Scotland is known for many reasons ranging from its rich history, beautiful mountains, stately castle, and mysterious lochs that come replete with mythological monster lore. It’s one of the most beautiful countries to visit in the UK. While major cities like Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen have plenty to offer, the real hidden gems lie in the small towns that offer breathtaking landscapes. Here are some that you should absolutely plan to visit.
Fort Augustus, Lochaber
Located in the southwest end of Loch Ness, this town started out as an 18th century military garrison. Now, it’s better known for being the place people come to in order to prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. You can take a cruise here and learn about Highlands culture while at the Clansman Centre.
Killin, Loch Tay
A short drive from historic Stirling, you can visit Killin if you enjoy sailing or kayaking, which you can do on Loch Tay. You can also visit the Falls of Dochart which boast stunning waterfalls, where many locals spend many of the summer days. Visit the Breadalbane Folklore Centre to learn about local legends and myths and visit the ruins of Finlarig Castle.
Tobermory, Isle of Mull
Tobermory is the capital of the Isle of Mull and is best known for its single malt whisky, fishing port, and rainbow colored homes. You can get here by ferry from the mainland, which only takes about 35 minutes. Here you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and inns to visit.
Braemar is the location of Balmoral Castle, which was the Queen’s favorite Scottish retreat. It’s now open to the public when it is not being lived in. You can also see Braemar Gathering, which is the traditional Highland games contest. You can even catch a glimpse of the British Royal family, who have been attending the games since the 1840s.
Plockton is a pastoral dream, with a gorgeous bay surrounding by lovely cottages. It looks so much like a film set because the 1973 horror film The Wicker Man was filmed here, as well as British TV series Hamish Macbeth. Here you can experience strangely tropical weather because it’s located in a sunny pocket of the west coast of Scotland.