Published on October 29, 2014 | by Andrea Guerriero0
Ten Unforgettable Things to do in the Highlands
Visit a Whisky Brewery
One of Scotland’s most famous exports is its whisky. The golden dram is produced all over the world, but no-one makes whisky with as much quality, knowledge and love as Scotland. There are several breweries in Scotland, but none in such a beautiful location as Glenmorangie, overlooking the Domoch Firth and surrounded by beautiful countryside. There’s no better place to learn about the art of whisky making, and a tour (which includes a dram) only costs £5.
There are endless opportunities to go fishing in Scotland, from salmon fishing in the beautiful river Spey, to trout fishing in the numerous lochs around the Highlands (including the infamous Loch Ness). Before going, it is best to research Scottish fishing laws, but it is often free and easy to get started. If you need expert advice, the Scottish tradition of taking a Ghillie with you to give you advice on where to find the best fish is still observed, and they are available from hotels and fishing centres across the Highlands.
Visit the Highland Games
From July to September, you can visit one of the many games events held across the Highlands. This classic tradition was originally held for clan leaders to find the best bodyguards and entertainers, but the games remains to this day. Events include the infamous caber toss, the shot put, piping and dancing contests. These events are always a spectacle, and a display of Scottish pride that can’t be missed.
Go Bird Watching
The Scottish Highlands are full of charming critters, from the humble Highland ‘coo’ to seals on the coastline. For animal lovers, a day trip to Handa Island wildlife reserve is a must. Home to oystercatchers, guillemots, otters and 250 pairs of puffins, the cliffs are alive with seabirds and beautiful heather and wildflowers. You can easily while away a day watching the charming activities of this colony of sea birds.
Gaze at the Stars
The Highlands are one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world, which means there is hardly any light pollution – and is there are plenty of picturesque, isolated locations to lie on your back and go stargazing to your heart’s content. Surely one of the cheapest yet the most satisfying activities you could do while on holiday. Pack a picnic and take a drive into the Scottish wilderness – and don’t forget your constellation spotting guide!
Address a Haggis
If you visit the Highlands in January, you have to attend a Burns Night celebration – a quintessentially Scottish celebration of all things Robert Burns that includes jokes, speeches, toasts (a lot of toasts!) and, finally, a prize Haggis served complete with ‘neeps and tatties’. If you want a seriously fun insight into Scottish culture, Burns night events are held across the Highlands.
Have a Round of Golf
Home to the Ryder Cup, Scotland has a long and proud golfing history – and there are plenty of opportunities to have a put in the Highlands, including some of the most secluded and scenic courses in the world. You can have a round by the ocean, surrounded by heath and moorland, or with spectacular snow capped mountains in the background. The Highlands are the perfect place to tee off and have the round of your life.
Visit the Top of the Country
The tiny village of John O’Groats is officially “the start of Britain”, the most North Eastern tip of the island. As well as seeing the extreme end of the country, there is plenty to do in John O’Groats, including going on sea safari and exploring the dramatic cliffs that dominate the landscape.
Go see a Castle
The Highlands is dotted with ancient castles, the most spectacular being Dunrobin castle in Sutherland. Holding fort for hundreds of years, the castle that stands today was started in 1785 and is one of the most picturesque destinations in Scotland, with everything from falconry displays and huge gardens to explore.
Climb a Munro
A Munro is a peak higher than 3,000 feet, and there are 282 in the hilly Highlands. Named after Sir Hugh Munro, the first man to catalogue the highest peaks in Scotland, scaling a Munro is a challenge, but nothing can beat the view over the beautiful Scottish countryside once you reach a summit. If you love hiking, you’ll soon become addicted to scaling as many Munros as possible! If you fancy something smaller, you can also explore the Corbetts (2,500-3,000 feet) and Grahams (2,000 – 2,500 feet) of Scotland. They are all catalogued at Munro Magic!