Best places to stay in the Highlands
If you’re after epic views, miles of walking without seeing another soul and simple wilderness then the Highlands is calling your name. For many, the Highlands is not the most accessible part of the UK, but this part of Scotland is worth travelling for. Take a week out and revel in its tranquillity. An impressive range of wildlife lives here and its coastline has some of the most beautiful beaches that rival the Mediterranean’s turquoise waters and white sands. With such a wealth of wonders to enjoy it can be hard to know where to go for the week. To help we have chosen four of the best places to stay ; all with a choice of cosy Highlands cottages to retreat back to after a wild day out.
Best for: National parks and long walks
If you do one thing: Cairngorm Brewery is a brewery based in Aviemore, in the Highlands of Scotland. It is situated in the Dalfaber Industrial Estate at the north end of the village and is within the Cairngorms National Park.
Nestled within one of the most stunning National National Parks, Aviemore is a popular holiday destination. If you never venture out of the town you may not get the full Highland-wilderness experience but it is an ideal spot to base your adventures. Easy to get to, with a good selection of shops and eateries, Aviemore has more on offer than some of the smaller towns. However, if you’re after adventure you won’t be disappointed. Moments away from the town centre you will be able to lose your self (not literally we hope!) in beautiful, wild surroundings. Choose from hiking, skiing, water sports or cycling.
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Best for: Remoteness and breathtaking views
If you do one thing: Stac Pollaidh is a mountain in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland. Peak displays a rocky crest of Torridonian sandstone, with many pinnacles and steep gullies.
If you’re looking for something a bit more remote and out of the way, Ullapool might be the spot for you. Technically a village, Ullapool is still the largest settlement for miles. Found on the shore of Loch Broom and a stones throw from the Atlantic, this wild spot isn’t the easiest to get to. However, the coastal road here offers some of the most breathtaking driving views and is worth undertaking if you can. Largely untouched, the surrounding area is perfect for lovers of the great outdoors. There are endless walking options here, from steep mountain walks to more gentle coastal options.
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Best for: Places to eat and do activities
If you do one thing: At foot of the Black Cuillins, near Glenbrittle, are the Fairy Pools. Beautifully crystal clear blue pools on the River Brittle.
Found on the famous, and much loved Isle of Skye, Portree is the largest town on the island. As such it has a busy port and is a cultural hub. Popular with holidaymakers you’ll find a good selection of places to eat and things to do. However if you are drawn to Skye for its rugged charm, venturing out of town will offer plenty of opportunities to explore that side of the island. About half an hour in the car will get you to the infamous Fairy Pools, stunning to admire but only for the brave to take a dip. About half an hour in the other direction will bring you the Trotternish Ridge, with its impressive rock formations and excellent hiking opportunities.
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Best for: Visiting the tallest mountain in the UK and beautiful views
If you do one thing: The spectacular waterfall known variously as An Steall Bàn, Steall Waterfall or Steall Falls is situated in Glen Nevis near Fort William, Highland. It is Scotland’s second-highest waterfall with a single drop of 120 metres.
Fort William is a lovely town in its own right, but it’s probably most well known for its proximity to Ben Nevis. The tallest mountain in the UK understandably draws many visitors every year who look to conquer this challenge, and where better to stay than Fort William? However, there is plenty more to this Highland beauty than one impressive mountain. Within easy reach, visitors will also find challenging mountain biking, skiing and water rapids. As Fort William is also on the banks of Loch Eil, there is plenty of loch-side walking to be done, if the heights of Ben Nevis are too daunting.
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