FROM stunning seaside towns to breathtaking national parks, the best areas for a luxury staycation in Scotland have been revealed in new research. 

The list by the Defender Destinations Index (DDI) considers a location’s population and compares it to its number of five-star hotels, Michelin restaurants, gold clubs, wellness retreats, hiking trails, and National Trust sites.

Defender is part of the Land Rover brand and has taken it upon themselves to find the top 10 best luxury staycation spots in the country, ranging from rural towns to big cities.

Top of the list and crowned Scotland’s best luxury staycation spot according to the DDI is Argyll and Bute.

READ MORE: West Highland Way: Scottish hiking route named among UK's best

The west coast seaside area has come up top trumps due to having four Michelin-starred restaurants, four five-star golf courses, six high-end spas and wellness centres, and seven National Trust locations to go with its modest population size of more than 86,000 residents.

Argyll and Bute is most famous for its stunning mountain scenery, including Ben Lomond, and Loch Lomond which attracts droves of tourists every year.

The seaside area also has a well-established whisky industry, with more than 20 distilleries in the area, and some historic landmarks like Inveraray Castle and Mount Stuart.

The National: Inveraray Castle is just one of the stunning historical landmarks in Argyll and Bute

Perth and Kinross is just behind Argyll and Bute on the list as it offers a host of spectacular hiking trails and is best known as the gateway to the highlands.

With locations like Scone Palace and Pitlochry, there is plenty to see while the area also offers a host of five-star hotels, and 15 luxury wellness retreats.

Aberdeenshire rounds out the top three with an impressive double-digit number of high-end golf courses and five Michelin-starred restaurants.

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The research also evaluated the quantity as well as the quantity of amenities to ensure the most luxurious staycation possible.

The full top ten is as follows:

  1. Argyll and Bute
  2. Perth and Kinross
  3. Aberdeenshire
  4. South Ayrshire 
  5. Edinburgh 
  6. Dumfries and Galloway
  7. Scottish Borders 
  8. Fife 
  9. Orkney 
  10. Stirling

Edinburgh topped the list for most Michelin-starred restaurants at 32, while Dumfries and Galloway ranked top for the most excellent hiking trails, and Aberdeenshire is first for National Trust Locations at nine.