If you are a fan of Scottish history or scenery you will probably have already visited the National Trust for Scotland's ‘big hitters’ – such as Robert Burns’ Cottage; Culzean Castle; and the Culloden battle site. But what about those sites that you might have overlooked? Well, fear not, we have compiled this handy list to show the Trust's best hidden gems.

Malleny Garden, Balerno, Edinburgh

Despite being in the suburbs of the capital city, in this peaceful garden you could be mistaken for thinking you are in the middle of the countryside. Surrounded by fragrant flowers, yew trees and immaculate lawns, it is a great way to escape from it all for an hour or two and enjoy the calm surroundings. Best in summer, when the rose garden – with 150 varieties of the flower – is at its best.

Open Daily, 10am-5pm; Adult £3.50, Family £9, Concession £2.50; 0131 665 1546

Robert Smail’s Printing Works, Innerleithen

This ‘living museum’ will teach you all about the intricate process of inking by hand, before giving you the chance to have a go yourself. You can then watch the professional printers get to work operating presses with foot treadles, as pulleys whirr into life and the printing begins. Almost unchanged since being founded in 1866, the Smail press still produces commercial work, all using Victorian techniques and machinery.

Open Monday, Friday & Saturday, 11am-5pm, and Sunday, 1pm-5pm

Adult £7, Family £17, Concession £5; 01896 830206

Crarae Garden, Inveraray

You may not expect to find a Himalayan garden in Argyll, but that is what is on offer at Crarae Garden, created by Lady Grace Campbell back in 1912. The varied site offers vibrant flower displays, forests of rare trees and the centrepiece of Crarae Burn: complete with a waterfall. There is an assortment of walks you can choose to take around the site, and you might be lucky enough to see red squirrel along the way.

Open Daily 9.30am- Dusk

Adult £7.50, Family £18.50, Concession £5.50

01546 886614

Barry Mill, Barry Village, Carnoustie

This mill produced oatmeal – and jobs – for the village of Barry right up until 1982, and has now been restored to its former glory. Powered by water, if you visit on Sundays you can see the process in production and watch grain being milled, all explained by a helpful tour guide. The grounds provide a peaceful place to walk around once you are finished.

Open Friday-Sunday 11am-4pm; from July Thursday-Sunday 11am-4pm; Adult £6.50 Family £17.00, Concession £5.50; 01241 856761

Fyvie Castle, Turriff, Fyvie, Aberdeenshire

This sprawling castle has already had the royal seal of approval, as both Robert the Bruce and Charles I were said to have stayed there. Antiques, armour and lavish oil paintings are on offer, with the intricate ceilings a particular highlight. If the huge castle isn’t enough to entertain you, you can also stroll around the beautiful loch in the grounds.

Open Saturday-Wednesday 11am-5pm; Adult £13, Family £30, Concession £9.50; 01651 891266

Georgian House, 7 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh

Formerly owned by the wealthy Lamont family, this townhouse is a great example of an 18th century New Town home – and all the grandeur that came with it. Along with admiring the paintings and antiques in the upper floors, you can also visit the servants' quarters and see what life was like for those not lucky enough to be a Lamont. There are also costumes to dress up in, to help entertain children (and even adults).

Open Daily 10am-5pm; Adult £8, Family £17.50, Concession £6; 0131 225 2160


This tiny island off the coast of Mull is a designated national nature reserve, famed for its hexagonal rock columns emerging from the waves. The volcanic eruptions that created the unique appearance of the island also formed St Fingal’s cave, an other-worldly inset from the sea that will fascinate kids and adults alike. And for anyone who enjoys birdwatching, Staffa is one of the best puffin-spotting locations on Scotland’s west coast.

Open Daily; free; 01681 700659. Ferries from Fionnphort, Mull and Iona cost £35 per adult, £17.50 for children. See www.staffatours.com

Pitmedden Garden, Pitmedden, Aberdeenshire

This immaculately maintained garden has almost six miles of meticulously clipped hedges and bedding plants to admire, as well as its own fruit tree orchard. Children should be kept busy by running around the extensive space, but there is also a Museum of Farming Life if you need help keeping them occupied. Best to visit in late summer when the flowers are in bloom and butterflies are in plentiful supply.

