The 12 Best Places To Visit In Scotland Highlands 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Heading to the United Kingdom and looking for inspiration in the form of the best places to visit in Scotland highlands? Well, you’ve come to the right place – and even better I’ve got 15 epic reasons why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland now.

 

In case you are somehow sitting on the fence… you won’t be by the time we finish here!

 

An incredible escape northwards to the mythic landscapes of the Highlands. An untamed land of enchanting solitude filled with rugged mountain ranges, transfixing castles, unexpectedly beautiful coastline, and windswept islands.

Of course, there is also a shy monster, whiskey, animals, outdoor pursuits and some very friendly people – just be prepared for the most changeable weather you have ever experienced.  Oh Scotland, you do spoil me so.

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The 12 Best Places To Visit In Scotland Highlands: Raw Nature Unleashed 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

   

#1. Glen Finnan Viaduct

   

One of the most stunning viaducts in the world – An absolute must see! It is now most famous as in the Harry Potter films the Hogwarts Express was seen calling at Glenfinnan! All aboard!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#2. Eilean Donan Castle

   

The most recognized, and photographed, castle in Scotland. An icon of Scotland found on shortbread tins and calendars the world over! Built on its own little island, overlooking the mythical Skye, it is here that three great sea-lochs meet creating a truly breath-taking setting!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#3. Loch Ness

   

The largest lake in Scotland, this loch needs no introduction. Made famous for its monster that lurks within, no visit to the Highlands would be complete without a visit to her murky shores. Say hi to Nessie!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#4. Inverness

   

Inverness, a thriving city that offers a rich variety of things to do and see from shopping and culture to eating and drinking. The old town is beautiful and is located at a highlands crossroad meaning you’ll probably pass through at some point. Be sure to stay a while!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#5. Glen Roy

   

The Glen Roy National Nature Reserve, famed for its ‘Parallel Roads’ that slash through the landscape. These straight, precise lines baffled scientists for so long, including Charles Darwin, and are actually evidence of a long-gone glacial lake. Woodland and nature still reign supreme in this tucked away valley. A true gem which is largely undiscovered by tourists!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#6. Castle Stalker

   

This island castle’s picturesque placement, standing tall on a bewitching island set against a dramatic backdrop of mountains, has made it something of a cliché image of the Highlands. But not to fear, Castle Stalker is entirely authentic and is actually one of the best-preserved medieval tower-houses in Scotland. Marvel in its splendor!

Just another reason why you need to go to these must-see places in Scotland Highlands.

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#7. Ben Nevis

   

The highest mountain in the British Isles standing at 1,346 meters – so naturally, no list of best places to visit in Scotland highlands would be complete without it.  An iconic peak soaring over Fort Williams, if the weather allows be sure to try to climb her lofty heights! I mean…I’ve only ever seen it covered in clouds, but you might have better luck!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#8. Highland Cows

   

What could be more iconic than Highland Cows (pronounced Coo’s in the local dialect!) .. These lumbering teddy bears dot the landscape so be sure to pull over and appreciate them! Would be rude not too right! Any more questions as to why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#9. Glen Etive

   

This stunning valley is hidden just off the main highland road. You would undoubtedly pass right by this hidden paradise but that would be a mistake. A dead-end road, you will only find a few lost tourists down here but pack your picnic and enjoy these quiet splendor!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#10. James Bond SkyFall Location

   

The location that inspired my entire travel here…Bond and M head into the misty valley preparing for their final show-down at SKYFALL, Bond’s childhood manor. While the manor does not actually exist the iconic shots of the Aston Martin up the valley do! Check out my separate post for the exact location!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#11. Glen Coe

   

The deep valley and towering mountains of Glen Coe are the most iconic scenery in the Highlands and something which you could hardly miss if you tried. Carved out centuries ago by icy glaciers and volcanic explosions driving through these giants is an other-worldly experience and given the changeable weather, multiple trips provide a distinct experience each and every time!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#12. River Lochy Falls

   

A tucked away reserve just off the main road – Perfect to stretch your feet after a long drive exploring all the best places to visit in Scotland Highlands. A silent forest envelopes you and leads you towards these picturesque falls. A perfect picnic spot which you will likely enjoy to yourself!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#13. Mallaig

