snow-capped mountains behind and the sea to the front, this cute one-bedroom cottage known at the Eyrie could be exactly what you're looking for. Despite being only a short drive to the capital village of Portree, its hilltop location gives it a feeling of perfect seclusion. Equipped with separate bothy accommodation, the Eyrie sleeps four comfortably.

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Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

Wild Nurture eco log cabin

Where is it? Fort William
Thinking of tackling Ben Nevis – Scotland's highest mountain – or simply dreaming of full Highlands immersion? This luxury eco cabin offers three whole private acres with incredible views of the Nevis Range. This log cabin is powered by a solar and micro-hydro system, making it super energy efficient. It's mega-comfortable, too; think 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 groups of friends or families. 

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