The 25 Prettiest Villages in Scotland You Must Visit + Map

From Isle of Harris and Lewis to Dumfries and Galloway, Perthshire to Isle of Skye, Scotland has a variety of scenic villages dotted all around the country.

Although Scotland is probably best known for its dramatic castles, serene lochs, rugged mountains and whisky, there are also some insanely charming villages in Scotland to visit. 

These villages are perfect for escaping the urban chaos and embracing a slower pace of life, where locals gather in traditional pubs and cosy cafes. 

Small villages are always a great choice if you want to get a real taste of a country and experience it more like a local.

Each of them is unique on its own. St Abbs in Scottish Borders draws film crews from Hollywood, while Braemar in Aberdeenshire has royal connections. 

Many of the villages are in the most beautiful parts of Scotland. So there will be plenty of things to do in the local area. They also make a perfect base for exploring the Scottish countryside. 

A few of the villages mentioned in this article are easily accessible on a day trip from Edinburgh and Glasgow.

We’ve rounded up the 25 prettiest villages in Scotland with dreamy views. This article talks about what’s unique about them, things to see and do, how to reach there by public transport and driving distance and time.

Best Fishing Villages in Scotland

1. Plockton, Wester Ross

Close your eyes and picture the perfect Scottish village in your mind. Chances are it will most likely look like Plockton.

Tucked away on the pristine coastline of Loch Carron in North West Scotland, Plockton is one of the prettiest villages in Scotland. It is a perfect place to relax and unwind.

Known as The Jewel of the Highlands, this small village is famous for its awe-inspiring landscapes, milder climate and appearance in the Scottish drama series – Hamish Macbeth.

Plockton gardens

Also, Plockton is just a few miles away from the famous Isle of Skye, one of the most visited places in Scotland. 

In its heydays, in the era of ‘The Herring Boom’, Plockton was a major haven for sourcing herring, which made it rise to its prosperity.

The main village street is lined with traditional whitewashed houses and the prettiest gardens against the spectacular backdrop of the loch and the mountains from the Applecross peninsula.

You can take a wildlife boat tour to spot seals, otters, dolphins, porpoises and numerous sea birds. There are a few pubs and restaurants along the promenade.

How to Reach: 🚂 Plockton train station sits on the Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh railway line.

🚗 From Portree, 1 hour / 40 miles.

2. Cullen, Moray Firth

Once a bustling fishing port, Cullen is renowned as the birthplace of the famous traditional Scottish dish, Cullen Skink – a delicious thick soup made of smoked haddock, potato and milk. 

Nestled on a sheltered bay on the coast of Moray Firth, this idyllic village has a dramatic coastline, stunning sandy beach, an imposing victorian railway viaduct and a cosy small harbour. 

You could easily visit Cullen on a day trip from Inverness and Aberdeen.

view from Cullen Viaduct

The lovely Cullen Beach attracts a lot of visitors during the summer months. Moray Firth is famous for the bottle-nosed dolphins. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the dolphins jumping and playing in the sea. 

The bustling main street has a few antique shops, a busy ice cream shop, cafes and restaurants. Taste a bowl of delicious Cullen Skink at Rockpool Café and the Cullen Bay Hotel.

You can hike to the neighbouring village Portknockie to see the iconic Bow Fiddle Rock – one of the most dramatic rock formations in Northeast Scotland.

How to Reach: 🚌 Ride Stagecoach bus service 35 from Aberdeen and Elgin.

🚗 From Aberdeen, 1 hour 25 minutes / 55 miles.

From Inverness, 1 hour 30 minutes / 59 miles

3. St Abbs, Scottish Borders

Recently featured in the superhero movie Avengers: Endgame, as the fictional place of New Asgard, this sleepy village is a paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers.

St Abbs is a picturesque small fishing village on the Berwickshire Coast in East Scotland.

It is well-known for its rugged coastline and rich wildlife and is one of Scotland’s best scuba diving places.

St Abbs Village aerial view

The walking trail to the St Abb’s Head Nature Reserve is quite popular with hikers. Around 60,000 birds nest in the high cliffs here. 

The volcanic clifftops, scenic sea stacks, abundance of wildflowers and butterflies, a photogenic lighthouse and the uninterrupted view over to the North Sea will completely blow your mind away.

