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10 off-the off the beaten track and ‘remote’ destinations in Scotland

10 off-the off the beaten track and ‘remote’ destinations in Scotland

Scotland is well known for the stunning landscapes around Loch Lomond and the Isle of Skye. However, if you’re seeking a more ‘remote’ and more off the beaten track Scotland and want to get outside and explore away from the crowds, here is where to escape to on your next trip.

Scotland mountains off the beaten track Scotland

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Off the beaten track Scotland

Describing somewhere in Scotland as being ‘remote’ is a controversial one – so much that the use of the term was recently banned by the Scottish Government to describe rural communities. Firstly, anywhere could be remote if you live a long way away from it, secondly, there is nothing wrong with living a long way from lots of other people. 

Anyway, this is a travel blog, and it’s purposes is to give advice on the best places to visit in Scotland, and factually, there are some places in Scotland, which as a visitor or a traveller (i.e not a resident of an island, rural area, or farm or croft) it just takes a wee bit more effort to get to for most people. Call them remote if you must, but however much I’d like to gate keep these places, here is how to visit the more off the beaten track Scotland.

Off the beaten track Scotland – North Scotland

Head to the Highlands for some of the most spectacular off the beaten track Scotland destinations.

1. Assynt, Sutherland

Located in the far northwestern part of Scotland, Assynt is known for its stunning and rugged landscapes and incredible mountains. Explore the otherworldly beauty of the Assynt Geopark, climb the incredible Suilven and Stac Pollaidh, see the puffins on Handa Island and enjoy the solitude of beaches like Achmelvich and Clachtoll. Plus this he more off the beaten track Scotland destination is just off the NC500!

Read more: visit Assynt, how to climb Suilivan, how to climb Stac Pollaidh, visit Handa Island.

Where to stay in Assynt:

Kinloch Hourn Loch Hourn off the beaten track Scotland

2. Kinloch Hourne and The Knoydart Peninsula

In a country the size of Scotland, it’s surprising that there are still parts of the country it can take days to get to them. Described as ‘Britain’s last wilderness’, this is definatley one off the beaten track Scotland destinations which can be called ‘remote’ – Knoydart is only accessible by boat or a 16-mile (26 km) walk in from Kinloch Hourn. From Lochhournhead a old coastal path takes you out alongside Loch Hourn to Barrisdale Bay and onwards to Inverie, the main settlement on the peninsula.

Read more: How to visit Kinloch Hourn and check out Visit Knoydart for more accommodation on the peninsula.

Where to stay at Kinloch Hourne and Knoydart:

Paps of Jura

3. The Isle of Jura

Nestled in the Inner Hebrides of the coast of Islay, the Isle of Jura is a hidden gem with magnificent landscapes and abundant wildlife. Why not hike the Paps of Jura, and visit the Jura Distillery to savour its famous whisky? Catch the ferry from Port Askaig on Islay to Feolin on Jura and explore this lovely island home to 180 people and 5000 deer. 

Read more: visit Islay and Jura

Where to stay on Islay and Jura: 

The Ardnamurchan Peninsula

4. The Ardnamurchan Peninsula

Situated on Scotland’s west coast, the Ardnamurchan Peninsula is a tranquil and unspoiled destination. The ‘headland of the great seas’ is the most western part of the British mainland and is beautifully unspoilt and is home to just 2000 people. Enjoy stunning coastal scenery, visit the Ardnamurchan Lighthouse, go wildlife spotting, and explore hidden beaches like Sanna Bay.

Getting to Ardnamurchan is no easy task – but the long journey to this off the beaten track part of Scotland is part of the charm of visiting one of the UK’s most remote peninsulas. To get to Ardnamurchan you need to either catch the tiny ferry at Corran and take the short journey across the beautiful Loch Linnhe, drive the long and winding road from Mallaig or Glenfinnan or catch the ferry to Ardnamurchan from Mull. Once on the peninsula follow the single-track roads on to Ardnamurchan through Glenborrowdale to literally the end of the road.

Read more: visit Ardnamurchan

Where to stay on Ardnamurchan:

Outer Hebrides off the beaten track Scotland

5. The Isle of Harris and Lewis

The Isle of Harris and Lewis, located in the Outer Hebrides, offers rugged landscapes, pristine beaches, and rich cultural heritage. The largest of the Outer Hebrides 15 inhabited islands, Lewis and Harris are actually the largest islands in the UK. Explore the stunning Luskentyre Beach, visit the famous Callanish Standing Stones, and immerse yourself in Gaelic culture.

The Outer Hebrides are 24 miles off the coast of north west Scotland, and getting there is half the fun… Choose between flights to Stornoway, Barra and Benbecula from Manchester Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. You can even land Traigh Mhor Beach on Barra. Or Caledonian MacBrayne (Calmac) sail four routes to the Outer Hebrides: Ullapool to Lewis (Stornoway) Oban to Barra (Castlebay) and South Uist (Lochboisdale) Skye to Harris (Tarbert) and North Uist (Lochmaddy) and Tiree to Barra (Castlebay, summer only).

Read more: how to visit the Outer Hebrides

Where to stay on Harris and Lewis:

Glen Affric

6. Glen Affric

Considered one of Scotland’s most beautiful glens, Glen Affric is absolutely gorgeous. Enjoy hiking through the glen’s remnant ancient Caledonian pine forests, spot wildlife, and appreciate the tranquillity of Loch Affric. The 44 mile Affric to Kintail Way runs through the glen.

Read more: how to visit Glen Affric 

Where to stay near Glen Affric:

7. Sandwood Bay

Located in the far northwest of Scotland, Sandwood Bay is a remote and untouched beach accessible via a 4-mile walk. Enjoy the dramatic coastal scenery, the pristine beach, and the sense of solitude. One of the best destinations on the famous North Coast 500, a popular drive and destination in Scotland. 

The Cairngorms off the beaten track Scotland

8. Cairngorms National Park (the off the beaten path areas)

While the Cairngorms National Park is very well-known and a popular destination in Scotland, there are still off-the-radar areas to explore. Visit the lesser-known glens like Glen Feshie or Glen Einich for stunning hikes and wildlife encounters.

Read more: how to visit the Cairngorms National Park

Where to stay:

  • If you dream of retreating to a tiny log cabin in the woods, the Lazy Duck is a little piece of off-grid heaven.
  • If you prefer a B&B, deep in the Drumochter Pass in the Cairngorm National Park is Balsporran B&B. Upstairs are four simple, but luxurious, guest bedrooms.
Dunnotar Castle

Off the beaten track Scotland – the Lowlands

Here are my favourite off the beaten track Scotland destinations in the Lowlands:

9. The Aberdeenshire Coast

While the city of Aberdeen is well-known, the surrounding Aberdeenshire Coast offers picturesque fishing villages, rugged cliffs, and beautiful sandy beaches. Discover the charming towns of Stonehaven and Pennan, and explore the dramatic ruins of Dunnottar Castle.

Read more: how to visit Aberdeenshire 

Where to stay in Aberdeenshire:

Glen Trool

10. Galloway Forest Park

Located in southwest Scotland, Galloway Forest Park is a vast expanse of wilderness with dark skies, making it an ideal spot for stargazing. Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife spotting in this tranquil and lesser-known area.

Read more: how to visit Dumfries and Galloway

Where to stay in D&G

Love from Scotland x