Plockton is an incredibly picturesque lakeside village situated just an hour by car from the famous Isle of Skye. Despite its charming facade, breathtaking landscapes, and laid-back atmosphere, it is often overlooked by visitors and not nearly as crowded as the tourist hotspots in Scotland.
In fact, Plockton is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking hidden jewels of the Scottish Highlands. It is also a lot more than just a base for exploring Skye. As you’re about to find out, there’s a wide range of activities to do in this sleepy little village, from seal spotting and castle-hunting to quietly strolling the Plockton beach.
This guide will take you through all the most remarkable things to do in Plockton, Scotland. Having spent two full weeks exploring and relaxing in this little piece of hidden paradise, I’ve had the pleasure of putting together all the coolest secret attractions, the most scenic walks, the best restaurants, and tons of insider tips.
You might also be interested in:
🌿 24 Epic Things to Do on the Isle of Skye + Map & Tips
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can learn more about this in my disclosure policy.
📍 Where is Plockton, Scotland?
Plockton is a village in the Lochalsh district of the Scottish Highlands. It is about 5 hours northwest of Edinburgh and less than an hour east of Isle of Skye. This village borders the beautiful Loch Carron and has a population of merely 468 (as of 2020).
🌿 Why You Should Visit Plockton Village
🏞 A true hidden gem of the Highlands… from spotting seals and highland cows to hitting the many scenic walking trails, there are plenty of fun and interesting things to do in this picturesque village. Plus, every corner of Plockton looks straight out of a postcard. The views you’ll get along the main street in town are simply breathtaking, and you’ll wish you could stay just a bit longer!
🏡 A peaceful base for exploring Skye… While most tourists base themselves in the tourist hotspot of Portree when visiting Skye, Plockton is only a bit further away and offers a lot more peace and quiet. Portree, while beautiful in its own way, is usually swarming with tourists. Plockton, on the other hand, is a sleepy little village with a lot fewer crowds. Plus, I’d dare say it’s even more interesting than Portree!
🏡 Where to Stay in Plockton, Scotland
Though Plockton is a very small village, there are some great accommodation options in and around town. Here are my top recommendations.
TOP LUXE HOTEL: Duncraig Castle B&B (⭐ 9.7) This luxury B&B is only a 10-min drive from the village centre and offers stunning lake views as well as a private beach, a bar, and a garden. There’s free WiFi and private parking on-site, and each stunning room features a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.
MOST SCENIC HOTEL: Tigh na Dalach (⭐ 9.0)
This cosy holiday home has 3 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV, 2 bathrooms, and a fully-equipped kitchen. It also offers a garden with a gorgeous view of Loch Carron and the distant mountains. With free WiFi, this is the perfect place for working remotely.
TOP NATURE RETREAT: Tullach Beag (⭐ 9.1)
This 4-star holiday home with free WiFi offers the perfect getaway from civilization. Situated about an 8-min drive from the village centre, its location between two lakes makes it brilliant for exploring wildlife, dog-walking, and enjoying some pure solitude.
BEST GUEST HOUSE: The Haven (⭐ 9.3)
This cosy guest house is located right next to the scenic Harbour St and offers very spacious and clean rooms. Each room has a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, and a wardrobe. The shores of Plockton are right around the corner with plenty of food options in the area.
🏴 18 Incredible Things To Do in Plockton
1. Take a Scenic Stroll Down Harbour St
Harbour St is the main street in Plockton, and it’s likely one of the first sights you’ll come across. Taking a relaxing stroll there is a fantastic way to get introduced to this scenic village. This street is lined with several shops, hotels, and restaurants, and it’s also home to The Shores Plockton, the only store in town that sells groceries, milk, and other everyday items.
Take your time during this walk, because the views are absolutely magnificent. In fact, Harbour St runs alongside Loch Carron, and you’ll be able to see the Applecross mountains in the distance. Every corner of this street looks straight out of a postcard, and you can even spot charming little gardens right in front of the lake.
