The Highlands of Scotland cover a large area, with distances between towns and villages sometimes surprising the visitor. Most villages have a café or coffeeshop, and it is often bustling with local life and activities, a meeting place for neighbours who may live miles apart and a place for visitors to rest. Bigger towns have plenty of places to choose from, such as those in Inverness, but here we share six from across more rural parts of the region, from coast to coast and over mountains!
Cafe, Coffee Shop, Tea , Coffee, British, $$$
Glencoe Café | Glencoe Café/Facebook
Situated in the legendary Glencoe, this café is the ideal spot to fuel up before hitting the hills, or perhaps to sit with a cup of loose leaf tea or locally roasted coffee, admiring the remarkable views. Breakfasts, snacks and lunch are all available, and you can even have a glass of wine or beer with your food. With free WiFi and home baking also on offer, this is the perfect spot to slow down among some of the finest scenery in Scotland.
If you are exploring Loch Ness, perhaps to try and find Nessie, or maybe just travelling along the Great Glen, this is a perfect place to stop for a cuppa. The fare on offer includes an all-day breakfast that receives wonderful reviews, smoothies, cakes and other baked goods, all of which are homemade. It is also worth mentioning that the service is second-to-none — the staff come highly praised for their kindness and attention to detail.
Starting life in 2008 housed within a small corrugated iron building, Nanny’s is now found in a purpose-built café. This is home cooking and baking at its best and Nanny’s has an excellent reputation among lovers of the area; walkers, mountaineers, kayakers, or those driving along the nearby North Coast 500. How local and fresh is the food? Well, the langoustine and squat lobster are caught in the nearby Loch Torridon by the owner’s husband!
Also on the North Coast 500, but on the opposite side of the country, and also on the Lands End to John o’Groats route, Laidhay Tearoom offers favourites such as cakes, tray bakes, sandwiches and toasties. It also sells Scottish treats like haggis and cullen skink. Situated beside the wonderful Laidhay Croft Museum, this is an ideal spot to pause as you head north (or south) and many motorists find themselves returning the next time they travel up to the very north of Scotland.
Named after the infamous winding mountain pass, Bealach na Bà, at whose base it is situated, this café is popular with those who travel to the west coast village of Applecross. The location of the café is stunning, and there is an outside seating area (and large windows inside for days when the weather comes into play!). The staff are great, the cakes delicious, the coffee and tea spot on, and there’s even an attached gallery!
The name is a bit of a give away; Cocoa Mountain serves teas, coffees, sandwiches, quiche, and croissants, for example, but it really excels in all things chocolate. From the perfect hot chocolate to the handmade truffles and artisanal chocolates, the fact this is a café attached to a chocolaterie does not go unnoticed. In fact, it can’t go unnoticed, as you can even peek at staff making chocolates! Cocoa Mountain have recently opened a new outlet in Dornoch too.