There are many villages in Scotland that would describe themselves as
the prettiest in the whole country. It's a bit of a marketing ploy. The
town wallahs have a meeting, and decide to call their environs 'pretty' in
the hope that tourists will arrive in their droves to see something
nice. 'Let's go and see the prettiest village in Scotland,' they might
all sing on the bus on the way there. There are other villages that are
described by visitors themselves as probably the prettiest in Scotland,
and that's a good thing, because it's a real statement and it comes from
the heart. But everyone's tastes are different, and one man's 'pretty'
is not necessarily another man's 'pretty'. In my little Blue Guide
to Scotland dating to the 1920s, Falkland is described as an 'ancient
royal burgh, noted for its palace and for its manufacture of linoleum.'
Now hang on a mo, you might think... dinna tell me this is an industrial
village full of smoke and smells? My little Blue Guide then goes on to
say that Falkland is charmingly situated at the base of East Lomond
Hill. Hmm... charm, eh? But what about charisma? Does Falkland have any
of that, eh? Allure? Well, I suppose it depends on what you personally
want when you visit some place you've never been before. Your list of
requirements might be all of these things, or just one. Or you might
simply like the joy of being somewhere new, where each turn of an
ancient cobbled corner brings some new visual feast. For me, Falkland is
the most charming, most visually appealing, and without doubt the
prettiest village in all of Scotland.