Useful Information

Scotts Castle Holidays was formed in 1988 and remains the oldest established holiday lettings agency specialising in marketing and letting castles and large houses in Scotland.

Large holiday properties are our specialty. Clients who contact us are looking for a holiday property on behalf of a substantial group and as such, want to make sure they feel they can trust us to help them find a property that suits the requirements of their group. Our team have a great collective knowledge of the properties we let and are experts in recommending, referring and matching the right property to the right group of clients. We are not a call centre, we are a small group of professional individuals focused on making sure we give every single one of our clients the best possible service.

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Booking conditions

Reservations are accepted by Scotts Castle Holidays (SCH) on behalf of owners only on the conditions shown on the Booking Form together with the following booking contract ("the Booking Conditions");

  • 1. Letting Contract

    SCH acts entirely as Booking Agents for the owners of all the properties offered and contracts accepted by SCH shall be between the Person signing the Booking Form (The Client) and the owner of the property for whom the booking is made (The Owner).

  • 2. Liability of Responsible Applicant

    The Client certifies that he or she is authorised to sign the Booking Form on behalf of all persons who will occupy the property during the period for which it has been booked and that they are all, apart from infants, aware of the Booking Conditions. The website description of each property clearly indicates the maximum number of guests who may occupy it and the surrounding grounds. Exceeding this number constitutes a breach of contract and the Owner of the property has the right to terminate the booking forthwith and all monies paid by the Client will be forfeit.

  • 3. Confirmation of Booking

    No booking will be accepted by SCH unless an appropriately signed booking form and down payment for the holiday has been received by SCH. Surcharges apply to payments made by credit card or bank transfer. Having signed the Booking Form the Client accepts liability for the full payment of the holiday rental. In the event the holiday is cancelled by the Client, the Client remains liable for full payment of the holiday rental.

  • 4. Accuracy

    Whilst representations both verbal and visual contained in any marketing literature including the website are made in good faith and carefully scrutinised and agreed with the Owners, neither they nor any oral representations made by any employee of SCH form part of the Contract. SCH uses its best endeavours to ensure the accuracy of all information however, from time to time there may be minor differences between the actual property and its description, as both the SCH and Owner constantly strive to improve services and facilities, or because a problem (or modification) renders a service or facility unavailable. Any change to the facilities or fixtures available are considered to be minor changes and no compensation is available. In the event that such a change is likely to affect the Client’s enjoyment, and the Owner has notified SCH of the change, SCH will advise the Client as soon as is deemed reasonably possible.

  • 5. Cancellation by the Applicant

    Any cancellation made by the Client for whatever reason shall be in writing and addressed to SCH at its designated address. Deposits and balances are non-refundable in the event of a cancellation not covered by appropriate insurance. The Client remains liable for the final payment on the due date (56 days prior to the date of the booking) and failure to make such payment in full at the time will be treated as a Breach of Contract. On receiving the cancellation SCH will update the availability calendar accordingly. If a re-let is achieved the Client will be refunded with all monies paid less fifty pounds (£50+VAT) per booking week. Any losses incurred in re-letting the property including loss of rental will be borne by the Client.

  • 6. Balance Payments

    Final Payments set out in the Booking Form are due eight weeks (56 days) before a holiday commences. If the final amount is not paid on the due date SCH have the right to cancel the booking forthwith. All payments made by the Client will be forfeited, and the Client will remain liable for payment of all outstanding payments for the holiday. In the event of a re-let repayment shall be paid to the Client after deduction of any difference in the rental received on re-letting together with any reasonable administrative or professional costs incurred in connection with such re-letting.

  • 7. VAT

    Value Added Tax is included in the rental figures advertised. It has been levied at the rate appropriate at the time of booking.

  • 8. Pets

    Pets are allowed only where it is specified in a property description or otherwise by confirmed agreement in advance with the Owner and the SCH. The Client accepts liability for any damage the pets may make and on the condition that they will not be left unattended in the property. Pets are not permitted in the bedrooms or on the furniture and SCH nor the Owners can accept responsibility for their safety. Any Client who takes a pet into the property without permission or without notifying SCH in writing or on the Booking Form is in Breach of Contract and the owner of the property has the right to terminate his booking forthwith and to retain all monies paid by the Client. Refer to Pet Policy.

