The Scottish Highland is a landscape that has inspired mythological films with famous mystical scenes such as Harry Potter, and the long-running TV series Outlander. Besides, the famous Loch Ness lake with the legend of the Loch Ness Monster has made the scientific world and the public always curious to capture the shape and have the opportunity to meet the famous monster once. Indeed, every inch of Scottish Highland always brings the mysterious beauty of mythology, creating a strong allure of this place for visitors from afar.
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What are you waiting for? Let's explore the must-dos to create good memories for your trip to the Scottish Highland!
Loch Ness Lake - The Legendary Lake for Monster Hunting
Loch Ness is one of the famous freshwater lakes worldwide with rumours and legends about the Loch Ness Beast, also known as Nessie. This monster is rumoured to have a body like a long-necked dinosaur and have gills on its legs so it can easily swim.
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When coming to Loch Ness, you can try cycling or walking around the lake to enjoy the poetic beauty. If you're an adventure enthusiast, you should try renting a boat around Loch Ness to hunt for your own Nessie monster. Next, you can visit the ruins of Urquhart castle - a historical witness to the ruins and once occupied an important position in the Anglo-Scottish war. In addition, you can rent a canoe or kayak to go around Loch Ness, as well as visit two museums about Nessie. You can rent a car and drive yourself to Loch Ness to be proactive and flexible in terms of time. If you are unsure and need a tour guide, you can book a local tour around Loch Ness on the booking website - Inverness at www.visitinvernesslochness.com.
Glen Coe Valley - Fairy-Tale Grassland for Natural Lovers
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For those with a passion and strong love for nature, then Glen Coe Valley is the place for you. The majestic mountains, green grasslands and villages along the mountainside are moments for you to relax and enjoy the sounds of Mother Nature.
From this valley, you can zoom out to see the mountains surrounding it. From the A82 side road, you can already admire the Buachaille Etive Mòr mountain range as you head towards Glen Coe. Going further, you will be able to choose from the Three Sisters mountain range in the south or the Aonach Eagach Ridge in the north to continue to open up new avenues of discovery for you. It is recommended that you should organize a hiking trip alone or can go in a group to be able to see the wonderful beauty of this mountainside. The ride will save you some time and effort, but you will hardly be able to see the scenery to the fullest.
At 25km from Glen Coe, you'll be able to reach Stalker Castle, which began construction in 1320 on an island on Loch Linnhe. You can create a short schedule to stop at this island while travelling by boat.
Glenfinnan Village - The Best Destination for Potterheads to Dive In
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If you are a bit lazy to travel from Glen Coe, you can visit Glenfinnan. This is a charming village and has a huge appeal for Harry Potter fans as you can admire the Hogwarts Express on a gorgeous viaduct.
The Jacobite Express - the real name of the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter, is a steam-powered train that has been used and aired many times in the Harry Potter films. This train will usually pass through the viaduct every morning from 10:30 am and 3 pm every afternoon. Jacobite's starting point is from Fort William to Mallaig, among the stops will be the village of Glenfinnan. Alternatively, you can visit the Scottish railway history museum and viaduct located in the train station. If you want to extend your view of the viaduct, you can follow the road from Glenfinnan Station Museum in less than an hour. At that moment, you'll be able to watch the train blow its horn to let passengers know it's approaching, ready to take them where they need to go!
Loch Shiel - Authentic Destination from ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’
Come on Potterheads, it is not just Glenfinnan village to stop by. You can visit the beautiful and peaceful Loch Shiel lake adjacent to this village. For Harry Potter fans, you have seen Loch Shiel appear in the underwater scene of The Second Mission during the Triwizard Tournament in the ‘Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire’ episode. The towering and sturdy Hogwarts castle, bearing the ancient and mysterious features of magic, has also been added some digital editing techniques to perfect and edit it to make it more beautiful.
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There is a small beach in front of Loch Shiel, you can organize a small picnic or enjoy the scenery here. This place is quite quiet and peaceful so you will be very comfortable to relax and release your soul into nature. Besides, you can see the Glenfinnan and Bonnie Prince Charlie monuments at the top. On the other hand, you can also take a stroll around the lake and visit Glenfinnan Church, an attractive and mystical small-scale Gothic church perched on a hill outside the village of the same name. You can also sign up for several climbing tours to explore and explore Glenfinnan to create more memories in this place.
After an exciting climbing session, you must be tired too. You can visit the restaurants on Glenfinnan to enjoy delicious meals and energize yourself for any upcoming schedule. If you are a person who likes to enjoy light vegetarian dishes, you can visit the Glenfinnan Station Museum Dining Car. The restaurant's atmosphere is rated as very cozy and romantic, you can both enjoy pure food and admire the peaceful Glenfinnan scenery.
>> Check out: Can I Travel to Scotland from England During COVID-19?
