Covering almost 10,000 square miles in northern Scotland - taking in Fort William to the west, along the coast near the Isle of Skye and round to the east and the Highland capital of Inverness, with Cairngorms National Park also a distinctive highlight - visiting the Highlands of Scotland has always been a spellbinding treat.
The area known for its warm welcome, unique cultural appeal and fascinating historical landmarks alongside the undulating beauty of its landscape, National Geographic has now moved to list the area in its ‘Nature’ category as part of its coveted ‘Best of the World’ list aimed at travellers seeking unforgettable experiences in 2023.
We look at some of our favourite ‘must dos’ to place on your itinerary when you’re visiting the Highlands and our hotels and self-catering resorts, each placing you on the doorstep of some of the nation’s most prized locations.
Explore the Cairngorms
Macdonald Aviemore Resort is the perfect choice for a staycation where both recreation and relaxation are paramount. Take your pick between scenic walking and cycle routes or journey to nearby Loch Morlich for a calming stroll on the beach overlooking its expansive waters - all before returning to wonderful dining spaces suiting all tastes.
Take to the award-winning greens of our 18-hole golf course at Spey Valley Resort, where the winding River Spey and spectacular mountains set the scene for one of the most memorable rounds of golf to be found in the Highlands.
When seeking complete tranquillity amongst the flora and fauna of the Cairngorms, look no further than a revitalising stay in Lochanhully. Situated on the outskirts of Carrbridge village, our spacious woodland cabins next to a small lochan evoke a true sense of getting away from it all.
Explore Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park at Forest Hills Hotel & Resort
Regarded as the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’ - our elegant hotel and self-catering resort in Aberfoyle on the boundary between the Highlands and the Lowlands of Scotland is a fantastic option when looking to cast your eye over a loch, forest and mountain panorama at every turn.
The ideal playground for water-sports enthusiasts and keen hikers alike, there’s endless opportunity to bound through the wilderness as you embark on the 50,000-acre forest park extending from the eastern shores of Loch Lomond through to the majestic mountains of Strathyre.
Explore Inverness and Loch Ness at Macdonald Drumossie
Drumossie hotel in Inverness is set in nine acres of beautiful parkland. It offers spectacular views towards the Moray Firth inlet makes for a tranquil stay close to a world of local heritage.
Uncover the legendary fables of Loch Ness, the alluring pine forests of the Cairngorms or venture into Inverness and explore a town featuring the most dramatic of backdrops in Inverness Castle overlooking the River Ness.
With Scotland looking to become the first ‘rewilded’ nation thanks to projects including the 23,000-acre Alladale Wilderness Reserve above Inverness and the restoration of 500,000 acres of plants and wildlife stretching from Loch Ness to the west coast – witness the start of an exciting return to the Highlands’ original woodlands.
Explore Aberdeenshire at Norwood Hall
With the southern geographical stretches of the Highlands taking in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City, our four-star hotel built in 1881 on the site of the 15th century Pitfodels Castle and close to Aberdeen places you near both the historic city centre and the stunning countryside of the region.
Explore the breathtaking gardens at Norwood Hall and adjacent woodland, or venture further afield on a memorable country adventure, with some of the most spectacular walks in the nation found nearby - taking in coastal stretches, scenic hill climbs and castle ruins at the likes of Cruden Bay harbour up to Slains Castle.