After the year we’ve just had to endure, why not think ahead and start planning your future travels? Since international travel is a bit difficult at the moment, it’s important to consider areas that will provide you with that true sense of adventure you’ve been missing. With this in mind, the Scottish Highlands could be the ideal choice.
Wild, green, windy and mysterious, this vast region in the North West of Scotland is as beautiful as it comes, offering a wide range of different activities for you and your loved ones to enjoy.
To help you plan your visit there, join us as we run through our top picks of the sights, landmarks, and scenic routes you won’t want to miss.
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Visit The Royal Dornoch Golf Club
If you didn’t know already, Scotland is regarded as the home of golf, thanks to the abundance of stunning championship golf courses it has scattered throughout the country. Therefore, if you’re particularly into your golf, the Royal Dornoch golf club is a must-do.
Regarded by many as the most natural golf course in the world, the Royal Dornoch golf course in Sutherland was designed by the renowned architect Old Tom Morris back in 1886, making it one of the oldest across the globe.
However, if you do choose to play on the course, your golf swing skills will be put to the test against the course’s tricky Dornoch winds. Therefore, you might want to get some self-isolated practice in prior to your visit.
Try To Spot The Loch Ness Monster
Famed the world over as one of life’s great unexplained mysteries, Loch Ness is one of the world’s most famous lakes and is a must-see during any visit to the Highlands.
Whether you opt to navigate the lake yourself trying to spot its famous monster or decide to take a day trip through the lake’s surrounding villages, the choice is entirely up to you as there is no right or wrong way to spend your time at the Loch.
However, we would recommend starting your day at Fort Augustus before heading to Drumnadrochit village to visit the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre.
Then, to finish off your day, you can either go on a nice hike along the Glen Urquhart path, visit the historic Urquhart Castle right on the banks of the loch (pictured above), or relax with a cold drink on the pebbled beach in Dores village.
Get a Personal Travel Guide on Your Phone
If you’re looking for everything you need to know while in Scotland check out Guidester’s personal travel guide; made just for you and your trip.
Take A Hike Up Ben Nevis
Standing tall as the highest point in Great Britain, Ben Nevis is a must-visit during any trip to the Highlands.
Ideal for skiers during the winter months, the mountain range will offer some of the best views Scotland has to offer, so you’ll want to make sure you bring your camera with you.
You’ll also need to bring plenty of warm, waterproof clothes as well, since the climate on Ben Nevis can change in the blink of an eye, leaving you windswept or drenched in a matter of seconds.
However, it’s the perfect place to channel your inner adventurer with several pleasant hikes to choose between. If you’re looking for a real challenge, the seven-hour intense hike from the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre to the very top of Ben Nevis (and back again) is a must.
See The Hogwarts Express On The Glenfinnan Viaduct
Are you a Harry Potter fan? If so, you definitely need to add the Glenfinnan Viaduct to your Scottish Highlands bucket list. If not, still add it to the list. It’s well worth seeing!
Home to the famed Hogwarts Express train and viaduct seen in many of the movies, Glenfinnan is a charming village from which you can see the Jacobite Express (the Hogwarts Express’s real name) in action.
However, you’ll need to get planning if you want to catch the train navigating its way across the curved viaduct – it only goes across it twice a day, at approximately 10.30 AM and 3 PM, during its journey from Fort William to Mallaig.
While you wait for it to arrive though, there is a small museum at the train station which will offer some insight into the history of the Scottish railways and the complex architecture of the viaduct itself.
Enjoy The Views From Loch Shiel
While on the topic of Harry Potter, Loch Shiel is a must-visit if you want to see where the cast filmed one of the Triwizard tournament tasks for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Located again in Glenfinnan, Loch Shiel is a beautiful lake that borders the entire village and provides the backdrop for the Hogwarts castle in the Harry Potter movies. Whether you fancy spending your time here enjoying a picnic, paddling in the water or simply admiring the view, there are also plenty of landmarks for you to enjoy looking at during your time there.
From the Glenfinnan Monument and its statue of Bonnie Prince Charlie to the Glenfinnan Church, there are also a number of great hikes starting at the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre – the ideal way to adorn the Scottish landscape.
So, there you have it – five wonderful things to do during your visit to the Scottish Highlands.
Whether you’re planning on visiting for a weekend trip, a week-long holiday or a month-long retreat, the list of activities above have been specifically formulated to cover all bases, helping ensure your future trip to the Scottish Highlands is as memorable as it can be.
The key things to remember are to wrap up warm and remember your camera – the Scottish landscapes may be absolutely beautiful to look at but, depending on when you visit, can also be very chilly. So, don’t forget your thermals!