Separating the Highlands from the more populous central belt of Scotland, the Highland Boundary Fault runs south-west/north-east across Scotland. Read more in this series: Perthshire Tourist Route | Great Scottish Road Trips #12, North & West Highlands Route | Scottish Road Trips #11, Forth Valley Tourist Route | Scottish Road Trips #7, The Angus Coastal Route – Great Scottish Road Trips #2. It has the UK’s highest mountains, ranging from 900-1300m 4. North West Highlands. The North West Highlands Geopark is a geological wonderland: the rocks range from the 3 billion year old Lewisian Gneiss to the Torridonian Sandstone which makes up the spectacular mountains such as Ben More Coigach, Suilven and Quinag. The Highlands also feature legendary battlefields, museums packed with rich local history and breath-taking geological wonders, not to mention many famous distilleries and breweries. Along with stunning vistas everywhere you look, keep an eye open for the following highlights: The North and West Highlands Route begins in the pretty village of Ullapool, home to some historic houses that date back several centuries and some glorious beaches. Slightly further along the coast at Thurso lies the most northern point in Great Britain. On average, 3-star hotels in Northern Highlands cost £76 per night, and 4-star hotels in Northern Highlands are £116 per night. Maybe Moray has ‘the Goldilocks Effect’. When not out on the water, Doug can be found in the mountains at work as a Mountain and Ski Instructor or at play in search of new crags or fresh powder tracks. The Cairngorms National Park lies at the heart of this region, offering everything from stunning hiking routes to ice climbing, skiing, snowboarding and so much more. North West Highlands Geopark Limited. west coast setting, with delicious food, arts and crafts and musical workshops. This Scottish road trip gives you a real taste for the outdoors and for remote locations so for your accommodation, why not stay in a traditional Highland lodge? The North West Highlands Geopark is located in the far north of the Scottish Highlands. That said, the route lies dotted with quaint villages and some great things to do. From wildly remote cottages to seaside villages and larger settlements, like Inverness, the region has an abundance of old and new homes, with views that may make you pinch yourself. The North West Highlands is an area of immense beauty and Forest Way is ideally situated as a base for touring the Inverpolly/Assynt or Torridon/Gairloch circuits. The weather in the Moray Firth. Let us help you find the ultimate large group accommodation from which to base your adventure. If the great outdoors is not enough to fill your boots, kick back in the area’s luxurious hotels and resorts. F, BLAKE ON THE NORTH-WEST HIGHLANDS, it a false-bedded appearance. The walk to Dunnet Head, home to a RSPB Nature Reserve, rewards you with views of dramatic cliffs and the island of Orkney on the horizon. On the upper slopes it became coarser, and put on the characters of the rocks of Ben Fyn, and at last it formed a jewelled hill, with masses of ruddy garnets set in silvery mica, sparkling like a rocky diadem in the golden sun. Start your search. The airport in the region also reaches further out to Europe, with destinations such as Amsterdam, Dublin and Belfast. Book your tickets online for the top things to do in Scottish Highlands, Scotland on Tripadvisor: See 676,734 traveller reviews and photos of Scottish Highlands tourist attractions. The region is home to stunning scenery, including the legendary Loch Ness. By far the largest region in Scotland, the Highlands covers nearly 10,000 sq miles in northern Scotland. In traditional Scottish geography, the Highlands refers to that part of Scotland north-west of the Highland Boundary Fault, which crosses mainland Scotland in a near-straight line from Helensburgh to Stonehaven. The Castle and Gardens of Mey with its typically Scottish turrets enjoys a privileged spot overlooking Pentland Firth. Lochaber West (includes Small Isles) - 0-2* cases (between 0 and 41.6* infections per 100,000 people) Lochaber East and North - 0-2* (between 0 and 42.0*) SKYE Far-reaching sea and loch views are a given along much of the route – as are sightings of hundreds of sea birds. Take a look at the sketch map further down the page. Your drive continues along the northern coast, zigzagging along inlets and around lochs, all stunningly scenic. This road trip takes in the best of wild Scotland. The village of Durness includes two must-sees: Smoo Cave, complete with a 50-feet high entrance, sinkhole and underground waterfalls, is the stuff of legend; and Balnakiel Craft Village established in the 60s and a thriving community of artists and artisans. Buses and trains connect with Edinburgh, Glasgow and Scotland’s other major cities. Highlands is one of the highest towns east of the Mississippi River, with an elevation at 4,118 feet. It reaches the North Sea at the pleasant little town of Stonehaven, … To the west you will find the magical Isle of Skye, which is teeming with incredible outdoor spots to explore, including the famous ‘fairy pools’, the Cuillin mountain range and the ‘Old Man of Storr’. Some of the oldest rocks in Europe also feature heavily (literally!) Not