The Highlands of Scotland are renowned for dramatic scenery whether it be the huge mountains such as Ben Nevis or the Cairngorm, vast Lochs like Loch Ness with its mystical monster Nessie or sprawling glens. For lovers of history or those discovering their family heritage the Highlands offer historic sites in abundance with thousands visiting the likes of Culloden Battlefield, Urquhart Castle and Eilean Donan Castle every year. If you have an interest in nature you will not be disappointed with an abundance of birds and sea creatures including seals and dolphins in the waters on our doorstep. The Highlands are also very popular for whisky and there are a huge amount of distilleries open to the public providing tours.
Inverness is an excellent place to use as a base for exploring everything the Highlands has to offer and you can reach anywhere on the mainland and Skye within three hours. Check in at Beach Cottage, unpack and make the most of your time in the Highlands returning each day to your peaceful haven on the shores of the Moray Firth.
Drive from Beach Cottage through Inverness and along the A82 and along Loch Ness until you reach the Loch Ness Clansman hotel on the right. Park in their car park and you follow the tunnel under the road which takes you to the loch side and the ticket office for the Jacobite cruises. There are various cruises but we recommend including Urquhart Castle and perhaps the Loch Ness Visitor Centre. After the cruise you can have a drink or snack in the Clansman’s cafe and pick up some souvenirs in the gift shop before heading on to Fort Augustus with its canal lochs. From Fort Augustus you head round to the south side of Loch Ness where you can take the road which runs next to the Loch. This road is much lower and closer to the water than the A82 and there are a number of places to stop for photos. Before returning back to Inverness and Beach Cottage stop off at Dores which is a pretty village on the shores of Loch Ness. The Dores Inn is a great place for lunch, dinner or just a drink and you can sit outside to enjoy views of the loch.
Drive from Beach Cottage through Inverness and along the A82 past Loch Ness and then on to Glen Shiel where the landscape is dominated by huge mountains named the Five Sisters. You then head on to Loch Duich which is the location of Eilean Donan Castle and then to the Kyle Of Lochalsh. Go over the road bridge and you are on the Isle Of Skye where you can explore at your leisure taking in the Cuillins. You can return using the same route or for an alternative return via the Black Isle.
Drive from Beach Cottage and go south on the A9 until you reach Aviemore which is a pretty town that is popular with skiers. From Aviemore you can enjoy a number of activities within the Cairngorm National Park but we recommend driving up the Cairngorm and taking the funicular railway to the summit for amazing views across the Highlands. Popular attractions in addition to skiing are Landmark Forest Adventure Park, great entertainment for all the family, the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd and a huge choice of other outdoor activities like sailing, climbing and cycling.
If you prefer a private guided tour we recommend Munro Highland Tours. They have a selection of pre-designed tours or they can taylor make a tour of your choice.