Coming to the north of Scotland? Below are some of my favourite places in the Highlands and Aberdeenshire. This is by no means an exhaustive list and it is by no means finished. I’ll add to the list as I remember and discover other places.
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PLACES FOR A WALK
North Kessock – I might be a wee bit bias as I live here but Marco and I love wandering along the shore out past Charleston village and along towards Redcastle. Nice flat, quiet road for cycling too. The hills to the west make for some beautiful sunsets.
Dornoch Beach – Walk all the way to Embo on the beautiful sands.
Loch an Eilean – A gentle walk around a lovely loch. It can be made longer by taking the path to Loch Gamma. Nice running route.
Glentanar Estate – When I was a kid Glentanar was the place I wanted us to go every Sunday for a walk and a paddle in the river. Beautiful Scots pine forests and walking routes of all lengths.
Glen Affric – Perhaps the prettiest glen in Scotland. The walk right the way around the loch takes around five hours but there are shorter routes marked out too.
PLACES TO VISIT
Skye - OK, so Skye is pretty big and I probably should be a bit more specific but, really, the whole island is just stunning. If you could only go to one place in Scotland, this is where I’d recommend you went.
Connage Dairy – Our local cheesemakers. The Crowdie is my favourite.
Achiltibuie - Home to the reknowned Summer Isles Hotel, Achiltibuie is a small, spread out village on the west coast. Stunning sunsets looking out over the Summer Isles.
PLACES TO EAT
The Anderson – Quirky, cosy pub/hotel with hearty food and an enormous beer and whiskey list.
Storehouse at Foulis - Canteen style restaurant with local art on the walls, good food and even better cakes. Lovely gift shop/deli too. AND there are almost always a bunch of seals hanging out on the shore.
PLACES TO DRINK
Hootannany - Local ales, live music (traditional downstairs, rock upstairs) and a diverse crowd. Best pub in Inverness, in my opinion.
North Kessock Hotel beer garden on a sunny summer’s day – Grab a pint and watch the dolphins jumping in the firth.
PLACES TO STAY
PLACES TO SHOP
PLACES TO TAKE KIDS
Landmark Forest Adventure Park – Fantastic eco-friendly adventure park for kids and adults alike. Water slides, a tree assault course, nature trails, red squirrels and lots more. Great fun. I’ve been known to steal other people’s children just to have an excuse to go.
Black Isle Wildlife Park – The wallabies eat out of your hand so gently you’ll want to take one home. You can’t though. It’s not allowed, I discovered.
Rothiemurchus Estate – Canoeing, mountain biking, quad biking and a whole lot more in a stunning location near Aviemore.
Black Isle Show – Big agricultural show held every August. Lots of local stalls, exhibits, farm animals and dancing.