Natural Retreats to take over operations of Canalside Cottages from Scottish Canals

Natural Retreats and Scottish Canals are excited to announce a new partnership that will see Natural Retreats take over full operational responsibility for Canalside Cottages, a contemporary and unique collection of holiday properties that include bothies and restored lock keeper and canal worker’s cottages located on the banks of Scotland’s canals.

These historically significant buildings were beautifully restored by Scottish Canals to create luxury retreats in stunning waterside locations across Scotland and hundreds of people every year choose to holiday in this unique self-catering accommodation.

Katie Hughes, Director of Estates at Scottish Canals, said: “We’re very excited about this partnership with Natural Retreats as Canalside Cottages have proved hugely popular with people looking for memorable holiday accommodation in breath-taking locations and we are confident they will attract a whole new audience keen to sample all that Scotland’s canals have to offer.”

“Canalside Cottages is an amazing addition to our luxury portfolio in Scotland. Each of the properties has been lovingly restored and offers stunning locations along the banks of the canals. We look forward to showcasing these unique cottages which will offer guests the opportunity to stay in a beautiful natural setting and create memories that will last a lifetime.

We are passionate about Scotland and this partnership with Scottish Canals is just the beginning of our ambitious growth plans for Scotland and indeed other areas of the UK. Scotland continues to be an extremely popular destination and our aim is to find the best properties that show Scotland at its very best to visitors from all over the world. 2017 looks set to be a great year for Natural Retreats.”

Matthew Spence, Chief Executive Officer at Natural Retreats

The partnership will see Natural Retreats take over full operational responsibility for maintaining and marketing the portfolio of Canalside Cottages which includes properties in locations along Scottish canals from Fort William to Inverness. This addition to Natural Retreats’ portfolio increases the company’s presence in Scotland with luxury self-catering accommodation at The Inn at John O’Groats and Lews Castle on the Isle of Lewis. The company has an international reputation for providing high-end luxury holiday experiences in some of the most stunning locations.

Notes to Editors

For media enquiries:

Katie Mackenzie,

Eilidh Marshall,, 01463 572333

About Natural Retreats

Natural Retreats was founded in 2006 by Matthew Spence, who wanted people to create memories in nature like the ones he had as a child visiting Yellowstone National Park. Matthew developed the first location with some luxury lodges on his family farm in the Yorkshire Dales.

Ten years on, Natural Retreats is a unique travel and leisure company spanning over 30 destinations in the United States and Europe. Matthew and his team are passionate about giving people the chance to discover some of the world’s most beautiful natural settings in homes and resorts.

The addition of Canalside Cottages to Natural Retreats’ portfolio builds on the company’s collection of self-catering accommodation in Scotland. Highlights include The Inn at John O’Groats in Scotland and Lews Castle. The Inn at John O’Groats is a multi-million pound restoration project by Natural Retreats with luxury self-catering lodges offering unrivalled luxury and breath-taking views out to the Orkney Islands. Lews Castle in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis has 23 bedrooms at this Victorian Castle lovingly restored to its former glory and named joint winner of the Victorian category with Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland in the Great British Buildings Restoration of the Year, a competition organised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and featured on Channel 4.

About Scottish Canals

Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of five Scottish canals as well as the surrounding estate and The Falkirk Wheel.

As well as the waterways themselves, Scottish Canals care for bridges, buildings, locks, The Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies and 19 water supply reservoirs in locations across Scotland. The reservoirs cover an area equivalent to 7,494 football pitches and supply the canals with the 332 million litres of water which flow through them each day.

The Forth & Clyde, Union and Monkland canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands, together extend over 137 miles from coast to coast, across country and into the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, today the canals contribute to the Scottish Government agenda of developing a Greener; Healthier; Smarter; Safer and Stronger; and Wealthier and Fairer Scotland by acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, regeneration and tourism; contributing to education, biodiversity, heritage and promoting active living and healthier lifestyles.

The Forth & Clyde, Union, Monkland, Caledonian and Crinan canals are recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22 million visits per year. See for more information.

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