Why People Love a Scottish Staycation

The term ‘Staycation’ has grown in popularity in recent years and is now commonly used to describe a holiday spent within your own home country, rather than travelling abroad. It’s also used (and some argue that this is the correct meaning) to describe a holiday in which you remain at home or in your hometown / city — but it seems that the first definition is the more popular and widely used (YouGov, 2021).

For Scottish and UK holidaymakers, a staycation in Scotland opens up a world of wonderful possibilities, and below are some of the highlights we have in store.

Beautiful Beaches

Beaches on Lewis and Harris — Brighid

Some of the loveliest, most picturesque beaches in the UK (and, on a sunny summer day, the world) can be found on the coasts of mainland Scotland and the Scottish islands. The beaches of Hebridean isles like North Uist, Mull and Barra rank highly on many ‘best of’ lists, and visitors to Brighid will have the opportunity to see some astonishing sandy shores on Lewis and Harris.

There are a selection of scenic beaches dotted around the Butt of Lewis — and those exploring further south in the Isle of Harris should look no further than Tràigh Rosamol Beach, Luskentyre, for a serene walk and some unbeatable Instagram snaps.

Beaches on Isle of Lewis — Brighid

Fabulous Food & Drink

Food and drink restaurants on Isle of Lewis and Harris — Scottish staycation

Scotland has 10 Michelin starred restaurants and a thriving fine dining scene that spans its major cities and countryside villages — a treat for foodies who love the craft and precision of top chef cookery. It is also a haven for those who love to ‘eat local’ — from farm-reared Scottish beef, to delicious Scottish salmon and seafood, to the fresh, fruity strawberries, raspberries and brambles that are harvested each and every year.

On Lewis and Harris, guests at Brighid have a delectable selection of restaurants and eateries to explore — many of them offering fresh Scottish seafood and views of the Atlantic Ocean. Just a mile or so away from the house, diners at the 4-star Borve House Hotel can select from an ever-changing menu of hearty restaurant fayre, with daily specials, featuring local produce and fresh ingredients.

Up the coast from Brighid, towards the Butt of Lewis, The Breakwater at Port of Ness offers a stunning view of the old harbour and a varied menu that will suit the whole family.

"This barely scratches the surface of the food and drink available across Lewis and Harris — if you’re coming to stay, we will always be happy to make a few recommendations of places to dine out and where to source good ingredients for making a home-cooked meal or two at Brighid."

fish and seafood in Hebrides

Exploring further afield, you’ll be sure to find eateries of interest in Stornoway — including the popular HS-1 Cafe Bar at the Royal Hotel, which blends all kinds of world cuisines into a lively menu that also features some of the fish and seafood that the Hebrides is well known for. Another Stornoway spot that’s doing things a little differently is The Fank — a kitchen and cocktail bar opened by Stornoway Distillers, offering fresh local seafood cooked over fire, bar snacks, craft beers, natural wines and an array of cocktails.

Further south, in Harris, there are great meals and fine food & drink to be had in Tarbert — home of craft beer specialists Loomshed Hebridean Brewery and their Loomshed Hebridean Deli on Main Street. If you’re looking for something a bit special for dinner, Flavour offers an ‘interactive dining experience’ in which diners get the ‘chef’s table’ treatment, with local chef Chris Loye preparing an assortment of impressive dishes in front of you and guiding you through an exquisite 8-course menu.

This barely scratches the surface of the food and drink available across Lewis and Harris — if you’re coming to stay, we will always be happy to make a few recommendations of places to dine out and where to source good ingredients for making a home-cooked meal or two at Brighid.

Festivals for All

Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland — Brighid, Isle of Lewis

Staycations in Scotland can be planned around a virtually unlimited selection of festivals, large and small, that take place across the year.

Edinburgh naturally gets plenty of attention as Scotland’s ‘festival city’ — with the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Film Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival just a handful of the major occasions that are on during the busy summer season — but there are festivals of music, theatre, film, literature, art and more dotted across the entire country of Scotland, just waiting to be discovered.

On Lewis and Harris, we’ve got plenty of festivals to choose from too. The multi-award winning Hebridean Celtic Festival (HebCelt) has been a key feature in the cultural landscape of the Outer Hebrides since 1996 — offering music, dance, family events and various other events that celebrate life and creativity in this part of Scotland, and includes a rich vein of traditional and contemporary Gaelic arts and culture.

The Hebrides International Film Festival (HIFF) is a curated film festival that works in partnership with community venues across the Scottish islands, including the vital An Lanntair venue in Stornoway — a hub for the arts and creativity in the Outer Hebrides since 2005.

For literary fans, Faclan: The Hebridean Book Festival will pique your interest, with its stimulating mix of author events, film screenings, discussions and educational programming, hosted at An Lanntair, Stornoway.

Stunning Stargazing

Dark skies parks in Scotland — Scottish Staycation ideas

There’s an abundance of natural beauty to discover on a Scottish Staycation — and lovers of the great outdoors will have plenty to do and experience, all day long. At night-time, however, there are some extra special sights to see for those who are willing to stay up late and find the right spot. The beauty of the night sky in Scotland attracts thousands of tourists each and every year, and VisitScotland has published a handy guide to Scotland’s dark sky parks and stargazing spots to explore across the country. With low light pollution and a northerly location, Scotland’s countryside is a haven for those who want to experience the majesty of the cosmos.

In this corner of the Hebrides, we have our own Hebridean Dark Skies Festival — an annual programme of arts and astronomy events that includes live music, film, visual art, theatre, astronomy talks and, of course, stargazing. At time of writing, the festival is planning to take a year off in 2024, but keep your eyes open for future editions in 2025 and beyond.

And, as you'll see below, the night sky directly above Brighid is pretty spectacular.

Night sky above Isle of Lewis holiday home, Brighid

© We Roam Studio / @We__Roam (Instagram)

Thinking of booking a Scottish Staycation trip to Lewis and Harris? Find out more about Brighid and upcoming availability in the coming months.

Follow Brighid on Instagram for more pics and updates.