convinced you should take a Scottish road trip? Find out more about the school system in Scotland, Find out more about universities in Scotland. Orkney and the rest of the 69 islands in the archipelago sit on the horizon and lie just 40 minutes away by ferry. Far-reaching sea and loch views are a given along much of the route – as are sightings of hundreds of sea birds. Who could forget Aviemore too, a quaint town offering retail therapy and the perfect gateway for a Highland tour. Stop off at the Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve, famous for being the site where scientists solved the geological mystery of plate tectonics. The actual driving comes scenic all the way and along some of the quietest roads anywhere in Europe. Did you know? She used it as a holiday home until 1996 and you can visit her rooms that often surprise with their “comfort and ordinariness”. We have reviews of the best places to see in Scottish Highlands. The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for the north-west Highlands, stretching from Fort William almost as far as Thurso. The drive now leaves the west coast behind and hits the northern shoreline. It's also located in one of the few temperate rainforests in North America. If you're looking for something really special, a 5-star hotel in Northern Highlands can on average be found for £144 per night (based on Booking.com prices). The North and West Highlands Route meanders around the coastline from Ullapool to John o’Groats along 158 miles (254km). Also called “The Queen of Scottish Mountains”, Ben Loyal rises from the North Coast of the Highlands, and this jagged granite peak is prominent on the skyline for many miles around. The line of the well known verse states “speed bonny boat, over the sea to Skye”; but nowadays, there is a bridge for the main west coast route onto the island. We have reviews of the best places to see in Scottish Highlands. The area is sparsely populated and spectacular. Think vast open landscapes and lots (and lots) of water, both sea and lochs, along with lofty mountains. The vast landscape has an undulating coastline, wild expanses, rugged mountains and islands, rushing rivers, and conifer-rich woodlands – what more do you need. Beauly has a fabulous variety of shops and eateries. The university is made up of 13 different colleges and research institutions, offering undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes across its 70 different learning centres. The Caledonian Canal, which extends from Loch Linnhe in the west, via Loch Ness to the Moray Firth in the north splits this area from the rest of the country. While this mountain resort town along scenic drive Highway 64 only has a year-round population of 3,200, it swells to over 18,000 in th… The landscapes of the north-west Highlands are glorious all year. North West Highlands Art - Brynaport, IV54 8 Strathcarron, Highland, United Kingdom - Rated 5 based on 1 Review "What a fantastic place this is! All Scottish road trips should include a castle and this one is no exception. Offshore you may spot dolphins, basking shark and minke whale. Throw in the odd spot of kayaking, camping and skiing and it offers so much for everyone. Highlands has been a mountain respite for over a century, allowing our visitors to unwind while being treated to the finest amenities. Warren Rovetch's The Creaky Traveler in the North West Highlands of Scotland: a Journey for the Mobile but Not Agile was written after Rovetch and his wife Gerda, both old enough to consider themselves "creaky", visited the most northern sliver Scotland, what the … A wet place, it rains on average 207 days a year in the North West Highlands. In this remote region, you’ll find the highest waterfalls, biggest sea cliffs and the most unusual and spectacular mountains in Britain, along with beautiful lochs (both sea and freshwater), golden-sand beaches and some of … This is one of the longer Scottish road trips and its 158 miles include plenty en route. This is a side of Scotland you can only see from the train – a Great Scenic Rail Journey that carries you north along the west coast, through the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. North West Highlands Geopark Limited is a social enterprise and a charity which re-invests profits to ensure ongoing development of geo-tourism projects, conservation and … It also runs up to Inverness and east out to Elgin, taking in Aviemore and some of the Cairngorms National Park. Dunnet Head might be as far north as you go, but John o’Groats takes the prize for the most north-westerly point. Since 2008/09, more than 1,000 council houses and flats have been completed or are under development in the Highlands. See the science in the Rock Room and then step outside for the dramatic geology itself and yet more stunning landscapes. