The most rugged, romantic and mystical part of Scotland, the Highlands are made up of six regions: Wester Ross; Sutherland and Caithness; Inverness, Loch Ness and Nairn; Badenoch and Strathspey; and Skye and Raasay. To say that this wild part of the UK is a magnet for nature is an understatement and the breath-taking vistas are something else. From Britain’s highest mountain and Britain’s biggest National Park to unspoilt lochs and iconic architecture, the Highlands should be up there on your must-visit list.
Whether Scottish history rocks your world or you fancy following in the footsteps of Claire and Jamie from Outlander, the Highlands offers a whole host of notable attractions from standing stones erected by Scottish settlers more than 10,000 years ago to Glenfinnan Monument, the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie started the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Other popular heritage-rich tourist attractions include: Dunvegan Castle on Skye, Brodie Castle in Moray and the Castle of Mey in the North Highlands. Don’t forget to salute this area’s stormy history with a wee dram!
The Highlands is also the perfect place to get back to nature. Why not don your hiking boots and tackle Ben Nevis or one of the other snow-capped peaks? How about you grab your binoculars and head to Cromarty, Moray Firth, where you might spot the world’s most northerly pod of bottlenose dolphins? Do a tour of the waterways including lochs, waterfalls and canals – taking in the myth and legend of Loch Ness and the beauty of The Caledonian Canal.
Make time to explore the Cairngorms National Park whose mountains (five of the UK’s highest are found here), rivers and forests make for a wildlife haven including mountain hares and capercaillie. Keep your eyes skywards for sightings of golden eagles and sea eagles and remember to scan the trees for red squirrels, pine martins and wild cats.
Fort William is the place to go if you’re into sports. Home of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, this tremendous terrain has all manner of outdoor activities on offer from watersports and snowsports for the adrenaline junkies to fishing and golf for more restful souls. There are of course many walking and hiking trails throughout the region, on-foot being the best way to see the Highlands in all their glory.
To bag the best place from which to explore this outstanding area of Scotland, book a Highland holiday cottage today.