  • 9. Duration & times of rental

    Properties are available from 4.00pm on the "holiday start" day until 10.00am on the "holiday finish" day, unless otherwise specified. These times must be strictly adhered to unless by special arrangement with the owner or key holder.

  • 10. Complaints

    In spite of the care and precautions taken it is possible that Clients could have grounds for complaint about the property they have chosen. Any complaint must be taken up immediately in full with the key holder or the Owner. The function of SCH is to provide a marketing and administrative service to owners of holiday properties. It is not a party to the Contract between the Owner and the Client and performs its functions entirely as a Booking Agent. However, if the Client, having contacted the owner or their representative, is still not satisfied, they should contact SCH to ask it to take such reasonable steps as it is able to in an endeavour to put the matter right. In the event that disputes cannot be resolved SCH reserves the right to refer the matter to the relevant local Tourist Board whose decision shall be final and binding.

  • 11. Number of Occupants

    The maximum number of persons stated as being allowed in a property may not be exceeded without the prior consent of SCH. Neither can the Client significantly change the composition of the holiday rental party during occupation of the property.

  • 12. Alterations to Booking Form & Conditions

    No Owner or member of the staff or servant of SCH has the right to modify SCH's Booking Form or "Booking Conditions" or to make any representation or undertake any liability on behalf of SCH except an authorised representative of SCH and then only in writing.

  • 13. Previous Literature

    The current brochure, website material, Booking Conditions and literature replace and supersede all previous brochures, website material, Booking Conditions and literature.

  • 14. Users Risk

    The use of the amenities provided by the Owners such as swimming pools, swings, rowing boats, etc., is entirely at users risk and no responsibility can be accepted for any injuries to persons or loss or damage to any belongings of persons who use them.

  • 15. Liability

    a) If the property should not be available owing to damage by fire, storm or for any reason outside the control of the Owner or SCH (including Acts of God) or for any reason the Owner is not able to comply with this agreement, the Owner shall refund to the Client through SCH the full amount of the monies paid to SCH and the Owners and SCH's liability is limited to the refunding of such monies. b) If the Client or members of the group are unable to access the property for factors outside the Owner or SCH’s control or reasonable responsibility, the Owner nor SCH accept any liability for compensation or refunds for part or full loss of holiday. c) SCH does not accept liability for cancellation of any letting, delay or the failure to provide facilities or for the failure to provide accommodation howsoever the same may arise. d) SCH does not accept liability in the event of any alteration or change of any kind made by the Owner following the confirmation of any reservation made by SCH on behalf of the Owner. Except in respect of death or personal injury caused by the negligence of SCH or the Owner and their respective servants and save to the extent provided in clause 14 neither SCH nor the owner, will be liable for any accident, damage, direct or consequential loss, injury, expense or inconvenience whether to person or property which the Client or any other person may suffer arising out of, or in any way connected with the letting howsoever caused.

  • 16. Cancellation by the Owner

    a) The Owner is entitled at his/her sole and absolute discretion to refuse to hand over to the Client, or to repossess the property (which includes the fixtures, fittings, furnishings and decorations) if the Owner reasonably believes that any damage is likely to be caused, has been caused or is being caused by the Client or any members of the group. These circumstances will be treated as a cancellation by the Client. No refund of any monies paid in respect of the booking will be made and neither the Owner nor SCH accept any liability to the Client as a result of this situation arising (including for example any costs or expenses incurred by the Client or members of the group due to not being able to occupy the property). In this situation neither the Owner nor SCH is under any obligation to find alternative accommodation for the group. b) If an Owner is prevented, because of circumstances beyond his reasonable control, eg (fire damage, drought, interruption of utility supplies, Act of God) from putting his property at the disposal of the Client, the hire charge shall be refunded in full and the Client shall have no further claim against the Owner or Agency. c) If the Owner cancels the booking for reasons outside the Agency’s or Client’s control the Owner is liable for repayment of all monetary transactions paid by the Client to the Agency and/or to the Owner direct. d) If the Agency cancels the booking for reasons outside the Owner or Clients control (except for occasions laid out in clause 15) the Agency will refund the Client all monies paid to the Agency by the Client plus a fifty pound (£50) compensation fee.

