Ruth said that yesterday’s blog about Halls Creek was too negative, so I thought about what town would be its opposite. I could not think of one comparably sized that qualified. Finally it dawned on me to write about a perfect destination called Plockton. Plockton is in Scotland and about as perfect as a village of 378 people can be. I consider myself lucky to have spent a single afternoon there.
Plockton, often called the Jewel of the Highlands, is about as good as a place gets. It’s 115 miles northwest of Glasgow near the Isle of Skye and too small to be on some maps. It offers several places to eat specializing in seafood, and 3 of its hotels reportedly have traditional pubs that I did not see. It has admittedly fine hotels but Plockton is more of a B & B kind of place to me despite the fact that The Plockton Inn gets raves. Because it has a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters, palm trees thrive in Scotland. I simply enjoyed walking around appreciating the mostly individual white houses that date from the 19th and 20th centuries. Most of them had flower gardens. Plockton has an exceptionally gorgeous harbor. It sits on a bay that connects to Loch Carron and has a crag filled background where you expect to see castles.
Plockton is a National Trust for Scotland conservation village and is home to the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music. Those familiar with the TV series Hamish Macbeth will recognize Plockton because it was filmed here.
Plockton’s population rose to almost 600 after it became Scotland’s herring capital from 1850 onward. Up until then it was a crofting village devoted to food production, sheep, and boat-building. Ploc is the Gaelic word for a big bump and ton with a w added means town. There are 2 castles in the area. Duncraig was built by wealthy Scots around 1866 and has become a far-better-than-average B & B. It was fully restored by 1932. Eileen Donan, a traditional castle dating from the 13th century, welcomes visitors. The World Is Not Enough was partially filmed there.
It was no surprise for me to learn at its visitor center that Plocktonites love flowers and that sea-kayaking is a popular modern-day activity. I hope you get to experience Plockton too, but avoid Halls Creek if at all possible.