One of the main highlights of this village is the small harbour. You would see local fishing and tour boats carrying tourists and divers. The nearby rocky shores are great for rock pooling. Devour some delicious crab sandwiches from the cafe on the harbour.

How to Reach: 🚂 Ride a train to Berwick upon Tweed from Edinburgh and then catch a bus 235 from there. 

🚗 From Edinburgh, 1 hour / 47 miles.

4. Crail, Fife

Nestled in East Neuk of Fife, Crail is one of the loveliest fishing villages in Scotland, with an eye-catching harbour and charming houses with pantile roofs. 

Crail falls on the famous Fife Coastal Path, a long-distance walking route of 116 miles that runs from Kincardine on the River Forth Estuary to Newburgh on the River Tay Estuary along the coast of Fife.

Crail village in Fife

From the centre of the village, take a ramble down the cobbled streets to reach the harbour. You will find many creel boats moored there. If you fancy feasting on freshly caught lobsters and dressed crabs, pop by at Lobster Hut on the harbour. They are usually open every day in summer.

Also, stop by Crail Harbour Gallery & Tea Room and enjoy beautiful paintings by a local artist. You will also get a stunning view out to the Firth of Forth. They serve hot beverages and light bites.

At the centre of the village, step inside the family-run Crail Pottery. You will find a wide variety of beautifully decorated handmade earthenware to buy.

How to Reach: Catch Stagecoach bus services 95 from Leven to St Andrews.

🚗 From Edinburgh, 1 hour 30 min / 54 miles.

5. Crovie, Aberdeenshire

With a neatly arranged single row of houses on the North Sea coast underneath an imposing cliff, Crovie has one of the most dramatic settings among the villages in Scotland.

The history of this tiny well-preserved fishing hamlet dates back to the 18th century.

Crovie village in Aberdeenshire

Very frequently, the sea sprays lash against the narrow ledge in front of the whitewashed houses. Some of those cottages offer holiday accommodation if you fancy a stay.

This village is only accessible via steep steps that descend the cliff to the seafront. So, if you are coming by car, you cannot simply drive through the village. You will have to leave your vehicle at the clifftop car park and walk down the wooden stairs.

Ony 10 minutes’ walk from Crovie is Gardenstown, another picturesque fishing settlement. Also, Troup Head in the east is a popular place for birdwatching. It has the largest gannet colony on mainland Scotland.

How to reach: Catch bus service 273 from Banff.

🚗 From Aberdeen, 1 hour 5 minutes/ 45 miles.

6. St Monans, East Neuk

St Monans is a stunning traditional fishing village in East Neuk of Fife and a jewel on the jagged coastline of the Firth of Forth in Scotland. This pretty harbour-front village is the smallest of the series of fishing ports dotted along the coast of East Neuk.

Around the cosy harbour huddle a charming blend of whitewashed and colourful houses with crow-stepped gables – possibly a Dutch influence. 

It gets very photogenic at high tide with the wild churning waves pounding on the breakwater – super atmospheric! 

St Monans, East Neuk

Don’t miss a visit to the photogenic St Monans Windmill and St Monans Parish Church. The church is one of the oldest medieval churches in Scotland.

Being on the Fife coastal path, this former fishing and boat-building village is very popular with walkers. Along the coast, you would find the ruins of Newark Castle, a beehive dovecot, a seaside church, salt pans – a reminder of its salt-producing past, and a windmill spinning its arms in an idyllic setting.

How to Reach: 🚌 You can catch a Stagecoach bus from Edinburgh, St Andrews and Leven.

🚗 From Edinburgh, 1 hour 15 min / 48 miles. 

From St Andrews, 20 min / 13 miles.

Best Coastal and Lochside Villages in Scotland

7. Luss, Loch Lomond

Perfectly positioned on the western shore of bonnie Loch Lomond, Luss is often regarded as one of the prettiest Scottish villages.

Just 45 minutes drive from Glasgow, this place is an ideal day-trip destination from there.

There are plenty of incredible things to do in Luss to make you fall in love with this village.

Luss village on the shore of Loch Lomond

Admire the row of quaint stone cottages lined with beautiful small gardens and floral displays. They look gorgeous in full bloom during the summer months.