You can also easily access the beautiful shores of Loch Carron from Harbour St — something I highly recommend doing. If the tide is low, you can relax on the shores, enjoy a picnic, and admire the breathtaking views all around you.
2. Soak up the Views From Frithard Road
If you go north on Harbour St, you’ll eventually come across an intersection with Frithard Road. The views get increasingly more epic as you approach this road, and if you walk far enough on this road, you’ll eventually see an opening among the trees, revealing a stunning view of the mountains and lake in front of you.
This is a slightly different perspective from the vistas on Harbour St, so it’s definitely worth the short walk uphill. There are also rows of cottages on this road, some of which can even be rented!
3. Take a Boat Trip to See Seals
Spotting seals is definitely one of the coolest things to do in Plockton, and the best way to do it is to book a tour through Calum’s Seal Trips. Calum has been running seal trips in Plockton for over 30 years now, and nobody knows how to find seals better than him. He also offers a full refund if no seals are spotted during the trip!
During our hour-long boat trip, Calum and our other guides were very friendly and shared a lot of interesting facts about the seals and Plockton in general. They even kindly encouraged a toddler on board to take control of the steering wheel for a whole minute (which led to us going around in circles 😀) and made the trip super fun and enjoyable.
Of course, seeing seals were the highlight of the boat tour, and luckily for us, there were so many of them! We stopped by two little islands to see them from the boat and were given plenty of time to observe and take photos. There are also beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes throughout the boat ride — in fact, you can even see parts of Skye!
⏰ Operating hours: Check live information here 🎫 Tour prices: £15 for adults | £5 for children
4. Catch a Spectacular Sunset on Skye Bridge
Just a 15-min drive from Plockton will get you to the scenic Skye Bridge, which crosses the beautiful Loch Alsh and connects the Isle of Skye to the island of Eilean Bàn.
You can park on the grass located on the side of the road, towards the northern part of the bridge. Then, you can take a walk on the bridge on the pedestrian path, next to the cars.
I highly recommend getting there for sunset to watch the sky put on a magnificent show over the lake and the surrounding hills. The atmosphere there is also extra serene because there’s barely anyone around, and it’s a sight that can inspire poetry!
5. Enjoy a Meal With a View at Plockton Hotel
The perfectly situated Plockton Hotel is not just a great place to spend the night — it’s also home to the most scenic restaurant in the village.
Be sure to make a reservation in advance as they are quite popular, which is definitely not hard to see why: their outdoor beer garden offers absolutely breathtaking views of Loch Carron and the Applecross mountains. Talk about a meal with a view!
The food at the Plockton Hotel Restaurant is also just as good as the views. If you’re a fan of seafood, you’re especially in for a treat. Their menu changes day by day, but if it’s available, be sure to try their prawns! If you’re not keen on seafood, they have plenty of other options too, such as venison.
If you’re visiting in the summer and are worried about attracting midges while eating outside, they’ve got you covered too: there are candles on every table to keep the bugs away! 🦟
6. Visit the Iconic Eilean Donan Castle
The 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most famous castles in Scotland, and it’s only a 20-minute drive from Plockton. Sitting beautifully at the intersection of three lochs, this castle was originally built to protect the region against Viking invasions. At one point, it even encompassed the entire island. The version you see today, though, was reconstructed as a family home in the early 20th century.
The castle’s opening hours vary depending on the time of the year, but you can find live information about that here. A regular ticket to the castle costs £10 and will allow you to explore all the most fantastic rooms inside. You can also learn about the fascinating Jacobean artefacts and historical weapons that the castle houses.
The landscapes surrounding the castle are absolutely stunning too. In fact, this castle stands elegantly on its own little island with tons of forested mountains in the backdrop. Keep an eye out for the wildlife surrounding the island as well — you can regularly spot dolphins, porpoises, and otters in the lochs!
📸 Photography Tip: Arrive at sunrise or sunset to catch the best lighting, and walk alongside the A87 bridge to see beautiful reflections of the castle in the lake. Every day between 6 pm and midnight, the castle is also splendidly lit up — an amazing opportunity for even more epic photos.
