The Independent Golfer

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Bed and Breakfast Establishments

In years past a B&B was typically a family house with a spare room, perhaps conveniently located on a road entering or leaving town. It may have been that the children in the family had grown up and left their rooms vacant or the proprietor was a widow looking to make ends meet. In any event, letting (renting) a room was convenient for the traveler and the proprietor. Now, more and more, bed-and-breakfast places are businesses, remodeled houses that let three or four rooms and are run by ambitious young couples who often have day jobs as well as their hostelry work.

The important thing is that, whether offering a single room in a family home or three rooms as a small business, all Scottish B&B’s are typically clean, comfortable, quiet and accommodating. The hosts are invariably friendly, helpful and courteous and, thankfully, the rooms they offer are among the most inexpensive accommodations that can be found in Scotland.
Bed and Breakfast in Scotland

Costs range between £18 ($28) [Money Conversion] and £25 ($40) per person per night, and, as the name says, that includes breakfast! Little wonder that bed-and-breakfast establishments tend to be the preferred accommodations for Independent Golfers.

There is one fundamental difference that distinguishes B&B rooms from each other. Some have attached restroom facilities with shower or bath that are intended for the exclusive use of those in that room while, in other rooms, you must go down the hall to a shared bathroom. The term that describes self-contained rooms with private facilities is “en suite”, a term that is now as Scottish as it was once Continental. En suite rooms tend to be three to five pounds per night more than rooms with only shared facilities.

When selecting a B&B it is entirely appropriate to ask to see the room and look for a few qualities that may or may not be important to you. You may see in many bedrooms tea/coffee making facilities including a selection of teas and some biscuits or crackers. Finally, it is important to ask about payment. Some B&B’s will accept credit cards unrestrictedly while others will add a small surcharge for the card’s use. Still others require cash payment.

B&B hosts like to make you feel as if you are staying in your own home. When you rent a room for the night in a B&B it is common to receive a key to the room and another key to the house’s front door that is typically locked around 11:00 each evening. In this way you have the freedom to go and come as you please without disturbing the hosts. You will have access to the house’s parlor where you may sit and read in the evening or chat with the host or other house guests. The host may brew a pot of tea and invite you to partake but it is entirely appropriate to decline if you are tired and only care about a long soak in the bath before bed.

Guest Houses

Guest House in Scotland Guest Houses are only slightly larger than B&B’s. They tend to be commercial businesses that will have a minimum of four letting rooms. Some of these rooms will be en suite while others not. Breakfast is typically available and they may also offer evening meals. For comparable value, a Guest House may charge a pound or two more than a B&B per night.

Small Hotels

Small Hotels have a minimum of six and a maximum of twenty letting rooms and are generally owned independently by proprietors who pride themselves in imposing their personal style on their establishment. At least 50% of the rooms will typically be en suite.

It is common for Small Hotels to be licensed, that is, to have a bar that serves alcoholic beverages. They will normally serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is important to inquire as to whether any meals are included in the cost of the room.

In addition to food and drink, Small Hotels may have amenities like telephones in rooms and laundry service.
Small Hotel in Scotland


Machri Hotel, Scotland Next up in scale is a regular Hotel with at least 20 letting rooms, most of which will be en suite. Like their small brethren, they will be licensed and offer a full range of meals.

Resort Hotels

At the top of the food chain is the International Resort Hotel that owns or offers access to a wide range of recreational, sporting and leisure facilities including an 18-hole golf course, swimming and other “country pursuits” such as fishing or hunting. As you might guess, these resorts have achieved very high quality ratings for accommodation and service and are quite expensive.

Turnberry Hotel, Scotland

Self-Catering Apartments and Cottages

The best-kept accommodation secret in Scotland is the self-catering cottage or apartment. You can find a house, cottage, apartment or chalet that can be rented by the week, generally from Saturday to Saturday, at a rate that is considerably less than you would pay for each member of your group to stay a week in a B&B.

These typically have two to four bedrooms as well as a family room. the kitchens are completely equipped with everything you need. Most self-catering places have laundry facilities. Almost all come with bed linens and bath towels but you should inquire about this when making your arrangements.

Unlike a B&B, you have to cook your own breakfast but you can also save money by preparing lunches and/or cooking your evening meal if you wish. An easier tactic is eating lunches in local pubs and, for dinner, patronizing the many carry-out establishments that offer a wide variety of food.

Self-Catering places are ideal for a group of two to eight independent golfers who want to establish a hub in a particular area for a week and avoid daily packing and unpacking while playing courses within a short driving distance.

Donald Ross house, dornoch Scotland

Author at Ross House

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