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in January. UNESCO awards Geopark status to regions of international scientific importance to geology across the world where communities get together to promote and steward their landscapes for education, tourism and sustainable economic development. Lots of lovely gift shops too. As well as this, Fraserburgh is known the biggest shellfish port in Europe. To the west, where the Firth narrows, it’s definitely very Highland: Inverness, the Great Glen, and the wet, wet west beyond. If you’re a fan of nature as wild as it comes, add this one to your must-do road trips list. To the east, are the more bare, more spare, more exposed grounds of Buchan on Scotland’s north-east knuckle where the winds blow. This also makes the region a tourism hotspot, with many tourists keen to sample the local produce. The brilliant aspect of staying in the Highlands is there a wide choice of accommodation to suit all budgets. In this remote spot, you can walk to Duncansby Head with its iconic twin sea stacks and towering cliffs. The well-trodden western coast of the Scottish Highlands is a common road trip destination for visitors to the United Kingdom. Considering exploring the North and West Highlands Route? Onwards around the Langjokull glacier on the way to Hveravellir geothermal field before emerging by the Ring Road in the north. The crystal-clear waters surrounding the Highlands unsurprisingly make the region among the richest in the world for fish, with important markets in places like Mallaig, Stornoway, Lerwick and Oban. Inside, the lodge provides spacious accommodation for up to 13 and has all those Highland touches – think tartan, tweed, roaring fires and absolute comfort. Boutiques, wine shops and bookstores, as well as popular restaurants and bars radiate out from Highland Square on West 32nd Avenue and Lowell Boulevard. You can explore Handa Island (boat trips run from April to September), a unique spot home to no less than 100,000 seabirds including puffins, razorbills, Arctic terns and great skuas, who nest in the lofty sandstone cliffs. Kids will love the animal and bird spotting, plus there’s plenty of room to run around. Ferries and flights reach all the major islands in the Highlands, and Inverness is accessible from London by rail and air. The western route over Kjolur is passable by ordinary vehicles in summer. For all those Harry Potter fans out there, the famous, Hogwarts School, depicted in the films, had a stage presence in the Scottish Highlands, overlooking stunning lochs and mountains. Many of these days on the sea at work are based in the North West Highlands of Scotland, which provide a great office on work days and an even better playground on days off. Our fantastic North West Highlands Walking Tour takes in ascents of some of the most iconic mountains in this stunning part of the Northwest of Scotland including Suilven, Stac Pollaidh and Cul Mor. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. Make this your introduction to the stunning sea views that will accompany you almost all the way. White quartzite caps many mountains and the largest area of limestone in Scotland occurs in the Geopark. And don’t miss the walk to Rhue Lighthouse with its commanding position at the head of Loch Broom. The area is divided in two parts: the Great Glen divides the Grampian Mountains to the southeast from the northwest Highlands 3. With no fewer than 47 distilleries spread across the region, the Highlands is Scotland's largest geographical whisky producing area – particularly good news if you like a dram of Scotland’s favourite drink. The North and West Highlands Route forms part of the North Coast 500 Route, the most epic of Scottish road trips. North and West Highlands Length 158 miles / 254 km Location Ullapool – John o'Groats. Discover why you should take a Scottish road trip. The MacKay Clan, one of the largest in this part of Scotland, also features at the museum. September - The Wild North Festival, various locations, North Highlands Three wild weekends of outdoor fun in the Highlands, including forest walks, archaeology, whale and dolphin watching and fossil hunting. The UK’s most remote school is on the Scottish peninsula of Scoraig, which can only be reached by boat or winding coastal path and has a headcount of just five pupils. The children in your party will enjoy the animal centre, home to a good collection of farm animals and a petting zoo. That means Geoparks are […] Across the causeway bridge is Strathnaver Museum where you can discover the history of croft life and learn about the infamous Highland Clearances when hundreds of locals were forcibly evicted in the early 1800s. The Highlands stretches from Fort William in the west, right up the coast by Skye, around the North Coast 500 to Durness and John O' Groats in the far north. Built in 1572, it was restored to its former majestic glory by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1952. This one lies set in picturesque woods, just a short distance from Loch Shin. The Highlands are formed on Lewisian gneiss, the oldest layers of rock in Scotland. The 13,000 acres of land and gardens are yours to explore and this is a great holiday let for large groups of keen walkers and mountain bikers. As well as this, the region is also home to the University of the Highlands and Islands, which has its main campus in Inverness. Book your tickets online for the top things to do in Scottish Highlands, Scotland on Tripadvisor: See 676,719 traveler reviews and photos of Scottish Highlands tourist attractions. There are 258 primary and secondary schools across the Highlands. Please Donate. 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