The Scottish Highlands provides some of the most breathtaking scenery in the United Kingdom, but what are the must sees?
One of the most iconic routes in Scotland, Glencoe is also historic and romantic. Packed with spectacular scenery, Glencoe was formed around 380 million years ago due to volcanic activity. Glaciation carved the current valley that you can drive through today and links three peaks over 3000 ft. Boasting a wave of change between each seasons, there is never a bad time to visit, but be careful in winter, it can get a little snowy.
The largest and most famous loch in Scotland had to make a show on our list. Why is Loch Ness so iconic? Because of the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster of course! Being so close to Inverness you can tick off both destinations at once if you wanted to. Start by enjoying the small pebble beach in Dores before you explore the loch, we recommend taking the quieter route down the B852 rather than the busy A82.
Eilean Donan Castle
This 13th Century castle is a perfect stop off when driving to or from Skye. Situated where the sea lochs meet, this castle has become an iconic image of the Scottish Highlands. The castle was in ruins for 200 years after the Jacobite uprising and was bought and restored in the early half of the 1900’s, opening its doors to the public in 1932.
Price: Adult Castle Admission £7
Easily accessible from Fort William, Glen Nevis is a picturesque glen at the foot of the Nevis Range. If you make your way through this stunning valley, you will find yourself at Steall Falls, one of the prettiest waterfalls in this part of Scotland.
This well known landmark in the Highlands was made even more iconic when Harry and Ron flew over in their Ford Anglia in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Overlooking Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument, you can actually take a journey over the viaduct on the Jacobite Express, described as one of the greatest railways in the world.
Price: Free (pay for parking and you can offer donation to National Trust)
Looking onto Loch Awe, Kilchurn Castle was once the powerbase of the Campbells of Glenorchy, once effectively the government of Scotland. This castle is now one of the most photographed in Scotland and is much more lonely than it used to be. Abandoned in the late 1700’s the castle is no longer the comfortable residence it once was, it has fallen into disrepair but is now being preserved by Historic Scotland.
An 84 mile round-trip across the Highlands and over the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, the Jacobite is operated by the West Coast Railway. Travelling from Fort William, the Outdoor Capital of Scotland, across to Mallaig, you will pass some epic views along the way. If you really want to get stuck into British traditions, you can even enjoy afternoon tea en route.
Price: Adult Standard Return £35
Old Man of Storr
An iconic part of the Isle of Skye, the Old Man of Storr pokes out the Scottish landscape very proudly. Embark on this busy yet rewarding walk and start your ascent up the Trotternish Ridge. This walk will offer you jaw dropping views in every direction you look.
Less known yet one of our favourites, Suidhe Viewpoint is situated along the B852 on the quieter side of Loch Ness. As the road winds away from the waters edge you begin to climb, reaching one of our favourite walks in the Highlands. Time your visit right and you can stand on top of a mountain and feel like the only person in the world.
Nevis Range Gondola
The only gondola system of its kind in Britain, the Nevis Range Gondola has been built up the mountainside of Aonach Mor, originally to transport skiers up the mountain, but now also widely used by walkers as a short cut. Enjoy panoramic views over Fort William and the landscape below.
Price: Adult Standard £14 (prices vary depending on time of year and trip type)