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

Balnacoil

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

5 Reasons to go Self-Catering

5 Reasons to go Self-Catering

Deciding on your next holiday? Here are 5 reasons you should go self-catering!

1. More Choice

Eating at the same hotel restaurant every night gets boring right? If you go for self-catering you don’t have to always cook for yourself. You can try something different every day if you fancy it; cafe, take away, restaurant, even the local supermarket! Whatever you’re in the mood for, self-catering gives you the freedom to make your choice.

2. Feels More Homely

Self-catering lets you feel like your on holiday while still feeling at home. Hotels are fun but if you are looking to really relax and not worry about being disturbed, self-catering is for you. It’s also ideal for a family because you get a full house, rather than just a room, to enjoy.

3. Kids Can Run Free

Let your kids roam free; run around the garden, play games in the living room, eat snacks in the kitchen. Wherever they want to be, you can let them go for it, without worrying about getting in other people’s way or constantly keeping an eye on them. If that doesn’t sell you on self-catering, I don’t know what will!

4. More Authentic

Staying in a traditional holiday home gives you a more authentic stay. You also fell more drive and a desire to get out and explore the local history and enjoy the nature that surrounds you. We have lots of gorgeous little cottages that people choose specifically for the novelty of staying somewhere unique and genuine.

5. Ideal for Big Groups

If you are holidaying in a large group, self-catering is the perfect way to go! Save lots of money by bulk buying and making food for the whole group. You don’t have to worry about being restricted to restaurant opening times or the bar closing, you can just enjoy the freedom of self-catering.

If you are looking to go self-catering Thistle Holiday Lets will help you find the perfect property for you! Check out our properties at https://www.thistleholidaylets.co.uk/holiday-lets/

Top 5 Things to do in Sutherland

Top 5 Things to do in Sutherland

Are you planning a trip to Sutherland? If you are, make sure you don’t miss out on these five top things to do!

1. Smoo Cave

The Smoo Caves are located just beside Durness in the far north of Scotland. These fascinating caves are made of three sections, with one of the biggest sea cave entrances in Britain and a 20ft waterfall in the middle chamber. While visiting you can also get a short boat ride past the waterfall and into the third section of the cave only accessible by boat.

2. Dunrobin Castle

You can’t visit Sutherland and not visit Dunrobin Castle. Once home to the Duke of Sutherland this gorgeous stately home is full of traditional furnishings fit for, well, a Duke. The castle is surrounded by extremely well-manicured gardens, make sure you stop by at the right time to see the birds of prey demonstration and enjoy the delicious range of cakes and coffee in the café.

3. Falls of Shin

Take a day trip up to the Falls of Shin, watch the salmon leaping up the waterfalls, then head up to the stunning restaurant that is shaped like a salmon. Walkthrough the forest, playing games along the way.  Have a play in the fantastic park, even get a round of mini-golf in! There are so many things to see and do while at Falls of Shin, it really is worth the visit!

4. Whaligoe Steps

This 330 Step challenge is certainly worth it, the views on this walk are simply stunning, all the way down to the natural harbour between the two rock faces. You will certainly deserve a treat after climbing all the way back up so be sure to visit the Whaligoe steps café and restaurant at the top.

5. Loch Fleet

Loch Fleet is located between Dornoch and Golspie.  As you’re driving around Loch Fleet you can see Highland cows and if you’re passing at the right time you’ll see the seals basking in the sun. Loch Fleet is also the perfect place to go Kayaking with calm flat water and a stunning 360° view.

If you are looking for the perfect homely cottages for your holiday in Sutherland then look no further than Thistle Holiday Lets. You’re already on the website! Check out https://www.thistleholidaylets.co.uk/holiday-lets/ for more information on our holiday homes.

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