When planning to travel to Scotland the first place that comes to your mind is Edinburgh. But did you know that there are other wonderful places you can visit beyond the popular city? From Kelpies to Smoo Cave, Plockton, Skye Oban and St. Kilda, these are Scotland’s hidden gems that will make you rethink Edinburgh.
Nature lovers will have a blast with a visit to Highland jewel Plockton. Facing Loch Carron, this place is your haven if you are looking for peace and quiet. Activities include biking, kayaking, and sailing, but the best thing to do is take a walk along the coast to experience the beauty and scenery of this place. A day trip is also available if you have the extra cash to spend.
Getting There : Fly to Inverness and hire a car to get to Plockton (2 hour drive). You can also take the train (3 hour journey).
Accommodation: Book your room at the Kinloch Lodge hotel and restaurant
6 Smoo cave
Smoo Cave is located in Durness and is considered one of Scotland’s hidden gems. Taking a guided tour is the way to go in this tourist spot and it is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Careful study of the weather forecast before going here is a must if you want your visit not to be interrupted by heavy rain.
Getting There : Fly to Inverness and hire a car to drive to Durness (2.5 hour drive). You can also take the train (7 hour journey).
Accommodation: Book a room at The Tongue Hotel, which has a cozy restaurant and offers deluxe rooms.
5 Fairy pools
The Fairy Pools are located on the Isle of Skye and offer crystal clear waters thanks to the waterfalls that form these natural pools. Surrounded by mountainous rocks and green grass, this place is truly a hidden gem for all swimmers and vacationers! Guided tours are also available, in addition to the self-guided tour.
Getting There : Fly to Inverness and hire a car to get to Inverness (2.5 hour journey time). Park in the parking lot of the Forestry Commission.
Accommodation: Book a room at The Boat House where you can enjoy the magnificent sea view from every room.
4 Dunmore pineapple
The Dunmore Pineapple is one of the strangest buildings in the country. Classified as a folly or expensive and useless ornamental building, the Dunmore Pineapple was built by Lord Dunmore. A former governor of Virginia, he retired and returned to Scotland with pineapple cultivation in mind, hence the inspiration for this building.
Today Landmark Trust runs the Dunmore Pineapple and it may come as a surprise, but holidaymakers can rent the place for their trip to Scotland for just 60 pounds a night. This rate is for four people and you can bring your dogs.
Getting There : Fly to Glasgow or Edinburgh and drive a car to Dunmore (40 minute journey), or you can take public transport and travel for 2 hours.
Accommodation: If you want Pineapple Dunmore to be just a place to visit, book your room at the Inglewood House and Spa, a hotel that has amenities like a thermal suite, outdoor hot tub, and spa treatment rooms.
Located in the Aberdeen shire area is a small town called Crovie. Little is the right word because this village, where all the houses face the sea, has only one road. This road is so narrow that the villagers’ vehicles must be parked outside the settlement.
A brief research into the history of Crovie teaches us that the town’s wealthy landowner had the inhabitants of his property driven out so that his flock of sheep could eat in his fields. This led the occupants to withdraw to this tiny piece of land facing the sea. Villagers still live by the sea today, but most of them are already rented out to vacationers.
Getting There : Fly to Aberdeen and drive a car (1 hour journey), or you can take the train and travel for 3 hours.
Accommodation: If you want to stay in the center of the village, book your accommodation at 49 Crovie Village.
2 St Kilda Archipelago
This remote island in Scotland begs the question of how you can get there. The St. Kilda Archipelago, home to one of Scotland’s tallest cliffs, is located in the Outer Hebrides and is a world-class site well worth a visit.
This island, which is rich in history, was home to some of the locals who were evacuated in 1930. Today this unique UK attraction has become a great place for tourists who enjoy bird watching. Boat trips and cruises are available if you wish to visit this remote island.
Getting There : Fly to Glasgow and take another domestic flight to the Isle of Harris on Stornoway for a short flight of less than an hour.
Accommodation: Finsbay Lodges located on the Isle of Harris.
1 Fingal cave
This majestic cave rising from the ocean is so captivating and amazing that vacationers are drawn to explore the beauty within. A one of a kind cave, it is home to many animals and if your timing is right you can also see the puffins which migrate here to mate. Getting to the cave is easy, thanks to the boat trips that are scheduled several times a day in Fionnphort.
Getting There : Fly to Glasgow and hire a car. Drive 2 hours to Oban, then take a 50 minute ferry to Craignure.
Accommodation: Hotel St. Columba or Hotel Perle Oban
FOLLOWING: According to legend, fairies inhabit the Isle of Skye in Scotland, especially in these places
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