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Recommend me your best 'hidden Scotland' things to do!?

(69 Posts)
Glitterkitten24 Sat 25-Apr-15 19:35:11

Hello all,

Looking for some ideas from fellow Scots/ those with good knowledge of Scotland!

We are holidaying in a campervan in Scotland this year- We've done it before and actually it's a thoroughly enjoyable holiday to have with a toddler! (Much to my surprise!)

We are a bit of an outdoorsy family, enjoy geocaching, walks, nature etc but also love seeing 'the sights' like castles, attractions etc.

I've been on all the websites researching where we want to visit on our trip and have all the usual suspects listed.
I'm looking for your recommendations of interesting/ special things to do or see which are not in all the guide books.

Please let me have any ideas you have- our route isn't confirmed yet so we can change it about to accommodate any particularly brilliant places that we hear about!

Thank you!

Icedfinger Sat 25-Apr-15 20:13:12

Make sure you stop off around the east coast- North Berwick, Gullane, John Muir country park are all beautiful with gorgeous sandy beaches and fab rock pools.

Further up the coast (other side of the Forth) pebbly beaches and quaintness around Lower Largo and up toward St Andrews.

Have fun!

PerspicaciaTick Sat 25-Apr-15 20:16:09

Clava Cairns may not be exactly hidden (although nobody else was there when we visited) but it is one of my favourite prehistoric sites

ginmakesitallok Sat 25-Apr-15 20:19:07

East neuk of Fife, stopping off at the secret bunker, anstruther fish and chip bar, crail harbour for fresh crab and lobster

museumum Sat 25-Apr-15 20:20:03

Kilmartin Glen on the west was cool.
I also like the Angus glens but they are so quiet these days there's not a lot of tourism infrastructure (cafes, restaurants, campsites).
Glenlivet estate is a hidden gem. Quiet and beautiful.

Glitterkitten24 Sat 25-Apr-15 20:39:54

Brilliant- thank you for suggestions so far, I haven't even heard of the Clava Cairns or Glenmartin Glen! blush

I like the Anstruther suggestion gin we were also thinking Arbroath/ Montrose on the East coast as ive never been, then possibly Nairn/ Dornoch further north- I do love a good coastal town!

Thank you all, keep em coming!

Glitterkitten24 Sat 25-Apr-15 20:45:02

or ahem kilmartin glen even! blush numpty!

CaTsMaMmA Sat 25-Apr-15 20:59:04

Lunan Beach is amazing, there's a lovely cafe there now, it's right between Arbroath and Montrose.
If the Bell Rock chippy is open in Arbroath you can get a Battered Smokie Supper....Food.Of.The.Gods. <gavel>

If you see anyone driving an old black cab then wave...it'll be me! grin <totally outs self>

You can go inland at Laurencekirk/Fettercairn and over the Cairn o'Mount, there's another teeny cafe on that route too, Clatterin'Brig

over to Banchory...very typical scottish town

Further in and up you could visit distilleries

If you get as far as Inverness, then the Black Isle is full of lovely bits and bobs to do from the fairy walks through Rosemarkie(ish) woods to Whale and Dolphin spotting trips, or just looking out at the Cromarty Firth

HirplesWithHaggis Sun 26-Apr-15 17:58:41

www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186585-d2335113-Reviews-Fairy_Pools-Isle_of_Skye_The_Hebrides_Scotland.html If you happen to make it over to Skye (I know, totally the other side of the country!) this would be worth a visit.

Unescorted Sun 26-Apr-15 18:02:22

Call in at the Smokehouse in Torridon. Best smoked salmon and trout ever. Take out or postal orders only - No, I am not related

woowoo22 Sun 26-Apr-15 18:14:01

Cromarty is brill. Soutar's Creek cafe/restaurant has the best "x" in the world according to someone like the Sunday Times. Coffee or seafood or pizza. I can't remember blush Anyway main point being it is very nice!

APlaceOnTheCouch Sun 26-Apr-15 18:49:08

If you do go to Montrose then go berry-picking for a few hours. I have lots of happy memories of childhood summers spent there grin

Also if you enjoy visiting castles, etc, then it might be worth joining the National Trust if you haven't already as some properties can prove expensive to visit.

On the West, there's the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel. In Ayrshire there's Culzean Castle and Whitelees wind farm. There's also a reindeer herd just outside of Aviemore.

Time your travelling so you avoid the music festivals. You really don't want to be stuck on the A9 on RockNess weekend.

backwardpossom Sun 26-Apr-15 19:30:17

No Rockness this year. Again. <sob> Moray Coast is beautiful - Bowfiddle Rock in Portknockie, head to Cullen for an ice cream, up the Bin Hill (there's a geocache up there), Portsoy for another ice cream...

I like ice cream.

GrouchyKiwi Sun 26-Apr-15 19:32:43

I loved Arbroath Abbey. So much history I had no idea about. Beautiful area too.

APlaceOnTheCouch Sun 26-Apr-15 19:37:13

backwardpossom oops - I didn't realise about RockNess. can you tell I'm still traumatised about the time a few years ago when a work event in Inverness co-incided with Rockness?

ophiotaurus Sun 26-Apr-15 19:37:50

Aunts Betty's in Stonehaven do amazing ice cream. North of Montrose on the way to Aberdeen.

OneMagnumisneverenough Sun 26-Apr-15 19:37:53

If you get to Skye - we did this boat trip and enjoyed it:


ophiotaurus Sun 26-Apr-15 19:38:14

*Auntie Betty's

SunnyL Sun 26-Apr-15 19:38:28

I'm Midlothian and I fall in love with it more and more each year because of how accessible everything is. Favourite places include St Abbs, Pentlands (walk from Flotterstone), Berwick Law, Roslin Glen, Gladhouse reservoir and Crichton Castle.

SunnyL Sun 26-Apr-15 19:40:09

Oh and i forgot Tantallon castle and the private beach at Seacliffe.

We're going to Barra this summer for our holidays which we've done before but I was too pregnant to kayak.

nightswift Sun 26-Apr-15 19:40:43

Definitely buy the travel guide "Scotland the best" this is the whole premise pretty much of the book!

museumum Sun 26-Apr-15 20:08:13

If you're passing Ballater you must go to this place en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burn_O%27Vat

backwardpossom Sun 26-Apr-15 20:14:47

I think an ice cream tour of Scotland could be a great idea.

OneMagnumisneverenough Sun 26-Apr-15 20:29:50

One for the ice-cream tour:


Eigg Sun 26-Apr-15 20:30:45

I second Kilmartin Glen it's wonderful.

The Crannog Centre on Loch Tay is brilliant.

The National Museum of Flight is excellent (you can visit an old Concorde).

The Secret Bunker also wonderful but maybe better for older children - my two are you but quite strong stomached.

Stirling Castle is (in my opinion) better than Edinburgh and has more for children.

If you are in Glasgow the Riverside Museum, Kelvingrove Art Galleries and the Huntarian are all favourites of ours (and free!!)

If you are planning on visiting more than two castles an Historic Scotland membership is well worth it.

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