IT is a village that is described as “the jewel of the Highlands” sitting on a sheltered bay with breathtaking views overlooking Loch Carron.

Plockton, is the harbour community in Wester Ross famed as the location for the fictional “beat” of 1990s TV policeman Hamish Macbeth, starring Robert Carlyle and was the setting for parts of the 1973 horror film The Wicker Man. 

Now the village, which benefits from the warming effects of the North Atlantic Drift, and is a magnet for holidaymakers with its array of brightly painted cottages has been ranked as the most tranquil getaway in the UK.

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The village got the highest overall score of 85.5 out of 100, in an analysis gained from a shortlist of 33 UK destinations. 

Taking into account population size, remoteness, number of rentable cottages and how often they are referenced as ‘beautiful’ online, the villages and towns that were considered were said to be the “perfect remedy for those wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle”. 

Seven of the top 20, featured in the campaign were in Scotland, with Plockton the cream of the crop and described as “the UK’s ultimate tranquil haven”.

The research, carried out by furniture design firm Arlo and Jacob, said of Plockton: “Visited by tourists each year for its picturesque seaside setting surrounded by hills, this quaint location is home to a population of just 378 people, the second-lowest of all destinations analysed.”

The village, which was developed as a herring port in the early 19th century is now a haven for summer visitors including artists and yachtsmen.

“Despite its staggeringly low population, Plockton holds the 7th highest number of rentable cottages at 62 and is 184 miles away from the nearest major city, making it the ultimate tranquil getaway for those wanting a break from the busyness of everyday life,” said the research.

Timothy Newsome, marketing director from Arlo & Jacob said: “It’s really important to take time for ourselves to relax and get away from our daily routines, no matter how hard it may seem. Travelling to a new destination is greatly beneficial and allows us to get a change of scenery and switch off from the responsibilities we usually face each day.

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“It’s great to see so many picturesque spots to choose from across the UK to get the retreat we are all in need of. From historic, picturesque English villages with Instagram-worthy rentable cottages to stay in, to stunning backdrops of mountains and valleys in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all of these locations offer the perfect setting for escape, relaxation and pristine tranquillity.”

To establish the UK’s ultimate tranquil destinations the researchers collated a seed list of the most popular tranquil destinations mentioned in over 70 articles and blog posts. 

They then analysed these villages and towns also taking into account the number of miles from the nearest major city and the number of mentions in a collection of articles.

Tobermory, the capital of the Isle of Mull, came fourth on the tranquil destination list and the research highlighted the “colourful houses and quaint little bay” and “great views across the port”.

Finishing 11th was the Fort Augustus, a village sitting south west of Loch Ness which is described as the “ultimate paradise for the keen walkers and cyclists wanting to escape for a weekend”.

Portree, the capital of the Isle of Skye finished 12th.  It was described as a “stunning fishing village,  surrounded by hills and filled with plenty of things to do for visitors”. The study said it was an “ideal destination” for those break looking for somewhere calmer and quieter “positioned a staggering 217 miles from the nearest major city”. 

Coming 14th on the list was Killin, the Stirlingshire which the judges said “offers spectacular views as it sits along Loch Tay.  They added:  “Famous for its salmon fishing and watersports, this location is the perfect outdoor getaway.”

Featuring “cobbled streets, jaw-dropping cliffs and quaint fishing cottages”, Crail, the small Fife harbour town took 17th spot.

In 19th place was the village of Braemar in Royal Deeside which the survey said was “surrounded by mountainous scenery, pine forests and an abundance of wildlife”.  It said Braemar was “a village for nature lovers and anybody that likes to go outdoors”.

Coming in as the UK’s second top tranquil destination - and England’s overall winner - is Castle Combe, Wiltshire, sitting in the famously beautiful Cotswolds area and which is one of the UK’s top staycation destinations.