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on 25 November 2014
Unfirtunately this type of book has content that can go out of date dast so be sure to have the latest edition for up to date information.
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on 18 October 2008
There are so many good reasons to holiday in Scotland these days. There's your conscience - think of your carbon footprint, and stay in the UK. But you don't have to be altruistic; there's the scenery, the food, the lovely people...and the fabulous castles, manses, country houses and crofts you could stay in and explore. Don't know where they are? Have I got a book for you! A newcomer to the Alastair Sawday stable is Special Places to Stay in Scotland, and it makes wonderful fireside reading even if you hadn't planned to dust off the tweeds and head north. After reading it, I bet you will though. How about 'Heaven in the Highlands with stunning valley and mountain views'? Or 'a castle built on solid rock 200 feet above crashing waves'? Or a magical pile 'one mile up a rutted drive, soundproofed by 175 acres of lush Stirlingshire'? You can find a croft for 2, or a castle for a dozen and all sound simply scrumptious and come with the Sawday stamp of being unusual, interesting and genuine. If you'd prefer to explore somewhere nearer to home than the Maldives, take a hint and buy this book. It won't exactly break the bank and neither will most of the places reviewed here. But they may start a trend of finding the beauty, rest and recuperation we all long for on a break nearer to home. and if you're into mysteries and haven't read a Sawday guide before, join the club in seeking the joker in the pack; there's always one place that is a flight of fancy. Though sometimes you have to search for it - it might drive you insane...
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on 13 October 2008
Everytime a new Sawday's book comes out I can't wait to get my hands on it. Not only are they a joy to read; packed with excellent holiday destinations, wonderful photographs and up-to-date information but it usually determines my next holiday destiantion - they are that good. With money a bit on the tight side the last thing you want to do is spend your hard earned cash on a poor holiday choice. When you're paying for a holiday you want the best for you and your family and Sawday's guides help you to do just that. Scotland is an amazing place to visit but there is always the very slight chance that you may get a spot of rain or two. What you need to know is that the place you return to each night is going to make up for any inclement weather. This guide is packed with wonderful places to suit every pocket - one night's stay in a Sawday's recommended place will more than cover the price of the book.

My family and I have stayed in over 50 places recommend by the Sawday's guides and have never been disappointed. The guide is fun to read with good symbol guides and really well researched holiday accomodation. If you're only going to have a few days away next year make sure your accomodation is up to scratch - find it in a Sawday's guide - I can't recommend them enough.
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on 16 October 2008
If you have never been to Scotland before, now is the time, with this little gem you will not go wrong.It is clearly laid out and tells you everything you need to know about the accommodation and surrounding area.If you wish to hire a castle for the whole clan or just hide away on a romantic break for two then this has it all.
I have been to so many of the recommendations in the Alastair Sawday books and have not once been disappointed.
The ethos is all about quality, the planet and the people on it but does not mean it has to cost the earth.
This guide will help you find places you never knew were there and also to rediscover those you did.
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on 17 October 2008
There's a comfortable feel to this book. Flicking through its pages, it offers an invitation to stay in some quite remarkable places. Some bed and breakfast, some hotels, some self-catering - all hugely tempting.

The special places in this book promise much. Many of them suggest you might build a wee holiday around a property that simply catches your eye. The difficulty is which one(s) to choose.

The Alastair Sawday series of special places to stay, supported by a comprehensive website (Sawdays.co.uk) have provided my family with consistently wonderful spots to stay in Britain and beyond.

A lovely book - or should that be bonny. Heartily recommended. Treat yourself. Treat someone special. Castle for a week anyone?
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 October 2008
Like all the Sawday books I have bought, this one is beautifully illustrated and has well-written descriptions. It is smaller than others but still packs in 149 entries. Most of these are catered, though; if you're into self-catering, you'll have to plan your holiday around locations covered rather than choosing an area and looking for a property there. For example, there are only three s/c properties north of Inverness vs. eight catered.

The catered properties are very wide-ranging in price, from simple and inexpensive B&Bs through to luxurious and quite pricey small hotels. There is also a spoof entry - I'll leave you to find it for yourselves!

I have always liked the use of very helpful symbols in Sawday guides, and there is a new one for wi-fi availability - excellent. But a number of them have been discarded for this book, and I am particularly unhappy about the demise of the no-smoking symbol. Catered properties have to be non-smoking now, I believe, but the law still allows smoking in s/c cottages; I want to know that I'm booking somewhere that will not smell of stale smoke, and the symbol that used to be used to highlight such properties was very valuable. As it is, I have wasted quite a lot of my time (and owners' time) checking individual websites and writing to owners.

One other minor criticism - the maps start at page 19 rather than at the very beginning or end of the book where they would be much easier to find. I fixed this with a sticky bookmark.

Overall, this is a good investment if you're planning a holiday in Scotland, whether touring or staying put, but I'll be checking for the non-smoking symbol in future Sawday guides.
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on 23 October 2008
I'm a real fan of these guidebooks and have been for around 10 years. They make a refreshing change from the rather bland, more "old-school" guides like the AA and Which ones - lovely photographs and they really seem to value the smaller, more unusual places to stay.
I bought this new one and sure enough, there are a few places in there that i have already stayed in - but plenty more to whet the appetite for my next short break!
If you're looking for somewhere to stay in Scotland that is not a big chain hotel, I totally recommend this as a great place to start.
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on 3 December 2008
Having visited Scotland many times before this book is definitely making me want to go back again. I loved the size of the book; it is one that you can slip into your pocket while on your travels.
There are many amazing places to stay, names of some I was not able to pronounce but the descriptions conjured up images of peace and tranquility. Like Taigh Na Cille, which is an old converted church that does not have TV, as you are too remote......., pure bliss and a complete switch off. As for Forter Castle, how fab would New Years celebration be there.
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on 7 November 2011
Very good for quality places.Excellent for the wealthy but not so good for the average traveller.Many miles between each property.
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on 11 November 2008
It is another great Sawday guide book, with some lovely looking places to stay. My favourite is entry139, Duns Inane, owned by Rusty McThatch (costing "whatever the three sisters at the crossroad ask you!") But seriously, if you're planning to go to Scotland for a break or longer holiday this guide has lots to offer. It's very rare you stay at a not so special place in his books.
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