Rent exclusive castles & large houses for Christmas & New Year

A large self-catered holiday home in Scotland is a picture postcard ideal for many families looking to spend time together, in comfort over the festive period.


Christmas is a fantastic and exciting time of year for a family to get together. As a traditional season of meeting up and getting festive in large groups, what better way to really push the boat out, than to rent a beautiful holiday house in the most wintery place in the UK. A large self-catered holiday home in Scotland is a picture postcard ideal for many holiday makers looking to get away for Christmas.

Scotland has much to offer those looking for a winter holiday. With dramatic landscapes, and snow-capped mountains the scenery will leave you breathless. For active holidays there are a number of Ski Centres, and always a range of outdoor activities that can be found all year round. With Traditional Christmas markets and festive tartan decorations, you will find Christmas in full swing when you arrive at your holiday venue.


Arguably the biggest and best celebrated festival of the year, Scotland knows how to usher in a New Year. The celebration of the turn of the year is called Hogmanay in Scotland, and the country rolls out a host of spectacular winter festival events across the regions. Their biggest and most eminent is Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, an impressive festival of events run over three days, which includes one of the biggest street parties in the world with live music and top rate entertainment, like the spectacular midnight fireworks display and the torch procession.  But you don’t have to be in Edinburgh to enjoy New Year festivities. The larger towns and cities like Glasgow, Inverness, Stirling and Aberdeen also host all night parties, and many towns and villages have their own fabulous traditional celebrations on the big night, with pubs hosting Ceilidhs, fireworks, fire displays, feasts and live music, so there is plenty going on around and about. If you were perhaps not looking to join a big knees up, but wanted to bring in the New Year with close friends and family, there are plenty of opportunities to rent secluded holiday homes to enjoy the turn of the year privately.

As the scene setter for Hogmanay celebrations, Scotland knows New Year celebrations better than most, but here are some things about Scotland’s New Year you may not have known:

  • The origins of the word Hogmanay is not really known, although it is thought to be inherited from the Vikings, however it is the word used by the Scots for the last day of the year, and is nowadays synonymous with celebrating the New Year in a Scottish style.
  • Historically in Scotland, Christmas has not always been a recognised festival, and Hogmanay was the traditional celebration of the season.
  • Auld Lang Syne is a song recognised in many English speaking countries as the New Year song, and was written by Scotland’s Robert Burns.
  • The Guinness Book of Records recognises Auld Lang Syne as the most frequently sung song in English.  
  • Many Scots still celebrate the First Footing, a traditional of welcoming guests into your home at the start of a new year.  It is considered good luck to welcome a dark haired male as the first foot in the house after midnight, who should bear traditional symbolic gifts.
  • New Years Day sees the tradition of The Loony Dook, which takes place in the Firth of Forth at Queensferry, where thousands of people plunge into the water for a freezing cold dip, to raise money for charity.


So if you have decided to rent a large holiday home to accommodate your friends and family over Christmas or New Year, there are a few things you need to think about when planning your special trip.

It is very easy to get carried away with the romanticism of Christmas & New Year in Scotland, but it’s worth remembering that planning for a holiday away is always a busy and exciting time, and there are plenty of things to things about. In the bustle of trying to remember what to take with you, don’t forget about what you leave behind. Before embarking on your holiday away, there are a few things to remember to do to keep you and your home safe and sound.

  • Inform your neighbours of your plans, if they are sticking around they could keep an eye on your house for you.
  • Adjust your thermostat. Your house doesn’t need to be kept toasty warm if you are not there, but you don’t want anything to freeze either. Turning it down a few clicks will save you a bit on your winter bill.
  • Water your plants, and your Christmas tree if you have a real one up!
  • Purchase an automatic timer and leave a lamp in your hall or landing, set to come on in the evenings. This season tends to be an ‘easy pickings’ time for burglars, so do your best to deter opportunists.
  • Make sure you have breakdown cover, and have all the contact details you need on you when you travel. Should the worst happen, it's a busy time on the roads, and you don’t want to get stuck!

Before you leave the house, make sure you have packed some ‘must have’ items that you may not want to be without! Take some medical provisions, because Christmas is a horrible time to be ill. Some cold and flu remedies, paracetomol, and a bottle of calpol for the kids is a must. Don’t forget batteries and chargers. There are so many electronic devices around these days, don’t get caught short with a flat I Pad battery, or a fancy new toy that can’t be used. Do you need your phone book? Most people have all the contacts they need in their phones these days, but just have a think before you leave, is there any one you would want to call to wish a Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year? And do you have their number?! 

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