Trip Ideas

8 Of The Most Beautiful Places In The Scottish Highlands

There are so many beautiful places to visit in Scotland, but most of all in The Scottish Highlands. Pretty much everywhere you go in the Scottish Highlands you will find beauty, but if you don’t have the time to visit them all on your travels—which I am sure most of you don’t—I have made a list of the most beautiful places in The Scottish Highlands and everything you need to know about them, which you can find below.

1. Torridon

Torridon, Scottish Highlands

A small village situated around 80 miles west from Inverness which is great for climbers, photographers, wildlife enthusiasts and hikers from all over the world. Torridon is famous for the surrounding “Torridon Hills” which are mountains to the North of Glen Torridon creating some of the most dramatic and photogenic mountain scenery in the whole of the British Isles. When you’re there, you can stay at The Torridon, a large hotel with 4 stars, and drink at The Torridon Inn. If you’re looking for a great place to hike, Torridon is the place to be.

2. Ullapool

Ullapool, Scotland

In amongst the mountains you will find Ullapool only an hours drive away from Inverness. It’s a fishing town with many hotel options for tourists to stay and a few bars to drink in. Ullapool boasts having one of the least spoilt natural environments in the UK. It’s the biggest town for miles around and people often use it as a base when visiting surrounding areas due to it having the most shops and many hotels. You will definitely want your camera with you in Ullapool, especially if you make your way to the beach—it’s beautiful.

3. Dornoch

 

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A town and seaside resort in The Scottish Highlands which was the last place in Scotland to burn a woman for being a witch in 1727, there is even a stone called the Witch’s Stone which commemorates her death. In Dornoch you can find a 13th Century Cathedral, the Old Town Jail, Dornoch Castle and the golf course there making it a great place to visit on your trip to Scotland. In 2005 Dornoch got granted Fairtrade Town status. This is another place where you’ll want your camera at the ready because the scenery is outstanding.

4. Cromarty

Cromarty, Scottish Highlands

A town in the Ross and Cromarty area of the Scottish Highlands. The town grew around a seaport that was originally used by ferries and is known for its Georgian merchant houses and fisherman’s cottages, some describe it as a great example of an 18th/19th Century burgh. If you’re looking for sea-life you can often view bottlenose dolphins from Cromarty. There is a legend from around 1740 that a man from Cromarty was granted 3 wishes from a mermaid and that he used one to marry a woman.

5. Assynt

Suilven in Assynt, Scottish Highlands
Suilven

North of Ullapool sits Assynt, a place known for its incredible landscape and amazing mountains. There are many distinctively shaped mountains in the area including Canisp, Stac Pollaidh, Suilven, Quinag and Ben More Assynt, a lot of which appear higher than they actually are and a fair few of them were formed during the last ice age. Assynt is also home to the longest cave in Scotland, Uamh an Claonaite. All of these things make Assynt hugely important geologically—this has shown its inclusion in the North West Highlands Geopark.

6. Achiltibuie

Achiltibuie, Scottish Highlands
Photographer: Manfred Heyde

Another village in the Ross and Cromarty area of the Scottish Highlands, around 10 miles northwest of Ullapool. Known for being long and linear, the main attraction in this village is the Hydroponicum A.K.A. The Garden Of The Future where you can take tours of its “climate zones”. If you’re a foodie you’ll want to visit the Achiltibuie Smokehouse where you can get meat, fish and game all being cured traditionally. Another great thing to do in Achiltibuie is to take a boat ride to the Summer Isles where you can enjoy things like bird watching, fishing and sailing.

7. Loch Ness

Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands

The most popular of all the locations on my list is Loch Ness. Whether you’re there to search for Nessie or for the beautiful scenery Loch Ness has a lot to offer. The freshwater loch is 16 meters above sea level and extends around 23 miles southwest of Inverness. It’s the second largest loch in Scotland after Loch Lomond. When there you can take boat rides to search for Nessie and get some photos of the gorgeous Scottish Highlands scenery. There are plenty of other activities for children at the Loch Ness Center as well.

8. Applecross

Applecross, Scottish Highlands

Famous for its incredible drive, Applecross is a remote peninsula in Wester Ross known for creating the feeling of being at the edge of the world. There are only two ways to get to Applecross: you can take a winding road from Shielding which has great views the entire journey, or you can also take the Bealach na Bà (Pass of the cattle) which is one of the highest roads in Britain where you can enjoy amazing views of Raasay and Skye. The area around Applecross is believed to be one of the earliest settled parts of Scotland.

Suggested next reading: 11 Of The Best Castles To Visit In Scotland That Simply Ooze History

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