⏰ Opening hours: It varies depending on the time of the year — please check live info here 🎫 Entrance fees: £10 for adults | £6 for children over 5 years old
7. Walk up to the Carn na Frith-aird Viewpoint
Soaking up the views from the Carn na Frith-aird Viewpoint is definitely one of the most unmissable things to do in Plockton — and the walk uphill is not difficult at all either.
The best way to find this viewpoint is to get to Frithard Road first (which you can easily reach from Harbour St). Walk straight down Frithard Road for a few minutes and you should eventually come across a wooden signpost on the righthand side that says “Carn na Frith-aird Viewpoint”. From there, simply follow the signpost and start climbing up.
🌿 Insider Tip: Do not follow Google Map’s directions for this viewpoint as it’s incorrect. If you type in “Carn na Frith-aird Viewpoint” on Google Maps, it will lead you to a random spot on Frithard Road, which isn’t where you actually start climbing up. You’ll have to continue walking straight for a few more minutes until you see the “Carn na Frith-aird Viewpoint” signpost.
The climb up is really easy — although quite rocky — so I do suggest some comfortable walking shoes. It should take only 5 minutes to get to the viewpoint at the top. Once you’re there, you’ll find a perfectly-placed bench to sit down on and enjoy a snack (along with the view, of course!).
The view itself is absolutely marvellous. You’ll be able to see the Cuillin Hills of Skye as well as the Applecross mountains in the distance. The best part about this viewpoint, though, is that you’re very likely to be the only one around (not a single person showed up when we were there), and unlike many other parts of Plockton in the summer — there were no midges there either!
8. Get a Burger to Go at Off The Croft Takeaway
One of the best places in Plockton to grab a delicious burger is Off The Croft Takeaway, located around a 20-minute walk from the village centre. The walk there is really peaceful and enjoyable as you’ll be surrounded by lush woodland and the quiet countryside.
Once you’re there, you’ll have a selection of burgers, sausages, and fish to choose from. I highly recommend the highland beef burger with apple chutney and fried mushrooms! The chutney is homemade and is a must. 😋
Please note that as of June 2022, they only take either cash or bank transfers (no cards).
🍔 Insider Tip: Since Off The Croft only offers takeaway, you can enjoy your meal at this location nearby. It’s a little viewpoint with a large table set up on the grass, free for anyone to use. It’s less than a 5-min walk from Off The Croft so it’s the perfect place to sit down with your burger. You might even come across some cows behind an electric fence filling their bellies next to you! 🐮
⏰ Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm | Closed on Sundays
9. Have a Picnic at Gorgeous Coral Beach
Another place you can enjoy your burger from Off The Croft Takeaway is at the stunning Coral Beach, which is just around a 10-15 minute walk from the aforementioned burger shop. From Plockton village centre (Harbour St), it’s around a 40-minute stroll. Visiting this beach — whether or not you plan to have a burger picnic there — is an absolute must: the views are simply incredible.
As you enter the beach from the woods, turn left and you’ll see many rocks ahead of you in the distance. The best view of the beach is on those rocks, where you can see some small green hills in the backdrop. Please note, though, that sometimes the tide can get really high, so you might not be able to walk that far.
If you’re reaching the beach by car, simply park at the Coral Beach Car Park, which is a 5-10 minute walk to the beach itself. The path to the beach (especially towards the end) is quite rocky, so I recommend wearing some comfy walking shoes.
🐮 Insider Tip: If you plan to walk to the beach, keep in mind that you might encounter a large herd of cows on the path there. They’re usually only there in the evenings. It’s likely you’ll have to go up very close to the cows in order to pass them, as the paths are very narrow and the animals go quite slowly. If you’re scared of possibly irritating the cows, I suggest heading to the beach before evening.
10. Spot Highland Cows in Duirinish
The sleepy village of Duirinish is only a 5-minute drive from Plockton (or a 45-minute walk), and some of its greatest attractions are none other than the famous — and very elegant — Highland cows.
