Scotland has just been placed at an impressive number 2 on the Rough Guide’s list of Top Ten countries to visit in 2017. As far as we’re concerned, it’s right at the top of the list of must-see destinations at any time, but with 2017 being dubbed Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, there are even more reasons to visit.
This special year aims to shine a light on Scotland’s greatest assets and hidden gems with a range of exciting events and activities celebrating our traditional music, storytelling, world-renowned history collections and heritage.
With over 450 cottages across the length and breadth of Scotland, our guests are never far from a story about Scotland’s fascinating past.
200 year old Brekkan Cottage is located 14 miles from Stromness on West Mainland Orkney and is close to the four amazing archaeological attractions that make up the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage sites. The most famous is probably Skara Brae, which was rediscovered following a storm in 1850 when wind and high winds stripped away the grass to reveal the outline of a number of stone buildings. Over the years, excavations and investigations have revealed a domestic settlement from the late Neolithic years (3200 to 2200 BC) with stone walls, passageways roofed with original stone slabs and stone furnishings including beds and dressers.
The Ring of Brodgar is a Neolithic stone circle surrounded by a rock cut ditch set in a spectacular natural amphitheatre of lochs and hills. Another of these Neolithic gems are the Standing Stones of Stenness – possibly the oldest henge monument in the whole of the British Isles. These four upright stones, each up to 6 metres tall, would have once been part of a stone circle on an ancient ceremonial site.
No less amazing is Orkney’s Maeshowe Chambered Cairn. Built around 5,000 years ago, it’s a work of Neolithic architectural genius with an entrance aligned with the setting of the midwinter sun so the light illuminates the tomb’s interior. There’s added interest in the form of some Norse graffiti left by crusaders who broke into Maeshowe in the mid 1100’s.
Brekkan Cottage sleeps 4 people and costs from £345 for 7 nights. If you’re lucky, you may even catch sight of the wonderful Northern Lights during your trip.
Scotland’s much more recent industrial heritage can be explored in a fabulously entertaining way at New Lanark in Lanarkshire. Founded in the 18th century, it tells the story of social pioneer Robert Owen and his cotton mill village. Mill owner Owen provided decent homes, fair wages, free healthcare, a new education system for villagers, as well as the first workplace nursery school in the world.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, New Lanark has been beautifully restored as a living community that welcomes visitors from all over the world. The Visitor Centre includes the Annie Mcleod Experience where you can travel back in time to learn about the life and times of a mill girl in 1820s New Lanark. Other highlights include Robert Owen’s School for children, 1820s and 1930s mill worker homes, Robert Owen’s house, the village store and some working textile machinery. You can even indulge in a spot of shopping in The Mill Shop, enjoy a walk in the surrounding woodlands and see the spectacular Falls of Clyde nearby.
Medwyn Cottage is an ideal location for visiting New Lanark. Sleeping 4 people with a stylish interior and wood-burning stove to curl up in front of, it costs from just £395 for 7 nights with discounts available for couples.
Many of our properties have their own special history. Heatherlea Cottage near Dalwhinnie in Invernesshire stands alone on the hillside where Bonnie Prince Charlie encamped his army after raising his standard at Glenfinnan. He may even have rested in the old crofters cottage that forms the basis of this modernised, cosy property. It is pet friendly and sleeps up to 7 people, making the ideal holiday location for lovers of the countryside, walkers, climbers, mountain bikers and also, with a location less than an hour from the Cairngorm and Nevis ski areas, winter sports fans. Prices start at £365 for 7 nights.
One of our most unusual properties is Blackcraig Bridgehouse near Bridge of Cally in Perthshire. This castle-like bridge dates from the 1800s and straddles the River Ardle, just 7 miles from Blairgowrie. It has characterful notched battlements, a winding stone spiral staircase and turret, plus much of the original flooring and wood paneling.
This fantastic property even contains a sauna that has wonderful river views. Blackcraig Bridgehouse sleeps 2 people and prices start at £365 for a 7 night stay.
Browse our website at www.unique-cottages.co.uk or call 01835 822277 for friendly advice and recommendations from a member of the Unique Cottages team who can help find you the perfect accommodation for you to enjoy discovering more about Scotland’s rich history and heritage in this special year.