What to do in the Highlands
There is no shortage of things to do during your self catering holiday in the Highlands. Go golfing or fishing; take a wildlife watching boat tour; visit fascinating historic sites; sample some local whisky; visit local potteries and craft shops; go canoeing, kayaking or sailing; discover the range of mountain biking tracks and cycling routes on offer. With so much to see and do, you’ll be glad of a comfortable holiday home in which to put your feet up after a busy day! Whether you book a city centre apartment in Inverness, a log cabin in Aviemore, a cosy cottage in the Black Isle or a holiday home near Gairloch, you’ll find a host of different activities and sights on your doorstep.
To give you a taster, here are just a few ideas of the different attractions and activities on offer:
- Inverness Floral Hall Gardens and Coffee Shop – unique visitor attraction that offers a tranquil break amidst beautiful floral displays.
- Inverness Wild Life Cruises – cruise the waters of the Moray Firth, home to the most northerly resident group of Dolphins in Europe – you may also encounter Ospreys, Red Kites & Seals.
- Canny Tours – small Highland Tour Company offering a range of day trips from Inverness.
- Fairways – the Highlands premier golf, leisure and social location that caters for everyone in the family.
- PDG Helicopters – experience the thrill of helicopter flight whilst enjoying the magnificent views of Inverness and surrounding area.
- Guide Friday - Open top city bus tours. Hop on and hop off as much as you like at any of the bus stops on the route and see all the best sights and attractions that the city has to offer.
- Castle Gallery – one of the leading commercial art galleries in Scotland (UK).
- Highland House of Fraser – Kiltmaker and Supplier of Highland Dress.
- Culloden Battlefield – exciting new state of the art exhibition centre.
The Black Isle
- Ecoventures– the ultimate wildlife watching adventure at the heart of the MorayFirth. Dolphin and seal spotting.
- Cromarty Courthouse Museum – invites you to explore one of Scotland’s secrets.
- Glen Ord Distillery – watch distillers at work creating a magical malt whisky.
- Groam House Museum – find out about the inhabitants of the north in an award winning Pictish Interpretive Centre.
- Tore Art Gallery – award-winning venue for the visual arts.
- Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf
- The Clansman Centre – Besides a shop, which specialises in Celtic and locally produced crafts and includes a Scottish armoury, there is a recreation of the interior of a Highland turf house, where an authentically dressed clansman brings the past back to life.
- Great Glen Way - walks and guided tours.
- Highland Trekking & Trail Riding – situated at the remote settlement of Cougie, ten miles from the village of Cannich. Caters for all abilities.
- Loch Ness Cruises – described by visitors and travel writers alike as “the most informative and entertaining cruise on Loch Ness”.
- Jacobite Cruises – For the finest way to see Loch Ness, nothing compares to a luxury cruise with Jacobite.
- Scottish Highland Tours – A selection of Exclusive and Individual Guided One Day Tours of the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
Aviemore & Cairngorm National Park
- Craggan for leisure – outdoor family entertainment in the heart of Speyside.
- Boots n Paddles – outdoor activities including open canoeing, archery, climbing, abseiling, hill walking, orienteering, mountain biking, gorge walking, canyoning and weaseling.
- The Whisky Castle – at Tomintoul is a unique Malt Whisky Shop with over 550 Single Malts on its shelves
- Alvie Estate – activities include: Clay Pigeon Shooting, Archery, Quad Bike Treks and Pony Trekking. Fishing is also available with a choice of rivers or lochs.
- Rothiemurchus – walking and guided walks, cycling and mountain biking, clay pigeon shooting, 4×4 driving experience, quad biking treks, pony trekking, dog sledding, fishing, deer stalking, wildlife watching, osprey watching, shopping and tours.
- Loch Insh Watersports Centre – one of the biggest outdoor centres in Scotland. Specialising in mountain and watersports activities. Multi sport activity holidays for school children, either residential or for visiting groups each day.
- Cairngorm Snowsports - not-for-profit organisation that trades as The Ski School and The Snowboard School. The only ski and snowboard school based on Cairngorm Mountain.
