It's term time you visit Scotland for a perfect staycation as kids are back in school

KIDS have just gone back to school in Scotland – so campsites are emptying and hotels have more rooms available.

That means now is the perfect time to head north.

Having spent the past three weeks travelling around my homeland, here are my tips for a Scottish staycation.

If you are nervous about travelling, Loch Melfort Hotel soothes concerns. There, they take Covid seriously but it is still fun.

Dougal, one of the resident Highland cows, is the star of the show reminding guests on signs about social distancing, hand sanitising and more. It put a smile on my daughters’ faces as they explored the hotel.

The views out to the Argyll and the isles are jaw-dropping, while the food is affordable and gorgeous. I still dream of the steak.

It is family and dog-friendly, with a playpark and loads of walking options.

From £180 a night for a family of four B&B, call 01852 200233 or visit

If you want to push the boat out, Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire offers epic views out to the dramatic island of Ailsa Craig, where all the Olympic curling stones hail from.

This regal hideaway is perfect for a romantic escape. Have a champagne lunch in the new glasshouse restaurant or a private boat ride out to Ailsa Craig with a gourmet picnic.

Glenapp is currently offering four nights for the price of three or seven nights for the price of five. Call 01465 831212 or see

If you want to literally push the boat out, how about chartering your own cruise ship?

For £4,800, the lovely husband-and-wife team of Scott and Mary at Red Moon Cruises will take your family of four for a seriously exclusive cruise.

Food and drink is normally included, making for a once-in-a-lifetime post-lockdown treat.

The girls had cute cabins of their own, so Mummy and Daddy enjoyed some peace too. Chat to skipper Scott about where you want to go.

We opted for tiny uninhabited islands where it was just us, the seals and the seabirds. Back aboard, Mary was always waiting with delicious homecooked delights. Call 07768 101667 or visit

Last, but certainly not least, is Alexander House in the Ochil Hills just north of Edinburgh.

My girls tried to get me to promise not to tell anyone about “our hideaway”.

Covid-19 regulations

THE Scottish Government has details on Covid-19 regulations in Scotland at Social distancing is still two metres but kids under 12 don’t have to.

Your household can meet up to four other households – 15 people in total outdoors. Indoors, you can meet two households up to eight people and they can stay overnight. In total you can only meet four other households per day. That does not include people under 18.

Sorry, girls . . . but Juniper, its new revamped Leyland horse truck, is too good not to share!

This is a glamping oasis for a family of four, with a private area outside with a wood-fired hot tub and two affable Highland cows in the neighbouring field.

You can’t get more Scottish than that! From £150 a night, call 01764 910320, see

Great Scotlate breaks

HERE are other great deals north of the border:

  • STEP back in time at New Lanark, an 18th-century cotton-spinning mill village alongside the River Clyde. Prestige Holidays has five nights’ B&B at the New Lanark Mill Hotel, inside the restored mill, departing September 1 and including flights from Gatwick with easyJet to Glasgow and car hire. Call 01425 480400 or visit
  • ENJOY a stay in a stunning apartment at St Mary’s Church in Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway. Sleeping four, it is minutes from the town’s pubs and restaurants. From £884 in total, for four sharing, arriving August 28. See
  • EXPLORE Loch Ness from the OYO Loch Ness Drumnadrochit hotel. Doubles from £59, room only, family rooms for four from £114 per night for first week of September. See
  • ENJOY a stay at the Strathclyde Country Park Caravan & Motorhome Club campsite from £25.70 per pitch, per night for two adults and two kids over the age of five. There is a woodland walk, play area and modern washrooms as well as the country park to explore. See or
  • GET to the heart of Glasgow at Z Hotel, an old printworks near George Square. It reopened this week, with rooms from £35 a night. See
  • THE Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel & Spa is set in 30 acres and has a restaurant and bar with 80 varieties of whisky. Rooms from £67.15 per night, based on August 31 arrival. See

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