The Highlands. Some of the largest towns & villages in the area include Applecross, Ardnamurchan, Aviemore, Ballachulish, Brora, Culloden, Dalwhinnie, Dingwall, Dornoch, Drumnadrochit, Durness, Fort Augusts, Fort William, Gairloch, Glencoe, Glenfinnan, Grantown-on-Spey, Invergarry, Invergordon, Inverness, John o’ Groats, Kingussie, Kinlochleven, Kyle of Lochalsh, Lochcarron, Mallaig, Nairn, Plockton, Portree, Thurso, Torridon, Ullapool and Wick.
Where to Stay
The Highlands of Scotland offer a wide range of accommodations, from cozy B&Bs to luxury hotels. Here are a few options that are highly recommended:
The Torridon – This luxurious hotel is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by stunning mountains and lakes. The Torridon features elegant rooms, fine dining, and a wide range of outdoor activities.
Glencoe House – Set in a stunning 19th-century mansion, Glencoe House is a luxurious hotel that offers a unique blend of traditional elegance and modern comfort. The hotel is located near the beautiful Loch Leven and offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
Inverlochy Castle Hotel – This beautiful castle hotel is located near Fort William, offering stunning views of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scotland. The hotel features elegant rooms, a fine dining restaurant, and a range of outdoor activities.
The Fife Arms – This historic hotel is located in the charming village of Braemar, offering easy access to the Cairngorms National Park. The Fife Arms features beautifully designed rooms, a cozy bar, and a range of outdoor activities.
Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa – Set in a stunning 19th-century castle, Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa offers luxurious accommodations, fine dining, and a range of spa treatments. The hotel is located near the beautiful Loch Faskally and offers easy access to the surrounding mountains.
Achnagairn Estate – This beautiful estate is located in Inverness-shire, surrounded by stunning natural scenery. The estate features luxurious accommodations, a fine dining restaurant, and a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and golf.
Visit our Accommodation guides including our guide on hotels for the best places to stay.
Places to eat out
The Three Chimneys – Located on the Isle of Skye, The Three Chimneys is a renowned restaurant that offers a unique blend of Scottish and international cuisine, using only the freshest local ingredients. The restaurant also boasts stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
The Lovat Loch Ness – This eco-friendly hotel in Fort Augustus features a fine dining restaurant that serves modern Scottish cuisine with a focus on sustainable, locally sourced ingredients. The menu changes frequently to reflect the seasons and the chef’s creative vision.
The Torridon – This luxurious hotel in Wester Ross features a fine dining restaurant that serves modern Scottish cuisine, using the freshest local ingredients. The menu changes frequently to reflect the seasons and the chef’s creative vision.
Bo & Muc – Located in Inverness, Bo & Muc is a modern Scottish restaurant that offers a range of dishes featuring locally sourced ingredients, including fresh seafood, game, and Highland beef. The restaurant also offers a selection of fine wines and craft beers.
The Whitehouse Restaurant – Located in Lochaline, this restaurant is known for its fresh seafood dishes, using only the freshest ingredients from the surrounding waters. The menu also includes a range of traditional Scottish dishes and international cuisine.
The Clachaig Inn – Located in Glencoe, The Clachaig Inn is a traditional Scottish pub that also serves delicious food, including classic pub dishes, as well as modern Scottish cuisine. The pub also boasts a range of Scottish whiskies and local beers.
The Mustard Seed – This stylish restaurant in Inverness features a menu of modern Scottish cuisine, using locally sourced ingredients, as well as a range of international dishes. The restaurant also boasts a great selection of wines and cocktails.
The Albannach – Located in Lochinver, The Albannach is a modern Scottish restaurant that offers a range of dishes using locally sourced ingredients, including fresh seafood, game, and Highland beef. The restaurant also boasts stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
The Old Inn – Located in Carbost on the Isle of Skye, The Old Inn is a traditional Scottish pub that serves classic pub dishes, as well as a range of modern Scottish cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. The pub also has a great selection of Scottish whiskies and local beers.
