From wild swimming in lochans to hiking up a Munro, the Highlands of Scotland are full of things to see and do, no matter the season, your age or budget. For impressive views, fantastic food and welcoming locals, there are a wealth of excellent options. We narrow them down.
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 cafés have menus that change seasonally, but whenever you visit you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what’s on offer. For the freshest seafood money can buy, book a table for lunch at the Lochinver Larder where the Highlands meet the sea on the west coast.
Social gatherings, especially on long winter nights, are a staple of life in the Highlands, with a warm welcome extended to all. These are usually fun, informal affairs; kilts are welcome, but not essential and the same goes for whisky. The 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 village hall where traditional cèilidhs are frequently held, and lots of fun.