The small beach near the pier is a popular spot for sunbathing and swimming in summer.

Take a stroll along the wooden pier to get a stunning view of the loch and the towering Ben Lomond on the other side of the loch.

You can take a relaxing boat tour to get a chance to see the numerous tiny islands on the Loch Lomond closely. Also, you can visit other villages on the banks of Loch Lomond – Balloch, Balmaha, Tarbet and Rowerdennan.

How to Reach: Hop on a Citylink bus service from Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station.

🚗 From Glasgow, 45 minutes / 26 miles.

8. Elgol, Isle of Skye

With only a few clusters of whitewashed cottages on the shore of Loch Scavaig on the Isle of Skye, Elgol is a remote Scottish village offering one of the best views of the magnificent Cuillin ranges.

A hidden gem on Skye, Elgol has some great walking opportunities, including the coastal walk to Loch Coruisk. Also, you can explore Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Cave, where he hid after the defeat of the Jacobites in the mid-18th century. 

Elgol, Isle of Skye

The boat services to Loch Coruisk and the wildlife trips depart from the village harbour.

Lying at the foot of the Black Cuillin, Loch Coruisk is a breathtaking freshwater loch on the Isle of Skye. The loch is also accessible by a long and strenuous walk from Sligachan and Elgol. 

Legend has it that it was once the home to the Kelpies – mythical water horses in Scottish folklore.

The famous Scottish folk song ‘The Skye Boat Song’ originated in Loch Coruisk, getting inspired by a Gaelic version sung by the local rowers.

How to Reach: 🚎 Stagecoach runs bus service 55 from Broadford to Elgol a few times a day on weekdays and Schooldays.

🚗 From Broadford, 30 min/ 14 miles.

9. Fort Augustus, Scottish Highlands

Just an hour’s drive from the Scottish city of Inverness, you will find the tiny hamlet of Fort Augustus on the impressive Caledonian Canal.

Halfway between two large settlements of Scotland – Fort William and Inverness, this village lies at the southern end of Loch Ness, the largest freshwater lake by volume in the UK and home to the celebrity monster, Nessie. 

Fort Augustus, Scottish Highlands

This small village has many beautiful things to do and explore for all. You can pop inside the Caledonian Canal Heritage Centre and learn local history, cruise into Loch Ness, walk or cycle around the area and enjoy the breathtaking view of Loch Ness.

The magnificent Urquhart Castle is not too far from here. It is one of the largest ruined castles in Scotland and holds thousands of years of history.

If you are a serious hiker, you might be interested in the Great Glen Way, a long-distance walking trail between Fort William and Inverness, which runs through this Scottish village.

How to Reach: 🚎 Citylink bus from Inverness to Fort William stops here.

🚗 From Inverness, 55 min / 34 miles.

From Four William, 45 min / 32 miles.

10. Applecross, Wester Ross

Applecross is an incredibly stunning small village in a peninsula with the same name in the Wester Ross part of Scotland. It is a must-visit place on the North Coast 500 route, one of Scotland’s most scenic driving routes.

Take a walk to the Applecross Bay near Applecross Heritage Centre. You will get a stunning view over to the Isle of Raasay, Rona and the Isle of Skye. You might spot a herd of red deer strolling on the beach.

Also, step inside the heritage centre and discover the local history.

Applecross village in Scotland

Applecross Inn on the village seafront is an excellent place to tuck into locally sourced delicious seafood. If you are in a hurry, grab some food from the takeaway truck opposite the inn.

If you came to Applecross via the road that runs along the shore of Loch Torridon, then make sure you head back through Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle) – one of the highest and most picturesque mountain-passes in the whole of Britain.

How to Reach: From Inverness, 2 hours / 80 miles.

11. Lochranza, Isle of Arran

Lochranza sits in the northernmost part of the beautiful Isle of Arran. The village is named after a sea loch called Loch Ranza.

This cute village has a ruined lochside castle, a distillery, and a field centre for the Geology enthusiasts.

The incredible scenic beauty of Lochranza has inspired one of Scotland’s renowned novelists Sir Walter Scott in the poem The Lord of the Isles.

Lochranza village in Isle of Arran

You might spot a herd of red deers roaming freely around the village. It is a perfect blissful spot to commune with nature. There are a few hiking trails nearby. 

