The bleak and raw splendour of the Scottish Highlands is the country as its most wild. From enchanted mystical glens and deep mysterious lochs cloaked in ancient legend, to breathtakingly wild and rugged mountain peaks, the epic landscapes of this diverse region will be sure to impress even the most intrepid traveller.
Scottish Highlands Holidays
Map of the Highlands
Getting there & Getting around
Getting to The Scottish Highlands
There are a number of ways to reach the breath-taking landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, either by plane, train or car. Take advantage of the regular flights from a number of UK airports and fly to Inverness in the heart of the Highlands. Alternatively, start your adventure by booking a ticket for the Caledonian Sleeper, an overnight railway service from London. For a longer, epic adventure, opt to self-drive and experience spectacular views of Scotland's rugged landscapes along the way. Whatever you decide, we can pre-book all your flights, tickets or car hire.
Navigate the North Coast 500
This epic driving adventure exhibits the Northern Scottish Highlands at their very best. Start in Inverness, the capital of the region, before following the winding roads north, hugging the coast toward John O'Groats and back down. Whether you travel clockwise or anticlockwise, you can expect to find picturesque lochs, historic castles, diverse wildlife, freshly-caught seafood and a whole range of exhilarating outdoor activities along the way. We can help you curate your own unique NC500 itinerary from the 516 mile circular route based upon what you want to see.
Experiences in the Highlands
Visit Eilean Donan Castle
Featured in a number of television series and films including James Bond and Highlander, Eilean Donan Castle is one of Scotland’s most iconic and famous sites. Perched on a small tidal island where the three sea lochs of Duich, Long and Alsh meet, this picturesque castle is rich in history, with sweeping views of the forested mountains beyond.
Drive the Bealach na Ba Route
The notorious Bealach na Ba is a winding single track route which weaves through the rugged mountain landscape of the Applecross penisula in the western Highlands. Both one of the most scenic and most challenging drives in the world, this highland road offers magnificent views from the peak at 626m above sea level.
Discover the Magical Glencoe Valley
Wander amongst the bubbling brooks and misty woodlands of the Glencoe valley and nature reserve. The awe-inspiring scenery and Machiavellian history will transport you to another time in this magical land of outstanding natural beauty.
Eat Fresh Seafood in Ullapool
Located on the banks of Loch Broom, the picturesque village of Ullapool is a gateway to the wilderness beyond. Made up of colourful fishing boats and pastoral crofts, the town itself is a centre for arts and the perfect place to try freshly caught and prepared seafood, including langoustines.
Spot Dolphins on the Black Isle
In the chilly waters of the Moray Firth off the Black Isle, 200 Bottlenose dolphins live year round. Walk down the mile-long peninsula from the village of Fortrose to the beach and lighthouse at Chanonry Point, named as one the best place to spot dolphins in the UK. Later, be whisked out onto the open waters on a wildlife watching boat trip from the quaint village of Cromarty. Visit the local bakery whilst you're there.
Explore Dunrobin Castle
With spectacular views across the Moray Firth, the fairy tale castle of Dunrobin looms over its elaborate formal gardens below. As one of Britain's oldest continuously inhabited houses, dating back to the 1300s, the castle is a great site for exploring the rich history of the local area whilst marvelling at the beautiful architecture and impressive gardens.
Locate the Monster at Loch Ness
Scotland's most enthralling mystery of the Loch Ness monster means thousands of visitors flock to the area every year. Away from the crowds of the main castle, we recommend a 2 hour hike through beautiful woodland and past cascading waterfalls along a single track road to the tranquil hamlet of Foyers. Enjoy the quiet and unwind in the stillness and peaceful surroundings of ancient Caledonian pine forests on the loch's banks.
Picnic on Camusdarach Beach
Made famous in the iconic film Local Hero, Camusdarach Beach is a picturesque bay of crisp white sand and sparkling turquoise ocean. A short walk from the car park by Glenancross, lined by wildflowers in the summer, will lead you onto the arch of white sand - a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic and look out towards the Isles of Rum and Eigg.
Drink at Britain's most remote pub
With no roads in or out, The Old Forge on Scotland's west coast, is reached by an 18 mile hike over munros or a 7 mile sea crossing, making it the most remote pub in Britain. Indulge in the fresh seafood caught in the surrounding local waters, including Loch Nevis langoustine, hand dived Arisaig scallops, Loch Nan Uamh rope mussels, Mallaig smoked salmon and Isle of Rum waters lobsters.
Hike the West Highland Way
Stretching 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William, the West Highland Way is the perfect hiking route to experience the varied Scottish landscapes from countryside parks to loch-shores and open moorlands to steep mountains.
Highlights of The Highlands
Cairngorms National Park
The fertile farmlands and thick ancient woodland of the Cairngorms National Park make it a wildlife metropolis. Formed throughout history by vast, crushing glaciers which have shaped everything from the rugged mountains to the mossy moorlands, the park is also a living, working landscape, curated and cared for by the many passionate people who work there. This diverse natural wilderness is home to a number of unique and endangered animals including Scottish wild cats, mountain hares, red squirrels, soaring ospreys and golden eagles.
Conquer Ben Nevis and Bag a Munro
Hike up Britain's highest peak and bag yourself a munro! Cross cascading rivers, skirt the edge of the glass-like Loch Meall and navigate a series of well-worn routes through the boulders and scree. The route to the top is strenuous, consisting of rocky, steep and zigzagging terrain; however, upon reaching the summit at 1,345 metres above sea level, you can expect unparalleled, panoramic views from the peak of Ben Nevis across the spectacular Highlands landscape.
The Wim Hof Method
Coined by the legendary Iceman, the famous Wim Hof Method is a simple, powerful method for surviving extreme cold conditions based on the foundation of three pillars; Breathing, Cold Therapy and Commitment. The Alladale Wilderness Reserve is the place in the UK to learn to master these skills to achieve enhanced mental and physical strength, sounder sleep, increased energy and focus, greater cold tolerance and creativity of the mind. Speak to a Scotland specialist to hear about how you can escape and recharge on one these exclusive life-enriching courses.
As you travel around the Scottish Highlands, look out for the famous Highland cows, the oldest cattle breed in the world
The iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct is recognisable to many as the route the Hogwarts Express steamed across in numerous Harry Potter films. Located in the Western Scottish Highlands, the viaduct curves seamlessly into the mountain landscape, offering views over the Glenfinnan Monument and the shimmering waters of Loch Shiel. Take the West Highland railway line to Mallaig to travel across the Glenfinnan Viaduct yourself. Alternatively, discover the bridge on foot on one of the many walking trails which snake around and under the magnificent concrete structure.
Marvel at the Northern Lights
The vast, unpolluted skies of the Scottish Highlands make the region a great place to spot the dancing spectacle of the Northern Lights. Experiencing this theatrical auroral display is best on cold nights, clear of clouds during the autumn and winter seasons. Caithness and the Morary coast in the Highlands are particularly well-known as places to marvel at the luminous spectrum of colour across the sky. Wrap up warm and head out on an aurora-hunting adventure you'll never forget.