About the Highlands

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A couple walk their dog on the sandy beach at Sango Bay
Get to know the Highlands - our trailer

Discover the Highlands of Scotland, a breathtaking land filled with stunning scenery, beautiful wildlife and fantastic activities.

VisitScotland The Highlands Guide
E-brochures ››

Download a brochure for more on the Highlands, Cairngorms National Park, Speyside and the Moray Coast.

The Highlands is an inspiring region of magnificent mountains, enchanting lochs and sandy beaches. Discover wonderful wildlife, local produce, outdoor activities and historic attractions, all set against world-renowned landscapes such as Ben Nevis and Loch Ness.

Whether you are exploring the thriving city of Inverness, charming towns and villages or the stunning Isle of Skye, you will find a culturally distinct region influenced by a turbulent history, magnificent nature and geography and the Gaelic language. You will never tire of this heavenly part of Scotland.

Explore Britain’s largest national park, the Cairngorms National Park, which features ancient forests and a great deal of precious wildlife which you can spot all year round. Why not visit Beinn Eighe, Britain’s first National Nature Reserve?

And who hasn’t heard of Loch Ness, Scotland’s most famous loch? Try to catch a glimpse of Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, or visit either end of the loch to see the 18th century Caledonian Canal.

Cross the sea (or the bridge) to the romantic Isle of Skye, spend some time in Caithness exploring the royal connections at the Castle of Mey and flora and fauna at the Flows National Nature Reserve or uncover the magical Moray coast. Travel to the pretty Black Isle - a peninsula surrounded on three sides by the Cromarty Firth, the Beauly Firth and the Moray Firth - and enjoy the friendly nearby city of Inverness.

The Highlands has countless historical attractions with iconic castles like Cawdor, Dunrobin and Eilean Donan. Make the trip to Culloden Moor, the site of the last major battle on British soil. Or take to the Malt Whisky Trail in stunning Speyside, home to more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries.

It is an ideal base for those with a sense of adventure and a love of the great outdoors. Go skiing and snowboarding in one of the three ski centres in the Cairngorms National Park, at the Nevis Range or Glen Coe. Of course there’s great climbing too in the Cairngorms, Sutherland and on Skye.

Mountain biking is very popular with the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup held every year in June in Fort William, the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’. Try your hand at fishing, head to one of Scotland’s finest golf courses or take a walk and look out for magnificent birds of prey in the sky and dolphins in the waters.

When you’re done with your day’s activities, enjoy some locally sourced food and Highland hospitality at a restaurant or inn. You might even manage a dram of whisky at one of many distilleries including Speyside, Pulteney, Talisker, Dalwhinnie and Glenmorangie.

  • Glenfinnan Monument at the head of Loch Shiel
    Glenfinnan Monument at the head of Loch Shiel
  • Buachaille Etive Mor with Allt Nan Gubhas in the foreground, Glen Coe
    Buachaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe
  • Seals basking on the edge of Loch Dunvegan, Isle of Skye
    Seals on the edge of Loch Dunvegan, Isle of Skye
  • Locally caught langoustines at the Badachro Inn
    Langoustines
  • The main tent at the Isle of Skye Music Festival
    Isle of Skye Music Festival
Looking down on Plockton and Loch Carron

Area overview

The Highlands, in the far north of Scotland, is made up of six smaller regions.

Glenfinnan Monument at the head of Loch Shiel

History

The fascinating history is written all over the Highlands which features battlefields, monuments and ancient relics.

Buachaille Etive Mor

Nature and geography

Uncover magnificent glens, towering peaks, breathtaking beaches and famous lochs.

A woman photographing a dolphin breaking water on a boat trip on the Moray Firth

Wildlife

The Highlands is home to a remarkable range of wildlife, from the Cairngorms National Park to the Moray Firth.

Locally caught langoustines at the Badachro Inn

Food and drink

Sample delicious food and drink in the Highlands, a region renowned for its tasty local produce.

Looking through a window into a gallery

Arts and culture

Uncover the works of gifted local artists in the Highlands and attend thrilling arts festivals.

A group trek on horseback through the Alvie Estate within the Cairngorm National Park with views to the mountains beyond

Cairngorms National Park overview

Explore Scotland's largest National Park and discover a fascinating landscape and diverse range of wildlife.

Looking across to Dunrobin Castle, near Golspie, Sutherland

Itineraries

Enjoy a great day out using our itineraries for the Highlands. Follow one of the many established trails, around Pictish stones or along the coast, or spend three days visiting the region's fascinating castles.

Looking over purple heather to a self-catering cottage at Elgol by Loch Scavaig with the Cuillin mountains behind, Isle of Skye

Accommodation

Whether you want to stay in the Highland capital of Inverness or fancy a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle, you’ll find the ideal accommodation for your break.