The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Cottages and Castles website boosts Isle of Arran holidaymaker numbers

Scotland’s leading specialist holiday lettings agency Cottages & Castles Ltd has officially launched a new website that will transform the way families and visitors book holidays on the Isle of Arran and Ayrshire.

Cottages & Castles has been operating for over 25 years providing a dedicated holiday lets service offering a supreme range of self catering holiday cottages, exclusive large houses, holiday castles, mansions and sporting lodges for rent throughout Scotland, with a fantastic choice of properties on Arran.

Having recently conducted a survey with over 500 of their customers, it is apparent that holidaymakers are as interested in what they can do and see in the area as they are in the facilities provided by the accommodation, with 76% of respondents claiming local activities and places to visit are top criterion when booking a holiday.

The results have allowed Cottages & Castles to design a website with unparalleled interactive search functions. To make it easy for users to find their ideal area and holiday, the website has split Scotland up into distinct regions including Arran, with each into more localised areas with suggestions for activities, attractions, eating out and events in the area.

Activities have been categorised into three main interests; adventure sports, country sports, great outdoors, with additional search criteria including for example if a property has an open fire, a swimming pool and if it’s located near a beach or close to a ski resort.

The Isle of Arran is well known for being “Scotland in miniature”, and with justification, for although small in size, its wonderful scenery combined with the great array of things to see and do enable you to sample the best of Scotland in one distinct area. Set in the Firth of Clyde, the island takes only four hours to drive around, yet is packed with stunning scenery and dramatic views of the surrounding area.

The island is ideal for those looking to kick back and get away from it all however, for the more active there is also a wide range of activities including some spectacular walks on and around Goat Fell, golf, cycling, horse riding, sailing, sea kayaking and canyoning. Whilst some of Arran’s top visitor attractions include Brodick Castle, the Isle of Arran Brewery, the Isle of Arran Distillers, and the Heritage Museum.

Most recent figures available, for 2009, indicated that just over 1 million visitors came to Ayrshire & Arran, of which 900,000 were from the UK (source: Through the launch of its new interactive website, Cottages & Castles aims to increase visitors to the region particularly through domestic holidaymakers as they have experienced a trend towards more people choosing to holiday at home.

Supporting the new website, Hazel Pearce of House of Bruar of House of Bruar, renowned as Scotland’s most prestigious, independent store, said: “We have worked with Cottages and Castles closely for a number of years and are delighted to now feature on their fantastic new website.”

Sue Bourne (pictured above), manager of Cottages and Castles, said: “With the internet being an essential tool when booking a holiday, what we wanted to achieve was a website offering visitors a ‘one stop shop’ for all their queries about holidaying in Scotland, where to stay, what to do and what to see. At present approximately 60 percent of our bookings are made online, a trend we hope to increase over the next few years aiming for over 75 percent of all our bookings via our new interactive website.

“Whether you are a new visitor to Arran or you know the region well and are seeking inspiration on alternative activities and visitor attractions in the area, then our website will equip you with all the information needed to book that perfect holiday.”

John Miller owns Banner Cottage (pictured above), the former office and print shop of The Arran Banner newspaper, located in the heart of Brodick, Arran and lets his property out through Cottages & Castles.

John Miller said: “Being in the self-catering holiday business our number one priority is to ensure we are providing the best accommodation facilities that our customers have come to expect. We are also aware that of paramount importance is the close proximity of our property to local activities and places of interest to visit. The two go hand in hand when thinking about where to holiday and we are delighted that the new Cottages & Castles website has made it easy for users to establish these vital links.”

As part of the new website launch Cottages & Castles Ltd is running an online competition titled ‘Where are Wills & Kate?’ to celebrate April’s Royal wedding. Cottages & Castles are offering a £500 holiday voucher for a stay in one of their outstanding Scottish cottages or towards a stunning castle, for one lucky winner who can find where Wills & Kate are hidden on their website. Visit for full competition details and to entry by Thursday 28 April.

for information on properties availability to rent, please visit or call 01738 451 610.

About Cottages & Castles Ltd

Cottages and Castles Ltd is Scotland’s specialist holiday lettings company with over 600 properties in its portfolio. The firm’s dedication and attention to detail has made them one of the largest self catering companies in Scotland offering an enviable range of holiday cottages, exclusive large houses, holiday castles, Scottish mansions and country lodges.

Cottages and Castles was established in 1983 and is operated by CKD Galbraith, one of Scotland’s leading independent property consultancies with 12 regional offices throughout Scotland.


CKD Galbraith

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