Wide open spaces, fairytale castles, and mesmerizing scenery collide in the north of Scotland, a region that inspires the wanderlust spirit in all of us. Whether you’re cruising through the never-ending rolling hills or wandering around an ancient fortress, a Scottish Highlands tour will capture your heart with its rugged terrain, charming culture, and riveting history.
Follow our Scottish Highlands Travel Guide, complete with tips for visiting the Scottish Highlands from our staffers and travelers, and make sure you don’t miss a moment, landmark, or viewpoint. Below are all the things to know before visiting the Scottish Highlands on tour with us!
Currency: Pound sterling, which is commonly referred to as the “pound.” You might hear locals use “quid” (e.g., “that’ll be five quid”) in the same way Americans refer to dollars as “bucks.” “Pence” is Scotland’s version of pennies, with one hundred pence equaling one pound.
Language: English—emphasized with a lovely Scottish accent!
Location: You might be wondering, where are the Scottish Highlands? The Scottish Highlands dominate the sparsely populated northern third of Scotland, a region where the breathtaking sights outnumber the area’s friendly residents.
Getting around: The best way to explore the Highlands is by car or private motor coach on tour. Many of the sights and attractions are spread out over the country’s vast terrain and require a drive.
Phrases to know: “Hiya” is a common greeting. You can reply with the same, or simply say “hello.” “Aye,” which means yes, is heard frequently throughout Scotland. If you find yourself out and about on a rainy day, you might hear locals saying, “What a dreich day,” referring to dreary or damp weather.
Here’s one of our best Scottish Highlands travel tips: Don’t let rainy weather deter you! Regardless of the season, Scotland is known for wet weather (silver lining: emerald green hills!), but remember that a day that starts out cool and misty could quickly turn warm and sunny by afternoon.
When is the best time to visit the Scottish Highlands? The region is breathtaking in any season, however a visit in spring or summer highlights the beautiful natural landscapes in the Scottish Highlands. Travel to the Scottish Highlands in spring and witness the landscape bloom with greenery and fields of flowers. