There are many reasons to visit Inverness, Loch Ness and Nairn, but here are the top 10.
1. The wilderness
There aren’t many places in the UK that you can find true wilderness these days, but this region is certainly one of them. It’s one of the least populated places in the UK – and you can tell. Head a little off the beaten track or walk a short while into the hills and you can feel like the only person on earth.
2. The stunning scenery
This part of the world is home to some of the UK’s – and the world’s – finest scenery. From rugged mountainous landscapes and atmospheric lochs to brooding moors and spectacular sandy coastlines, nature shows itself at its dramatic best here.
3. Highland hospitality
Scotland, and particularly the Highlands, is renowned for its hospitality. People pride themselves on creating a warm welcome for tourists and visitors, and you’ll often find yourself enjoying the craic (the banter and the fun) with friendly locals.
4. The spectacular wildlife
This region is home to an abundance of wildlife. During your visit, you could be lucky enough to see golden eagles, red squirrels and Highland cows, as well as dolphins and seals. At dawn and dusk, deer come down from the mountains to graze, and during the mating season from October to January you’re highly likely to come across majestic stags and cute Bambis just metres away.
5. The food…
Visitors to the area should take advantage of Scotland’s bountiful natural larder, with readily available local meat and seafood such as venison, scallops, lobster and langoustines. You have to try specialities such as haggis, neeps and tatties, cranachan – a delicious pudding with raspberry, oats, whisky and cream – and tablet, a crumbly version of fudge.
6. …and the drink
Especially of the alcoholic variety. The number one drink to try is of course the national drink, so you’ll have to sample a dram or two. You won’t go far without coming across a distillery, and most bars sell a wide range of local whiskies. Craft gins and breweries are also on the up.
7. A rich history
The region has a fascinating and bloody history, and it’s just waiting to be explored. From the Battle of Culloden to a host of brooding castles and ruins, you’ll really feel the weight of history here.
8. The outdoor activities and sports
This region is a veritable playground for outdoor enthusiasts. There are plenty of excellent options for everything from mountain climbing, hiking and water sports to golf, fishing and cycling.
9. The rich culture and traditions
Scotland loves its heritage – and this region is no different. You can’t miss the culture and traditions here, with road signs written in Gaelic as well as English and fully-kilted bagpipe players around every corner, not to mention the haggis and whisky that you’ll find on every menu. You could even be lucky enough to see – and hear – a full pipe band on the march, which stirs even the hardest heart.
10. The live music
From pipe bands to rousing ceilidh music led by fiddlers and accordionists, this region has a long history of traditional music. Even today, you’ll find traditional Scottish bands playing in many pubs and hotels.
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