Spring into action with a trip to the Highlands

Spring into action with a trip to the Highlands

If you were to ask us, we’d tell you that the Scottish Highlands are beautiful at any time of the year. However, when spring begins to show, there’s something quite wonderful about the changes it brings.


As the chill from the winter months begins to pass, here in the Highlands we’re blessed with brighter skies, warmer temperatures, and longer days as springtime approaches. With nature in bloom and colour returning to the land, spring is the perfect time to reinvigorate your mind and gain fresh perspective. And what better way to do that than with an escape to this beautiful  part of the world? 


Take a deep breath and inhale the fresh sea air with many stunning coastal walks and beaches located within easy reach of many of our self catering lets. Brora beach is an especially spectacular walk, running alongside the local golf course. With fantastic views over the North Sea and the Moray Firth, you’ll be able to take in the beautiful springtime sunsets that light the sky in tones of orange, purple and pink.


Be at the heart of the village of Brora when you stay in our 2 bed, Otago Cottage. This charming home is an excellent space for the family to stay with both an ensuite master bedroom and a second double bedroom. It even allows pets to come along too.


Springtime is the perfect opportunity to dust away the cobwebs and get outside. For a woodland adventure, the Big Burn walk in Golspie is the ideal choice, especially for those with little ones in tow. As you follow the river you’ll feel like you’re part of a fairytale adventure, made all the more magical by the gushing waterfall at the end of the route. With options to stop for a picnic and the choice to explore beyond this area, you can be truly at one with nature.


For those who are up for challenge, other nearby walking/hiking routes include Ben Bhraggie and Helmsdale Rock


After a day of discovery, return home to seafront views in our three-bedroom, Wilson’s Cottage. With its nautical theme and cosy multi-fuel burner, you and the family can enjoy an evening of fun, games and relaxation. If you require a little extra room we also have our four-bedroom, Easter Craig’s holiday home, offering a truly remote escape as you travel the single track road up to its door.  


As a popular region for golf, those who have been unable to get their shots in on the green due to the cold winter frost will be able to practice their swing and get on par with a round at one of Scotland’s most prestigious natural links courses, Royal Dornoch Golf Course. This course is a popular choice on many golfing bucket lists. Other spectacular courses in this region include Brora Golf Course and Golspie Golf Course. Make it a proper golfing escape by booking one of our five links holiday lets, all located approximately 20 yards from Brora’s championship golf course.


With a number of local distilleries for those who enjoy a tipple, including Clynelish Distillery in Brora, and picture perfect castles like Dunrobin Castle in Golspie, you’ll find plenty to keep all the family entertained.


Finally, with many holding off until the summer holidays to visit the Highlands, why not beat the crowds by visiting in spring? Our Balranald Shepherd Huts are a great alternative to staying in a hotel this season, allowing you to be up close and personal with nature, but in style and warmth. We recommend you get in quick before they all book up! 


So spring into action before it’s too late and let us blow away those winter cobwebs with outdoor adventures, family fun and quality self-catering stays this spring.


Get 10% off our New Properties!

Get 10% off our New Properties!

We are so excited to introduce four new properties to Thistle Holiday Lets and to offer you 10% off when you book your next stay at one of them! Check them out below!

No. 1 The Links

Brora Golf Course

Situated on the ground floor and looking over the famous Brora Links Golf Course, No. 1 The Links has two double bedrooms with en suites and an open plan living/kitchen area, perfect for socialising. Although ideal for those planning a golfing trip, Brora also offers many outdoor activities including hill walking and horse riding as well as the Clynelish Distillery which distills a component of the famous Johnnie Walker whiskies! 

Easter Craigs

Ben Bhraggie

Sitting in an acre of woodland gardens, Easter Craigs is a 4-bedroom holiday home and is the perfect place for a relaxing holiday. Take in the incredible views of Ben Bhraggie, Dunrobin Glen and the Dornoch Firth from most rooms in the house and make use of the Nordic style open fireplace in the living room. The area offers easy access to explore the north of the Highlands further and is ideal for those interested in nature and bird watching. 


Fisherman’s Rest

Helmsdale Harbour

Fisherman’s Rest sits in the heart of Helmsdale and offers a double bedroom and open plan living area and is situated within walking distance of every local amenity you will need.  Renowned for its beautiful scenery, the coastal village of Helmsdale features quality fishing and an ideal location for those taking on the NC500. 


Wilson’s Building

The Coffee Bothy

With a two-story glass extension, and sitting on the seafront at Golspie, Wilson’s Building takes full advantage of the changing views of the sea. It features three bedrooms, a formal dining area and a cosy lounge to retreat to at the end of the day. Nestled below Ben Bhraggie and within walking distance of coffee shops, including the Coffee Bothy, the apartment is the ideal place to set up home to explore all that Golspie has to offer.


