I’m in Scotland this week. It’s becoming an addiction, really. Given my boyfriend has a house in the Scottish Borders we’re up here a lot. Which is great, because I’ve discovered parts of Scotland I never knew about. So today I want to share my 5 picks for under-the-radar places to travel in Scotland.

Under-the-Radar Places to Travel in Scotland

Under-the-Radar Places to Travel in Scotland

I won’t claim to be an expert in this part of the UK, and I’m sure locals will know a lot more places than I do (please leave a comment if you do!). But given how many amazing areas I’ve come across in recent years I want to share some of my favorites.

Cottage at Mellerstain House

1. Scottish Borders

The Scottish Borders are about as under-the-radar as travel destinations get, but they deserve a visit. Just north of the English frontier, there are few crowds and ample opportunities to explore fairytale castles, stunning coastline, and storybook villages.

Abbotsford House

Whether I’m taking in the ruins of Melrose Abbey, soaking up the gardens at Mellerstain House, or wading through heather on the moors at sunrise, this part of Scotland inspires me everywhere I go.

Mellerstain House

2. Kirkcudbright

I first visited Kirkcudbright last summer for the annual Kirkcudbright Art and Crafts Trail.

Street in Kirkcudbright, Scotland

I was overwhelmed by the beauty of this coastal artists’ colony, and loved getting a rare opportunity to explore the houses, studios, and gardens in town. If there’s one Scottish summer festival I could keep going back to, it’s this one.

Garden in Kirkcudbright, Scotland

3. Dumfries House

North of Kirkcudbright in Ayrshire, Dumfries House is an 18th-century Palladian stately home with an unrivaled collection of Chippendale furniture, expansive gardens, and impressive heritage.

Dumfries House

Saved for the nation by Prince Charles before it was auctioned off in 2007, it’s now open to the public. I visited last summer and loved the sumptuous interiors and manicured green spaces.

Dumfries House

4. Canna

Anyone that reads the A Lady in London blog regularly knows how much I love the Scottish Hebrides. I had such a great time sailing around the islands last year that I went back again a few months ago to explore more. And I found Canna.

Canna, Scotland

One of the Small Isles, Canna is not only beautiful, but also less visited than many of the other Hebridean islands. Together with neighboring Sanday, it’s a haven of peace, puffins, and pretty views.

Sanday, Scotland

5. Coll

Not far from Canna is Coll, another quiet island in the Inner Hebrides. I sailed there on my first expedition, and loved the crescent beaches and castles on the sand.

Beach on Coll, Scotland

Add to that delicious seafood and adorable sheep, and Coll quickly became one of my favorite places in Scotland.

Sheep on Coll, Scotland

I’ll be spending more time up here going forward, so I hope to bring you additional off-the-beaten path recommendations. In the meantime, I would love to hear your picks for under-the-radar places to travel in Scotland.

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Under-the-Radar Places to Travel in Scotland

16 Comments on Lady’s 5 Under-the-Radar Places You Have to Travel in Scotland

  1. Great pics and advice as always. I really want to explore Scotland more – it’s beautiful. I’ve been to Inverness and the Cairngorm National Park a couple of times and really recommend those areas – stunning!

  2. Amazing photos! It’s definitely time for us to explore Scotland more, we’re only been to Glasgow so far, but this makes me want to pack the bags right now 😀

  3. You keep posting amazing articles on Scotland and I will only be able to see a few of the places on my trip! It makes for some tough decisions for sure. I’m wondering on your lists if you are ranking these or just listing them with numbers? If you are ranking them, have you ever considered going backward to number one to build suspense for the end of your article? I think that’s kind of a fun way to do it to keep the reader engaged until the end where you start guessing to yourself what may be coming at the end. Anyway, that’s just a thought. Thanks again, I love your blog!!

    • Thanks, Blaise! That’s a good idea. My lists tend to be in random order, but I like the concept of a suspense factor. I hope you enjoy your trip to Scotland when you visit. There’s really no wrong place to go, so I’m sure you’ll love wherever you choose.

  4. Beautiful pics. When I think of going on holiday, I immediately think of going abroad. But the UK really does have some stunning places to visit. This has inspired me to look in to Scotland. Canna looks absolutely breathtaking.

  5. Would love to hear anything about the Orkney Islands. That’s a trip on my bucket list, so if you head that far north, please share! Thanks.

  6. Lovely blog you have!!! Iam travelling to the UK by next month, I am now more excited to see these places! Thank you!!!

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