The Scottish Highlands are one of the more remote places in, not just Scotland, but across the UK! It’s totally idyllic and a proper breathtaking place to spend some time exploring. It’s the kind of region where you can see some of the best castles, head on some incredible hikes and also pop over to some stunning Scottish Islands, too. That being said, there’s a heap of little villages in the Scottish Highlands to visit that are well worth a gander whilst exploring. 

There’s a whole plethora of beautiful little Scottish towns and villages in the Scottish Highlands to visit, with most being a stone’s throw from the main routes you’ll drive. 

If ever you wanted a true taste of Scottish life, heading to the Scottish Highlands is for you.

To help you on your way, I wanted to pop over some of the best villages in the Scottish Highlands to visit. Some might be more well-known, whilst others might be a little surprise.

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Whatever the case, they’re well worth a pit stop whilst driving through the Highlands.

1.) Killin

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The gorgeous village of Killin sits at one end of Loch Tay in the Highlands. Now, it’s pretty small you’ll likely only stop here for a pit stop but it’s well worth a little gander whilst spending time in the region.

Once here, pop into the Falls of Dochart Inn, they serve up the best fish and chips and it’s a totally rustic Scottish pub. 

Read more: Best Scottish Highlands itinerary

2.) Torridon

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Probably one of my favourite villages in the Scottish Highlands to visit, Torridon sits at the foot of majestic Liathach. 

Now, it’s the largest village in the area which means it’s got a few little pubs and spots to wander before carrying on your way around the Applecross Peninsular, too.

Once here, you can easily check out some of the hikes in the area, or, potentially head onto the loch for some kayaking, too.

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Alternatively, take a drive (about 10-minutes) to the tiny fishing hamlet of Lower Diabaig.

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Not only is the little drive gorgeous but you get to stop off for lunch at the Gille Brighde Restaurant which we loved.

It’s so quaint and run by the nicest family! We loved it. 

Read more: Exploring the NC500 and Lower Diabaig

3.) Shieldaig

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So, Shieldaig is smaller than Torridon and lies to the west of Liathach but some people say that it is even more picturesque than its sister village. though, I’m gonna let you decide on that one.

Expect lots of little cottages abound as well as babbling brooks and that rugged highland scenery. After all, that’s part of the charm of finding the best villages in the Scottish Highlands to visit.

Exploring The Natural Beauty Of The Scottish Highlands…

We stayed here overnight and popped over to a few of the foodie spots that serve up the freshest seafood. Make sure to head to Shieldaig Coastal Kitchen and Nanny’s if you fancy a quick (but yummy) bite. 

If you’re looking for a spot to stay (nearby), check into The Torridon, it’s a relatively large hotel for the area and totally lovely. 

Read more: Best islands to visit in Scotland

 4.) Applecross

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Just along the coast from Torridon and Shieldaig you will come to the village of Applecross that sits right on the coast.

Now, the big draw here is the breathtaking Bealach na Ba Road which is one of the best drives in the UK and we totally loved it. It’s perfect if you’re heading from Applecross to Ardarroch.

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You might even see some Highland Coos, too.

Read more: Best hikes in Scotland

5.) Braemar

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Braemar is actually one of the highest villages in the Scottish Highlands to visit, so don’t be surprised to find snow here (wrap up warm when you visit). Well, that’s if you arrive in winter that is! 

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Once here, head to Braemar Castle and take a little tour of this incredible Scottish Castle that stands so proudly! Afterwards, drive on over to Crathie Church (12 Km west) if you’re already heading this way. 

It’s also a great little spot to visit if you’re heading to the summer home of the royal family, Balmoral Castle, too. 

Read more: Bests castles in Scotland

6.) Boat of Garten

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Overlooked by the Cairngorms, the village of Boat of Garten also goes by the name ‘The Osprey Village’.

Once here, grab your permits to go fishing, head out onto the hiking trails and explore this gorgeous area. Oh, and for a tasty Sunday lunch, pop into Anderson’s Restaurant. It comes with all the trimmings! 

Read more: Best islands to visit in Scotland

7.) Nethy Bridge

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Nethy Bridge is another village that is nestled close to the Cairngorm mountain range and is bisected by the River Nethy. Encircled by wild forest, rafting on the river is particularly popular here.

It’s easily one of the in little villages in the Scottish Highlands to visit that’s really easy to see. Well, that’s if you’re already near the Boat of Garten.

Once here, make sure to stop off for some of the trails at the Abernethy National Nature Reserve, too. 

Read more: Best Scottish Highlands itinerary

8.) Cromarty

Cromarty is not well known but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth a visit.

Often overlooked in favour of other areas nearby, the narrow winding streets here are perfect for an afternoon of strolling and chilling. Though it’s not the kind of place you choose to go out of your way to visit, it’s certainly still worth a gander whilst you’re in the area. 

Once here, make sure to see Hugh Miller’s Cottage that’s so kitsch and has so much history. It’s a stunner of a place in the Scottish Highlands to visit. 

Read more: Bests castles in Scotland

9.) Plockton

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Many locals will tell you that Plockton is one of the most beautiful villages in the Highlands, and they’d be right.

The whole village of Plockton is surrounded by totally gorgeous mountains, loch and glens that are hugged by the beautiful coastline.

When we were in Plockton, we were able to hop on a Calum’s Seal Trip that was totally lovely. It’s a great way to explore the area and you’ll almost certainly see seals!

We stayed in the Plockton Inn after deciding to stay overnight. 

Read more: Our time exploring Plockton and the surrounding region

10.) Ballater

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Known as the place to come for those who love hiking, Ballater can be used as a great base to explore the nearby area.

It’s also famous for its spring water which in the days of old was said to cure a string of ailments. Apparently, though, I’m not too convinced! 

Read more: Best Scottish Highlands itinerary

Your Essential Scottish Highlands Trip Itinerary



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