Also, pop inside The Sandwich Station near the ferry terminal for some delicious freshly baked artisan sourdough bread sandwiches and cakes.

Another thing we really like about Lochranza is that it is less touristy than other areas in Arran. 

How to Reach: 🚎 The Stagecoach bus service 324 from Brodick to Blackwaterfoot stops here.

🚗 From Brodick, 30 min / 14 miles.

12. Shieldaig, Wester Ross

Shieldaig is a hidden gem tucked away on the shore of Loch Torridon in Northwest Scottish Highlands. Mostly whitewashed cottages along the shore of the loch make this coastal village very photogenic. 

You will find a rocky outcrop just about a quarter-mile off the coast. That’s Shielding Island with a dense population of Scots Pine.

Shieldaig was established in 1800 to train local people ready for battle in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars. Later it turned into a fishing hamlet. 


In Gaelic, Shieldaig means ‘Herring Bay’. Now, this village largely relies on tourism. It has a small population of about 100 permanent residents.

Shieldaig is one of those places where you don’t have much to do apart from soaking up the breathtaking view. There are a couple of hotels, pubs and restaurants here.

Also, explore the nearby Torridon at the foothill of Torridon Hills. It’s just 15 minutes drive from Shieldaig.

How to Reach:  From Inverness, 1 hour 30 min / 68 miles.

13. Portpatrick, Dumfries and Galloway

Located on the Irish Sea coast of Dumfries and Galloway in South West Scotland, the village of Portpatrick was once the main port for bringing goods to Ireland, which is only 21 miles from here.

Once compared with Gretna Green, many young couples from Northern Ireland would come here to get hitched.

There are quite a few restaurants, shops and pubs along the seafront. Take a ramble around the village. Take a look inside the historic ruins of the old parish church.

Follow the coastal path to visit the nearby picturesque ruins of Dunskey Castle. The hike offers a gorgeous view of the sea, beaches and clifftops. You can also walk to the north to see the Killantringan Lighthouse.

If you are in this part of Scotland, don’t miss a visit to the Mull of Galloway, the southernmost point of Scotland.

Also, the long-distance walking trail Southern Upland Way starts from here.

How to Reach: 🚎 Catch bus services 367 and 411 from Stranraer.

🚗 From Dumfries, 1 hour 40 min / 76 miles.

14. Dornie, Kintail

Located within a short walking distance from Eilean Donan Castle – one of the most famous castles in Scotland, Dornie is often overlooked by tourists visiting the castle. The village is only a few minutes by car from Kyle of Lochalsh, the gateway to the Isle of Skye

Nestled in the meeting point of Loch Long, Loch Duich and Loch Alsh, the village has a natural scenic setting.

Aside from exploring the castle, this former fishing village is a great place to roam around. You will find a row of houses, whitewashed and some with colours creating a nice contrast. 

Don’t miss the viewpoint near the Dornie Community Hall on the other side of the road bridge over Loch Long. You will have a fabulous view of the castle with the impressive mountains of Kintail in the backdrop.

How to Reach: 🚎 The Scottish Citylink bus from Portree to Glasgow or Inverness stops near Dornie.

🚗 From Kyle of Lochalsh, 15 min / 9 miles.

Best Villages in Scotland for Mountains and Hikes

15. Braemar, Aberdeenshire

Located deep in the Cairngorms National Park, Braemar is truly a beautiful village in Scotland, where you can immerse in the wilderness, escaping the hustle-bustle of city life.

Surrounded by the Grampian Mountains and the River Dee, Braemar is one of the coldest places in Scotland and sits at an elevation of 339 metres above sea level.

It hosts the famous Braemar Gathering and Highland Games every year, which is attended frequently by Her Majesty the Queen and the other members of the British Royal Family.

Braemar Castle, Aberdeenshire

The rustic charm of this scenic Scottish village has attracted visitors over the centuries. 

There are plenty of walking, hiking and fishing opportunities around this area.

Aside from the majestic scenery, it has an abundance of wildlife, especially red deer and red squirrels. Just keep your eyes peeled out.

Constructed in the 17th century by the Earl of Mar as a hunting lodge, Braemar Castle has a turbulent highland history of over 400 years.

