From wild swimming in lochans to hiking up a Munro, the Highlands of Scotland are full of things to see and do, whatever the season, your age or budget. For impressive views, fantastic food and welcoming locals, there are a wealth of excellent options. We’ve narrowed them down.
Looking for the full package? Join Culture Trip on a four-day winter adventure to Glencoe, near Fort William, and savour snow-capped landscapes, go dog-sledding and ice-climbing with our Local Insider, and sip drams inside a cosy Highland retreat.
Whether it’s freshly caught Scottish salmon, locally foraged fungi or haggis, Scotland has a unique cuisine and plenty of chefs to make you fall in love with it. Most restaurants and cafes have menus that change seasonally, but whenever you visit you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the offering. For the freshest seafood money can buy, book a table for lunch at Lochinver Larder, where the Highlands meet the sea on the west coast.
Social gatherings, especially on long winter nights, are a staple of Highland life, with a warm welcome extended to all. These are usually fun, informal affairs; kilts are welcome, but not essential and the same goes for whiskey. Dances are taught to beginners, and you won’t be allowed to sit out for long. If you find yourself in the vicinity of Poolewe, a small village in Wester Ross in the North West, it’s worth checking if there are any scheduled dances at the local hall. Traditional cèilidhs are frequently held there, and are lots of fun.
For more inspiration on what to do, discover our guide on the most remote Scottish whisky distilleries you can visit.