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This Scottish village is a real-life fairy tale

From T-Swift's Folklore to the TikTok search bar, the ever-popular cottagecore lifestyle trend has seen some rapid growth in the last few years. But have you ever wondered what it would be like to frolic through a moss-covered forest or have a hot cup of peppermint tea at a *literal* cottage?

Scotland's loch-ridden town of Aberfoyle, located in the Trossachs National Park, is the place to go. This sleepy village is home to many fairy tale legends, ethereal sights and tons of mythical lore (translation: totally worth the visit).

How would I know? I've been there! Here's everything I absolutely loved about this charming locale, so you can start building your own travel bucket list as we speak...

Loch Ard

Photo by Faith Green

It's hard to believe that this picturesque forest trail is just a 15-minute drive from Aberfoyle. Even the drive itself is incredibly scenic—it's a long and curvy road peppered with farms, foliage and breathtaking views of the water.

Even in the winter, the trail was flush with waterfalls, moss-covered rocks and mystical views of the mountains and lake (er, sorry, loch). If you're lucky, you might even see a highland cow or two! 

Walking through the forest, I felt like a magical fairy-like creature in my natural habitat. Which actually makes a lot of sense: as Loch Ard served as the inspiration for several poems about fairies and elves. 

The Station


Picture this: It's a frosty and overcast day in a small Scottish village. You're lounging in a coffee shop, curled up with the latest fantasy novel. You pour yourself a cup of tea from a mini porcelain teapot. Sounds like a dream, right?

Well, you can make it a reality at The Station Coffee Shop! This coffeehouse offers homemade pastries, a large variety of comforting beverages and a unique selection of heartwarming souvenirs. The Station emanates the *coziest* vibes, perfect for feeling like a mysterious and bookish mystic. (Try the peppermint tea and bacon rolls—with brown sauce, ofc!)

Doon Hill & Fairy Knowe


It's all in the name: This circular route gives way to Doon Hill and the otherworldly ancient pine tree that sits atop it. According to local legend, the tree is not only a granter of wishes but also serves as a hidden passageway to the Fairy Kingdom (yes, really!). And it's covered in ribbons—not because it's coquette, but because you can make a wish by trying your own ribbon to the trunk.

The best part? It's an easier and quicker walk than most of the other trails nearby, so it's a great place to start out—especially if you're new to Scotland's terrain and climate. And keep an eye out for fairy sightings!

Tag us in your travel pics on IG for a chance to get featured @girlslifemag!

Top image: @jamesalroca
Slider image: @onthehillaberfoyle


by Faith Green | 2/2/2024