With majestic scenery, historic landmarks, miles of breathtaking coastal settings and charming cities and towns to explore, you don’t have to go far to enjoy luxurious or adventurous mini breaks in Scotland. Alba has everything you could ever dream of in one country.
Whether it’s a spring, summer, autumnal or winter escape, there’s things to see, places to explore and cultures to embrace in Scotland. We’ve created a list of our 15 favourite mini break ideas in Scotland that will make for a memorable trip away with family or friends. Plus, we’ve got 7 incredible hotels and inns across Scotland to act as your basecamp for your UK mini break.
1. Mini Walking Breaks In Oban
Known as the gateway to the isles, Oban is one of our favourite destinations in the west. Basking in endless miles of coastal scenery, surrounding isles and beautiful hills surrounding the bay, Oban is the perfect place to explore by foot.
Oban is home to Scotland’s very own colosseum, McCaig’s Tower which is only a 10 minute climb uphill from the centre, providing stunning views across Oban and out towards the neighbouring islands.
Ganavan Sands is another beautiful beach to walk to, taking only 30-40 minutes along the esplanade, offering visitors spectacular views out to Lismore, Mull and Morven. Plus, the walk to Ganavan provides panoramic views you won’t want to miss!
The Black Lochs walk in Connel, Oban is another beautiful adventure. Just over 10km, you’ll venture past the Connel Bridge, Falls of Lora, three gorgeous lochs, all on reasonable tracks. Plus, the view of Ben Cruachan is mesmerising.
We could go on, but we wanted to give you a taster of what you can expect when you enjoy a mini walking break in Oban. Plus, our hotel in Oban offers a place of respite.
2. Wildlife Watching In Mull
Not only does Mull boast beautiful scenery, it is also a premier destination in Scotland to go wildlife watching and see native sea and land creatures in their natural habitats.
The water around the Isle of Mull and Inner Hebrides is home to porpoises, dolphins, basking sharks, minke and humpback whales and so much more. As the UK’s number one whale watching destination, the rugged coast of Mull is the perfect place to spot water wildlife.
If you’d rather keep your feet on solid ground, there are plenty of wildlife tours available where you can spot golden eagles, otters, red deer and butterflies. Located by Craignure bay, our wellness hotel on Mull will welcome you back after your wildlife excursion.
3. Castle Stalking In Aberdeenshire
Known as Scotland’s castle country, Aberdeenshire is full of ancient history, architecture and stories. With over 200 castles, stately homes and castle ruins, history buffs will love a mini trip to Aberdeenshire. If you start your adventure in Stonehaven and head to Caigievar, you’ll see 19 castles that will take your breath away.
Plus, two of our favourite castles are Castle Fraser and Fyvie Castle which are close to our Inverurie hotel where you can soak up the countryside scenery and put your feet up before castle hunting again!
4. Mini Spa Breaks In Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
With a rural Aberdeenshire setting, our spa in Inverurie is the ideal destination for a little holiday self-indulgence. From a mini facial, full body treatment or massage to ease muscle strain, our spa days or breaks are the perfect remedy for your self-care retreat. Our indoor pool and outdoor hot tub just add to the relaxation.
5. Mountain Biking In The Cairngorms
Whether you decide to dash along the quieter roads or scale epic peaks off-road amongst the mountains, there are a variety of cycle routes to suit all fitness levels and ages. Let your inner adventurer out and explore the mountain trails in the Cairngorms. From the adrenaline of the mountains and the excitement of exploring the Highlands, to braving some of the park’s most dynamic and challenging tracks, every trip boasts beautiful views.
With lush landscapes all around you, a cycling trip to the Cairngorms allows you to embrace all the sights, sounds and smells of nature. Plus, our cosy Balmoral Arms (formerly Deeside Inn) is the ideal place to refuel, to put your feet up and rest.
6. Mini Munro Bagging Break In Glencoe
Glencoe is one of Scotland’s most sought after destinations due to its beauty, landmarks, outdoor activities and sorrowful past. It’s home to 8 munros which attracts thousands of mountaineers and climbers who love to challenge themselves, reach the ridges of Aonach Eagach, the Three Sisters, Buachaille Etive Mor, Sgurr Eilde Mor and so much more.
With plenty of mountains to choose from, Glencoe is the perfect place to fuel your mountain wanderlust, enjoy a breath of fresh air and hit those 10,000 steps. Plus, our boutique, five star Glencoe Inn is sheltered amongst the Glen, being the perfect overnight pitstop on the A82 through Glencoe for your outdoor adventures.
