Chic tartans, peat-fuelled fires and turreted bedrooms, long grand driveways, staggering foyers and expansive views - if this is what you are expecting from a Scottish castle hotel or a regal retreat in the Highlands, then you are absolutely right. Once used to defend the local tartan-clad clans from surrounding armies, these centuries-old castles and majestic hotels offer some of the best stays in the world - their beauty only contested by the landscape they are set in.
With crystal chandeliers, frescoed ceilings, exquisite artwork and elegant drawing rooms, they are reminiscent of the halcyon days when men wore pleated kilts and carried basket-hilted swords, and the land was covered in small grass-roofed crofts and red shaggy Heilan Coos (highland cows).
On your holiday through the UK, an absolute must is a stay in a Scottish castle, so take your pick of a dramatically beautiful fortress at the foothills of Ben Nevis, a majestic castle-like hotel along the shores of Loch Lomond, a cliffhanging castle on the secluded Isle of Mull or an exceptional Highlands retreat. Engage in country pursuits of fishing, clay pigeon shooting, deer stalking, hiking, golf and an essential whisky discovery. Do as the Scots and play a few rounds of golf before nestling by the fire with a 15-year-old single malt from the nearby distillery.