Our Guide to the UK and Ireland

Highlands & Islands of Scotland

Scotland’s Highlands and Islands are Britain at its most wildly spectacular, and unbeatable if you love adventure. The mainland’s heather-clad peaks, glistening lochs and moody glens are a visual feast, often set off by a remote castle keeping vigil over the landscape, while Scotland’s magical islands from the Hebrides to Orkney offer prehistoric monuments, seabird cliffs and coral beaches galore.

The Highlands of Scotland are one of Europe’s last wilderness regions, and no trip to Britain is complete without taking in its epic vistas and experiencing for yourself the play of light upon its mountains, glens and lochs. From the Cairngorms to the towering crags of Wester Ross, the Highlands are an outdoor adventure playground, with endless opportunities to walk its ridges, fish its rivers or view its magnificent wildlife.

Scotland’s West Coast is particularly special, and its sharply indented coastline warmed by the Gulf Stream hides more than a few surprises from palm trees to orcas, and there’s no shortage of mind-blowing places to stay and historic castles to visit. Travel up the Great Glen past Ben Nevis and Loch Ness, keeping an eye out for monsters as you go, and you’ll reach Inverness, springboard for adventures into the Cairngorms and the fisheries and whisky distilleries of the Spey Valley.

Those with a yearning for wild remote places and authentic traditional communities should make a beeline for Scotland’s islands. Here you can really get away from it all and discover staggering mountain grandeur, dazzling white beaches, vast whirlpools and intact 5,000-year-old prehistoric villages in Skye, Harris and the Orkney Isles. To reach Britain’s Ultima Thule of St. Kilda, join one of our luxury expedition cruises and be lost for words as you contemplate dizzying sea stacks and thousand upon thousand of gannets dive-bombing the ocean around you.

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