The most popular Scottish getaway destinations are ...

Seabank, Lamlash, Isle of Arran.

Seabank, Lamlash, Isle of Arran.

The top five getaway destinations in Scotland have been revealed.

Arran, Inverness, the Highlands (Cairngorms National Park region), Fort William & Glencoe and the Isle of Skye have come out tops for self-catering holidays and mini-breaks.

Hamara Lodge, Glendale, Isle of Skye.

Hamara Lodge, Glendale, Isle of Skye.

Cottages & Castles, Scotland’s pre-eminent holiday lettings company, said today that staycations are as popular as ever and attract a wide range of holidaymakers, from families to young couples and large groups of friends.

The company reported a 25 per cent increase in the total volume of bookings for 2016 compared to the previous year, with the majority of bookings being from holiday makers in the UK.

A steady increase in the number of international visitors booking self-catering properties was also witnessed, with the company reporting a 10 per cent increase on last year’s figures, with holiday makers from Germany and America supporting this trend.

Sue Bourne, manager of Cottages & Castles, said: “One of the growing trends we have experienced throughout the year is the increase in popularity of large properties for group bookings. Destinations including the Highlands and the West Coast have enjoyed a surge in popularity this year where a large group of family or friends can enjoy their own private house located in some of the most spectacular scenic locations around.

Knock Old Castle, Ayrshire.

Knock Old Castle, Ayrshire.

“The draw of Scotland, steeped in history, is evident with its numerous castles, beautiful scenery and fantastic outdoor activities for all ages to enjoy.”

Cottages & Castles has grown its portfolio of large top quality self-catering houses to cater for the demand from group bookings. A new addition includes Old Milton, Kingussie, an exceptional former sporting lodge stylishly renovated mixing traditional features with modern aspects and presenting a sophisticated dining room with hand crafted chandeliers and wooden beams capable of seating 20 guests.

Some very quirky and unique properties have also been introduced to the company’s books including Knock Old Castle, Ayrshire, a recently renovated 14th century fairy-tale castle offering luxurious accommodation complete with its very own turret sauna.

With a self-catering holiday at home offering an affordable getaway, the firm predicts a continuing increase in bookings for 2017, as the popularity of self-catering holidays in Scotland remains ever strong.

Examples of some of the properties being rented in the most popular areas of Scotland include:

Arran – Seabank, Arran is a traditional Arran house, recently renovated with traditional open fire offering a warm friendly atmosphere. The house is beautifully positioned to enjoy views across Lamlash Bay with direct access to the beach at the bottom of the garden.

Inverness – Balnain Farmhouse, Muir of Ord – this fine sandstone farmhouse is ideal for large parties set amidst the 4000 glorious acres of the Brahan Estate in Easter Ross. This property can also be booked together with three other properties on the estate for even larger parties offering a wonderful location from where to explore the West Coast with its stunning scenery and a choice of destinations from Ullapool to the Isle of Skye.

Highlands – Muckrach Castle, Grantown-on-Spey – set in an acre of ground within the Cairngorms National Park, this historic and romantic castle, with fairytale turrets, has been sympathetically restored to offer a unique stay for guests wishing to sample the Scottish Highlands in their very own castle.

Fort William & Glencoe – The Old Croft, Roy Bridge – with an open log fireplace and heated slate floors, this cosy cottage offers an ideal base to explore Glencoe, the Nevis Range and Fort William and is the perfect retreat to unwind in at the end of the day. Located up a majestic Lochaber glen, this property enjoys far reaching views across native woodland and heather clad hills to Aonach Mor and the Grey Corries.

Isle of Skye – Hamara Lodge, Glendale – this traditional island house enjoys stunning views of the Western Isles and offers a delightful home-from-home for large parties of family or friends wishing to enjoying all that Skye has to offer.