Now, we’ve heard from many sources that you can easily spot Highland cows in Plockton itself, but in the two weeks that we’ve spent there, we didn’t see any. The second we drove by Duirinish, though, we saw at least five of them. So if you’re equally unlucky, now you know where to find them!
For those who don’t know, Highland cows are characterised by their distinctive horns and long, woolly fur. They also have a super cool hairstyle, if you ask me.
These elegant creatures originated in the Highlands and the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, and have been inhabiting the area since as early as the 6th century. These days, you can also find them in Southern Scotland and in other parts of Europe, as well as North & South America and Australia!
The best place to see Highland cows in Duirinish is right outside The Croft Cafe. The owners there have told us that the cows are either always on the small pastures next to the cafe or on their way to the beach down the road. Be sure to grab a coffee and a delicious meal (or cake) at the cafe too — they have an outdoor beer garden with a top-notch view of the cows!
11. Explore the Hidden Beach in Duirinish
Duirinish has more to offer than just a cafe and Highland cows, though. If you take a 15-minute walk from The Croft Cafe, you’ll reach a peaceful and secluded beach. Its exact location is here.
To get there, you’ll need to walk west from The Croft Cafe until you reach Duirinish Station. From there, continue following the path up north, and keep walking straight until you reach the beach. The final section of the path is quite rocky and can be slippery, so I suggest wearing comfy walking shoes.
While this beach may not look as epic as Coral Beach in Plockton, it still offers some pretty fantastic views of the surrounding hills. Find a place to sit on one of the rocks and soak up the views with a little snack.
Plus, though we were there in the middle of the day, not a single other person was around, so it’s definitely a great place for a quiet and introspective retreat!
12. Take a Scenic & Dramatic Drive to Applecross
Applecross is a tiny coastal village situated about an hour’s drive from Plockton. While it’s got a nice beach for swimming and a cafe to unwind at, it’s the drive there itself that makes the trip incredibly worthwhile.
In fact, in order to get to Applecross from Plockton, you’ll have to drive on miles of winding mountains paths, and the views are incredibly dramatic. You can temporarily park on the side of the road to take some epic photos of the surrounding landscapes.
The winding paths are also very safe and well-maintained, and you’ll likely come across many bikers there as well, so do drive with care.
Once you get to Applecross, you can spend some time simply relaxing at the many cafes in the village (note that they usually close at around 4 pm, though). There’s also a nice beach and a refreshing shoreline if you’re keen to go for a dip!
13. Take a Woodland Walk to Duncraig Castle
One of the most unmissable walks in Plockton is the serene woodland trail to Duncraig Castle. This castle was built in 1866 for a Scottish businessman using opium money. Since then, it was sold a couple of times and even served as a naval hospital during WWII. In the mid-1900s, it housed a school that taught girls how to cook and do housework.
Eventually, the castle was sold for half a million pounds to a family in Nottingham. Today, it’s become Duncraig Castle Bed and Breakfast (⭐ 9.5), a luxury hotel with its own private beach and a gorgeous view of the surrounding lake and mountains.
If you’re looking for a beautiful romantic retreat, I can definitely recommend spending a few nights at this castle hotel. F1 fans would also be delighted to find that Nico Rosberg’s racing car is displayed in the reception area of the hotel (don’t ask me why 😀).
While this castle is only a 10-minute drive from Plockton, I highly recommend walking there because you’ll get spectacular views of Plockton all along the trail — and a different perspective of it, too. Head out during sunset for an even more epic view of the lakeside houses and orange sky reflecting in the water!
The walk should only take around an hour from the village centre and it’s very easy to do. In fact, it’s almost completely flat.
14. Unwind at the Plockton Open Air Church
The Plockton Open Air Church is unlike any church you’ve seen before. If you’d simply stumble upon it without seeing its signpost, you wouldn’t even be able to tell that it’s actually a church. In fact, it basically just looks like any small garden or field. Upon further inspection, though, you’ll notice that there are pews forming a seating area above the grass, and it subtly resembles a tiny amphitheatre.
