The famous bridge in Carrbridge
The famous bridge in Carrbridge

Three hidden gems in Scotland you may have missed

Just because they are not the most well-known locations does not mean they are not worth a visit.

Here, we recommend some overlooked locations around Scotland and throw yourself into village culture.


Often overshadowed by the better known village of Stonehaven nearby, Catterline is arguably just as enjoyable to visit on your travels along the North East Coast of Scotland.

Catterline sits on a stretch of low cliffs which rise from the beach below. This beach sports an untouched look and is perfect place to enjoy a summer’s walk or search through the rock pools. The shingle bay which curves around the village is thought to be the landing point for St Ninan in 400 as he began his mission of spreading Christianity.

Catterline, although traditionally famous for its great links to the sea and fishing it has also been the home to many exceptional artists who found the atmosphere of this little village inspiring in their work. The best known of these was perhaps Joan Eardley who lived in the village in the 1950s before her premature death in 1963, many of her seascapes were painted during her time here which are frequently still exhibited around the UK.

The village is also only a stone throw away from many other great locations to check out. Catterline nearby the popular Dunnotter castle (four miles) and also a tiny village of Kinneff where the Scottish jewels are thought to be have hidden in the church here 9 years after Cromwell invaded Scotland in 1651. Inverbervie is also located nearby, a quaint and pleasing town to visit.

Old Park Bridge, in Carrbridge


Located in the Scottish Highlands, Carrbridge is situated just north of Aviemore and could be seen as the entrance to the Cairngorms National Park. It lies off of the A9 road and is a great stop to make while travelling past.

The iconic Old Park Bridge is located in the centre of the village, giving it its name. The bridge which was constructed in 1717 is now identified as the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands. The questionable structure of the bridge is down to the damaged state it was left in after the ‘muckle spate’ (great flood) in 1829. It is now recommended to just be viewed from a distance but people could often been seen jumping from it into the river Dulnain below.

Often only passed through to reach Landmark Adventure Park, the town has much more to offer in terms of wildlife and walks through the villages ancient pine forest. The likes of crossbills, dear and the endangered red squirrel can often be sighted here, and if you are very lucky golden eagles, peregrine falcons and ospreys who live in the surrounding mountains can be spotted flying to their homes in the summer.

Attracting a niche audience is also the two annual events the village hosts. The Golden Squrtle World Porridge Making Championship and the Carve Carrbridge, The Scottish Open Chainsaw Carving Competition which encourages friendly competition from Carrbridge and around the world.

The village of Arisaig, just south of Mallaig


With less than a thousand residents, Mallaig is a port of Lochaber on the west coast of the highlands of Scotland. You may recognise the famous landscape, from the iconic Jacobite Steam train which crosses the Glenfinan Viaduct, featured in the Harry Potter movies. Experience the journey yourself during the summer months when the train runs from Fort William to Mallaig.

The village itself incorporates a busy working port with a relaxed atmosphere making it a well-rounded and fascinating place to experience. Mallaig also oozes with history – after being founded in the 1840’s by Lord Lavat, the owner of the North Moorer Estate.

Often seen as the gateway to the Isle of Skye, the Mallaig circuit walk is a must, giving travellers amazing views over Mallaig harbour and across Loch Nevis.

Mallaig has traditionally been best known for its smoked Kippers, but now sadly only one original smokehouse remains. Many hotels and restaurants are located in the little village and these are always bustling during the summer months. Mallaig’s main focus is on their tourism meaning that many locals work within the trade during the busy times of the season.