There’s a reason the Highlands in Scotland are intriguing. These towns and villages contain historic culture and mystical ruins and attract hikers, families and nature enthusiasts all year. Why not see you see for yourself why The Highlands have the most beautiful destinations that Scotland has to offer.
Kelso is a market town located where the rivers Tweed and Tevoit merge. Named the ‘most beautiful town in Scotland’ by the great Sir Walter Scott, after spending time here attending school and having some of his writings first published. The town holds the Romanesque ruins of Kelso Abbey, built during the 12th century, and partly destroyed during the Scottish reformation.
The famous Floor castle sits here also, the seat to the Duke of Roxburgh which was built during the 18th century. Many walks and hikes can be taken around the town, such as the Kelso Town Trail and Bowmont Forest. Sheddon Park offers green space in the middle of the town along with tall forestry. Kelso is also a great destination for cyclists with routes starting and going through the town, including The Borderloop.
Referred to fittingly as the ‘Jewel of the Highlands’ Plockton offers more than landscapes, with beaches and marine life present as well as hidden bays. Testimonials from locals will attest that this is one of the most beautiful villages in the Scottish Highlands.
Located on the west coast, the village looks over Loch Carron and was established as a fishing village during the 19th century. The climate in Plockton is unseasonably mild due to the North Atlantic drift. The village is therefore spared from the infamous Highland winds.
Cottages align most of this idyllic area with many sailing boats docked around the scenic Loch. Plockton is a national conservation village with the most well-known boating trips starting here.
Only a short distance away from the hub of Glasgow, Millport is the capital seaside town located on the Island of Cumbrae on the west coast. With the Cathedral of the Isles being one of its biggest attractions and the smallest cathedral in Britain. Millport has a population of 1200.
The Cathedral was built between the 1850s and the 1870s and was designed by William Butterfield, one of the top Gothic revival architects of his time. With many things to see, The Garrison House, home to the Museum of the Cumbraes and the Garrison House Café has an array of ancient archaeology discoveries. The Robertson Museum and Aquarium is where you can see a range of local species and marine life.
This town, established in 1788, as the main fishing port is still in place. With only a population of 1000 people, Tobermory is still the main town on the Isle of Mull. It is known for is brightly coloured buildings that stream across the coast.
Its wonderful setting was used for filming the well-known BBC children’s programme Balamory which some people may remember. With many activities from kayaking to hiking, Tobermory has a harbour full of boats, yachts and fishermen on most days. A perfect spot for wildlife watching, the Isle of Mull and Iona attracted many species throughout the year, including white and golden-tailed eagles.
Located on the east of the Isle of Skye, Portree is a village known for its natural beauty and is the largest on Loch Portree. Surrounded by hills, Portree looks across the Loch onto Raasay and towards the rest of Skye.
There are a number of things to go and see, including the Aros centre, filled with Gaelic culture exhibitions. In the past, the port was a place for many to leave in search of the New World. Also known for the Lump – a protruding piece of land that sticks out and decorated with a row of colourful houses. Only 200 years old, Portree has churches, banks and rivers to see, with annual events such as the Skye Highland Games drawing in many tourists.
Another market town, located in Perthshire, the stunning Crieff is the capital of Strathearn and known for its delicious food and scenic routes. With a selection of cafes and restaurants, Crieff is visited by many including The Earl and Countess of Strathearn, William and Catherine, in the Strathearn tartan.
Attractions include the commercial centre for highlanders, The Famous Grouse Experience at the Glenturret Distillery, established in 1717 and the Innerpeffray Library opened and still operating since 1680.
The small town of Melrose is known for its ruins and where rugby sevens were born. the Eildon Hills cascade above this town as Melrose lies beneath surrounded by what’s left of the Abbey built during the 12th century. The Roman army making a settlement of Trimontium ‘Place of the Three Hills’ that still remains today.
Visit the National Trust gardens at Priorwood with a dried flower garden and Harmony Garden with views of Eildon Hills over the Abbey. Abbotsford House lies about 3 miles from the river Tweed where Sir Walter Scott used to reside.
Torridon village lies at the foot of Liathach among the Torridon hills and is in the west coast of the Scottish Highlands. A great hub for hikers, geologists and nature enthusiasts, thousands visit this area to stop off in between their travels of the Highlands. Torridon is the largest village in the area and considered to embody the North Highland landscape of Scotland. The mountains are and other formations date back around 750 million years ago. Many plant colonies are also found here as part of the National Nature Reserve. The walking path, including the ridge walk along the Liathach massif and Beinn Eighe, are challenging but are great hikes.
This ancient town is home to Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgow Loch and is the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, and James V. With the Palace still standing tall, thanks to the Stewart Kings preservation after a fire in 1746, it is Linlithgow’s biggest attraction. The Palace is one of Scotland’s best conserved medieval buildings. Linlithgow Loch is situated north of the town and attracts many families and avid hikers with wildlife easily spotted along the way.
Linlithgow has a historic past and was the area where Bonnie Prince Charlie took over during the Jacobite rebellion in 1745. Nearby towns include Bathgate and Grangemouth.
St Andrews, located on the east coast of Fife, is better known for its University, one of the oldest in the United Kingdom. St Andrews is known for the birthplace and invention of golf, dating back to its origin in 1552. The town is home to castle ruins remain. the medieval streets and cathedral as well as its traditional buildings. St Andrews is a hub for tourists to visit and play on its historic golf courses. Visit a selection of museums, including the British Golf Museum with over 500 years of golf history. St Andrews Cathedral, once Scotland’s oldest, is mostly in ruin but the museum holds many of artefacts including sculptures and other ornate artefacts.
Beatrice Potter is a writer who covers topics of travelling, writing tips and personal development. You can find Beatrice featured at Essay Writing Services a writing service platform to help and aid aspiring writers.