Once solely reliant on fishing and crofting, Plockton today is still, in many ways, a typical West Highland coastal village, but now with a modern emphasis on tourism and hospitality.
Arriving in Plockton, the first thing that strikes the visitor is the proximity of the sea. The village sits on the sheltered side of a ploc (point) which juts into the waters facing the head of the sea loch Carron. On the right hand side, the forested hills merge into the grandiose Duncraig Crags, beneath which sits Duncraig Castle. The hills sweep round to the hidden opening to Loch Carron itself and on eventually to the Torridon range. Out of sight initially but visible from the brae is the peninsula of Applecross, and beyond that, Skye and the Outer Hebrides.
Harbour Street is the main street of the village where you will find An Caladh. The gardens on the seaward side belong to the houses opposite; their palm trees which are New Zealand cabbage palms were planted in the nineteenth century. Like other subtropical flora on the West Coast these can survive because of the sheltered nature of the location, and the warming influence of the Gulf Stream.
Continue along Harbour Street towards the village hall, then turn right and follow the road to the pier where you can watch the local fisherman land their catch in the late afternoon. On your way back take the road on the left where you will find a childrens play park. At low tide you can come back via the causeway which will bring you out on Harbour Street near to An Caladh. If you were to carry on past the village hall, you will see the little bay of Obanduine on your right, and further up the hill, the houses at Frithard.
For a small village, Plockton has a great deal to offer for eating out, the Plockton Hotel, Plockton Inn and Plockton Shores all serve fresh local produce .
The known history of Plockton stretches back only to the late eighteenth century when the Plockton promontory, part of the Seaforth estate, was home to no more than three or four crofting families. From 1801, a new owner, Sir Hugh Innes, established a planned village based on fishing, and by 1841, Plockton had a population of over 500, and was referred to as 'a thriving fishing centre with two schools', with Plockton vessels trading as far south as the Clyde. From then until the end of the nineteenth century Plockton continued to prosper from the sea, and it was during this time that a new owner, Sir Alexander Matheson, built Duncraig Castle as his family home. The railway line from Inverness was built and extended past Strome Ferry to include a stop at Plockton, which has served the village well.
However, economic decline set in and many Plockton people began to emigrate, to Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, and with First World War losses, the years after 1918 saw possibly the lowest population figures in the history of the village. The first marriage for ten years of a main resident in Plockton took place in 1924 (Dan MacKenzie).
Tourism proved to be the turning point for the West Highlands economy and, since the seventies, has been the main activity in the region, reaching a peak in Plockton in the late 1990s with the filming of the BBC series 'Hamish Macbeth' in the village.
For a remote area, it's straightforward to get to Plockton. We are about four to five hours drive from Edinburgh or Glasgow and roughly two hours from Inverness.
Plockton is on the Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh railway line, widely acknowledged as the most spectacular in Britain. There are four trains a day each way in summer, three in winter.
Our nearest airport is Inverness, served by BA and easyJet. If you want to fly in by yourself, there is an airfield at Plockton, suitable for small aircraft and helicopters.