25 Secret European Villages
The train from Edinburgh stops at a Victorian station next to a riot of neatly planted flowers in a hidden glen in the shadow of a medieval castle. Aberdour is not car-friendly, but why should it be when anything you would want to see is in town and connected by well-kept walkways? In August, this hamlet serves as a tranquil base for visiting the Edinburgh International Festival, but for the rest of the year, it is a working village with a general store, four cozy pubs, and even a shop dedicated to Wiccan supplies, situated provocatively equidistant from the Churches of Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church.
How to Get There: Aberdour is 30 minutes by train from Edinburgh.
Where to Stay and Eat: Great Value The Woodside Hotel (doubles from $140) offers rooms decorated in individual tartans. The bar, whose paneling came from a 19th-century passenger ship, serves local Highland beef.