Balmoral Castle, the Royal Residence in the Scottish countryside, lies about 9 miles east of Braemar. 

How to Reach: 🚎 Stagecoach Bus service 201 runs daily between Aberdeen and Braemar.

🚗 From Aberdeen, 1 hour 25 minutes/ 56 miles.

From Dundee, 1 hour 25 minutes / 52 miles.

16. Glencoe, Lochaber

With a population of just around four hundred people, Glencoe is a little village on the shore of Loch Leven in the Scottish Highlands. It is only 25 minutes drive from Fort William.

Visit the Massacre of Glencoe Monument – a memorial erected to the infamous Massacre of Glencoe. It took place on the night of 12th February in 1692. 

The village of Glen coe in Scottish Highlands

Almost 40 members of Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were murdered by the government forces under the command of Archibald Campbell, 10th Earl and 1st Duke of Argyll, for failing to meet the deadline of swearing allegiance to King William III.

Take a look inside the thatched roof Glencoe Folk Museum. This village has rich wildlife as well. Watch out for red deer and golden eagles. They are seen here frequently.

Glencoe Lochan, an idyllic place for a family-friendly walk, lies within a short walk from this village.

Keen hikers can climb the Pap of Glencoe, which looms large over this village. This 742-metre high mountain has a strikingly conical shape.

How to Reach: 🚎 Citylink and local Shield Buses N44 give a stop in Glencoe.

🚗 From Fort William, 25 min / 16 miles.

17. Killin, Perthshire

Located at the western end of Loch Tay, Killin is a stunningly attractive Scottish village in Perthshire. This charming settlement at the foothill of Breadalbane mountains is one of the best villages in Scotland for outdoor enthusiasts. 

It offers plenty of scenic walking opportunities. Wander around the magnificent Falls of Dochart and visit the burial place of Clan Macnab. 

Killin, Perthshire

One of the most scenic walks around Killin is Sròn a’Chlachain. It is a steep hill walk of about 2 miles with an ascent of around 400 metres. From the summit, the view is absolutely breathtaking. You can admire the stunning panoramic views of Loch Tay and the surrounding mountains.

Loch Tay is famous for salmon fishing. You can hire a fishing boat or take a guided fishing adventure tour from Loch Tay Fish ‘n’ Trips. 

If you are a fan of water sports, you will enjoy high-speed rib boat tours over the lake. Afterwards, visit the ruins of Finlarig Castle nearby. It was once a stronghold of Clan Campbell.

This village has quite a few nice cafes and restaurants. Falls of Dochart Inn is a lovely dog-friendly place to eat and drink with a beautiful view.

How to Reach: From Callander, catch the C60 bus.

🚗 From Glasgow, 1 hour 20 min/ 62 miles.

18. Comrie, Perthshire

Winner of the Britain in Bloom Award in previous years, Comrie lies in the West Strathearn part of Perthshire. Comrie offers fabulous walking opportunities, having an abundance of big trees and woodlands in and around.

The Deil’s Cauldron and the Melville Monument Trail is a quite popular nature trail that starts at the centre of this Scottish village. This circular walk takes about 2 – 3 hours. We did this in autumn, and it was stunningly beautiful with a dazzling display of colours. The water of Ruchill and Cultybraggan is another scenic walk in Comrie.

Comrie river and church

If you are into geology, you would be interested to know that Comrie has more earth tremors than anywhere else in the UK due to its location on the Highland Boundary Fault. Actually, one of the first seismometers in the world was installed in Comrie around the mid-19th century.

This picturesque village of Scotland hosts a few cosy events like Comrie Fortnight in Summer and Flambeaux – torchlight parade during the Hogmanay celebration on New Year’s Eve.

Lastly, don’t miss Drummond Castle, famous for its enchanting garden. You can reach here just in 20 minutes by car from Comrie. The castle garden is usually open to visitors from June to October. 

How to Reach: Ride Stagecoach bus number 15 from Perth.

🚗 From Perth 50 min / 25 miles.

Best Historical and Cultural Villages in Scotland

19. Culross, Fife

Have you ever been to a place where you feel like you have stepped back in time? Nestled on the coast of the Firth of Forth, the Royal Burgh of Culross is one of those places. 

