The Highlands region of Scotland is one of the most scenic areas in the world, a sparsely populated region of the UK filled with mountains, Lochs, Glens and an abundance of Wildlife. Any trip to Scotland should include at least some time in the region as it has everything that is great about Scotland in one place.
If you get the chance to visit this region then you will probably have limited time, so this guide is intended to allow you to get the most out of a visit and view the main attractions (although not all) of the region.
Firstly the most famous area of the Highlands and indeed one of the top tourist attractions in the UK is Loch Ness. The Loch is home to the elusive Loch Ness Monster (or Nessie to the locals) and it is the deepest Loch in Scotland and the longest at 22.5 miles.
If you want to spend some time in this area then a few days in Fort Augustus will be well worthwhile, this small village sits at the mouth of Loch Ness and from your accommodation it will only be a short walk to the Loch. There are numerous bed and breakfasts in the area, The Bank House is one of the most unique and it offers views of Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal which runs through the town centre. IF you want a hotel try the Caledonian Hotel, they have great rates on multiple nights stays.
From Fort Augustus you can drive or get a bus towards Kyle of Lochalsh and there you will find one of the most picturesque castles in Scotland, Eilean Donan. The castle is in great condition and you can spend a few hours exploring it and finding out the history of the castle. It is also a fantastic photo opportunity.
From there you could also travel across to the Isle of Skye, this island has some of the most spectacular scenery in the country with jagged mountains and snowy peaks. It has some of the tallest mountains in the UK and some of the most challenging as well if you enjoy hill walking. It’s a perfect place for enjoying scenery and wildlife and if you fancy some entertainment head into Portree which is the largest town on the Island.
After Fort Augustus head for the only city in the Highlands, Inverness. There is Urquhart Castle to view on the way, another castle and one the is worth seeing with its elevated position looking out over Loch Ness.
In Inverness there are a range of great shops, restaurants and bars and from here you can book a cruise on Loch Ness if you have not already done one in Fort Augustus. Jacobite cruises are the main provider of these and they offer a variety of different cruises.
When it come to fining accommodation in Inverness you will have no shortage of options, as you drive into the city there are numerous bed and breakfasts (every 2nd houses seems to be a B&B), try the Avalon for a good value and quality option. If you want a hotel then why not go for the Ramada Encore, a relatively new hotel right in the city centre and with rooms at very reasonable rates.
After some time exploring the city why not head for Fort William, the outdoor capital of the UK. The world mountain biking championships area held here and there are numerous outdoor activities available. Try mountain biking, hill walking, kayaking or quad biking to name but a few and of course you have the largest mountain in the UK on your doorstep, Ben Nevis.
After viewing all these places you will have seen a great deal of the Highlands and you still will have missed the Steam Train Ride (voted the most scenic in the world), Cairngorm Mountain Range with its skiing and spectacular wildlife and scenery and numerous whisky distilleries! All the more reason to go back again and again….