Prima - Scotland's prettiest harbour and seaside towns

Posted on 26 January, 2022

Written by Alex McFadyen for Prima

Beloved for romantic landscapes, cultural hotspots like Glasgow and Edinburgh, and sleepy seaside towns, Scotland is top of our list for a UK break this summer.

Its iconic coastline is full of unexpected wildlife, and lined with picturesque harbour and seaside towns where the nation’s ancient traditions are kept alive, along with a dose of modern fun thanks to lovely restaurants and exciting outdoor activities.

The mesmerising beauty and remote peace and quiet of Scotland’s islands is also unbeatable, which is why we’re inviting Prima readers on a 10-day cruise around the Scottish coast from east to west this July.

Sailing in style on board brand new ship Golden Horizon, you’ll be treated to first-class service and elegant facilities – including a piano bar, sundeck, three pools, beauty salon and spa. That’s not to mention the gorgeous library lounge and two-tier dining room!

To give you a taste of what you’ll see along the way and inspire you to visit the hottest destination of the moment, we’ve rounded up some of Scotland's prettiest harbour and seaside towns to visit.

Ullapool, Scottish Highlands

Tucked away in the magnificent Scottish Highlands, this historic harbour town is a great place for outdoor adventures, with stunning views of the ancient landscapes in Inverpolly National Nature Reserve.

Unsurprisingly it’s also a great spot for seafood if that’s your thing, and you’ll be well rewarded with a trip here. Try the Seafood Shack for a rustic taste of some of the most delicious fresh fish the UK has to offer.

Experience Ullapool and other west coast gems during a cruise with Prima

Nairn, Scottish Highlands

Another Highland gem, this popular seaside town is one of Scotland’s sunniest spots, and boasts three beautiful beaches which make great places to chill out in summer, or take long walks (with or without your pooch).

As well as the sandy beaches, you can enjoy the romantic backdrop of Culbin Forest, and nature-lovers should keep an eye out for dolphins, minke whales, seals and rare birds along the coast.

Oban, Argyll and Bute

Oban means ‘little bay’ in Gaelic, and the harbour looks out towards the wild and rugged Inner Hebrides islands. Panoramic views of magical landscapes, including the ruins of Dunollie Castle, make for amazing pictures, which is probably why Queen Victoria declared Oban "one of the finest spots we have seen" after visiting.

The town is also famous for its amazing seafood and great range of outdoor activities - if you’re feeling adventurous, then head out for a bit of sea kayaking, sailing or a wildlife-spotting boat trip.

Portree, Isle of Skye

Colourful fishermen’s cottages line the natural harbour at Portree on the Isle of Skye, which you’ll fall in love with straight away for its old-world charm and calm, timeless atmosphere.

Grab fish and chips from The Harbour chippy and settle down for a spot of people watching, then spend the rest of your day exploring the hills and woodland behind you - or simply soaking up the gentle rhythms of this remote Scottish port. Heaven!

Visit Portree during Prima's terrific cruise around Scotland

Tobermory, Isle of Mull

Probably Scotland’s most famous port thanks to the CBeebies show Balamory, you’ll instantly recognise the bright colours of the charming houses lining the town’s main street by the harbour.

Legend has it a ship from the Spanish Armada sank here in the 1500s while fleeing the English fleet, and that it was full solid gold bullion - but none has ever been found! Nowadays the picturesque port and the island’s romantic feel have made it a trendy spot for weddings.

Stop off at Tobermory on a Scottish Islands cruise with Prima.

Plockton, Scottish Highlands

Known as the ‘Jewel of the Highlands’, Plockton is a lovely little waterside village surrounded by a classic Highland landscape of pine trees and snow-capped mountains.

The glassy waters of Loch Carron are often busy with yachts and small fishing boats, and a handful of great restaurants mean it’s a great destination for foodies too - but it’s just as much a place for simply breathing in some fresh air and re-energising body and soul.

Browse Prima's selection of amazing Scottish staycations, from knitting in the Shetlands to a cruise from the east to the west coast.


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