9 lesser-known Scottish towns and villages that are worth a visit

We all know the big destinations in Scotland that pull the visitors - but what about the many gems that are often overlooked?

The pretty 17th Century harbour town of Portsoy in Aberdeenshire is among places recommended by readers to visit. PIC: Markus Trienke/Flickr.

As the famous attractions burst at the seams, it is worth remembering that Scotland is crammed with quaint, interesting and beautiful spots that deserve our attention. We look at 9 places that are well worth a visit - and offer a true slice of Scottish life.

Reader Margaret Lumley recommended a trip to St Monans on in Fife. "I loved the village with its church, zig zag piers, salt pans, windmill and great takeaway fish and chips."

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Rumbling Bridge Gorge in Kinross-shire was recommended by reader Andrea Birnie. The tiny village is dominated by the double bridge and deep gorge into the River Devon with walks and trails taking visitors into the beauty spot.
Reader Debbie Neilson recommended a trip to Preston Mill near East Linton.The architectural oddity has a curious Dutch-style conical roof with the mill used commercially until 1959.
Fiona Keith from Montrose said the small village of Edzell in Angus has much to offer. The Blue Door walk from Gannochy Bridge, the Rocks of Solitude, the village cafes and pop-up antiques shop are all worth a look.
Reader Alison Robertson recommended Davaar Island for a trip. She said: "It can only be accesssed at low tide via a causeway and is so peaceful. The entire Kintyre Peninsula is well worth a visit."
Portsoy and the surrounding area was recommended by reader Lorna MacLeod. The pretty 17th Century harbour village is renowned for its boat festival, marble and quality seafood.
The Borders town was recommended by reader Moira Jamieson , with Priorwood and Harmony gardens a must see. A visit to Melrose Abbey and a "lovely walk along the river and a fab ice cream shop" all helped to make a great day out.
The Isle of Whithorn, one of the most southerly villages in Scotland, was recommended by reader Jason D. Once a true island, it has been connected to the mainland since the 19th Century and enjoys views to the Lake District.
South Queensferry was recommended by reader Robert Wilson, with a trip to the village offering nice cafes, stunning views across the Forth and bridges as well as boatrips to the nearby islands.