Beautiful Small Towns In Scotland

From the Highlands to the Lowlands, from Orkney to the Hebrides, Scotland is rich in history and legacy. The land is littered with centuries-old castles and ruins, evidence of a past that saw internal strife as well as battles against invaders, including Norse rulers as well as the English.

The Scottish outdoors are breathtakingly spectacular, with Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, as well as some of the most dramatic coastlines you’ll ever see.

There’s even more reason to visit Scotland when you consider the rolling hills, tranquil lochs, and abundance of islands to explore (over 790). Where should you go, though? Here’s a list of the 10 Most Scenic Small Towns In Scotland.

1: Tobermory

Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull, is known for its colourful shops and eateries, which have been featured on the children’s television show Balamory, among other things. It’s easy to understand why: they’re stunning against the greenery, sparkling black water, and (often) grey sky.  Also, read Best Tacos near me.

The Tobermory Museum, an aquarium, and the Tobermory single malt whisky distillery are all worth seeing in town. Otherwise, it’s an excellent location for exploring this Inner Hebridean island.

2: Pittenweem

 

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The houses of Pittenweem, with their white walls and red roofs, were influenced by trade with Belgium and the Netherlands. It got even busier in 1982, when the hamlet inaugurated its first Arts Festival, which is now one of Scotland’s best-loved; in 2013, over 25,000 people attended, about 25 times its population.

The narrow lanes of this attractive location are also steeped in history: a 1318 abbey sits atop a sacred shrine linked with St Fillan.

3: Stromness

This town, located on the Orkney Islands’ ‘Mainland,’ is all about rugged coastal appeal, with brownstone buildings crouched down by the stormy sea. Stromness was first mentioned in the 16th century as the location of an inn, but it became prominent as a port in the next century as France encroached on the English Channel. Also read romantic hotels near me.

The Pier Arts Gallery, which exhibits a large collection of 20th century art, is located on the pier. Skara Brae, a Neolithic site that predates both Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids, is a cluster of mind-bogglingly well-preserved homes and just one portion of Orkney’s ancient ruins, and is only a 20-minute journey north.

4: Portree

 

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Portree, the largest town on the Inner Hebrides’ largest island, is particularly lovely, with pastel-colored homes and a harbour bordered by cliffs — not to mention a pier erected by Thomas Telford. Also read Breakfast Near Me.

The village is in an ideal location for seeing the remainder of Skye as well as the rocky landscape of the Trotternish peninsula (one of Scotland’s 40 National Scenic Areas). It is also close to the iconic landmark the Old Man of Storr. The Aros Centre in Portree highlights Skye’s Gaelic culture, which is spoken by a small number of people on the island.

5: Killin

Killin, near the western end of Loch Tay, is a great place to start exploring the Highlands. It’s close to the raging Dochart Falls, which may be seen from a stone bridge that spans the raging whitewater. Also, read Best Italian Restaurants Near Me.

A prehistoric stone circle may be seen in the grounds of the famed MacNab clan’s old seat of power, Kinnell House, and their family burial cemetery can be found on Inchbuie, an island in the River Dochart. The ruins of Finlarig Castle, built in the 17th century, are located to the north of town. The adjacent mountain Beinn Ghlas, though, is worth a trek to this out-of-the-way location just for the walking and hiking.

6: Plockton

 

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This small village developed as a planned community based on fishing as a means of preventing Highland exodus. As a result, the majority of the houses date from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But its location is appealing: although being on the west coast, Plockton faces east, providing a moderate climate and allowing for the growth of quaintly out-of-place cabbage tree palms. The Edinburgh School, a 20th-century art collective, was a big hit in town, and it still attracts artists today.

7: Fort Augustus

Fort Augustus is located near the southwest end of Loch Ness, the most famous of all lochs. This second-largest of Scotland’s lochs attracts visitors from all around the world, with some hoping to see the legendary Nessie. Also, read Glamping near me.

Apart from enjoying a cruise on Loch Ness, learning about Highlands culture at the Clansman Centre, or touring the 19th century abbey, Fort Augustus’ natural environment in a beautiful portion of the Scottish Highlands makes it an albeit well-trodden charmer of a town.

8: Linlithgow

 

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Linlithgow Palace is a well-known monument in the old town of Linlithgow, which has a historic High Street. Although the current structure was completed in 1424, it stands on the site of an even older original structure.

The birthplace of James V and Mary, Queen of Scots, it is bordered by an exquisite stretch of parkland called locally as “the Peel,” which contains the lovely Linlithgow Loch. A section of the Glasgow-Edinburgh Union Canal is located to the south of town.

9: Kelso

Kelso, located just a few miles from the English border and rich in historical and architectural significance, came to life in 1138 when its monastery was granted permission to be built.

Kelso Abbey’s ruins are still majestic and well kept almost a century later. The enormous Floors Castle, which dates from 1721, is more modern; its size and majesty are stunning from the outside, but the interior is gorgeously covered with tapestries. This historic town, located at the confluence of the Tweed and Teviot rivers, is jam-packed with things to see, do, eat, and drink.

10: Braemar

This village has a significant royal connection. First and foremost, Balmoral Castle, the Royal Family’s occasional residence, is only a few miles away and is partially open to the public when it is not in use. Second, since Queen Victoria, Braemar has hosted the Braemar Gathering, an annual Highland Games attended by the Royal Family.

There’s the 17th-century antique-filled Braemar Castle, as well as the ruins of the 14th-century Kindrochit Castle. It’s also close to simple trekking in Morrone Birkwood Nature Reserve, as well as a strenuous climb up Creag Choinnich, a local hill.

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