  • 17. Good Housekeeping Deposit (GHD)

    The Client or GHD cardholder (if different) accepts responsibility on behalf of the group for keeping the property, furniture, fittings, equipment and other contents in/or on the property in the same state of repair, condition and cleanliness as at the commencement of the let (reasonable wear and tear excepted). On provision of credit/debit card details to SCH by the cardholder, the cardholder authorises SCH to deduct the nominated security deposit seven (7) days prior to the holiday start date, and to debit to the nominated card charges or surcharges if necessary according to the Booking Conditions, during or following departure of the group up to seven (7) days from the holiday end date. A 2.8% surcharge is applicable to all credit card transactions. The Client is responsible for reimbursing the Owner for the actual costs of any breakage or damage in or to the property (beyond the reserve), along with any additional costs that may result. Refer to GHD Policy for detailed terms and conditions.

  • 18. Data Protection

    Personal Information you supply to SCH is only made available to our Booking Office staff, and the Owner or Housekeeper of your chosen property, those involved with facilitation of your holiday. Your information will never be supplied to anyone else without your consent, unless we are obliged by law.

  • 19. Tenancy Agreement

    The contract effected on receipt of confirmation of booking is in terms of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 and confers on the Client the right to occupy the property for the period agreed for holiday purposes only. The Clients Statutory rights are not affected by anything contained within these Terms & Conditions.

Best price guarantee

The holiday rental you pay through us is the same you'd pay direct with the owner. Owners apply their own pricing which we advertise on their behalf. If you find the same property is advertised at a lower rate we will match it based on the following conditions.

  • 1.

    Scotts Castle Holidays must be supplied in writing with proof of the lower price having been offered by another party.

  • 2.

    This offer apples only to a booking enquiry, prior to it being confirmed by Scotts Castle Holidays.

  • 3.

    The lower price has to match the same date range period (holiday start and end date) and the same conditions (i.e. features, facilities and accommodation must be an exact match).

  • 4.

    The price guarantee does not apply to properties which offer lower or higher occupancy rental rates.

  • 5.

    The price guarantee will not be applied retrospectively to bookings that have already been confirmed through Scotts Castle Holidays. For example, where discounts and last minute special offers are applied against periods that remain available.

  • 6.

    The price guarantee does not apply where the owner is able to provide proof that the advertised rate on another website had been made in error.

Who are Scotts Castle Holidays?

Scotts Castle Holidays was formed in 1988 and remains the oldest established holiday lettings agency specialising in marketing and letting castles and large houses in Scotland.

Large holiday properties are our specialty. Clients who contact us are looking for a holiday property on behalf of a substantial group and as such, want to make sure they feel they can trust us to help them find a property that suits the requirements of their group. Our team have a great collective knowledge of the properties we let and are experts in recommending, referring and matching the right property to the right group of clients. We are not a call centre, we are a small group of professional individuals focused on making sure we give every single one of our clients the best possible service.

We are strongly committed to providing excellence in customer service and are considered leaders in our field. We are a small, independently owned partnership; letting holiday homes for over 20 years and consider every one of our customers as unique individuals with unique needs.

Can I upgrade my property?

Hiring a butler, housekeeper or cook can be a welcome break for those who would also like to feel they are on holiday from those boring but important chores! We can help arrange for clients to up-grade their self catered properties for the duration or part of their stay.

How do I book a property?

Contact our office by email or by phone and as long as the property is still available our staff will provisionally book the property in your name. They will then ask you to fill out our online booking and payments form. You will be supplied with the necessary instructions to access this secure part of our website at the provisional reservation stage.

How long does my provisional hold last?

To ensure no-one else books the same dates, you are given 3 days' grace to book the property online before the dates are automatically released back into the system. A provisional hold is not a guaranteed booking. To guarantee a booking you will need to complete the online booking, submit the necessary payment and be in receipt of confirmation paperwork from Scotts Castle Holidays.

How much is the deposit?

A deposit of 30% of the total rental is required to confirm a booking, unless the holiday start date is within 8 weeks in which case full payment is required.

Who is ultimately responsible for the booking?

Once the booking is confirmed the Group Leader ie. the person who filled out the online booking and accepted the booking contract, is liable for the full payment of the holiday. The Group Leader is also responsible for ensuring the group are covered by an appropriate holiday insurance policy.

When do I pay the remaining balance of my booking?