Enter the code NEW10 to get 10% off when you book through our website  to stay in one of our new properties before 31st March 2022. 


Are you ready for your next Scottish adventure? Book your stay today and get 10% off! https://www.thistleholidaylets.co.uk 


Top 5 things to do during Lockdown

Top 5 things to do during Lockdown

We know this is a difficult time for everyone but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of it. Check out our top 5 things to do to make the most of your lockdown!

1.Take a Walk

The most obvious of the 5 is going for a walk. With government guidelines limiting us to just one outing per day, it’s essential that we make the most of it. Going for a walk is the perfect way to destress and get some fresh air. We are very blessed in the Highlands, it’s an ideal destination for walkers, with so many gorgeous routes; whether you enjoy the rolling countryside hills or endless stretches of sandy beach. If you are lucky enough to live someone semi-rural at the moment, don’t forget to appreciate the outdoors.

2. Get Crafty

Now is the perfect time to fish out all of your old arts and crafts supplies. You know the ones we’re talking about; the ones you bought years ago determined that you were going to discover your hidden talent for water colour painting. Try skills you’ve always fancied but never quite found the time to learn, like knitting; you can never have too many scarves! One of our personal favourites is taking the time to make a board game for the whole family to enjoy!

3. Make Plans

Use this time to be productive. Apply for a new job or if you’re feeling adventurous, start a new business or plan the adventure of a lifetime around the Scottish Highlands. We love a diagram and coloured pens to make planning fun! Spend some time really thinking about what you want to do in the future, big or small, and what steps you are going to take to get there. Maybe you’ve always wanted to go wild swimming, or maybe you relish the thought of being self-employed. The world is your oyster, take advantage!

4. Play Games

Who doesn’t love a good board game? Dig out the old articulate box from the cupboard and get ready for some healthy (ahem!) family competition. If you recently did a spring clean and got rid of all the clutter you hadn’t used in years, like ancient board games, take the advice from no. 2 and make your own! Cards are also a fabulous way to pass the time, learn some new games to mix things up. Our two favourites are Cheat and Uno!

5. Phone a friend or family member

Life is hectic and we all know too well how easy it is for the days to fly by without stopping for a breath, checking in with friends and family can often end up at the bottom of the to-do list. A silver lining of lockdown is finally having the time to get back in touch and have a good old catch up! Whether your mum just wants to know what you’ve been making for dinner, or an old friend from many moons ago has a whole lifetime worth of stories to share with you. You can finally take your time and spend hours on the phone without feeling guilty.

We hope you enjoyed this article and that it inspires one or two of you to get creative with your time. Have fun, and most importantly, stay safe!

5 Things to pack on your trip to the Highlands

5 Things to pack on your trip to the Highlands

Planning a trip to the Highlands but not sure what to pack? Here is a list of 5 things you should have in your bag!

1. Camera

The Scottish Highlands are one of the most scenic places in the world; from the rolling hills to the stunning beaches. There’s so much to see and we can guarentee you’ll want to capture every second of your trip to show your family and friends when you get home, so be sure to bring a good camera with you! We would also suggest investing in a sturdy case to keep your camera safe, you never know what you might end up doing or what the Scottish weather might surprise you with!

2. Midge Spray

One thing you don’t want to forget when you visit us in the Highlands is midge spray, especially in the warmer weather. You won’t see (or feel) quite as many on the east coast of the country in comparison to the west coast, but don’t let that catch you out. Midges have ruined many a BBQ and camping trip by joining the party. While they thrive in the warm weather, they like to come out in the evenings as soon as the sun sets, and be extra careful near water, they cluster and can be unbearable! We recommend Smidge repellent to keep the wee bandits at bay.

3. Hat and Sunscreen

It’s a running joke that the highlands have four seasons in one day, but more often than not its true! Be prepared with both cosy hats and sun cream because it’s likely that you’ll need them at various points throughout the day! It’s good to keep an eye on the weather forecast but it can’t always be trusted. Summertime in Scotland is a little tricky, we get gorgeous sunshine with gale-force winds and rainy, wet days with temperatures reaching twenty degrees, it really is unique!

4. Walking Boots

A good pair of walking boots are an essential when visiting the Highlands. Whether you plan to bag some Munro’s, trek along our rugged coastline or visit some of our castles and gardens; your walking boots will be your best friend. Don’t forget to break them in before you arrive, blisters are a sure way to ruin a holiday and you really don’t want to miss out on the action.

5. Waterproof Jacket

Talk about stating the obvious! Even when the weather appears to be lovely, there is always a chance of a quick shower of rain. It might just be a drizzle, or it could be torrential downpour, keep an eye on the clouds so you don’t get caught out. A silver lining that we like to look for is the beautiful rainbow that tends to follow a shower of rain, it’s not all bad! Try to find jacket that will protect you from the wind and keep you warm as well as dry.