This church has an interesting past. What you see today are archaeological remains of what used to be an outdoor place of worship in the mid-1800s. In fact, hundreds of people in the Scottish Highlands used to travel miles by boat and horse to gather there for Sunday services.
This open-air church was one of several set up in the Northwest Highlands when 450 evangelical ministers broke away from the Church of Scotland in the Disruption of 1843. This separation ultimately led to the creation of the Free Church of Scotland.
However, because many landowners did not want to give up their properties for the new church buildings, other options had to be sought. That’s why this natural amphitheatre in Plockton was then seized and modified to serve as an open-air church.
Though the Free Chuch of Scotland was soon after able to build a church in Plockton, people still used this open-air church for communions up until the mid-1930s. Today, you can appreciate the very peaceful atmosphere there and imagine what it was like back in the days.
15. Indulge in Seafood at The Shores Plockton
Plockton is a lakeside village, so obviously, there are several places there to enjoy some freshly caught seafood. The Shores Plockton is one of them, and it’s a must-go if you’re keen on some top-notch scallops, mussels, and fish soup.
If you’re not a big seafood fan, they also have red meat. Be sure to try one of their delicious cheesecakes for dessert, and don’t forget to make a reservation as they’re usually quite busy!
🌟 Note: They do not take reservations via phone — they only take them via email through [email protected].
⏰ Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 5 pm to 10:30 pm | Closed on Sundays
16. Take a Scenic Shortcut to Innes Street
If you enjoy exploring on two feet, I highly recommend taking a path among the woods between Innes Street and Frithard Road. This route takes you on a mild uphill slope where you’ll get some pretty cool views — just another perspective of this picturesque village!
The easiest way to access this path is to get to this exact spot on Frithard Road. There, you’ll see a signpost that says “Footpath to Innes Street” — simply follow that path to the end. It’s pretty easy to navigate.
The path starts off in the woods, offering stunning views of the Plockton shoreline, before eventually opening up to reveal the gorgeous mountains in the distance. Shortly after, you’ll be on Innes Street, not far from the previously mentioned Plockton Open Air Church.
While you can definitely cut through the village to make this journey, taking this scenic path through the woods will allow you to explore Plockton from a different angle and be surrounded by beautiful nature.
17. Get a Glimpse of the Ancient Caisteal Maol
Situated right by the water in the village of Kyleakin, Caisteal Maol (AKA Castle Moil) has a history that dates all the way back to the 10th century. Back in the days, the Norwegians used this fortress and the surrounding coast to harbour their warships as they fought to control Western Scotland.
Today, you can get a glimpse of this picturesque castle ruin from two different spots. The first one is at the pier in Kyleakin, specifically — the Brightwater Visitor Centre. There’s an iconic statue of an otter there, and you can go up close and take a peek at the castle through it for a creative perspective.
After wandering the pier, be sure to also stop by the War Memorial for a different view of the castle and the surrounding landscapes. If you’re hungry, the nearby Castle Moil Restaurant offers great pub food and a lively atmosphere.
To get to these viewing spots for the castle, you only have to drive for around 20 minutes from Plockton. If you want to explore further, you can even take a 2.2 mi (3.5 km) walk to the castle itself and see the ruins up close. This easy walk should take between 1 and 1.5 hours, and the path starts at the Kyleakin Car Park.
18. Take Epic Day Trips to the Isle of Skye
While there are plenty of incredible things to do in Plockton itself, the fact that it’s only a short drive from the Isle of Skye definitely adds to its charm even more. In fact, I highly recommend basing yourself in this lakeside village if you’re planning to explore the Isle of Skye at a slow and relaxing pace.
Almost all the main sights in Skye are within 1.5 hours by car from Plockton, so you can take multiple day trips and enjoy the very scenic drives. From Plockton, it takes only 1 hour by car to reach the famous Fairy Pools in Skye, about 1 hour and 15 mins to reach the Old Man of Storr, and 1.5 hours to get to the Quiraing for the most epic hike in Skye.