Open Saturday and Sunday, 10.30am-16.30pm

Adult £7.50, Family £17.00, Concession £5.50; 01651 842352

House of Dun, Montrose, Angus

Otter-spotters rejoice – the woodland grounds of the House of Dun are a great place to see the mischievous little animals. The house itself has an array of paintings, embroideries and furniture to admire: showcasing just how extravagant Georgian tastes of really were. Guided tours of the house run every 45 minutes, but if you visit on the last Sunday of the month you have the freedom to wander round at your leisure.

Open Saturday-Wednesday 10.30am-4pm; Adult £1, Family £27, Concession £9.50; 01674 810264

Weaver’s Cottage, Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire

An insight into Scottish life pre-Industrial Revolution, this period cottage recreates the living and working conditions of a handloom weaver. Weaving demonstrations bring the story to life, and you can have a go at joining in. The garden also hosts some of the dye plants used in the weaving process.

Open Friday-Tuesday, 1pm-5pm; Adult £7.50, Family £18.50, Concession £5.50; 01505 705588

Drum Castle, Drumoak, Banchory

Impressive from the outside but spectacular indoors, the 700-year old Drum Castle is an ode to some of the best in medieval design. A particular highlight is the castle’s small chapel, with its haunting stain glass window and stone altar. There is also a library, rose garden and an adjoining ancient oak forest that are well worth exploring – especially since you might spot roe deer and badgers among the huge trees.

Open Thursday-Monday, 11am-4pm; Adult £13, Family £30, Concession £9.50; 01330 700334

Gladstone’s Land, 477b Lawnmarket, Edinburgh

One of the oldest buildings on the Royal Mile, Gladstone’s Land is a tiny museum that most visitors miss among the tourist sites of the capital. The 500-year-old tenement was owned by merchant Thomas Gladstone and saved from demolition by the National Trust in 1934. Its painted decoration gives a great insight to the lives of the wealthy tenants- but you can also visit the grocers shop and the tavern in the basement for a sense of the ‘upstairs downstairs’ nature of 17th century life.

Open Daily 10am-5pm; Adult £7.00, Family £16.50, Concession £5; 0131 226 5856

Killiecrankie Gorge, Pitlochry, Perthshire

The Battle of Killiecrankie was one of the deadliest in Scottish history -between the Jacobite uprisers and the government of the day- but its battle site also happens to be one of the most picturesque. By beginning at the visitor centre you can learn about the history of the fighting, before making your way to the ‘Soldier’s Leap’, where a fleeing English soldier jumped 18ft across the River Garry to escape the Jacobites. The path will then lead you to a footbridge that gives spectacular views of the pine trees and the river far below. You might even spot leaping salmon in certain weather conditions.

Visitor Centre Open Daily 10am-5pm; free; 01796 473233

J M Barrie’s Birthplace, Kirriemuir

Everyone has heard of Peter Pan, but few know of his creator J M Barrie, who grew up in this small weaver’s cottage in Angus. There are plenty of displays summarising the playwright’s life and career, and you can examine the washhouse in the yard which served as his first theatre (possibly inspiring the Wendy house in Peter Pan). Also on show is the original writing desk from Barrie’s London flat where he penned the famous novel.

Open Saturday and Sunday, 11am-4pm; Adult £6.50, Family £17, Concession £5.50; 01575 572646

Hill House, Upper Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh

Almost identical to how it would have looked in 1904, this house provides one of the best examples of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work you are likely to find. Book publisher Walter Blackie commissioned Mackintosh and his wife Margaret to design almost everything in the building, making the whole house a monument to the best of Art Nouveau. Well worth a visit, but be quick – it is closing for temporary renovation in June.

Open Daily 11.30am-5pm (closes for renovation June 17)

Adult £10.50, Family £25.50, Concession £7.50; 01436 673900

Tenement House, 145 Buccleuch St, Glasgow

It might look like any other Garnethill tenement, but this tiny museum is an ode to Glaswegian life in the early 20th century. Shorthand typist Miss Agnes Toward lived here from 1911 until 1965, and her furniture and possessions have been preserved in perfect condition to create a fascinating time capsule in her flat. A great insight into the life of a trailblazing ‘independent woman’.

Open daily 1pm-5pm; Adult £7.50, Family £18.50, Concession £5.50; 0141 333 0183