Things to Know Before Visiting the Scottish Highlands
If you are looking to get some fresh air and experience the great Scottish outdoors head to the Scotish Highlands. Mythological tales of old echo through the landscape of the highlands in Scotland.
Looking out over the moorland, through heather and bogs alike, adventure awaits the effervescent travellers that pick up their rucksacks and venture out into these mountainous areas.
Cairngorm National Park & Glen Coe
You must take a trip to the countless trails through the Cairngorm national park or Glen Coe, it is possible to be in awe of the scenery and surroundings if you are able to ignore the midges during the summer months. With midge net in hand and covering your face, you will never experience anything as spectacular as the glow of the green grasses of Scotland.
One of the most incredible aspects of traveling in the highlands is the Hibredean isles, which are some of the most remote and wild in the world. These isles are filled with ancient histories of the struggles of croft life in the past, relics of standing stones, and fragments of old fishing villages. These places are magically silent when the ocean calms and you are able to stare out upon the open sea to look upon the far off dots of other isles in the distance. From the Isle of Skye to the Isle of Mull, the Hibredean isles will take your breath away and cater to your whiskey desires. A wee dram and a stroll on one of Scotland’s many white sand beaches will remain in your memory for a long time to come.
The landscape can present itself as harsh from time to time when caught in a storm on the hills, so you must come prepared for any weather possible. Gore-Tex jackets and trousers are recommended for the avid hill walker and sightseer, along with a trusty pair of comfortable shoes. As some often say here, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes!” Needless to say, you will not leave the highlands without experiencing a little rain, a lot of green, a dram of whiskey in your stomach, and the sighting of highland stag (if your lucky a coo too). So bring your sense of adventure and taste for some true Scottish landscapes and visit the highlands of Scotland for an unforgettable adventure!
Lock Ness is Scotland's most famous landmark. Scotland is not a big country and the bus ride to and from the Northern Highlands lake and nearby main city Inverness can be done in one day or you could join an overland tour. Loch Ness is certainly intriguing with its deep and dark waters, but is not Scotland's prettiest Loch and is nowadays renown mostly for the supposed repeated sightings there of Nessie, its patented legendary monster (and let be fair, also for what is left of Urquhart Castle).
But the drive through the Highlands from Glasgow to Inverness is an amazing one, with the sometime desolate but almost always beautiful landscapes really living up to their fame. Loch Lomond, just a couple of minutes from Glasgow by car is as beautiful a place as you can imagine and the ideal escape from the city.
The Scottish Highlands scenery is very similar to New Zealand's and you can tell that it is the same population that shaped both countries (in other words, removed the native forests that covered both territories and put green pastures and sheep instead). It is recommended to do the indispensable boat trip over Loch Ness, keep an acute eye open for signs of a giant sea monster and except a few odd waves (due to other tourist boats) and for the rain, nothing particular troubled the surface of the lake.
You might need to be vigilant though as you will easily find Nessie in one of the many souvenir shops on the banks of the lake. She was much smaller than you might imagine and not expensive at all so be sure to buy her as a souvenir.
Best Time of the Year to Visit
The best time of year to visit the Scotish Highlands is probably during summer when there is possibly better weather and more day light. July and August are the busiest months in terms of tourists but there are still lots of routes and itineraries where you can escape the crowds.
By Dorothea Arnold