Even a short drive in the Highlands can take ages — every few minutes you’ll see a new vista and be amazed at the bens (mountains) and glens (valleys) and lochs (lakes) and stop to take a photo or five.
The islands off Scotland’s north and west coasts are remarkably diverse and offer a great travel experience. From the Celtic heritage of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides to the remote, windswept Shetlands to the picturesque Isles of Skye and Mull, make sure you visit at least one (or preferably two!).
The Highlands is the spiritual home of Scotch whisky — and there’s no better place to try Scotland’s most famous drop. There are numerous distilleries, particularly around the whisky trail on Speyside (in the north-east), which offer tours and tastings.
Take a hike
The Highlands are hard to beat as a place to go for a hike – whether it’s for a few hours or a few days. There are numerous great trails for all abilities, and plenty of B&Bs and rustic, cosy hostels along the way.
They grace a million postcards, but the castles in the Highlands are undoubtedly spectacular. Eilean Donan is the most famous, but there are plenty of others (from tastefully restored to ones pretty much in ruins) worth checking out.
Believe it or not, Scotland is home to some of the prettiest beaches you’ll see. And these aren’t the naff rocky beaches you’ll find further south in Britain – they’re stretches of glorious golden sand. Even in the cooler months they offer a dramatic counterpoint to the rugged interior, and, on a warm day, a great place for a dip.