Surrounded on all sides by majestic Highland scenery, Plockton is nestled prettily in a nook of Loch Carron. While the windswept mountains over the hill to the west are barren and brown, the topography leaves the town sheltered from the worst of the Scottish weather meaning everything is luscious and green. Locals swear Plockton has its own micro-climate, a claim the palm trees in almost every garden testify to.

Used as a memorable location in the BBC comedy Hamish Macbeth and classic 1973 horror film The Wicker Man, it's certainly an area sprinkled with cinematic stardust, reminiscent of Italy's Lake Como with its dramatic but verdant inclines on all sides.

And it's not just a place to gape at the views, there's also plenty to keep you occupied. Here are seven things to do when you visit Plockton.

Stay at the Plockton Inn

The Herald: Our room at The Plockton Inn Our room at The Plockton Inn (Image: Plockton Inn)

Situated up the hill from the main street, the Plockton Inn has recently been refurbished to an extremely high standard by owners Highland Coast Hotels. The rooms are airy, modern and decorated with flair coming with everything you need on a short break. Beds are comfortable and the lack of a bath was made up for by a superb shower. The room is full of nice touches such as a small box of artisan treats from Chocolates of Glenshiel made just a few miles down the road. The real star here is the hard-working staff who are effortlessly helpful and cheery. International in make-up with accents from all over the world, it's clear they see themselves as an important part of the local community in the way they advocate for the area and their commitment to guest experience is total. Highly recommended.

Grab a pint and drink in the views 

The Herald: The view from the Plockton Hotel bar's beer gardenThe view from the Plockton Hotel bar's beer garden (Image: Newsquest)

Down of the waterfront, the Plockton Hotel bar is a glorious throwback to pubs of a bygone era. The cosy, wood-panelled lounge is warm and inviting while the choice of craft ales is excellent. Even better is the stunning spot just across the road, a beer garden right on the water's edge with a view to die for. It might just rival Elie's The Ship Inn for Scotland's most spectacular boozing spot. And the food's not bad either. You can tuck into a pint of 'lobster tails' (actually langoustines) with spicy seafood dip and some homemade bread to ensure you remain straightened out. At £25, they aren't cheap but it's more than enough delicious fresh seafood for two.

Eat out in the village 

The Herald: Pork Belly at the Plockton InnPork Belly at the Plockton Inn (Image: Newsquest)

Despite just 250 permanent residents, the high levels of tourism support two other places to eat. The Plockton Inn's restaurant isn't quite as good as the hotel but it still offers a satisfying dinner. Our steak was overcooked and topped with a needless, sticky balsamic glaze but the rest of the meal, including plump, moreish Scallops, meaty pork belly, thick and creamy Cullen Skink and a packed, locally sourced cheeseboard made up for it. Also available is the Plockton Shores restaurant which doubles up as a cafe and village shop during the day before becoming a restaurant at night. Their homemade cakes are delicious.

Jump aboard a local institution 

The Herald: Seals, as seen from Calum's boatSeals, as seen from Calum's boat (Image: Newsquest)

Operating for 41 years, Calum's Seal Trip is rightly famous as a Plockton 'must do'. Everyone loves Seals as our vessel, packed with families, would testify. These friendly bewhiskered sea dwellers are so plentiful in the area the tour is free if none can be found. On our trip, there were at least 100 of the cute creatures spied to the clear delight of the many kids who joined the short trip around the bay. Guide Calum knows his onions and his irreverent takes on the local points of interest were both amusing and informative while the little ones were kept occupied by their turns steering the boat. It's a terrific hour of fun for all. Tours leave four times per weekday in high season, with two on weekends.

Head for the hills... or the secret beach

There are plentiful local walks to enjoy in the local area with two standing out. The first takes 20 minutes from the main street up to the Carn an Frith-aird viewpoint atop the hill behind the town. It's a bit of a scramble over the rocks to get to the top but nothing an out-of-shape hack couldn't cope with - although it's not ideal for the infirm. Once at the summit, you get incredible 360-degree views of lochs Carron and Kishorn with a clear view to the towering mountains of Skye. There are benches to enjoy the scenery and a very informative display to help identify the surrounding mountains.

The other walk was roughly half an hour in the opposite direction to the town's hidden coral beach. It's quite difficult to locate, but once you get there the clear azure waters and white sand from the bleached, ground shells are worth the search. It's a stunning, peaceful area with few people. When I bring it up to a local she sighs wistfully, "It used to be a secret place." Not anymore, but certainly not busy enough to ruin its charm. 

Visit Eilean Donan Castle

The Herald: Eilean Donan CastleEilean Donan Castle (Image: Getty)

Made famous by the Hollywood film Highlander in the 1980s, it's one of the most picturesque castles in Scotland and only 20 minutes away form Plockton by car. You can luxuriate in the views where three spectacular sea lochs come together, stop for a bite to eat at the surprisingly excellent outdoor cafe or head into the castle itself and learn about its fascinating history. 

Go to Skye for a dram at the Torabhaig Distillery

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Opened in 2017, Torabhaig is situated in a stunning alcove overlooking Knock Bay on the Isle of Skye. Formerly a derelict farmhouse, it was repurposed in dramatic style thanks to a multi-million-pound renovation and was the first Single Malt Whiskey distillery to open on the island since Talisker nearly 200 years prior. From the gift shop to the gorgeous cafe, it's a classy environment for any visitor, something that's clear from the moment you drive through the gates to the immaculate building. And once inside, it's safe to say that if you arrive without a love for the amber nectar, they will certainly put up a persuasive argument to leave with one. The tour is fascinating, showcasing the innovation needed to fit a modern distillery in such a challenging space. The tasting rounds things off with a dram of two of the whiskeys paired with chocolate. It's just a 40-minute drive over the Skye Bridge and well worth a visit.