10 reasons why Scotland is best staycation destination in the UK

best staycation

The best staycation you will ever go on…….

I took the picture above in 2018 on day 4 of the best staycation I have ever been on. The picture is of a beautiful sunny day in late May on Talisker beach on the Isle of Skye. I’ve been on tropical Caribbean beach holidays, been skiing in the French Alps, stayed on super yachts, spent weekends in Paris, Barcelona, Cannes, Gstaad and many other fabulous destinations, but none of the compared to that idyllic week on the Isle of Skye (well, actually, on the island of Raasay to be precise).

So here are 10 reasons why I would recommend Scotland to anyone as the best staycation destination in the UK for this summer.


The 1st thing many people picture when they envisage a Summer holiday is a beautiful sunny day at the beach. Scotland has a fabulous array of stunning beaches to suit everyone’s taste. From the far flung white sandy beaches of the Islands and the west coast (above), to the more accessible but equally beautiful beaches of East Lothian (right), in Scotland you are never very far away from a magical and secluded beach that is just waiting to be discovered.

Neidpath Castle in the

Scottish Borders


When I was younger, the idea of spending a holiday going on walks was a complete anathema to me, now it’s literally my favourite thing to do and it was the amount of stunning walks that we found that made our holiday on Raasay the best staycation ever a couple of years ago.

In Scotland we have the “right to roam” as set out by the Land Reform Act 2003 which gives people rights of access over land and inland water throughout Scotland, subject to specific exclusions set out in the Act and as long as they behave responsibly. This makes Scotland the best staycation location for anyone keen on a good walk.

Tyninghame Beach

45 minutes south of Edinburgh

best staycation Tyninghame beach


It’s been estimated that there are around 2,000 castles in Scotland. It would be very easy to fill up an entire week just visiting a small fraction of Scotland’s castles, I’ve actually put together a few itineraries doing exactly that for various clients across the years! For the more casual visitor we can work castle trips into wider itineraries, there are castles to visit, castles to hike to (like Niedpath castle shown on the left), castles to eat at, ruined castles and of course…….. castles to stay in!

The walk back from Talisker beach on Skye

best staycation walks


Yes, the rest of the UK has pubs as well, but in Scotland we have pubs on islands, pubs up mountains, pubs on lochs, pubs on boats, pubs in the wilderness, hidden pubs, pubs in distilleries…. I could go on and on and on.


I’ll let the pictures do the talking….


Somethings on this list are subjective, the fact that Scotland is the best staycation destination for a whisky lover is definitely not one of them.

There are over 120 active distilleries across Scotland which can be split into 5 whisky-making regions; Highland, Campbeltown, Islay, Speyside and Lowland. A whisky aficionado could easily spend a full week in any of these locations, alternatively, a driving tour to visit them all could be a bucket list trip……………. maybe let us provide the driver 😉

Me @ Tobermory Distillery a few years ago. Fabulous tour & tasting (hazy memory!)

A CalMac ferry coming into Oban,
the “Gateway to the Isles”

island hopping staycation

City Breaks

Obviously there are several cities in Scotland but, for the sake of brevity, we’d recommend Edinburgh as the best staycation destination. There is so much to see and do in Scotland’s beautiful and historic capital city that its hard to know where to start, so why not let us know what you are interested in and we will build you a tailor-made schedule to suit your individual interests.


This is on my own personal bucket list. A 2 week-island hopping trip around the Islands of the West Coast and the Hebrides. Overall Scotland has about 790 islands varying in size (including Shetland and Orkney) and the best way to visit as many as possible is to get an island hopper ferry ticket from Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries (known as CalMac).

Pro-tip: No trip to the west coast of Scotland is complete without at least 1 photo of a CalMac Ferry. The one shown left is my best effort so far.

This is actually the view from our office window
(We are aware we’re very lucky!)

edinburgh staycation

My best friend Ragnar on Talisker Beach

dog friendly staycation

Dog Friendly

Scotland is extremely dog friendly so why not bring your dog with you? The best staycation is one you can share with your 4 legged friends meaning no kennel fees and no sad looks as you pack your bags for holiday. Dogs are also the perfect excuse to keep fit and healthy through regular walks, even when you are sampling the best of Scottish food and drink.

We recommend Dugs ‘n Pubs as a good guide to all the dog friendly locations. Alternatively, just let us know you are bringing the dog and we will give you all the best dog-friendly info, tried and tested by Ragnar (my Labrador, pictured left) and I.

Country Sports

Last, but by no means least, our own speciality and unique area of expertise, Country sports.

A trip to Scotland is already going to to be the best staycation you’ve ever been on, but why not top it off with some of the world-leading country sports Scotland has to offer? Through our unique network of estates and guides River & Green can offer a variety of country sports unrivalled by any other company in the UK. We can offer sport for single individuals or for large groups, just let us know what your dream holiday would include and we will make it happen! Sports on offer are:

Fly-fishing on the River Spey

best staycation fishing

How to make a booking

We understand it’s a very uncertain time at the moment with the effects of the Coronavirus on the economy still unclear but, one thing is certain and that is that, eventually, this too shall pass and everyone is going to need a well earned break!

The benefits of a staycation within the UK are clear, no air travel and no chance of getting trapped when a country closes its borders. It is more cost effective due to the lack of air fares, meaning you can spend more on your holiday and less on just getting there. All these are incidental benefits on top of the fact that Scotland is a truly stunning place with a vast amount to see and do for everyone, there’s a reason 15.5 million people visited Scotland in 2018!

To book you trip email alex@river-green.com or fill in our enquiry forms below. We are taking lots of bookings for mid-late summer 2020 so we would advise booking soon to avoid disappointment!

Make an enquiry

Shooting / stalking staycation