🎒 Top Tips for Visiting Plockton, Scotland
🦟 Top Tip #1: “Smidge” Up in the Summer!
Let’s talk about the most important thing to know about visiting Plockton and the Scottish Highlands: if you’re there between May and September, you absolutely need midge repellent.
For those of you who don’t know, midges are the infamous flies of the Scottish Highlands. They mostly thrive near moorlands and water sources such as lakes, streams, and marshes. They’re attracted to the CO2 that we breathe out and can smell us from 200 metres away.
Because Plockton (and much of the Scottish Highlands) is surrounded by lakes and moorlands, you’ll (unfortunately) be seeing a lot of these mighty little bastards if you visit during the midge season — between May and September. And by a lot, I mean a truly unfathomable amount.
Now, I’ve dealt with all kinds of insects around the world, but I’ve never come across anything even half as bad as midges. These guys come in extremely large packs and will completely swarm your face, clothes, food, camera — you name it — if you simply sit or stand still for more than 10 seconds near moorlands or lakes (which is most of Plockton).
One time, we couldn’t even sit down to have an outdoor lunch because they were all over our faces, eyes, hands, and food. We could barely see, and had we stayed, we’d have definitely ended up eating them by mistake. 😅
So my top tip for visiting Plockton (and the Scottish Highlands in general) is to stock up on midge repellent. We used Smidge as it was very well-recommended, and while it wasn’t able to prevent large armies of midges from attacking us, it at least worked effectively in preventing bites. (Yes, they bite.)
If you’re a photographer who plans to set up your tripod often, I’d even suggest going as far as wearing a bug face shield. I know it looks ridiculous, but trust me, as a photographer myself, I really struggled while getting pictures because it came at the cost of literally being eaten alive. My partner told me my head looked like a midge nest anytime I stopped to set up my tripod. 😂
Other ways to protect yourself against midges is to simply keep walking and moving — these flies only target those who are standing or sitting still (hence photographers are at a disadvantage). Midges are also most active under low-light conditions: in the early mornings, right before dawn, and in the evenings.
Alternatively, simply avoid visiting Plockton and the Highlands between May and September. Luckily, you won’t find these little bastards around during the colder months!
🍇 Top Tip #2: Know Your Local Convenience Store
Plockton is a small village, and there’s only one store in town that sells groceries and essential everyday items: The Shores Plockton. If you’re planning to stay several days and don’t want to eat out for every single meal, then be sure to note this store’s opening hours: Mondays to Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm, and Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm.
At The Shores Plockton, you’ll find everything from eggs, milk, and rice to meat and fresh produce. It’s also a great place to grab some snacks (they have some delicious scones and cakes) before heading out for a day of exploration.
In case it’s confusing, The Shores Plockton consists of both a convenience store and a seafood restaurant (the one mentioned earlier in this guide). Note that they have completely different opening hours, though, as the restaurant only operates in the evenings, from 5 pm onwards.
🥘 Top Tip #3: Book Restaurants in Advance
Due to Plockton’s small size, there are only a few restaurants in the village itself, and because they are absolutely spectacular, they’re quite busy most of the time. That’s why I highly recommend making a reservation in advance if you plan to eat out.
The Best Places to Eat in Plockton Village
Aside from Plockton Hotel Restaurant and The Shores Plockton — the two restaurants mentioned earlier in this guide, the Plockton Inn is another great place to enjoy a meal (and the traditional live music that they sometimes offer, too!).
🥾 Top Tip #4: Bring Comfortable Walking Shoes
As you’ve probably gathered from this guide of things to do in Plockton, there are plenty of beautiful walking trails in and around this village. While they’re all quite short and easy, they can also be rocky and slippery.
So while you don’t need to completely gear up with hiking boots, having a pair of quality walking shoes with good ankle support will definitely come in handy.
