Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands is the rugged northern and north-western portion of Scotland. This is the Scotland conjured up by visions of tartan, kilts, Bonnie Prince Charlie and all.


Scottish Highlands regions - Color-coded map
Argyll and Bute

Cities and Towns



Other destinations

The Scottish Highlands contains some of Europe's most extensive wilderness areas, some of which have been proclaimed as National Parks:


Applecross Highlands


English is predominant everywhere in the Scottish Highlands. Scottish Gaelic is spoken by a small minority of locals, especially in the west, but all of them speak English as well.

Get in

By plane

The main airport serving the Scottish Highland region is Inverness Airport, with scheduled flights from locations around Scotland and England as well as international scheduled flights from Amsterdam, Dublin and Düsseldorf. There are smaller airports within the Scottish Highlands at Campbeltown and Oban that offer scheduled service from connecting flights into Glasgow; as well as Wick Airport which offers connecting flights from Edinburgh Airport and Stornoway Airport that can be reached from scheduled services from Aberdeen Airport.

By rail

Scotrail offers services from Glasgow and Edinburgh (via Perth) and Edinburgh (via Aberdeen) north towards Inverness several times a day. The West Highland Railway runs from Glasgow's Queen Street Station to Oban, Fort William and Mallaig. There is also the Caledonian Sleeper from London's Euston Station to/from Fort William and Inverness via Edinburgh. This overnight service must be booked in advance. Passengers heading for Fort William in the seated carriage must change carriages at Edinburgh Waverley.

By bus

Scottish Citylink offers a relatively frequent service to many parts of the Highlands from Glasgow, Perth and Inverness. West Coast Motors offers bus services throughout the Argyll and Bute region as well as buses from Glasgow to Campbeltown and Oban. Stagecoach offers services across the Highlands. Some communities are served by Royal Mail's Postbus service.

By car

There are numerous roads from the Central Scotland region into the Scottish Highlands. One of the most scenic involves the drive along Loch Lomond, out to Oban then north to Fort William and along Loch Ness to Inverness.

Get around

Scottish Citylink, West Coast Motors and Stagecoach should help to get you moving around the region if you are not in a car. Air service means connections in Glasgow while there are only a few train lines through the region, notably the West Highland Railway.


Many of the roads, especially in the more remote areas of the North West are single track with passing places. Driving there is a pleasure.


Hitchhiking is a good way to get around in the Highlands, with up to one in ten cars stopping for hitchhikers, but has two significant downsides. First, the road network is quite sparse in places. Also, many of the country roads that do exist have very low traffic density.


Eilean Donan castle

Eilean Donan castle is one of the most recognized castles in the world. It has appeared in many films including "Highlander" and James Bond film "The World Is Not Enough"


Glen Affric

Hike in the Torridon mountains.

The Cairngorms National Park - located within the heart of the Grampian Mountains

Try cycling the highlands.


Try hiking one of the long distance footpaths that cross the Highlands:

Take the train on the West Highland Railway.

Go next

After the Highlands, the next logical place to explore are the islands: the Hebrides, the Orkney Islands, and the Shetland Islands lie to the northwest and northeast.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, February 21, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.