The Scotland Highlands: My Road Trip Experience

The Scotland Highlands: My Road Trip Experience

scotland roadtrip

Jaw-dropping landscapes? Spectacular hiking trails? Amazing food and whisky? Check, check and check! If these are the things you enjoy while travelling, then exploring the Scotland Highlands will be right up your alley. Think ancient castles, stunning coastlines and rugged mountains – you will never fall short of things to do or see in this natural wonder. Here are some places that are worth a visit while in the highlands!

Loch Lomond

Although it is not as well known as Loch Ness, Loch Lomond offers equally beautiful views from its peaceful shores. A boat cruise around the Loch is a good way to take in the oak woodlands and munros that surround it. In the summertime, it is also possible to rent paddle boats and partake in other water activities in the lake.

Oban

Oban is a charming seaside town and port which makes an excellent base to explore the Inner Hebrides. Take a tour of Mull, Iona and Staffa for beautiful beaches, dramatic coasts and to marvel at the teeming wildlife on the islands. Oban prides itself as being Scotland’s seafood capital and the myriad of eateries serving quality and affordable seafood along the pier proves it. Also worth visiting are the local distillery and handmade chocolates shop!

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is truly a magical place just waiting to be explored. Boasting miles of stunning mountain ranges and enchanting scenery, Skye warrants at least a few days of its own to fully explore all the sights and wonders. Hike up the Quiraing for this splendid view that will leave you speechless. Other popular trails include the mysterious jagged rock formation of the Old Man of Storr and the Cuilin mountains.

Be sure to catch the captivating sun set over the lighthouse at Neist Point. As you drive around Isle of Skye, keep your eyes peeled for the adorable ‘Highland Coos’ with their long horns and woolly coats!

scotland roadtrip

Image credit: Amateur Photographer

After all the hiking and trekking, discover Skye’s Michelin starred restaurant scene and treat yourself to quality dishes featuring local produce without breaking the bank with their pocket-friendly lunch sets. For a more affordable, no-frills meal you can also check out The Oyster Shed, a local family-run joint dishing out fresh seafood.

Cairngorms National Park

As the UK’s largest national park, there is so much to see and do in the Cairngorms. In winter, skiing enthusiasts congregate at its top class resorts. It is also home to the UK’s highest funicular railway which takes you through the park, providing picture-perfect views of the snow-covered mountains.

The Cairngorms also has its fair share of forest paths, lochs and wildlife hotspots. Take a relaxing walk by the calm and reflective waters of Loch Morlich and be awed by the scintillating scenery.

If you love wildlife, visit the Highland Wildlife Park, a vast safari spanning hundreds of acres which allows you to drive through their main reserve in your own car or guided land rover tour for an immersive experience. The park is home to native Scottish wildlife as well as other animals from the world’s mountains and tundra. For more information, visit their website here.

Image credit: Darkskies

Who says you have to go all the way to Iceland to see the Aurora Borealis? The Cairngorms Dark Sky Park in Glenlivet and Tominotul runs astronomy events throughout the year to help visitors learn more of the wonders of the night sky. Treat your eyes to the spectacular night sky brimming with stars, if you’re lucky you may even spot some shooting stars or the northern lights!

Glenfinnan Viaduct

If you are a fan of Harry Potter, you would have recognised this iconic railway where the Jacobite steam train was featured in the movie as the Hogwarts Express. The steam train is not always operational, so do check out the time table here when planning your trip! Nonetheless, even if you do not get to witness the train chugging along the tracks during your visit, the Glenfinnan Viaduct still makes a great hike with rewarding views!

Glencoe

Glen Coe is unarguably one of Scotland’s most beautiful valleys. From here, you can attempt a myriad of hikes of varying difficulties such as the lost valley and the devils staircase. Don’t miss the sweeping views of the Three Sisters as you drive through the scenic pass!

scotland roadtrip

The Queen’s View

scotland roadtrip

Image credit: Visit Scotland

Truly a view fit for a queen, this popular viewpoint at the eastern end of Loch Tummel is said to have been named after Queen Victoria who visited the area in 1866. This is one of the most iconic views in the highlands and not to be missed!

Although it is possible to get around the highlands by the public buses and trains, I personally feel that it is best to explore it by car.  This is because some locations may be inaccessible by public transport and it also allows you explore more freely at your own pace. This short guide only offers a glimpse of the true wonders that the Scotland Highlands offers and many other hidden gems await you!

About Author

Jennifer Nathania
Jennifer Nathania

Jennifer believes in collecting memories rather than things, she hopes to eat and travel her way around the world and is always ready for her next adventure!

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