- Aviemore Ski School – Ski Hire and Instruction Packages. Learn to ski all year round on a dry slope. Sledging for children too.
- Loch Morlich Watersports – from watersports to walking, mountain biking to fishing, you’ll find activities to give many fun filled days!
- Landmark Forest Theme Park - much more than just a great day out. Fun, discovery and adventure for all ages.
- The Strathspey Railway – steam engine train trips, lunches and dinners on board, snacks and party bookings. Based in Aviemore.
- Highland Wildlife Park – Experience Scottish wildlife as well as international endangered animals of mountains and tundra in the spectacular setting of the Highland Wildlife Park.
- Cairngorm Mountain -funicular railway, skiing and snowboarding, guided walks and events.
Isle of Skye & the West Coast
- Skyeskyns – Skyeskyns, manufacturers and suppliers of finest quality sheepskins, is a family business established on the Isle of Skye in 1983
- Edinbane Pottery – Our high quality handmade ceramics are both modern and functional. The pots are much sought after by visitors and islanders alike
- Diana Mackie – The studio overlooking the Minch to the Outer Hebrides on the Isle of Skye is where my inspiration evolves by continually observing the changing weather fronts.
- Skye Cuillin Marbles – The place to buy your very own piece of Scotland. Genuine hand made Scottish gifts and jewellery individually crafted on the island from the world-renowned Isle of Skye marble.
- Seaprobe Atlantis – offers an experience no other boat can match. Enjoy all the wildlife and scenery above the waves and then experience all the scenery and wildlife below the waves, too, as you cruise in complete safety
- Eilean Donan Castle – Eilean Donan is recognised all around the world. Situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by some majestic scenery.
- Dunvegan Castle – Any visit to this enchanted Isle must be deemed incomplete without savouring the wealth of history offered by Dunvegan Castle and Gardens. Stronghold of the MacLeods
- Spirit of Adventure – Small ship cruises that take you places larger ships can’t go
- Skye Fudge – A small family run business, we pride ourselves on the quality and taste of our product, using only Scottish butter and full cream dairy milk in every batch.
- The Fingal Centre – opened in the Summer of 2008 and is part of a new development which includes state of the art community facilities and a new high school.
Fort William & Lochaber
- Ice Factory – indoor ice + rock climbing… winter + summer outdoor hillwalking, mountaineering + climbing… tree top adventure course with tower, abseiling, giant swing + drop zone… shop… restaurant… bar/bistro… children’s play areas… equipment + bike hire
- Glen Coe Visitors Centre – Tucked away from view, just off the A82, is the ‘family friendly’ Glencoe Visitor Centre, with exciting interactive displays and activities for both adults and children.
- West Coast Railways – West Coast Railways operate a number of one-off railtours throughout the season in conjunction with a partner company, Railtourer, and Statesman Rail.
- Wolftrax – Run with the pack at Laggan Wolftrax and enjoy nearly 35km of the most up-to-date, year-round singletrack available in the country.
- Duart Castle - - on the Isle of Mull in Scotland is the ancestral home of the Clan Maclean.
- Treasures of the Earth – You will be amazed by this incredible display, which took nature more than 500 Million years to create.
- Wildlife on Eigg – From April to September, weekly guided walks with the island’s resident warden enables the visitor to discover Eigg’s many birds and flowering species
- Arisaig Marine – Cruise to the islands of Eigg, Muck or Rum on Scotland’s west coast on board MV Sheerwater and enjoy the varied wildlife and spectacular views
- Ardnamurchan Light House – At the most westerly point on the British mainland, Ardnamurchan Lighthouse has been guiding ships safely through the waters off Scotland’s west coast since 1849
- Ardnamurchan Natural History Centre – The Centre offers a combination of entertainment & education for all ages based on a strong foundation of relevant fact and quality presentation
Strathpeffer & Dingwall
- Strathpeffer Golf Course – founded in 1888. One of the original course designers was “the grand old man of golf” Tom Morris of St Andrews.
