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Self catering means everything is provided for you

In most properties absolutely everything you need is provided except for food. You can make use of everything from the washing machine, to the video player, micro wave to deep freeze.

Types of property

The range is huge. You can find farm cottages surrounded by animals, remote chalets deep in the Highlands, large properties with many bedrooms, small cottages by the water, holiday properties at the seaside, flats in the large cities, absolutely every type of property is offered. Just search for the type you are looking for and the area. Look at several Google pages though. Your ideal property might be on page 5.

Types of guest

Typical guests are professionals and their families looking for an outdoor holiday, free of restrictions. Sometimes couples, sometimes honeymooners, and occasionally large parties

Linen and Towels

Nearly everyone supplies fresh linen and towels and often to the highest standards. Sometimes these are charged for separately. Very occasionally guests still bring their own.


Some properties include the heating costs in the price, but others charge it separately but always at the cost of the units shown on the meter and never allowing for any profit.

Help for visitors

All properties offer information on the local area for guests. Some owners live close by and can give advice. If owners live away then there is usually a neighbour to help.

Cleaning the property

All the properties offered for self catering in Scotland are cleaned after each visit. Owners do ask guests to tidy up at the end of their stay just as a courtesy.


The only national regulations for self catering are for fire prevention. Some properties are graded by a national organisation.

Smoking and pets

Here the practice varies. Some owners allow smoking inside the property and many more forbid it. Some owners allow pets, and others do not. Check with your owner

Self catering websites

Most owners offer their own website, with basic information, but some include availability pages and much information about the area. Most owners also place themselves on self catering website directories. These list many properties. But take care. Some of these directories are sales agents and will therefore load the charges to guests while knowing little about the property. You can tell these because they do not allow access to the owners directly nor to the owners’ websites.


Prices are the cheapest of all holiday prices, lower in cost than hotels and bed and breakfast. They may be even cheaper than youth hostel prices while offering vastly superior standards. Some of the standards are the equivalent of 5 star, and these owners will show this on their websites.

Prices vary by area, season, facilities and size of property.

The lowest prices are offered in Scotland’s South west and the highest in Edinburgh and the more popular Scottish Highland areas.

Most properties are open for let through the year. Winter prices are usually less than half the Summer prices. Prices are highest in the period from mid July to end August.

Letting periods

Most lets, particularly in the high season, are for a week and are from Saturday to Saturday. A few let from Friday to Friday. Shorter breaks are usually possible in the off season. In a few larger holiday complexes, with purpose built chalets it may be worth trying for short lets. For off season short breaks you should be lucky everywhere . Single night lets are very rare.

Contacting the owners

It is best to follow the advice given on the owner’s website. Some prefer e-mail and read it several times a day. Others, if they live on the property prefer telephone calls because they want to talk to prospective guests first.