Founded in the 6th century by Saint Serf, it is one of the best-preserved historic villages in Scotland.

Wander around the cobbled streets lined with the 16th and 17th century whitewashed houses with red-tiled roofs. Take a tour of the brightly yellow-orange coloured Culross Palace. 

Culross village Palace and rooftops

Established in the 17th century by a wealthy merchant, the house has painted ceilings and passageways connecting the small rooms.

You will get a lovely panoramic view from the top of the palace garden. Also, explore the nearby ruins of Culross Abbey.

In recent years, the popular TV series, Outlander has brought this village on the tourist map. You can easily visit Culross on a day trip from Glasgow and Edinburgh.

How to Reach: From Edinburgh, catch a bus or train to Dunfermline. Next, jump onto the Stagecoach bus 8, 8A to Culross.

🚗 From Edinburgh 40 minutes/ 24 miles.

20. Wanlockhead, Dumfries and Galloway

The former mining village of Wanlockhead sits high in the Lowther Hills at an elevation of around 1,531 ft. It is the highest village in Scotland. 

The main tourist attraction of Wanlockhead is The Museum of Lead Mining. Take a guided tour to learn about this area’s industrial past. Also, you can go down to take a look inside a former working mine. 


Meander around the village to admire the stunning scenery of the cottages and the surrounding mountains. You will find several pieces of machinery used in mining scattered around Wanlock Water.

You can also go panning for gold at Mennock Water, a little stream near Wanlockhead. Gold panning has been quite popular in this area for centuries.

The gorgeous Drumlanrig Castle & Gardens is only 25 minutes from here by car.

If you are travelling with kids, you can hop on board a heritage diesel train between Leadhills and Wanlockhead. It runs only on weekends during the summer months.

Scotland’s long-distance coast-to-coast walking trail, The Southern Upland Way, goes through this village. 

How to Reach: Catch a local bus service operated by Stuarts of Carluke from Lanark Bus Station.

🚗 From Dumfries, 50 min / 32 miles.

21. Falkland, Fife

A former royal burgh of Stuart Kings and Queens of Fife, Falkland is a living time capsule of the past. It is the first conservation village in Scotland.

With the Lomond Hills looming over, Falkland is home to honeycomb houses, pretty cobbled lanes, Falkland Palace and Gardens, and Bruce Fountain.

Falkland centre

The 16th-century royal residence boasts of having the oldest tennis court in the World. It was once a country residence for Scottish Kings. Mary, Queen of Scots, frequently visited this palace and enjoyed falconry and hunting.

Not only that, Falkland has a few local boutique shops, cosy cafes, tearooms, and restaurants. It is also one of the filming locations for the famous time-travelling historic TV Series, Outlander.

For nature lovers, there are some great walks around the village. The nearby Maspie Den walk is popular with walkers. Fit hikers would love to explore the full East Lomond Circuit.

How to Reach: Hop on board a train to Ladybank and catch a local bus from there.

🚗 From Edinburgh 1 hour/ 39 miles

22. New Lanark, Lanarkshire

New Lanark World Heritage site in Scotland

New Lanark is one of the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland. This charming historical small village was founded in 1786 by David Dale, who built cotton mills and housing by the River Clyde. 

Later under the pioneering industrialist and philanthropist Robert Owen, the mills flourished. He implemented many revolutionary ideas that were way ahead of his time. 

Today visitors can explore and learn about the history of these 200-year-old restored mills and houses. You can see recreated school rooms, village stores and mill workers’ homes.

While here, take a short woodland walk to see the nearby Falls of Clyde.

How to Reach: Catch a bus or train from Glasgow to Lanark. 

🚗 From Glasgow, 50 min / 28 miles.

23. Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, Isle of Lewis

Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, Isle of Lewis

The remotest place on our list, Gearrannan Blackhouse Village is a former crofting village on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. It’s a must-see attraction on the island because of its unique cluster of thatched stone cottages.  

You can get a really nice insight into the Hebridean life of the past centuries, like how they used to weave the world-renowned Harris Tweed and survived in the wild North Atlantic weather. There is a cafe and a small shop selling local souvenirs.

You can either day-trip to Gearrannan or spend the night at their holiday accommodations in the thatched cottages. There are walking, cycling and fishing opportunities here. 