- Corrieshalloch Gorge – This breathtaking mile-long gorge, is one of the finest examples in Britain of a box canyon, its 61 m (200 ft) deep. The river plunges 46 m (150 ft) over the Falls of Measach.
- The Strathpeffer Pavilion – a great venue in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.
- Dalmore Distillery – deep in the spectacular Scottish Highlands, the distillery is perfectly placed to take advantage of a feast of natural resource
- Nigg Bay Nature Reserve – See hundreds of wigeons in the bay, Watch out for waders along the shoreline as the tide comes in and You might catch a glimpse of otters around the reserve
- Dingwall Museum – We are normally open from Mid May to the end of September
- The Highland Football Academy – THE HIGHLAND FOOTBALL ACADEMY TRUST WAS ESTABLISHED IN APRIL 2002.
- The Fairburn Activity Centre – The Centre provides a wide range of outdoor activities (on and off-site) which are tailored to the requirements of your group/organisation.
- Robertson’s Larder – Visit our farm shop and children’s farmyard for an enjoyable, unique and educational trip for the family. Meet and feed our rare breed animals
- Dingwall Leisure Centre – It is the aim of Dingwall Leisure Centre to exceed our customer’s expectations through excellent customer care and by providing activity programming which reflects and responds to personal, family and community interests. Swimming pool and sports centre.
Dornoch & Sutherland
- Historylinks Museum – dedicated to the history of Dornoch parish. The permanent exhibition shows the Cathedral, feuding clans, the shameful burning of Scotland’s last condemned witch and the treachery and violence of Picts and Vikings.
- Dornoch area fishing – There are two lochs in the Dornoch area, both within easy reach from the town centre to the loch side. Permits can currently only be sold for bank fishing at these lochs. Bank fishing is still allowed at Littleferry (south side only). Littleferry is a tidal estuary offering Sea-Trout fishing by spinning or fly.
- Dornoch Cathedral – The Cathedral is a 13th Century Parish Church set in the heart of the royal burgh of Dornoch seeking to serve the wider community in which it lies along with its sister churches.
- Royal Dornoch Golf Course – Formed in 1877, Dornoch has now been a Royal club for over 100 years!
- The Lochans, Davochfin – A well laid out fishery with four lochans stocked regularly with quality rainbow trout. Outdoor recreation – 10am-10pm with: Fishery – rainbow trout, Fly and bait fishing, automatic golf range, pitch and putt course, fly & bait ponds and Golf Range – full size with 10 bays & bunker. All equipment available.
- Sutherland Swimming Pool Complex
- Kyle of Sutherland Mountain Bike Trails
- The Falls of Shin – A day out at the Falls of Shin Visitor Centre is a truly wonderful experience for all the family.
- Smoo Cave - set into limestone cliffs, Smoo cave is quite large – 200 feet long, 130 feet wide and 50 feet high at the entrance.
- Timespan Museum & Arts Centre – a vibrant meeting place between our past and our future; linking culture, heritage, the arts, people and their ideas.
- Tain Through Time - In 1997 the museum held the first exhibition ever dedicated entirely to Tain silver, consisting of about 150 items from a range of private and institutional owners across the UK as well as from its own collection.
- Glenmorangie – tour gives you unparalleled access to the distillery and warehouses. With the help of an expert guide you will experience all stages of the whisky making process from mashing and fermenting to distilling and maturing – all culminating in a dram or two of your choice!
- Coillemore – offers a wide range of high class equestrian facilities all of which are available to hire along with a variety of training clinics and competitions available all year round.
- Tain Golf Course – a traditional Scottish Highland links course designed by Old Tom Morris, situated 9 miles south of Dornoch and 31 miles north of Inverness.
- Alness Golf Course – This beautifully situated 18 hole golf course is probably one of the “Best Kept Secrets of the Highlands”. The Club offers a warm welcome to both beginners and seasoned players alike and is open to visitors all year round.
- Storehouse – Discover the fascinating history of the Storehouse, see and hear what life was like in 1790 Easter Ross in the authentically recreated building.