The Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands

Where is it?

The northwest mainland of Scotland is collectively known as the Highlands, and often also includes the Isle of Skye which is part of the Inner Hebrides, but situated further north. 

Why visit?

The Highlands are home to much of Scotland’s iconic scenery, with towering mountains, beautiful glens and valleys, mysterious lochs, dramatic cliffs and single track roads alongside stunning beaches. It’s what you think of when you think Scotland and a wonderful place to explore for all ages!

Major cities/sites


Capital of the Highlands, a compact city and a great base for exploring The Highlands. The city itself sits on the banks of the River Ness and has several historical sites to explore.

Nearby Culloden is a solemn but interesting site to visit and there is an excellent visitors centre explaining much more about the last battle of the Jacobite Uprisings for anyone curious about Scotland’s turbulent history.

While you’re in the area stop in at Clava Cairns, a group of Bronze Age burial chambers and standings stones located close by. 

Loch Ness

Located just south of Inverness and stretching diagonally across Scotland is the mysterious Loch Ness.

As well as its claim to fame as the home of the Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie to its friends, it’s also so deep it contains more water than all the lakes in England and Wales put together. You can take a cruise on the loch from Fort Augustus or Drumnadrochit.

Fort William

Known as the adventure capital of the UK, Fort William is another fantastic base for exploring the Highlands. Set at the foot of the Ben Nevis range and surrounded by plenty of natural splendour and lots of activities to keep you all busy.

You can ski, go snowshoeing, mountain bike, or a walk on the Nevis Range, and there’s mountaineering and white water rafting for the more adventurous family nearby too. 

Isle of Skye

The largest island in the Inner Hebrides and the most accessible isle in Scotland, thanks to a bridge connecting it to the mainland. And now our home!

There are lots of popular sites on the island including the Fairy Pools, the Old Man of Storr, and the Quiraing. All of this makes it one of the most popular places to visit in Scotland, but also one of the busiest, especially through the summer months.

Plan a visit carefully, visiting popular sites early or late. It’s worth more than a fleeting visit so that you can get off the beaten track and explore it’s hidden gems too. 

It’s also now our home! As we learn more we’ll share more too!

You can join our Isle of Skye Travel Tips Facebook Group, and follow our journey on Migrating Miss on Facebook or Adventures on Skye on YouTube

Glenfinnan Viaduct

The iconic viaduct was used in the filming of Harry Potter, with the Jacobite Steam Train passing over it. You can ride the steam train yourself, or view it from the valley or hills close to it. The train goes over the viaduct several times a day so plan accordingly if you want to see it!

Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms stretches from Aberdeenshire in the east of Scotland over into the Highlands. It encompasses mountains, forests, rivers, lochs, quaint villages, and opportunities for snow sports and walking as well as whisky tasting! Aviemore is the main base for this part of the Cairngorms. 

Glen Coe

The glen itself is stunningly beautiful, with rugged mountains towering over long valleys. It has a dark past, but has been used in more recent times as a filming location for movies like Harry Potter and James Bond. Definitely worth a stop on your way north.

Scottish Highland Guides