The Callanish Stone - Spiritual Standing Stone from the Old Bronze Age
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Callanish stones, also known as standing stones, are upright stones arranged in a cross pattern with a stone circle in the centre. The Callanish Stone was erected around the end of the Neolithic period and became the focus of ceremonial activities during the Bronze Age, located on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.
This stone monument has been around since about 2900 BC. According to legends, these grey stones are the last vestiges of the giants in this land. They refused to follow Christianity and Saint Kieran had punished them by turning them to stone. In addition, there are also theories that this is a sacred land of an unknown tribe. Therefore, standing rocks were erected to serve as places of worship for gods and religious activities. This rock will consist of 13 rocks up to 3m high and arranged in a large circle with a diameter of 13m. Tourists are quite fond of this interesting place because it is more difficult to access. For locations with rugged terrain and many challenges, it will be a stimulating experience for explorers to find new things in ancient historical sites.
On the other hand, you will save more driving time when you arrive in Kilmartin Glen. This place is a gathering place of prehistoric ruins spread along with the village of Kilmartin. Coming to this place, you can enjoy the feeling of travelling back in time and immerse yourself in the rocks - where the beauty of nature has been refined through the hands of time.
Skye Island - Absorb Vitamin Sea for A Healthy and Balance Life
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If you need some vitamin sea, you'll probably want to go to the islands of Scotland. These islands promise to bring you an extremely interesting picnic. One of the most popular and easy-to-access islands is Skye Island. The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge. However, the island is very crowded and bustling because it is very accessible and convenient. In particular, if you don't want to be jostled in crowds, or fear losing your belongings during your trip, you'll need to avoid summer, which is one of the island's peak tourist seasons. In addition, if the bridge is too crowded, you can choose another means - the sea ferry.
If you can drive and are renting a car, you can make a quick drive to visit Orkney and the historic sites of Scotland's Neolithic period. You can choose to take a long ferry trip to visit the Uists, Berneray, Barra and Vatersay. Here, you can relax and immerse yourself in the masterpieces of primitive people, as well as take pictures to remember you have ever set foot in this famous place.
Summer Isle - Get Ready for Kayak Sailing to Cool Down in the Summer
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Scotland's topography includes more than 6,000 miles of the sea with thousands of lagoons and bay areas with lots of large and small islands. You will not want to miss out on the underwater experiences and exploration of these beautiful islands. Near Ullapool, you will find the Scottish Sea Kayak trail stretching from Gigha Island off the Kintyre peninsula to the Summer Isles. There are many kayak rental centres along the west coast, including in Oban and Arisaig, but kayaking in the Summer Isles will be a wonderful and unforgettable experience. You can use kayaks to feel like going on the sea and escape the busy, noisy and dusty highways.
You will need to rearrange the necessary luggage for this kayaking trip. Things that you should bring such as waterproof cases for electronic devices, dry bags, snacks, drinking water, binoculars, shoe covers so you can experience this trip to the fullest.
Steall Falls - A High Place for Sightseeing Water Falling Down
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Steall Falls, a splendid waterfall located in Glen Nevis, is only about 20 minutes from Fort William across the falls. This is known as the 2nd tallest waterfall in Scotland. On the road that runs through Nevis Gorge - an area owned by the John Muir Trust for its wild features, you can enjoy the cool flavours of this place in the autumn season. This place is also known as White Faucet - A Steall Bàn.
Located on the green plateau, it will take you quite a long time from 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours to reach this place. The scenery here is extremely majestic and brilliant on sunny days. When there is fog, this place will become even more real and fanciful. You can bring sunscreen, hiking shoes, water, waterproof containers, climbing sticks and snacks to prepare for the journey to explore this magnificent waterfall.
Fort William - A Small Gorgeous Town that You Do not Want to Miss
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Once you have got the chance to ascend the Scottish Highland, you will not want to miss Fort William. It is a small town in the western part of the Scottish Highland located on the shores of Loch Linnhe. It can be said that Fort William is a gateway to Ben Navis, the highest mountain peak in the UK, and the Glen Navis valley. This place will be very busy in the summer, you can explore most of the souvenir shops, traditional pubs and explore the city centre.
Fort William is a hub for hiking up the hill, you can go up to the top of Ben Nevis. In addition to a visit to the town, Fort William is the starting point of the hike to the top of Ben Nevis. This is also where the Jacobite Express train will begin arriving in Mallaig. You can choose to walk, bike or hike as it is very close to ski runs, mountain bike tracks and mountain trails.
As you enter the city centre, you will meet the Highland museum - which focuses on the life and history of this place. In the northeast, you will be able to see first-hand the whiskey-making process at Ben Nevis Distillery.
