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
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.
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.
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.
I first visited Kirkcudbright last summer for the annual Kirkcudbright Art and Crafts Trail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Add to that delicious seafood and adorable sheep, and Coll quickly became one of my favorite places in 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.