Little’s Recommends – Quaint Scottish Villages  

Enjoy a taste of authentic Scotland by including a visit to the quaint villages of Crail, Plockton, Shieldaig and Pitlochry on your chauffeur-driven tour.

Crail

When designing chauffeur-driven tours of Scotland, we always endeavour to include a visit to the fishing village of Crail. Just ten miles from St Andrews, Crail’s location as the most easterly of Fife’s coastal settlements affords the village an air of idyllic seclusion, especially during the crisp winter months when there are substantially fewer visitors.

Crail itself boasts great historical merit – it was well settled by the 800s and was a thriving town by the 1100s, being made a royal burgh by Robert the Bruce in 1310. The town architecture hints toward a Dutch influence, most notably in the Tolbooth – a must-see if visiting – although the greatest feature is indeed Crail Harbour, which is among the most photographed in Scotland. A truly quintessential fishing harbour complete with colourful fishing boats and lobster pots!

Dining in Crail is what can be expected of a fishing village – an abundance of locally sourced and delicious fare from local waters can be found in a number of eateries, including the highly commended Crail Fish Bar & Café for those looking for an authentic taste of Scotland’s famed delicacy.

Plockton

The picturesque harbour town of Plockton is located on the West Coast of the stunning Scottish Highlands – an area often overlooked due to sheer distance from Edinburgh and Glasgow, but one we could not recommend any higher. Plockton is a truly unique village, with its location on the North Atlantic Drift creating a mild climate. Palm trees line the harbour front, resulting in a tropical paradise not dissimilar to the small coastal towns of the Mediterranean.

Plockton has been built upon the shoreline of Loch Carron, shielded by the Loch’s indented Southern shore. Rows of pastel-painted cottages add character to the already charming seafront, and it is evident that the Plockton locals work hard to preserve the quaint atmosphere. Fans of the ’90s series ‘Hamish Macbeth’ may recognise scenery from the successful TV show, which has left a lasting tourism legacy on the town. Plockton is also home to hundreds of common seals, and is very close to the Skye Bridge –  your gateway to the Isle of Skye.

Plockton Regatta, held annually at the end of July, brings the town to life and is highly regarded as ‘the event of the year’. Traditional clinker-built vessels light up the harbour with large colourful sails, providing quite a spectacle when racing in the bay. Visitors are welcome to join and the event concludes with a celebration and ceilidh.

Shieldaig

Much of the excitement is in the journey to get to this hidden gem, located in the county of Wester Ross. Backed by the formidable Torridon Mountains, we recommend following the iconic Northern B road from Applecross which takes you across the Bealach na Ba – a stretch of road that we deem unmissable (so much so that it features in our blog!)

Sitting on the banks of Loch Shieldaig, an offshoot of Loch Torridon, traditional cottages are painted in stark white shades, contrasting beautifully with the vibrancy of the surrounding landscape. Noted as one of the best places to view a sunset in Scotland, what is especially charming is that locals have allowed the seaward side of the road through the village to be grassed over, purely for the benefit of the sunset-seekers.

 Nearby, The Torridon Hotel provides a haven of luxury in one of the most secluded areas of Great Britain – as well a great Afternoon Tea. Idyllic.

Pitlochry

Conveniently nestled off the A9 road to the north is Pitlochry, a town in Perthshire surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful valleys. The geographical centre of Scotland, Pitlochry has everything you could wish for in a visit to a Scottish town – stunning landscapes, authentic distilleries, crystal-clear lochs and true Highland hospitality. A town built for tourism, you are never far from a café or deli serving locally-sourced ingredients. A craft beer shop has also recently opened, complete with a café serving fresh coffee in response to the ever-growing artisan movement.

For those looking to stretch their legs, take the short walk up to the Queens View. Needing no explanation, the view stretches over Loch Faskally far below, framed perfectly by the surrounding hills and glens. Scotland’s second smallest distillery, Edradour, surpassed only by the claims of Perthshire compatriot Strathearn, can also be found in Pitlochry, inviting visitors to discover Scotland’s famous spirit on a more personalised level.

If you would like to discover more about how Little’s can build your bespoke tour of Scotland to include these hidden gems, our resident tour designer Kenneth Good can be reached via tours@littles.co.uk and would be delighted to discuss your requirements. As the only chauffeur drive members of Luxury Scotland, Little’s can also recommend and book, if required, some of the very finest hotels in the country to compliment your visit.