The Ultimate Scottish Road Trip

Scotland – a country known for its world-class scenery, memorable music scene and of course, eclectic cuisine. Haggis, whisky and square sausage, anyone?  If you are planning a trip to Scotland, why not take our ultimate Scottish road trip?

Kick things off in the Kingdom of Fife

The first port of call for anybody new to Scotland is a trip to the beautiful east coast. Pop on down to the proclaimed home of golf, St. Andrews and play on world-famous courses. Head on over to Anstruther or as the locals call it, “Ainster”) for a true delight of a fish supper from the award-winning Anstruther Fish Bar.

Where to stay: Elderburn Luxury Lodges, Silverdyke Holiday Park.

Boat in anstruther

Imagine in Inverness

Explore the ruins of the battle grounds of Culloden, unfurl the myth of the Loch Ness monster and embrace the stunning Scottish scenery on offer. Are you a fan of Scotch Whisky? Why not take a Speyside Whisky tour? Indulge in having your very own Whisky tour-guide-come-chauffeur and spend the day having a true Whisky adventure sampling all the best distilleries Speyside has to offer.

Where to stay: Kingsmills Hotel, Eagle Brae.

Be Inspired in Islay

No trip to Scotland would be complete without a trip to the scenic Outer Hebrides. Visit the Isle of Islay and immerse yourself in the serene tranquillity and natural wild beauty that the island offers. Take an opportunity to sample the peaty malts of Islay, or set off for some island hopping across to Jura and other neighbouring lands. And make sure you have a taste of freshly cooked pizza from Peatzeria.

Where to stay:  Islay Cottages.

Islay lighthouse at sunset

Explore in Edinburgh

Finish off in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. Explore this UNESCO heritage site and unravel Scottish history with a trip to Edinburgh Castle, visit the spooky underground city vaults and discover the site of the Covenanters Prison – widely regarded as the world’s first concentration camp. Finish off with a bit of souvenir shopping and head on over to Edinburgh’s Grassmarket to snap up a vintage bargain or two.

Where to stay: Parliament House Hotel.

Planning your Scottish Road Trip

Planning your Scottish road trip can be a lengthy task – especially considering how many fantastic attractions there are! Why not visit some of our previous suggestions to help get your creative juices flowing.

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A photo of a beach and flipflops

Top Tips for Getting the Best Holiday Deals

With so many taxes and fees being whacked on at the payment page of a website, it can seem like you’ve already spent a small fortune before even booking your holiday. Looking for a budget escape away? Don’t worry – simply follow our top tips for getting the best holiday deals!

Book Direct – Best Holiday Deals

We cannot emphasise this tip enough – when booking your holiday, always book direct with the hotel you’re planning to stay with. Whilst rates may not necessarily be cheaper than when booking through the likes of Expedia or Booking.com, often booking direct with a hotel is inclusive of additional perks – such as a free breakfast.

Passport and sunglasses on a world map

Book Mid-Week – Best Holiday Deals

If time isn’t an issue and you’re simply looking for a lovely getaway, then consider booking a break that departs mid-week. Booking onto a Friday or Saturday flight typically tends to be more expensive, and that makes sense. It’s the time when most long-distance commuters return home!

Even when booking with a hotel, mid-week rates are typically cheaper as this is when people are less likely to stay.

A plane in flight

Always Book in Advance – Best Holiday Deals

Despite the age-old adage that it’s best to wait last minute to book a bargain, this does not ring true with long-haul flights. Long haul flights typically tend to point toward destination business central hubs (such as New York to London, etc.) and as such rarely come down in price, but can in fact actually increase.

If you’re planning to visit a particularly popular destination, it serves well to book in advance, not only to get the best price, but ensure you have a spot on the flight too!

Tips for the Best Holiday Deals

Stick by our tips and you’ll not be without the best holiday deals possible! Not sure where you want to go? Check out some of our suggestions here.

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Image of a bedroom with text saying great reasons to book direct with us

5 Reasons Why Booking Direct Pays Off

n theIf you’re a savvy traveller planning a trip away, you would of course shop around for the best deal. In the age of online booking, finding price comparison sites is easier than ever. But can you be sure that you’re getting the best holiday deals? The answer is not always as clear-cut as it seems. Sometimes it’s better to go straight to the source. It’s why we’ve put together 5 reasons why booking direct is guaranteed to get you the best deal.

5) Your Time Saves You Money

While it’s easy to leave your accommodation arrangements to the whims of a travel agent or online comparison site, most hotels have secure, easy-to-use online booking engines. A few clicks and you’re booked. By taking matters into your own hands and booking direct from the hotel, you can ensure your accommodation is tailored to your needs and not the other way around. And by cutting out the middle man, you can save a pretty penny too. Which brings us to our next point.