The balance payment is due within 8 weeks of the holiday start date. Notification reminders will be emailed to the Group Leader at around that time. Once your balance payment has been paid in full, you will be sent travel directions, key holder contact details and any other information we feel you might find helpful.

Last Minute Bookings

If you reserve a property less than 8 weeks before the holiday commencement date, it is considered a last minute booking and will need to be paid in full to be confirmed.

Can anyone else help to pay off the balance?

Yes. Interim payments can be made online by any individual once the initial deposit has been paid. All the individual needs to be provided with is the surname of the Group Leader and the booking reference number. The Group Leader will be notified of any payments made against the booking and the balance totals.

What methods of payment do you accept?

By sterling cheque to "Scotts Castle Holidays"; credit or debit card (2.8% surcharge applicable for credit card transactions); or bank transfer (ask office for details). NOTE: AMEX cards cannot be accepted.

What about the Good Housekeeping Deposit?

A Good Housekeeping Deposit will be required within 7 days of your holiday to act a surety during your tenancy at the property and is fully refundable within 7 days of your departure if the terms of your booking have been satisfactorily met. The GHD needs to be paid online and can be paid by any member of your group. Whoever submits their card details for the GHD will accept responsibility on behalf of the group for ensuring the property is left in the same condition it was found. The GHD can only be paid online within 7 days prior to the holiday start date. Notification reminders will automatically be sent by email to the Group Leader when the GHD is due to be submitted.

Can I hold a party/invite extra guests?

This will depend on the size & nature of the party you are planning to hold. Each property is insured to accommodate and cater for the maximum occupancy advertised. Any numbers exceeding this amount regardless of the period of time they spend at property will need to be authorised by the owner (via the agency) prior to confirming the booking, as further stipulations and charges may apply. If in doubt it is best to check with one of our travel consultants who will be happy to advise.

What about Holiday Cover?

It is very important you insure yourself & your group appropriately in the unfortunate event you have to cancel your holiday. This is why we STRONGLY advocate that YOU take out Holiday Cancellation Insurance for yourself and your group. In some instances we may choose to turn down a booking should we feel you are unlikely to have insured yourself or your group appropriately. This would be entirely at the discretion of the property owner or agency staff. No liability would be accepted should we later discover a client who had booked a holiday through Scotts Castle Holidays had NOT taken out appropriate holiday cover.

Once you have committed to a booking (by signing the booking form which is a legally binding contract) you are liable for the full payment of the holiday rental. Taking out holiday cover mitigates your financial risk in the event you need to cancel your booking and the reason is covered by your policy.

Whilst our terms and conditions advise customers to take out adequate travel insurance, we are unable to offer or charge clients for this facility. Regulations enforced in 2009 now prevent companies without the necessary FSA authorisation to sell or advise on travel insurance.

What's the cancellation policy?
You are liable for the full payment of the holiday rental once the booking has been confirmed. It is why we strongly encourage you invest in travel insurance. The property owner is not obliged to refund monies you’ve paid them (via us) and will expect full payment for the holiday as per the booking terms. Should the dates be re-let, you will be refunded any monies paid to the owner minus the cancellation fee. For more information about the cancellation policy please contact our Customer Service: +44 (0)1208 821 341

Good Housekeeping Deposit

The vast majority of properties we let are large, stately establishments, with fixtures and furnishings reflecting the period & style of the property, including (but not limited to) antiques and other historical and costly artefacts. It is in good faith that the Owners of these properties let out their establishments and its contents to a third party (the Client) on the understanding that the Client agrees to keep the property and all furniture, fittings, equipment and other contents in or on the property (grounds included) in the same state of repair and condition as at the commencement of the let (reasonable wear and tear is excepted).

It is on that basis that Scotts Castle Holidays has implemented the good housekeeping deposit (GHD) as security during tenancy of the property, the terms and conditions of which are contained below.

  • 1.

    Seven (7) days prior to the holiday start date, SCH requires a fully refundable GHD as security during tenancy of the property. Payment of this deposit is to be submitted online by debit or credit card. A surcharge will apply to payments made by credit cards which is non-refundable. Electron and AMEX cards will not be accepted.

  • 2.