🚗 How to Get to Plockton, Scotland
🚙 Getting to Plockton by Car
Plockton is easily accessible by car, and driving is usually the fastest and simplest way to get there. Consider taking a scenic road trip to this village and making some stops along the way. Here are the driving distances and times from some key places in Scotland:
From Edinburgh: 204 mi (328 km) / 4 hrs 20 min
From Glasgow: 184 mi (296 km) / 4 hrs 11 min
From Aberdeen: 176 mi (283 km) / 3 hrs 54 min
From Portree: 40 mi (64 km) / 1 hr 2 min
From Inverness: 75 mi (120 km) / 1 hr 49 min
From Fort William: 76 mi (122 km) / 1 hr 47 min
🚊 Getting to Plockton by Train
Plockton is also reachable via ScotRail from a lot of cities in Scotland. It is a 2.5-hour direct train ride from Inverness, which is where you would be connecting from if you’re coming from big cities like Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen.
Here are some regular rail services to Plockton:
From Edinburgh: Edinburgh Waverley to Plockton Station — 2 changes / 6 hr 26 min / £83
From Glasgow: Glasgow Queen Street to Plockton Station — 1 change / 5 hr 52 min / £83
From Aberdeen: Aberdeen to Plockton Station — 1 change / 5 hrs / £63
From Inverness: Inverness to Plockton Station — nonstop / 2 hr 22 min / £25
From Fort William: Fort William to Plockton Station – 2 changes / 12 hr 37 min / £128
🚌 Getting to Plockton by Bus
Getting to Plockton by bus is a bit more complicated as there’s no bus stop inside the village. The closest bus stop is Kyle of Lochalsh, which is well-connected to many other places in Scotland by bus, with the following journey durations and costs:
From Portree to Kyle of Lochalsh: 59 min / £8 – direct journey
From Fort William to Kyle of Lochalsh: 1 hr 58 min / £25.90 – direct journey
From Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh: 2 hr 6 min / £23.10 – direct journey
From Glasgow to Kyle of Lochalsh: 5 hr 14 min / £43.80 – direct journey
From Edinburgh to Kyle of Lochalsh: 6 hr 16 min / £55.00 – 2 changes
From Aberdeen to Kyle of Lochalsh: 7 hr 21 min / £74.90 – 2 changes
You can find bus times and tickets on Scottish Citylink and I recommend booking your seat in advance. Once you get to Kyle of Lochalsh, you can take the ScotRail train from Kyle of Lochalsh Station to Plockton Station, which would take roughly 15 minutes.
🚴🏻♀️ Getting Around Plockton Village
Plockton is a pretty small village, so you can reach many sights, restaurants, and viewpoints on foot if you stay in the village centre or close by. However, in order to fully experience what this village and its surroundings have to offer, you would need a car.
For example, getting to the scenic Skye Bridge from the village centre would take only 15 minutes by car, but nearly 3 hours by foot. Similarly, to get to the famous Eilean Donan Castle, you’d only have to drive for around 20 minutes, but if you were to go on foot, it’d take 4 hours.
☀️ The Best Time to Visit Plockton
The best time to visit Plockton is during April and the beginning of May, when days are long (5 am – 9:30 pm daylight hours), the weather is mild (on average 10°C during the day), and there are fewer rainy days compared to the rest of the year (bear in mind, though, that it’s hard to fully escape the rain in the UK).
Alternatively, October also offers mild temperatures (10°C on average), but it’s a bit rainier than April & May and offers slightly shorter daylight hours (the sun sets at around 6/7 pm).
🦟 Keep in mind: While the sunniest and warmest time to visit Plockton is from mid-May through September, this is also midge season. Even if you use insect repellent, the midges can still be really disrupting and can sometimes make it difficult to fully enjoy Plockton’s attractions. Midges typically begin to emerge in mid-late May and only disappear in early-late September.
Winter in Plockton (November to February) is gorgeous and you’d see stunning snow-capped mountains all around you. However, the days are shorter, some shops may be closed, and road conditions might be difficult depending on the weather.
🗓️ How Many Days to Spend in Plockton
Plan at least 3 days in Plockton to fully enjoy everything this gorgeous village has to offer.
