Free things to do in the Highlands

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  • A couple walking in the Cairngorms National Park
    Cairngorms National Park
  • Dolphins in the Moray Firth
    Dolphins in the Moray Firth
  • Two dog walkers makes their way along the Great Glen Way, Highlands
    Two dog walkers make their way along the Great Glen Way, Highlands
  • Looking onto the exterior of the Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore
    The Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore

There’s a fantastic variety of free things to see and do in the Highlands. With dream-like scenery, a fascinating past and wonderful wildlife, you can experience the charm of the Highlands without breaking the bank.

Free things to do

Relive a colourful past at free historic attractions in the Highlands. See how Highlanders used to live, work and dress at the Highland Folk Museum, find out about interesting local artefacts at the Dingwall Museum and visit one of the oldest museums in the region, the Falconer Museum which explores the history of the town and its local people.

Witness the ancient process of luxury cashmere creation with a guided tour of the mill at the Johnston of Elgin’s Visitor Centre in Moray.

Stop by the Glenlivet Distillery, the first licensed distillery in the parish of Glenlivet, where you can taste a dram and get to know the history of the ‘single malt which started it all’.

While you’re visiting the town, head to the hills for some adrenaline- pumping mountain biking at the Glenlivet Estate. There are several other great routes in the area, including the Learnie Red Rock Trails near Fortrose and the Kyle of Sutherland trails near Balblair.

Free places to go

The Highlands is blessed with miles of picturesque scenery, which is well protected and cared for. Explore the Cairngorms National Park, which boasts a wide variety of walking routes, wildlife spots and traditional towns and villages where you can gain a true impression of Highland life.

The region is filled with excellent walks, including the Great Glen Way. Wander through rugged farmland, coastlines, villages and past lochs and offshore islands. Enjoy a brisk walk to the mystical Rogie Falls near Contin and cross a swinging bridge over the Black Water to admire the waterfall.

The rolling landscapes and shimmering seas surrounding the Highlands make it a thriving habitat for rare wildlife. Watch for otters at the Kylerhea Otter Hide on the isle of Skye or learn more about the dolphins which frequent the Moray Firth during the warmer months at the WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre.

There are National Nature Reserves dotted across the region where you watch more Highland wildlife up close, including Glen Tanar, Glenmore Forest, Corrie Fee and Findhorn Bay.