7. Sea Kayaking In The Moray Firth
Sea Kayaking around the Moray Firth is one of Scotland’s greatest adventures as you’ll discover some of Scotland’s hidden gems, steeped in beauty, history and tradition. Along with exploring and kayaking through the beautiful landscapes which surround the Moray Firth, the dolphin spotting is an unforgettable addition to all sea kayaking trips.
See the Highlands from the water, visit Inverness and make your mini break in Scotland one to remember. With a seafront hotel residing in Nairn, Golf View Hotel & Spa will make for the ultimate overnight.
8. Explore Scotland’s Famous Film Locations In Glencoe
It’s time to appreciate the dramatic beauty and jaw dropping mountains in Glencoe, and visit some iconic filming destinations that hit our big screens. From James Bond to Harry Potter and Braveheart, Glencoe is a popular screen backdrop. Head to Glen Etive where James Bond drove his Aston Martin home in Skyfall, or venture to the Glenfinnan Viaduct which took Harry Potter and his friends to Hogwarts.
9. Step back In Time To Inverary Castle
Just a short walk from our impressive lochside hotel, Inveraray Castle was the ancestral home to the Duke of Argyll who founded the lochside town back in 1700s. Inveraray Castle is full of rich history, exquisite architecture and beautiful immaculate gardens. Start by wandering through the interior and then take to the gardens to explore further afield.
Be enchanted. Enrich your Scottish history knowledge. Enjoy the lochside location. Stay with us at Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa to top off your luxury adventure.
10. Mini Fishing Expedition In Glencoe
If you’re an avid fisher and like your salmon and trout, Glencoe is the place to fish. Surrounded by peace and quiet, rugged terrain and silvery lochs, Glencoe offers a picturesque fishing destination. Glencoe Lochan, Loch Leven and River Lochy are just some of the fantastic spots where you are guaranteed a catch!
Whether you prefer to fish from a boat or the edge of the loch/shore, Glencoe is the ultimate backdrop for your next fishing expedition. Plus, our five star Glencoe Inn is a cosy place to retreat at night for a well-earned night’s rest.
11. Taste Oban’s Finest Dram At The Oban Distillery
Every whisky connoisseur's dream is to visit a distillery, taste the nectar and learn about the ancient acts to produce the perfect malt. And one of our favourite distillery’s lies on the west coast - Oban Distillery.
Named after its home, the Oban Distillery have created a 14 year old malt which reflects their seaside setting and charming coastal character. With several tours to choose from, walk a day in the life of a whisky maker on the west coast and taste their incredible malt for yourself.
Our Oban hotel is perfectly located on the esplanade making your jaunt to the distillery and back short and sweet.
12. Mini Boat Trips To Staffa Island From Mull
Take a tour to one of Scotland’s most dramatic islands: the isle of Staffa, with its hexagonal pillars and Fingal’s cave. It’s time to spot the seals, dolphins, eagles, whales and basking sharks which surround the isle, and sail through the breathtaking Trenish Isle.
Plus, you’ll get to see the Puffins that reside on the sea cliffs.
13. Mini Golfing Break In Aberdeenshire
Experience Scottish golfing with an Aberdeen twist and enjoy a bespoke luxury golfing trip. With greens set against mesmerising countryside backdrops, parklands and links courses will challenge and smaller local 18 hole courses, golfers are spoiled for choice in Aberdeenshire.
With names like Royal Aberdeen and Trump International, Aberdeenshire is flooded by golfers every year. Plus, guests staying at Thainstone House receive exclusive rates for Inverurie, Kintore and Kemnay golf clubs.
14. A Day Trip To Balmoral Castle & Estate
Did you know that Balmoral Castle is the summer home for Her Majesty the Queen in Scotland? Don’t be surprised the exquisite Baronial architecture and estate has been awarded a category A listing by Historic Scotland.
Balmoral Castle also has a beautiful formal garden to wander and a dedicated vegetable garden to admire. Full of Scottish history and culture, Balmoral Castle is an incredible historic castle to visit in Aberdeenshire.
15. A Day trip To The Highlands Capital - Inverness
Make your trip extra special and visit the capital of the Highlands, Inverness, a cosmopolitan city with a lot of character, culture and history. Whether you’d prefer to walk through the High Street and visit some of the boutique local shops, enjoy a freshly brewed coffee or enjoy a drink and bite to eat at the restaurants and bars, Inverness is full of life and wander.
Or if you’d like to add a little history to your trip, the castle and cathedral can be visited on the banks of the River Ness.
Whether you like a break full of adventure and adrenaline or a relaxing break, our top 15 mini break ideas will help you plan your next staycation in Scotland. Get inspired by Scotland and plan your next staycation to include one of our favourite holiday ideas. Crerar Hotels will welcome you to our hotels and inns scattered across Scotland following your day of adventure.