The Northern Highlands and the Western Isles

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Northern Highlands and the Western Isles - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Applecross

    The most exciting way to reach this small community facing Skye is by a twisting, turning coastal road, which leaves the A896 just a few...Read More

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  • 2. Assynt and Coigach

    To the east and south of Lochinver lies a different kind of landscape: a vast region of brooding mountains and languid lochs, where peaks punch...Read More

  • 3. Calanais Standing Stones

    The west coast of Lewis is rich in prehistoric sites, and the most famous of these is the Calanais Standing Stones. Believed to have been...Read More

  • 4. Fairy Pools

    One of the most magical sights in Scotland, the Fairy Pools are a spectacularly beautiful collection of waterfalls and plunge pools in the midst of...Read More

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  • 5. Isle of Harris Distillery

    Opened in 2015, this island distillery rapidly gained a reputation for its distinctive gin, infused with coastal botanicals including sugar kelp. Its first malt whisky,...Read More

  • 6. Sandwood Bay

    Sandwood Bay is one of Scotland's most spectacular—and most isolated—beaches. The only way to reach it is to walk 4 miles each way across sheep...Read More

  • 7. Smoo Cave

    This atmospheric cavern, hollowed out of the limestone by rushing water, feels like something from a fantasy novel. Located a mile east of Durness, the...Read More

  • 8. St. Clement's Church

    At the southernmost point of Harris, in the village of Rodel 3 miles southeast of Leverburgh, lies St. Clement's Church—the most impressive pre-Reformation House of...Read More

  • 9. St. Kilda Village

    This crumbling, wind-ravaged village is the last remnant of the community that lived on Hirta for thousands of years. For most of that time, the...Read More

  • 10. The Quiraing

    A spectacular geological formation of rocky crags and towering stacks, Quiraing dominates the horizon of the Trotternish Peninsula. It's about 5 miles beyond Kilt Rock,...Read More

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  • 11. Traigh Luskentyre

    One of Scotland's most spectacular beaches, Traigh Luskentyre is flanked by rolling sand dunes on one side and the shimmering sea on the other. Add...Read More

  • 12. Achmelvich Bay

    This beautiful white-sand beach, 4 miles northwest of Lochinver, is a popular summer spot with water babies, from kayakers to windsurfers, as well as landlubbers...Read More

  • 13. Ardvreck Castle

    Beside Loch Assynt, 11 miles east of Lochinver on the fast road to Ullapool, stands the striking Ardvreck Castle. A onetime Clan MacLeod stronghold built...Read More

  • 14. Aros

    On the outskirts of town, Aros is a community center that screens films, exhibits artworks, and hosts live music, dance, and theater productions. It's the...Read More

  • 15. Balranald Nature Reserve

    Run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Balranald Nature Reserve shelters large numbers of waders and seabirds that inhabit the...Read More

  • 16. Barpa Langass

    Dating back around 5,000 years, Barpa Langass is a chambered cairn (a Neolithic burial monument), the only one in the Western Isles to retain a...Read More

  • 17. Bright Water Visitor Centre

    Discover Ring of Bright Water, Gavin Maxwell's much-loved account of his work with otters on the island of Eilean Ban, at this center just across...Read More

  • 18. Butt of Lewis Lighthouse

    At the northernmost point of Lewis, 3 miles northwest of Port of Ness, stands the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse, which was first illuminated in 1862....Read More

  • 19. Castle Sinclair Girnigoe

    Dramatically perched on the edge of the cliff, this ruined castle—or rather, castles—is a spectacular sight. Situated 3 miles north of Wick, this site comprises...Read More

  • 20. Ciannabeine Beach

    Situated 10 miles east of Durness, between Rispond and Sangobeg, Ciannabeine is one of Scotland's most achingly beautiful beaches, a spectacular sweep of sand caught...Read More

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