Where are the best places to Shop
The Scottish Highlands offer a unique shopping experience, with a wide range of options from traditional Highland crafts to modern fashion and designer goods. Here are a few options for the best places to shop in the Highlands:
House of Bruar – Located in Perthshire, the House of Bruar is a popular shopping destination that offers a range of luxury Scottish goods, including cashmere, tweed, and leather goods. The store also boasts a great selection of Scottish whiskies and gourmet food products.
Johnstons of Elgin – This historic wool mill in Elgin produces some of the finest cashmere and wool products in Scotland, including scarves, sweaters, and blankets. The mill also offers guided tours and a factory outlet store.
Inverness Farmers’ Market – Held on the first Saturday of every month, the Inverness Farmers’ Market offers a range of locally produced food products, including fresh seafood, meats, cheeses, and baked goods. It’s a great place to stock up on supplies for a picnic or a meal at home.
Scottish Antique and Arts Centre – This unique shopping destination in Abernyte offers a range of antique and vintage goods, including furniture, jewelry, and ceramics. The center also features a cafe and a garden center.
The Victorian Market – Located in the heart of Inverness, the Victorian Market is a historic covered market that offers a range of local goods, including crafts, clothing, and food products. It’s a great place to find unique souvenirs and gifts.
Eastgate Shopping Centre – Located in Inverness, the Eastgate Shopping Centre is a modern shopping mall that features a range of high street brands and designer stores, as well as a cinema and a range of restaurants and cafes.
Lochcarron of Scotland – This historic textile mill in Lochcarron produces some of the finest tartan fabrics and clothing in Scotland, including kilts, scarves, and jackets. The mill also offers guided tours and a factory outlet store.
Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre – Located near Inverness, the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre offers a range of Scottish gifts and souvenirs, including books, clothing, and Highland crafts. It’s a great place to learn about Scottish history and culture while finding unique gifts to take home.
Attractions to visit in the Highlands
There are many amazing attractions to visit in the Scottish Highlands. Here are 20 of the best attractions to consider:
Loch Ness – This famous lake is said to be home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Culloden Battlefield – This historic battlefield is the site of the final battle of the Jacobite Rising and features a visitor center with interactive exhibits.
Eilean Donan Castle – This stunning castle is located on a small island at the confluence of three lochs and is one of the most iconic Scottish castles.
Glenfinnan Viaduct – This impressive railway viaduct was featured in the Harry Potter films and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Isle of Skye – This beautiful island offers breathtaking scenery, including the famous Cuillin mountains, as well as historic castles and charming villages.
Ben Nevis – This famous mountain is the highest peak in the UK and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Urquhart Castle – This historic castle ruins sit on the banks of Loch Ness and offer stunning views of the surrounding area.
Inverness Castle – This historic castle sits on a hill overlooking the city of Inverness and offers great views of the surrounding area.
Dunrobin Castle – This stunning castle is one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses in Scotland and features beautiful gardens and falconry displays.
Whisky distilleries – The Scottish Highlands are home to many famous whisky distilleries, including Glenlivet, Glenmorangie, and Talisker, which offer tours and tastings.
The Black Isle – This scenic peninsula offers beautiful countryside, charming villages, and great opportunities for wildlife spotting.
Cairngorms National Park – This beautiful national park offers stunning scenery, including mountains, forests, and lochs, as well as a range of outdoor activities, including hiking and skiing.
Dornoch Cathedral – This historic cathedral dates back to the 13th century and features stunning stained glass windows and a rich history.
Falls of Shin – These beautiful waterfalls are a popular spot for wildlife watching, including salmon leaping up the falls.
Loch Maree – This stunning lake is surrounded by beautiful mountains and forests and offers great opportunities for hiking and boating.
Smoo Cave – This impressive sea cave features a waterfall and a unique geological formation known as the “fissure cave.”
Fort George – This historic fort is one of the largest military fortifications in Europe and features a museum and historic reenactments.
Pictish Stones – The Scottish Highlands are home to many ancient Pictish stones, which feature intricate carvings and offer a glimpse into Scotland’s ancient history.
Gairloch Marine Wildlife Centre – This aquarium and marine wildlife center offers a range of interactive exhibits and opportunities for wildlife watching.
North Coast 500 – This scenic driving route circles the Scottish Highlands and offers stunning views of the coastline, mountains, and historic sites.