Also, the renowned Calanais Standing Stones and the Iron Age Broch are close to this place. You can easily combine them in a single visit.

How to Reach:  From Stornoway, 33 min / 18 miles.

24. Dysart, Fife

Dysart in Fife

Dysart has turned into a photogenic village, with picturesque old buildings and narrow alleys leading to the seafront. It sits on the Fife Coastal Path and is a hidden gem.

Once a prosperous bustling industrial town, Dysart today is a suburb in the northeast of Kirkcaldy. 

Crow-stepped gabbles on the historic building are stark reminders of its trading past with Holland. On the High street, a tolbooth stands tall with a clocktower as a prominent landmark of this former fishing village.

The lovely little Dysart Harbour is one of the Outlander filming locations in Scotland. There is an excellent view of the harbour with St Serf’s old Parish Church from the Sailor’s walk, which continues to the Ravenscraig Park. 

How to Reach: Hop on a Stagecoach bus from Edinburgh or Dunfermline. 

🚗 From Edinburgh, 1 hour / 30 miles.

25. East Linton, East Lothian

East Linton lies about 20 miles east of the capital city of Edinburgh. Locals consider this village a gem of the East Lothian county in Scotland. 

In past centuries, this farming settlement on the River Tyne had a number of working watermills dotted on its bank. However, the only remaining one now is the picturesque Preston Mill, which has a unique shape with its conical roof.

East Linton mill

After Preston Mill’s feature in the TV Series, Outlander, this village started gaining popularity in the last few years. They have guided tours to tell interesting stories about the mill’s grinding past. 

Another must-see attraction in East Linton is Phantassie Doocot, a 16th-century beehive-shaped dovecot. 

You would also love to explore Preston Kirk and the village square that has a small fountain. Also, walk to the nearby Linton Linn, a lovely waterfall on the River Tyne.

How to Reach: Get the X7 East Coast Buses from Edinburgh.

🚗 From Edinburgh 40 min/ 24 miles.

Map of the Villages in Scotland

Here is a map of all the villages mentioned in this article. Click on the link to save the Google map on your phone. You can also use it offline.

We hope this guide to the most striking villages in Scotland has inspired you! 

After visiting these places over the years, we have had many fond memories of them. 

Sometimes overlooked by tourists, they are perfect for a tranquil holiday in nature. So, definitely add a few of them to your Scotland travel itinerary.

Let us know whether you have any favourites among the Scottish villages.

To fuel your travel inspiration further, check out some of our other Scotland travel guides.

Love, Moumita & Sankha

8 thoughts on “The 25 Prettiest Villages in Scotland You Must Visit + Map”

  1. Thankyou for inviting me to your travels of Scotland. These photos have brought back hundreds of happy memories of holidays my late husband Geoff and I shared. We both loved Scotland and rain never stopped us from enjoying our visits. Yes we had rain and sunshine in equal measure and enjoyed every minute. Thankyou.

  2. Mr Robert William Scott

    Bob Scott, Due to my age also a full time carera to my wife, not knowing at the time looking into my ancestery that I have Scottish history going way – way back in and around the areras you have covered.
    So when people like your good selves post your reports of your time spent in these wonderfull places, it brings to life of where my ancestors live. So thank you so much for sharing your experiences,
    Gratefully Sharde.
    Bob Scott.

  3. Aberlady in East Lothian is absolutely gorgeous.. 2 great pubs of excellent standards and the people are like family .. we have the walks of gosford house and also the beaches of Longniddry and Aberlady along to Gullen which holds a gorgeous golf course and another white sandy beaches.. never lived in such a Bonnie Bonnie Villiage . Thankyou

  4. I enjoyed your exploration of the Isle of Skye here! I visited there in 2017, staying in Sligachan, and did some hiking of the Cuillens. Nice picture of Eilean Donan Castle, near the entrance to Skye. I took a similar shot and it’s a favorite. I stumbled across your site because I’m going back to Skye next month, and will stay 3 nights at the Uig Hotel, Uig. I had also read about Elgol and will do some hiking there also while on Skye. I’m a retired police Lt., and still an avid hiker at 73 (did Ben Nevis last trip to Scotland). Your photos were excellent! Thanks, Terry (Wisconsin, USA)

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