The Scottish Highlands
Why we love the Scottish Highlands
Located in the northern reaches of Scotland, the Highlands are about beauty and adventure. With islands for exploring, thick pine forests to wander and peaks to climb, it’s packed with picture-perfect scenery and exhilarating experiences. From the valleys of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, to the heights of Ben Nevis or the soaring hills of the Cairngorms, expect everything from folk festivals to adrenaline-fuelled off-roading.
Base your stay at the gateway city of Inverness - also the start for the North Coast 500. Within easy reach of Edinburgh, it offers art and culture, foodie festivals to get your teeth stuck into, botanical gardens and a plenty for music lovers. Whether it’s a bracing wild swim, a warming whiskey tour or a royal fix at Balmoral, unleash your imagination in the Highlands.
Explore Scotland’s Malt Whisky Trail
The only trail of its kind in the world, set in the heart of Speyside, takes in seven world-famous working distilleries, one historic distillery and the Speyside Cooperage.
Discover the Highland’s TV highlights
Discover everything from Outlander filming locations to those made famous by James Bond, Harry Potter and Braveheart. Lose yourself in the wildness film sets of the eerie ruins of Dunnottar Castle, or the mountain paths of Glen Coe and Glen Etive.
Inverness Museum & Art Gallery
Delve into the art, history and culture of the Highlands and learn all about the people, places and traditions that have shaped the region – including bagpipes.
Things to do in The Scottish Highlands
Featured things to do
Follow in the foot-steps of Bear Grylls
Take on an off-grid adventure and with a guide, dodge the big tides to get to the hard-to-find Spar Cave, once showcased by Bear Grylls.Learn more about Spar Cave
Head off-the-beaten-track in Scotland’s remotest locations to really get up close to nature - just remember to leave-no-trace.Learn more about wild camping
Make a splash
Try the fast-growing adrenaline sport of canyoning, swim in the bracing Atlantic or whip out your oars out at Great Glen Canoe Trail. Or walk to Scotland’s highest waterfall, Plodda Falls.Learn more about water adventures in Scotland
Feed deer in the snowy Cairngorms
Take a guided tour to feed Britain’s only free-ranging herd of reindeer in the Cairngorms National Park.Learn more about Cairngorms National Park
Places to stay in The Scottish Highlands
Embrace Highland heritage with a stay in the capital of the region - sample award-winning food and unique shopping, or set off on a cycling adventure.
Often called the ‘outdoor capital of Britain’, Fort William has everything from sandy beaches to dramatic film locations and distilleries.
A popular stopping point on the North Coast 500 route, tuck into fresh seafood or hob aboard ferry services to the Isles of Lewis.
Getting to The Scottish Highlands
Inverness Airport is just 10 minutes from the city centre, and serves domestic destinations across Britain, alongside links to the Scottish Islands. There’s no direct access to the Highlands, but train connections are possible via Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, all taking around 3-4 hours.
Cyclists can hire a bike using Ticket to Ride or Hi-Bike in Inverness, which doubles as the start point for the Loch Ness 360° Trail, a 80-mile (130km) circular route around the famous loch.
Scotrail operates services to locations across the Highlands, or jump aboard the Jacobite to cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct and experience one of the world’s best railway journeys.
The Highlands can be taken in on the North Coast 500 touring route, which brims with coastal scenery, castles and historical ruins. Where will your adventure begin?
Want to know more?
Check out Visit Scotland for insider tips and travel inspiration.