    In the event Clients wish to fulfil their GHD obligations by bank transfer or cheque, the bank transfer or cheque must be received by the Agency seven days prior to the holiday start date and in the case of bank transfers all additional incoming and outgoing fees must be borne by the Client. Cheque and international bank transfer refunds may take longer to return than debit/credit card transactions.

  • 3.

    It is the Client’s responsibility to ensure payment reaches the Agency seven days prior to the holiday start date. Access to the property will be denied to all members of the group on non payment of the GHD and neither the Agency or the owner accepts any liability or charges the group may incur as a result of late (or non) entry into the property. This includes failed authorisations that cannot be rectified by the cardholder within seven days of the holiday start date.

  • 4.

    Provided the property and its effects are left in an acceptable condition as per the Booking Conditions, excepting normal wear and tear, the deposit will be refunded (less any credit card or bank transfer charges).

  • 5.

    If the Booking Conditions have not been met, the whole of the deposit will be utilised and any over payment will be reimbursed to the cardholder after repair, replacement or otherwise is completed.

  • 6.

    The security deposit may also be utilised by SCH to discharge any additional charges or surcharges, plus any relevant VAT.

  • 7.

    The Client will be responsible for reimbursing the Owner for the actual costs of any breakage or damage in or to the property, along with any additional costs that may result following the Client’s tenancy (ie. additional cleaning). Please note, the GHD is a nominated sum only and actual costs may be significantly higher.

  • 8.

    The Owner/housekeeper of the property must notify the Agency in writing within 7 days of the Client’s departure that a GHD claim is being raised. In that event the Agency will attempt to inform the Client, within 48 hours that the GHD is being withheld. This will be done by phone and/or letter or email (whichever is more practicable in the circumstance) to the addresses given by the Client on the booking form.

  • 9.

    The Owner/housekeeper of the property must then furnish the Agency with satisfactory documentary evidence supporting the claim (ie photographs, invoices, receipts, quotations, assessment from the Property Manager) and must mediate with the Client via the Agency, the GHD deduction to be made within 28 days of the Client’s departure.

  • 10.

    In resolution of the claim, the difference between the amount deducted and the full amount taken for the GHD will be refunded to the Client.

  • 11.

    Copies of all invoice/s, relevant paperwork (as described above) and credit card receipt/s will be forwarded to the Client.

  • 12.

    Should a dispute arise regarding additional cleaning that is required following your stay, our policy is that the housekeepers word is final.

  • 13.

    The Client should note that the booking contract is taken out between the Owner and the Client. In GHD disputes, the Agency acts as a mediator only between the two parties. If the contract is breached and legal action pursued, proceedings will be between the Owner and the Client, not the Agency.

  • 14.

    The Agency will not accept any involvement in any private action bought by Owners against Clients, or Clients against Owners

Cancellation Cover

Due to circumstances beyond your control, your holiday must be cancelled... but your financial obligations are not.

So! You've decided to stay in one of our fabulous properties, you've spoken to the rest of the group, you have checked the budget, everyone has booked the time off work, the children are excited...

It is an unfortunate fact every year that many people have to cancel their holiday plans unexpectedly. If foregoing their much anticipated holiday wasn't enough, not taking out adequate holiday insurance only adds to their woes.

What would happen if you fell ill, had an accident or were otherwise prevented from staying in your holiday accommodation?

IMPORTANT: Once you have committed to a booking (by signing the booking form which is a legally binding contract) you are liable for the full payment of the holiday rental even if you end up having to cancel your holiday plans.

This is why Scotts Castle Holidays STRONGLY ADVOCATE you take out holiday insurance. Having appropriate holiday cover mitigates your financial risk in the event you need to cancel your booking and the reason is covered by your policy. Whilst our terms and conditions advise customers to take out adequate travel insurance, we are unable to offer or charge clients for this facility.

Regulations enforced in 2009 now prevent companies without the necessary FSA authorisation to sell or advise on travel insurance. No liability will be accepted should the agency discover a client who had booked a holiday through Scotts Castle Holidays had NOT taken out appropriate holiday cover.

We cannot stress enough the importance of having cancellation insurance. None of us like paying it, and few of us feel we need it. However, doing this long enough to understand that "hindsight explains the injury that foresight would have prevented".

Shared between members of your group, this cover can amount to as little as £5 per person; surely a small price to pay for the peace of mind it will bring?