Eilean Donan Castle - The Typical Beauty of Medieval Architecture
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This is one of the famous castles in Scotland. You won't want to miss it during your stay in Scottish Highland. This castle has been aired and appeared in many movies, and is said to be the perfect benchmark of medieval architecture in Scotland. This castle is located on Loch Duich near the bridge leading to the island of Skye. You can enter the castle via a stone bridge and enjoy taking beautiful photos while approaching this fairy stone monument.
The castle is named after a 6th century Irish Saint, Bishop Donan, who came to Scotland in 580 AD. It is said that he built a small community in the late 7th century. In the early 13th century, this structure was built as a defensive strategy to protect the land of Kintail against invasion by humans. Vikings when they began to attack, invade, settle and control much of the land in the North of Scotland and the Western Isles between 800 and 1266. From the mid-13th century onwards, this place began to become a strategic defensive position because the only way to reach is the sea and the means of transportation can only be used by ships. The wear and tear of time and the change of owners have caused the original structure of the castle to be changed.
Sandwood Bay Beach - Mother Nature's Masterpiece
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Sandwood Bay Beach is famous as one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, it has an unspoiled beauty located in the northern area of the Scottish Highland. This beach has a pink sand beach about 1.5 km wide surrounded by cliffs. Next is a beach with the natural beauty of Am Buachaille, behind the dunes of Sandwood Loch - home to brown trout.
This secluded bay will have no access, but you can still take a detour - it's a long way, but a fairly accessible and flat path leading from the car park in Blairmore village. This place is also owned by the John Muir Trust unit. Despite the distance, this hike is quite easy as there are quite a few signposts so you won't need to worry about getting lost. Due to the proximity of the bay, the weather will be somewhat erratic, you will need to prepare and bring umbrellas, raincoats, waterproof boots, waterproof containers to prevent sudden rain. When you have completed a long walk, your gift will be a view of a large beach standing in the middle of wild nature.
Apple Cross Road - Stairway to Majestic Mountain Paradise
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Apple Cross Road, also known as Chomraich, is a peninsula northwest of Kyle of Lochalsh in the Scottish Highland region. Here you will find the most beautiful mountain scenery in the country. You can walk along the coast from Torridon to AppleCross. On the trails out to Apple Cross, you will find fairy-tale trails - as well as a bird's-eye view of the Isle of Skye.
However, you will need to pay attention to the signs while on the road. You will need to pay attention to the signs on the road because on some roads there will be no signs, if you do not pay attention, you will be very likely to have an accident. Please note that this road is quite narrow and tricky, so it will not be for beginners, mobile touring cars and large vehicles. Along with that, you also do not go to the road in winter, especially in the snowy season because it is very difficult to move.
Handa Island - Explore Bird's Reservation Forest
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If you are cruising north of the Scottish Highland, you might be thinking about going to Tarbet and maybe renting a yacht to get to Handa Island in less than 10 minutes. This picnic is likely to last several hours. Coming to this place, you will be surprised by the biodiversity, especially the birds. You will have the opportunity to admire many types of birds, if you are lucky, you may get a howling bird with a colourful beak.
In addition, for those who love nature and want to see animals, this is the place for you. On the island, there is a very large nature reserve, which houses one of the largest flocks of seabirds in Europe. You will be informed by the forest rangers about the rules when entering the nature reserve. Next, it will take you about 3 hours to walk to the island. The total cost for this trip will cost about 15 pounds/person. Departure time is Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 2 pm - the last return trip will be at 5 pm. Due to limited capacity, you may have to wait patiently for your turn.
Inverewe Gardens - Flower Power for Floral Lovers
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Inverewe Gardens opened in 2016 will be a promising stop for nature lovers and leave wonderful memories during your stay in the Scottish Highland. It is recommended that you visit the garden in spring, summer, and early autumn because of the vibrant and romantic colours of the flowers here.
Indeed, this place is a conservation garden, specializing in the collection of strange and rare plants, cared for in the best conditions, annotated on species, and search locations. You can visit the garden every day, from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Tickets for adults are £13, children are £1, families are £33 and fare for families with adults is £25. On sunny days, you will be able to zoom out with binoculars to see the tall mountains.
Dunrobin Castle - Transform into Princesses & Princes in the Old Fairy Tales
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When going to the Scottish Highland, you will not be able to miss the cultural capital of this highland - the city of Inverness. To the North of Inverness, you will be able to come across Dunrobin Castle, an ancient castle with the beauty of time and shimmering architecture will take you into the world of fairy tales with princes - noble princesses of the Middle Ages.
It is the largest estate in the Scottish Highland and is surrounded by a large park and gardens by the waves of the shore. The castle is open every day from 11 am to 4 pm. During the summer, the time may change due to the peak tourist season. For just £11, and 2 hours to explore the castle interior and inner garden, you'll be able to comfortably immerse yourself in a romantic and aristocratic setting, taking you to travel back in time to become princes and nobles of the past.
We hope this collection of top 15 activities that you should try in the Scottish Highlands would bring in a wider reference for your trip!