   

A thriving port town made famous as being the Road to the Isles.But not to be skipped over this fascinating place has the atmosphere of a working fishing port but is also a perfect remote location to relax and unwind! Something here is always going on!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#14. Kilchurn Castle

   

A ruined castle surrounded by soaring mountains and boggy marshland. At the head of Loch Awe, with the peak of Ben Cruachan visible; this was the original power base of Clan Campbell. A must see place in the Scotland Highlands!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

#15.  Isle Of Skye

   

The mythic island of Skye, filled with an ancient landscape and a dark history. The biggest of the Scottish Isles, I have dedicated an entire Highlights of Isle of Skye post to her secrets! Easily one of the best places to visit in Scotland highlands, if not the absolute best. It is hard to choose a favorite – but Skye could well be it…

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

   

BONUS: Loch Lomond

   

One of the first lochs before you enter the highlands proper, this tranquil lake is an ideal destination to stop and relax. Enjoy a coffee, marvel at is vista and take a walk. You’re on holiday so enjoy it!

Why you need to go to the Highlands of Scotland

So now you know why you need to go to Scotland and have a comprehensive list of the best places to visit in Scotland Highlands. Stunning right. Scotland is truly like no other country on Earth. Tokyo might be weird, Lapland might be quiet and Cuba maybe be colorful but Scotland is wild, untamed, raw, natural beauty…

What are you waiting for …get booking those flight tickets!

Need any help? Feel free to comment below… Also check out my other Scotland posts about Freedom Camping, Skye, Hogmanay in Edinburgh and the Isle of Muck!

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Further Things To Consider Before Any Adventure

Now you're all set and prepared to explore our big wide world, why not sort out everything else out all in one go? If necessary for your travel plans make sure you have brought proper travel insurance, protected your privacy by getting a secure VPN, compared all the top hotel booking sites to find just what you're after, reserved an unbeatable rental car price and - of course - booked the best flight deals!

Or maybe just forget it all and go for a last minute cruise or effortless tour instead?

Many budget travelers (including me) indulge in worldwide airport lounge access, so we can experience luxury while still slumming it in economy. Naturally, we would never leave home without a more a more general travel guide since we couldn’t possibly cover everything here!

Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles - they go a long way - and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your own path and don't forget to share your best inspiration stories with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...I'd love to hear from you!

12 Comments

  1. Maria says:

    I’ve been dreaming of Scotland for a while now! Your pictures make me want to go even more! Especially the rainy grey and cool weather sounds very appealing to me right now, as I am stuck in 37-40 C weather in Texas 😉

  2. You 100% should… as they say there is no time like the present. I still dream of Skye and Muck… such unique places!

  3. I’d be dreaming tonight about Scotland thats for sure! I have been thinking of going for so long but for some reason I just never! I really should, do I? 😀

  4. backpackways says:

    He is infact a wonderful person. And I often use the word “apparently” so no hard feelings 😉

  5. I love how you are ‘apparently’ travelling with a Scotsman …with their accents how could you be unsure it is a very special place though…if only they got rid of the dam midges

  6. backpackways says:

    Such a stunning place, I am apparently traveling with a Scottish man who was describing the beauty of Scotland and this post has defined it totally. I am in love with the view of the Kilchurn Castle.

  7. Mar Pages says:

    I love those Highland Cows, so cute! I always imagine Scotland to be both majestic and peaceful, can’t wait to enjoy that atmosphere on my own.

  8. Matthew and Heather says:

    Such a beautiful and moody place. We highly recommend it, too!

  9. Vyjay Rao says:

    Scotland is lovely and there are so many reasons to head out there. The landscape is stunning and it seems like close to heaven. I always for some reason find a mysterious aura about Scotland that is so bewitching.

  10. Chris says:

    It certainly seems more fitting 😉

  11. jadk001 says:

    Thanks – The weather is so changeable right! One day was stunning blue skies and warm – I felt weird. Like this is not Scotland. One place I preferred grey / overcast!

  12. Chris says:

    Wow! Such a gorgeous place and you kicked it off perfectly, with just the right photo, fittingly in black & white (I think I associate grey and dark with the area).

    Loch Lomond just makes me think of reading old Tintin comics! lol