Despite its relatively diminutive size, Scotland boasts a diverse array of destinations that attract visitors in droves. Ancient cities with stately medieval architecture dot the landscape, giving way to rolling highlands and rocky coasts. Aside from all this scenic beauty, Scotland also features an intriguing cultural tapestry highlighted by kilts, golf and malt whiskey. Tourists have a wide spectrum of lodging options available to them, ranging from standard hotels and inns to rustic hostels and guesthouses. Many hotels in Scotland's prime tourist areas are quite expensive, but budget-minded travelers will still be able to find discount accommodations all across the country.
As the largest city in Scotland, Glasgow brims with businesses, museums, parks and universities. Frommer's Travel Guide recommends the Argyll Hotel for its affordable rates and proximity to Kelvingrove Park. Another option is the modern Etap Hotel, which was built in 2007. Frommer's also recommends the Amadeus Guest House for its remodeled Victorian design and the Babbity Bowster Inn for its bustling on-site pub.
Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, features a massive castle and myriad cobblestone streets with cozy bars and boutique shopping centers sprinkled throughout. The city's summer festivals make it hard to find hotels with vacancies, so it's important to book well in advance for summertime travel. The Let's Go Travel Guide suggests avoiding the pricey city center hotels in favor of budget establishments like the Greenside Hotel and the Grassmarket Hotel. The Caledonian Backpackers Hotel also offers cheap dorm quarters complemented by an on-site bar with live music. Additionally, the Castle Rock Hostel sits just outside the Edinburgh Castle entrance. It has a cinema room and a vibrant party atmosphere.
Stirling's impressive castle overlooks the William Wallace Monument and the fields where the historic Battle of Bannockburn took place. Frommer's mentions the Park Lodge Hotel and the Willy Wallace Hostel as two affordable places to stay in town. On the outskirts lies the West Plean House, a working farm with a bed and breakfast service.
St. Andrews ranks as the most famous golf destination in the world. Most hotels here charge expensive rates, but a few cheaper options exist. Frommer's suggests checking out the Ashleigh House Hotel or the Aslar Guest House. Alternatively, travelers visiting during the summer can contact the University of St. Andrews and rent out unoccupied dorms and apartments for discount prices.
The Trossachs stands out as Scotland's first national park. Visitors looking to stay overnight in this beautiful wilderness setting can book with the Trossachs Backpackers Hostel or the White Shutters Bed & Breakfast.
The highland city of Inverness serves as a base for excursions to nearby Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. Frommer's lists the Balliefeary Guest House and the Ivybank Guest House as two of the cheaper hotels in town. Travelers will find even lower prices at the Eastgate Backpackers Hostel and the Bazpackers Hostel.
Aberdeen, known as the Granite City, lies along the North Sea. Fodor's Travel Guide recommends the Atholl Hotel and the Craibstone Suites for comfortable budget accommodations. In addition, Lonely Planet lists the Old Fire Station Hostel, with its private bedrooms, common areas and shared kitchen facilities.
- urquhart castle, loch ness, scotland image by Elnur from Fotolia.com