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Five things to do in the Scottish Highlands

11th June 2020

With the ongoing coronavirus crisis likely to heavily restrict aeroplane travel, holidays abroad might be out of the question for the time being. However, the UK hosts plenty of beautiful, historic locations for you to explore that the lure of a beach holiday might have previously led you to discount. Now is the perfect time to tick off items on your UK bucket list. With its wild, untamed beauty, the Scottish Highlands have had an enduring appeal for centuries. Here are five unmissable things for you to do whilst visiting the Highlands.

 

1.    Visit a whisky distillery

With 47 whisky distilleries spread across the Highlands and Islands, there is no better place to sample Scotland’s national tipple. Here you can find Glenturret which, dating back to 1775, is Scotland’s oldest whisky distillery, alongside newer distilleries. Ncn’ean distillery in Argyll, for instance, was established in 2017 and is believed to be Scotland’s first organic whisky distillery. 

 

2.    Visit the Highland Wildlife Park

The Highland Wildlife Park, situated in the Cairngorms National Park, provides a spectacular home for endangered animals from around the world such as snow monkeys and polar bears, as well as being involved in the conservation of native Scottish species, such as capercaillies and Scottish wildcats. Capercaillies, a large bird, are threatened by overshooting and loss of habitat. Scottish wildcats, about the size of a large tabby cat, with a short, bushy tail, are critically endangered and could soon disappear altogether without serious conservation efforts. A trip to the park will help to support conservation projects whilst also being a fantastic day out.

 

3.    Outlander filming location tour

Are you a fan of Outlander, the TV show based on the bestselling series by Diana Gabaldon? In 1945, Clare, a former nurse, is transported back to Scotland 1743, where she meets dashing clansman Jamie Fraser and becomes involved in the Jacobite risings. If you want to experience the romance and intrigue for yourself, an Outlander filming location tour is a must. You will see locations used in the series, such as the sacred pagan Clava Cairns, Claire’s gateway to 1743, whilst learning the riveting history that inspired the show.

 

4.    Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle, near Inverness, has achieved legendary status as being the location for King Duncan’s murder by Macbeth in Shakespeare’s titular play. However, whilst Macbeth was a real person, it appears that he fell victim to Shakespearean ‘fake news’ – the castle was in fact not built until the late 14th century. Today, Cawdor Castle provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Thanes of Cawdor, along with three extensive gardens.

 

5.    Glenfinnan Viaduct

Finally, no trip to the Scottish Highlands is complete without a ride on the Jacobite steam train over the Glenfinnan Viaduct. The sight of the steam train going over the viaduct is one of the most evocative images in rail travel. You may recognise it from the Harry Potter films – it is the route the Hogwarts Express takes on its way to the famous school of witchcraft and wizardry. 

Posted by Mark at 1:54pm

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