Roaring fires, wrapped in winter woollies, sipping on a warming dram as you take in the scenery of the ‘Most Beautiful Country in the World’*. Nowhere does cosy like Scotland in winter.
But while in recent years we have been finding happiness through the Danish concept of Hygge, 2018 is the chance to embrace contentment with the Scottish Còsagach.
Based on an old Scottish word for feeling snug, sheltered and warm, Còsagach has been identified as a top trend for next year by VisitScotland.
Almost a quarter of visitors come to Scotland to get away from it all, whilst over 4 million UK visitors mentioned relaxing as something they did when here. With its tranquil landscapes, stunning natural beauty, vast open spaces and famously welcoming people, Scotland is the perfect place to recharge the batteries and enjoy some ‘me-time’.
While (occasionally) the weather outside may be frightful, Scotland is always delightful, so here’s some hidden hideaways to help get your Còsagach on this winter…
A room with a view
Scotland is famous for its breath-taking scenery, which looks especially magical in the winter months, but you don’t always have to be outdoors to appreciate it. From glamping and log cabins, to treehouses and eco-cottages, there are plenty of cosy corners located in stunning surroundings that offer the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.Try a cosy log cabin for the weekend like the ones at Eagle Brae, Beauly or Forest Holidays, Strathyre. Or maybe enjoy a romantic weekend in a treehouse made for two such as Brockloch Eco Retreat, Kirkpatrick or the magical Tree Howf at Craighead Howfs, Braco?
Fluffy rugs, fire pits, outdoor hot tubs and wood burning stoves all ooze Còsagach, so whether it’s a night under the stars in a glamping dome in Loch Tay or a dip in the wood-fired hot tub at the Lazy Duck Nethy Bridge - you won’t be short of snug places to stay the night.
That famous Scottish welcome
Eating and drinking plays an important role in Còsagach, so where better to enjoy some comforting treats - with a side of that renowned Scottish hospitality - than paying a visit to a cosy pub? The Curler’s Rest in Glasgow boasts a vibrant yet laidback atmosphere with big oak tables by an open fire, ideal for catching up with friends, while the Clachaig Inn, Glencoe is well-known for its friendly atmosphere.
In Edinburgh, enjoy the cosy charm of Pickles ,nestled on vibrant Broughton Street, where you can relax with a glass of wine and sample their popular Scottish cheese selection, or head to Kelso’s Rutherfords, Scotland’s first micropub - what it lacks in size, it makes up for in atmosphere. Finally, head north to Meldrum House in Aberdeenshire, home of the unique Cave Bar where whisky ambassadors are on hand to help you select the perfect dram.
A stay indoors after exploring the Great Outdoors
There is nothing quite like a bracing winter walk to blow away those cobwebs, but there is also nothing better than getting back to the heat after a day in the cold. Scotland is home to some unforgettable outdoor adventures. Bag a Munro in the Angus Glens before returning to the Glen Clova Hotel to the warmth of a roaring fire, or hit the slopes before tucking into a warming bowl of homemade soup at the Glencoe Mountain café as you gaze out at the natural beauty of Buachaille Etive Mor.
Swap the mainland for a peaceful escape to Scotland’s Islands, home of wonderful wildlife and dramatic coastline. Try the Cowshed Boutique Bunkhouse whose glamping pods have underfloor heating alongside unmissable views of Uig, Isle of Skye, or snuggle up in the residents’ private lounge of the Merkister Hotel, Orkney.
If you like a little luxury after a day’s adventuring, cosy up in a Scottish castle, like Muckrach Castle, Morayshire, which boasts vaulted ceilings, private grounds anda master bedroom with a four poster bed and a standalone roll-top bath.
Bundle up in the warmest of winter woollies by wrapping yourself in the finest Scottish textiles from the likes of Harris Tweed, Fair Isle and Johnstons of Elgin.
If finding contentment rests on the pages of a good book, curl up in a café like Mainstreet Trading Company, St Boswells with your latest read and a strong coffee or head to Auchengee Farm Shop and Tearoom, Beith because nothing says comfort like tea and cake. Meanwhile, film fans can pay a visit to the Grosvenor Ashton Lane, Glasgow to catch the latest releases in the cosiest of settings.
Finally, what better way to beat the winter blues than with a comforting bowl of porridge, the perfect excuse to embark on the new Porridge, Grand Tour of Scotland!
To find out more about VisitScotland’s Trends 2018 visit: www.visitscotland.org/research_and_statistics/trends_and_insights.aspx
*As voted for by readers of Rough Guides
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
- The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh) 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
- 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017