I’d even recommend staying a whole week because Plockton is a great base for exploring Isle of Skye (it’s around a 1.5-hour drive to many of Skye’s attractions). You can therefore spend the remaining time taking day trips to Skye and coming back to this charming village at night.
Personally, I spent two weeks working remotely in Plockton and was able to fill my time there with activities in the area and in Skye. Even after two weeks, it was hard to leave!
🏞 How to Get From Plockton to Skye
The fastest and easiest way to get to the Isle of Skye from Plockton is to drive. If you didn’t arrive in Plockton by car, you can rent one from Skye Car Hire in Kyle of Lochalsh. To get there, you can take the ScotRail train from Plockton Station to Kyle of Lochalsh Station (a 15-min journey), and then walk for 8 mins.
You can also reach Skye by bus, however, it’s worth noting that while there are some local bus services there, it is very difficult to get around the Isle of Skye without a car. In fact, many of Skye’s attractions are quite remote and the only way to reach them is by car.
Still, if you really want to go by bus, the fastest way is to take a train from Plockton Station to Kyle of Lochalsh first (a 15-minute ride). Then, take either the Scottish Citylink or Stagecoach bus to Portree, the main town on Skye. The journey takes 1 hour and costs around £8.
The town of Portree is quite close to a lot of Skye’s attractions. However, as mentioned before, many of them are only reachable by car. Here are the driving distances and times from Plockton to some of Skye’s main points of interest, if you were to drive directly.
From Plockton to Fairy Pools: 42 mi (67 km) / 1 hr 8 min
From Plockton to Old Man of Storr: 46 mi (74 km) / 1 hr 14 min
From Plockton to Portree: 40 mi (64 km) / 1 hr 3 min
From Plockton to Quiraing: 59 mi (94 km) / 1 hr 33 min
From Plockton to Neist Point: 63 mi (101 km) / 1 hr 43 min
From Plockton to Fairy Glen: 55 mi (88 km) / 1 hr 23 min
🏔 How to Get From Plockton to Fort William
The easiest and fastest way to get to Fort William from Plockton is to drive. If you didn’t arrive in Plockton by car, you can hire one from Skye Car Hire in Kyle of Lochalsh, which is a 15-min train ride from Plockton Station. The drive to Fort William would be roughly 76 mi (122 km) and would take around 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Alternatively, you can take a ScotRail train from Plockton Station to Kyle of Lochalsh, which would take 15 mins. Then, take the Scottish Citylink bus from Kyle of Lochalsh Old Slipway Bus Stop to Fort William Bus Station. This bus journey takes roughly 2 hours and costs £26.
🔥 Top Tip: I don’t recommend going from Plockton to Fort William by train because the journey takes a whopping 12.5 hours in total and involves 2 train changes. It is a lot faster and more convenient to go by car or bus.
🔮 Travel Insurance for Scotland
Having travel insurance gives me peace of mind, and I highly recommend getting it because let’s be real — the last thing we want on any trip is for accidents and mishaps to get in the way. I use a service called World Nomads and can highly recommend them — they offer affordable prices, great coverage, and a reliable 24/7 on-call service.
🌸 Final Thoughts on Visiting Plockton
I hope this guide on the best things to do in Plockton has been helpful! To be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect before visiting this village. We simply found an Airbnb we liked there and decided to base ourselves there while exploring Skye.
Little did I know, though, that this magical little village soon became my favourite place in all of Scotland. (Yes, I might like it even more than Skye!) So, if you’re on the edge about visiting Plockton, I highly, highly recommend spending at least a few days there. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. 🙂
📸 My Plockton & Scotland Photography Gear
This is the gear I used to capture the beauty of Plockton and Scotland. You can also see my tips for the best cameras for bloggers for more options other than the ones listed below.
- Cameras: Nikon D610 + Sony a7III (check out the best Sony lenses)
- Main lens: Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8
- Wide-angle lens: Tokina AF 16-28mm f/2.8
- Prime lens: Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G
- Tripod: Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod (Ball Head)