A fine selection of holiday cottages, hotels, B&Bs, inns, lodges, Travelodges, Premier Inns etc across the Highlands and Islands region. Includes Cairngorms National Park, Isle of Skye, Wester Ross NSA etc. Pictured is Buachaille Etive Mr in Highland unitary authority close to Glen Coe.
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The Highlands & Islands, Visitor & Tourism Guide

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Unitary authorities/counties*: Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands, Highland (including the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Rum), Western Isles, Moray, Aberdeenshire (including Aberdeen), Perth and Kinross and Argyll and Bute. On the boundary are Angus, Stirling and Isle of Arran.

National Park: Cairngorms National Park and parts of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park

National Scenic Areas: Shetland, Hoy & West Mainland, Kyle of Tongue, North West Sutherland, Assynt Coigach, Dornoch Firth, Wester Ross, Trotternish, The Cuillin Hills, South Lewis, Harris & North Uist, St Kilda, South Uist Machair, The Small Isles, Glen Strathfarrer, Glen Affric, Kintail, Knoydart, Morai, Moidart & Ardnamurchan, Loch Shiel, Loch na Keal, Lynn of Lorn, Ben Nevis & Glencoe, Loch Rannoch & Glen Lyon, The Cairngorm Mountains, Deeside Lochnagar, Loch Tummel, River Tay, River Earn, Scarba, Lunga & The Garvellachs, Jura, Knapdale, North Arran.

We've carved Scotland into two regions
We've divided Scotland into two regions north and south of a major geological feature called The Highland Boundary Fault which runs from Arran to the west across to Stonehaven in the east. If you click on the 'Terrain' setting on the Google map, you will see a flat area running into a crumpled, mountainous area north of Glasgow. This is the Boundary Fault.

To the north of this lies The Highlands & Islands and to the south are The Lowlands. Unlike England's regions, these are not officially recognised areas but it's necessary to carve up the country because there's so much to see and do.

This unofficial border cuts through many of Scotland's 'unitary authorities' so we've placed some of those in The Highlands and Islands region and others in The Lowlands region.

Mountains and lochs, islands and sea
As the region's name suggests, the area is dominated by high mountains and stunning islands.

The region covers the unitary authorities of Highland, Western Isles, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, Moray, Aberdeen and parts of Aberdeenshire, Angus, Perth and Kinross, Argyll and Bute.

Home to most of the highest mountains in the UK. Ben Nevis is the highest point at 4,409 ft or 1,344 metres. A short distance south east is the famous Glen Coe. The Cairngorms National Park has the other five of Scotland's six highest mountains. On the Isle of Skye are the mighty Cuillin which are essential climbing if you're into the hills.

With the mountains come deep glens (or valleys) and lochs. Glen Coe is probably the most famous glen in Scotland, Loch Ness with its legendary monster is probably the most famous loch. Try also Glen Etive and Loch Torridon.

Often violent history
When you travel around the Highland & Islands, the region's often violent history is evident in its landscape. Castles and military buildings, monuments and glens tell a compelling story. There are many castles in the region but we'd point you in the direction east of Inverness and down to Aberdeen for an exceptional range of castles in a concentrated area. Over in the west, there's the much photographed Eilean Donan Castle.

Iona Abbey is exceptionally important and where the world famous Book of Kells was created.

There's also a rich prehistory to the region. The most obvious destination would be the Orkney Islands with its UNESCO World Heritage Site 'Heart of Neolithic Orkney'. Try also the Callanish Standing Stones on the Western Isles.

There's another UNESCO World Heritage Site within the region on the island of St Kilda. Whilst it's possible to visit the island, it's very much off the beaten tourism track.

There are some spectacular beaches, too. For example, visit Seilebost Beach or .

** A note on Scotland's 32 unitary authorities

Top 10 Recommendations

Top 10 Hotels
Selected from the best Hotels in The Highlands & Islands we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Things To Do
Selected from the best Things To Do in The Highlands & Islands we've listed our top 10.

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Explore The Highlands & Islands through our Explore The UK map or discover it yourself usingStreetView

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Local Attractions  [See more Attractions]

Ruthven Barracks

Located in Ruthven, Highland, The Highlands & Islands, Scotland

Approximately 9.1 miles away.

Built after the 1715 Jacobite rising. Ruthven Barracks is located on the site of a fomer castle. One of four barracks built in strategic locations to help the British Governemnt better keep control of the peoples of the...

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Loch Ness

Located in Highland, The Highlands & Islands, Scotland

Approximately 13.5 miles away.

Said to be home to Nessie or the Loch Ness Monster. Large freshwater loch running south west from Inverness. Used as part of the Caledonian Canal. Contains more water than ALL the lakes in both England and Wales. After L...

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Urquhart Castle

Located in Strone, Highland, The Highlands & Islands, Scotland

Approximately 14.0 miles away.

Overlooking Loch Ness. Urquhart Castle was built in the thirteenth century. The castle was largely destroyed in 1692 to prevent Jacobite troops using it as a stronghold against the King William II. It is run by Historic...

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Local Accommodation  [See more Accommodation]

Ard Na Coille 5 Star Guest House, Inverness Shire
© Owner
Star Rating

Approximately 7.6 miles away.

Total Rooms: 4; Rates: 50 - 130 Per Night

In the beautiful countryside of the Cairngorm National Park, this luxury guest house has been awarded 5 stars by VisitScotland and 5 Gold Stars by the AA in 2009 Ard-na-Coille offers luxury accommodation and stunning vie...

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Clune House, Newtonmore
© Owner
Star Rating

Approximately 7.6 miles away.

Total Rooms: 3; Rates: 20 - 86 Per Night

Perfectly situated in the Cairngorms National Park, Clune House is a friendly, family-run bed and breakfast, surrounded by picturesque mountainside and wildlife...

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Glenavon House, Newtonmore
© Owner
Star Rating

Approximately 7.6 miles away.

Total Rooms: 3; Rates: 40 - 60 Per Night

A small bed and breakfast in the Highland village of Newtonmore, ideally located for walking, bird watching and exploring the beautiful countryside around the Cairngorms...

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