Piles of pound coins

4) Cut Out the Middle Man

Online travel operators and comparison sites like Expedia and Booking.com are great tools to shop around and see what accommodation is available for your chosen destination. But don’t be fooled by the attraction of cheap rates on third-party sites. Keep in mind that these companies aren’t providing this fantastic service entirely for altruistic reasons. At the end of the day, they are still a business and their goal is to make money.

But when you cut out the middle man, you cut out the commission which is typically somewhere in the region of 18%! That saving can be passed on direct to the customer (or at least some of it, hotels are businesses too after all). Many hotels have a “best price guarantee” for booking direct, so it’s always worth having a look to see if there’s a better deal available from the hotel.

Finger pointing to a list of booking direct benefits

3) Perks and Upgrades

Not everything in life, or in holidays, comes down to brass tacks. There are a whole host of other benefits to booking direct that can’t be summed up on a receipt. A direct exchange between buyer and seller inevitably results in a closer connection. Hotels place great value in their direct bookers. This usually manifests in great special offers or deals not available to everyone else. For example, breakfast is often included in the price for a direct booking. And by communicating directly with the hotel staff, who know all about their own wares, room upgrades and transfers are more common as they are better placed to accommodate your needs.

Breakfast with a croissant and fruit, juice and tea

2) Rewarding Your Loyalty

Hotels love to have return guests. Many offer loyalty schemes to encourage guests to come back again and again. If you do find that perfect home away from home, then the only way for the hotel to reward your loyalty is if you let them know it’s you again. The simplest way to do this is by booking direct. Most modern online booking engines, even for the smallest independent hotel, will be able to save your details. This not only speeds up the booking process for you, it lets the hotel keep track of how often you visit which can lead to some really juicy rewards.

1) Accommodating Your Travel Needs

If your trip doesn’t turn out exactly as you planned and you need to change dates or even cancel your accommodation outright, you will often find that hotels are far more accommodating with direct bookers. Booking through a comparison site may leave you at the mercy of their terms and conditions, which are designed to protect their commission. Whereas booking direct with the hotel can often have far more favourable conditions, especially if you’re a valued loyal customer. Date changes are often free, provided rooms are available. Outright cancellations may incur a fee, but it is unlikely to be as high as the penalties from comparison sites. So at the end of the day, the hotel wants you to book again when you are able to. They don’t want to part ways indefinitely because of an unfair cancellation fee that could ruin any chance of repeat business.

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Bottom of a steam train on the tracks

All Aboard: Train Tripping through the UK

The United Kingdom is a beautiful place full of culture, history and rolling hills. It’s a country just begging to be explored. But how do you get about, especially if you don’t have a car? Thankfully, our blog title isn’t just for show. The UK really is ‘united’ by a never-ending, inter-connected rail network. So if you’re looking to go train tripping through the UK this year, we might be able to help give you a few ideas.

On Track To Train Tripping Through The UK

With over 2,000 railway stations in the UK (making it the fifth most used railway network on the planet), the British Railway system also happens to be the oldest Railway Network in the entire world. The Stockton and Darlington Railway opened in 1825, the first locomotive-pulled railway for public use. This means train tripping through the UK is not only viable; it’s one of the most authentic ways of exploring the country.

A network of rail tracks

Rail Tours – A Classic


Rail Tours are widely regarded as excellent value for money. And as the best-known method of exploring the country by train, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience. UK Railtours are ‘Britain’s favourite Rail Tour Operator’. They start a number of their tours around London, and then venture further afield on unusual tracks to hidden gems, seaside resorts or quiet trips around the country. They give passengers a chance to soak up the sights. And travellers can even take a trip in a genuine steam train! Offering a choice of seats, a train-bound dining experience and a wealth of sights, why not enrich your year by starting it on tour?

Rail Roving – A Hidden Treat


Rail roving is somewhat of a mystery to many. If you fancy train tripping through the UK, then rail roving is without a doubt a hidden delight. So few people really acknowledge that it exists as a service. Even writing about it now, we expect you’re probably asking yourself what it’s all about.

Rail roving allows you to purchase a ticket that lasts a set number of days. But unlike other rail passes, it allows unlimited travel on any number of stations in a designated area. If you’re looking to book hotels in advance, then this is probably the exploration method for you. And the best part of rail roving? It’s cheap. Making it the perfect way to explore Scotland’s secret history with the Spirit of Scotland Travelpass 4 in 8 Days. For only £149, it covers a number of Caledonian MacBrayne ferries, along with a handful of bus services for four days in an eight-day period. Which means it’s perfect for the well-planned traveller with an eye for adventure.

Man walking away on rail tracks
To sum up, whether you’re looking to get away for the New Year, or excited to spend some time with the family on a train in the New Year, you’re spoilt for choice. Make this year the year of train tripping through the UK and take in the sights, sounds and history around you. However you travel, make sure you try some train tracks on your visit.

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