Around the Great Glen: Places to Explore


  • Arisaig

    Considering its small size, Arisaig, gateway to the Small Isles, offers a surprising choice of high-quality options for dining and lodging. To the north of Arisaig the road cuts across a headland to reach... Read more

  • Aviemore

    At the foot of the Cairngorms, the once-quiet Aviemore now has all the brashness and boxiness of a year-round holiday resort. In the summer months it's filled with walkers, cyclists, and rock-climbers... Read more

  • Boat of Garten

    In the peaceful village of Boat of Garten, the scent of pine trees mingles with an equally evocative smell—that of steam trains. You can take a nostalgic steam train trip on the Strathspey Steam Railway... Read more

  • Culloden Moor

  • Drumnadrochit

    A tourist hub at the curve of the road, Drumnadrochit is not known for its style or culture, but it attracts plenty of people interested in searching for mythical monsters. There aren't many good restaurants... Read more

  • Forres

    The burgh of Forres is everything a Scottish medieval town should be, with a handsome tolbooth (the former courthouse and prison) and impressive gardens as its centerpiece. It's remarkable how well the... Read more

  • Fort Augustus

    The best place to see the locks of the Caledonian Canal is at Fort Augustus, at the southern tip of Loch Ness. This bustling small town is a great place to begin walking and cycling excursions, or to sit... Read more

  • Fort William

    As its name suggests, Fort William originated as a military outpost, first established by Oliver Cromwell's General Monk in 1655 and refortified by George I (1660–1727) in 1715 to help combat an uprising... Read more

  • Glencoe

    Glencoe is both a small town and a region of awesome beauty, with high peaks and secluded glens. The area, where wild, craggy buttresses loom darkly over the road, has a special place in the folk memory... Read more

  • Glenfinnan

    Perhaps the most visitor-oriented stop on the route between Fort William and Mallaig, Glenfinnan has much to offer if you're interested in Scottish history. Here the National Trust for Scotland has capitalized... Read more

  • Grantown-on-Spey

    The sturdy settlement of Grantown-on-Spey, set amid tall pines that flank the River Spey, is a classic Scottish planned town. The community was laid out by the local landowner, in this case Sir James Grant... Read more

  • Inverness

    The city makes a great base for exploring the region, and you can fan out in almost any direction from Inverness for interesting day trips: east to Moray and the distilleries near Forres, southeast to... Read more

  • Kingussie

    Set in a wide glen, Kinguissie is a pretty town east of the Monadhliadh Mountains. With great distant views of the Cairngorms, it's perfect for those who would prefer to avoid the far more hectic town... Read more

  • Mallaig

    After the approach along the coast, the workaday fishing port of Mallaig itself is somewhat anticlimactic. It has a few shops, and there's some bustle by the quayside when fishing boats unload or the Skye... Read more

  • Nairn

    This once-prosperous fishing village has something of a split personality. King James VI (1566–1625) once boasted of a town so large the residents at either end spoke different languages. This was a reference... Read more