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.
The Clachaig Inn, Glencoe, The Highlands. Image by: Clachaig / Ed Dayne
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.
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!