Bonus Item- Dog Treats

You will definitely see a lot of dog in the highlands while on holiday. We love animals up in the highlands and you’ll find lots of cafés and accommodation that allows dogs. One thing is for sure, our furry four-legged friends will always say yes to a treat! Be sure to always check with the owner before approaching or giving any treats.

If you are packed and ready, check out our properties on our website at www.thistleholidaylets.co.uk.

5 Reasons to Stay Longer

5 Reasons to Stay Longer

A road trip always sounds like a good idea, right?! Driving around, the music full blast with the windows rolled down. Hopping from place to place, taking in the culture and getting your bearings. But, sometimes, it’s just nice to stop and appreciate the true beauty of where you are. Take your time, delve into the history and get a sense for why people love the Highlands. Here are our top 5 reasons you should stay longer:

1. There are so many things to see

Loch Shin, Lairg, Sutherland.

The Highlands are overflowing with sites to see and stories to share. Every village has its own fascinating history, and locals who love to tell it. With hundreds of castles, museums, lochs and Munros to see, you could spend months here without getting bored. Head over to our Explore the Highlands page for some inspiration!

2. Chill Out and Take Your Time

Brora Golf Club

With a packed itinerary, it’s so easy to power through your trip, forgetting to take a breath and enjoy being in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It’s so important to be mindful of your time and not to rush. Stop and take in the scenery, enjoy a morning stroll along the coastline and in amongst the bustling local villages. Therefore, in order to really appreciate everything the Highlands has to offer, you’ll have to stay longer!

3. Time to Think and Recharge

Loch Fleet

It’s true what they say, fresh air really does work wonders! Whether your body needs a break and some TLC or your mind just won’t switch off, Scotland is the place for you. It’s the perfect location to switch off and give yourself a break, but that only works if you have given yourself enough time to really relax. Recharge your batteries and take a deep breath.

4. Friendly Locals


Highlanders are known for their hospitality! We love visitors and sharing our little corner of the world. No matter where you go, one thing is for sure, the locals will be very friendly; don’t ever be afraid to stop and ask someone for directions or advice. We’re always happy to recommend the best places to eat or the hidden-gems that only the locals know about.

5. Make More Memories

Loch Brora

It’s not just about ticking things off the bucket list; staying longer and taking your time allows you to enjoy your holiday and make even more wonderful memories with the people you love. The Highlands are a great place to unwind with your family and appreciate the outdoors. Everyone always wishes they had longer before going back to reality, book your break with us now to find out for yourself!

Are you ready to get the full Scottish relaxation holiday? Check out our properties to see which one would be perfect for your holiday! www.thistleholidaylets.co.uk/properties

5 Hidden Lochs in the Highlands

5 Hidden Lochs in the Highlands

The Scottish Highlands are full of stunning lochs. Take Loch Ness as an example, thousands of visitors come every year hoping they might spot the famous Nessie! But we are here to talk about the lesser known Lochs, the peaceful spots off the beaten track.

1. Loch Brora

Loch Brora

Hidden behind the village of Brora lies a stunning Loch. Found in between two sections of the Brora river, this loch is the perfect place for an adventure. Take a canoe or paddle-board with you and head out to the island in the middle of the Loch. On the island, you’ll find a memorial that was built in memory of Jess Tyser by her husband Walter, the owners of the estate surrounding the lake.

2. Loch Shin

Loch Shin

Right in the heart of the county, Loch Shin is the longest loch in Sutherland. When you visit, be sure to say hello to the little mouse in the house in the middle of the loch on your way past. As the story goes, a man by the name of Jock Broon was once given the piece of land by the laird, in exchange for teaching him how to make whiskey in 1824, Broon built the wee house to mark becoming a landowner but died shortly after in a shooting accident.

3. Allt Ceann Locha

Allt Ceann Locha

Just driving past this loch is a real treat, surrounded by truly Scottish scenery you will not regret taking this detour. If you are up for a bit of adventure, walk along to the wooden bridge and follow the zig-zag path up to the top of the hill for stunning views overlooking the Loch.

4. Loch Fleet

Loch Fleet

Loch Fleet is the most obvious of our hidden lochs… In fact, anyone that does the NC500 will drive over this loch, however not many people take advantage of passing by such a beautiful place. Loch Fleet is a sea loch, which means you can often spot seals basking on the sandbank towards the south side of the loch. It’s also a fantastic place to stop for some photos, with views of Ben Bhraggie in the background.

5. Loch Migdale

Loch Migdale

Loch Migdale is another hidden gem, with a stunning forest walk along the waterside, it’s perfect for some peaceful downtime. It is also really easy to get to which makes it all the more appealing, just off the A9 and NC500 route making it perfect for a wee adventure while on a road trip in the Highlands.

If you want to check out these awesome lakes and are looking for some awesome accommodation to go with check out our website at www.thistleholidaylets.co.uk/properties

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