Guide to the Scottish Highlands

11 May Guide to the Scottish Highlands

When it comes to the Scottish Highlands, you will be reminded of kilts, tartans, bagpipes and single malt whiskeys. The history of Scotland is extensive and especially so for the Highlands. Being vastly different geographically from the rest of Scotland, it boasts beautiful picturesque landscapes.

Think Walter Scott’s Waverley and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped. A hike or a trip to the Scottish Highlands will assuredly bring to mind the spirituality, charm and heroism of the Jacobites. Below are some places to visit while in the Highlands.

1. Glencoe

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Glencoe is known worldwide by mountaineers and hikers. It is historic and atmospheric. The dramatic mountains and gushing waterfalls coupled with whitewashed cottages, create an idyllic backdrop. Unbelievably breathtaking, the history of this glen will add to the mystery of this place.

Daniel Craig (left) and Judy Dench star in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures/EON Productions’ action adventure SKYFALL.

This probably explains why some shots of the movie from the British James Bond franchise, Skyfall were taken here as well.

=How to Get There=

The best way to get to Glencoe is by rented car. From the south, take A82 which runs from Glasgow to Iverness; from the North, Iverness, take A82 south; from the east, Perth, take A9 then A86 at Dalwhinnie turnoff and join A82 at Spean Bridge to go south.

=Where to Stay=

 

  • Glencoe House ($$$$$)

1 stay1

Address: Glencoe, Glencoe, PH49 4HT, UK

  • Allengrange B&B ($$$)

1 stay2

Address: Garbhein Road, Kinlochleven, PH50 4SE, UK

  • Highland Getaway ($$$)

1 stay3

Address: 28 Leven Road, Kinlochleven, PH50 4RP, UK

2. Culloden Moor

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Culloden is where the final battle of the Jacobite Rebellion against the Whigamores took place in 1746. It is seen by many of the Scottish as the site of the end of Scotland’s turmoil and the beginning of peace and prosperity. This place is now a conserved piece of land where the landscape has been restored to resemble 1746.

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It is hard not to feel chills down your spine as you walk past the marked frontlines and headstones. This is a place you have to visit when in the Highlands to better appreciate Scottish history.

=How to Get There=

From Inverness, take B861 and then B853. You will arrive at Culloden Road after 10 minutes then take B9006 to reach Culloden Moor.

=Where to Stay=

 

  • Woodgrove Apartments ($$$$)

2 stay1

Address: 16 Woodgrove Drive, Inverness, IV2 5HP, UK

  • Old Drynie House ($$$)

2 stay2

Address: Kilmuir, North Kessock, Inverness, IV1 3XG, UK

  • Avalon ($$)

Address: 79 Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5PB, UK

3. Urquhart Castle

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Address: Drumnadrochit, Inverness, Inverness-shire IV63 6XJ, UK

Once one of the largest castles in Scotland, Urquhart Castle has a vantage point overlooking the Loch Ness and the views are undoubtedly mind blowing. The castle has a history of conflict stretching back over 700 years and despite much of it has become ruins; the medieval artifacts found at the site are very impressive.

 

=How to Get There=

From Iverness, take B861 and then follow A82 for 20 minutes to reach Urquhart Castle.

=Where to Stay=

 

  • Woodlands Guest House ($$$)

Address: East Lewiston, Drumnadrochit, IV63 6UJ, UK

  • Kilmichael House B&B ($$)

3 stay2

Address: Drumnadrochit, IV63 6TZ, UK

  • Loch Ness Inn ($$$)

3 stay3

Address: Lewis, Drumnadrochi, IV63 6UW, UK

4. Highland Wildlife Park

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Address: Kincraig, Kingussie PH21 1NL, UK

Home to rare Scottish wildlife and endangered mountain and tundra animals from around the globe, the Highland Wildlife Park covers over 900 acres. You can have up close and personal experience with wolves, red pandas and snow monkeys.

=How to Get There=

Travelling North on the A9, Inverness, turn off for Kingussie/Kincraig and follow B9152 North. Travelling South on A9, Perth, turn off south of Aviemore for Kincraig and follow B9152 through Kincraig to the Park.

=Where to Stay=

 

  • The Rowan Tree Country Hotel ($$$)

4 stay1

Address: Loch Alvie, Aviemore, PH22 1QB, UK

  • The Cross at Kingussie ($$$)

4 stay2 The-Cross-At-Kingussie-Front

4 stay2 The-Cross-At-Kingussie-Relax-In-Lounge

Address: Tweedmill Brae, Ardbroilach Road, Kingussie, PH21 1LB, UK

  • Columba House Hotel & Garden Restaurant ($$)

Address: Manse Road, Nr. Aviemore, Kingussie, PH21 1JF, UK

5. Inverness Cathedral

5 St_Andrews_Cathedral_Inverness_Scotland_from_Bishops_road

Address: 15 Ardross St, Inverness, Highland IV3 5NS, UK

Inverness Cathedral, also known as Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew is situated close to the banks of River Ness.

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The interior of the church is bright and boasts very intricate designs, from the tiles to the window panels.

=How to Get There=

From Inverness itself, it is merely a short 9 minutes walk to the Cathedral. Follow High Street and then B861.

=Where to Stay=

  • Heathmount Hotel ($$$)

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Address: Kingsmills Road, Inverness, IV2 3JU, UK

  • Macdonald House ($$$)

Address: 1 Ardross Terrace, Inverness, IV3 5NQ, UK

  • Beaufort Hotel ($$$$)

Address: 11 Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 4AG, UK

=What to Eat=

 

LA TAVERNA

Address: Grampian Road, Aviemore, PH22 1PT UK

Run by the Vastano family for over 30 years, La Taverna is much-loved Italian restaurant that serves the best pizza and pasta in the valley. Anne Vastano’s beautiful alpine-style paintings decorate the wooden interior, while the vast selection of Italian spirits and beer is definitely worth checking out. 

THE CROSS

Address: Tweed Mill Brae, Ardbroilach Road, Kingussie, PH21 1LB UK

This award-winning restaurant housed in a converted 19th-century tweed mill serves the best modern Scottish cuisine in a picturesque riverside setting. Wild scrabster sea bass and line caught mackerel are as fresh as they come, while the hot chocolate fondant and chilli ice cream is an unlikely – yet delicious – combination. 

THE GLASS HOUSE


Address: Grant Road, Grantown-on-Spey, Moray, PH26 3LD UK

A highly acclaimed restaurant in an intimate setting, the Glass House has won multiple accolades since it opened in 2005. The menu changes weekly, but the grilled black pudding with avocado and orange salad is a firm favourite.

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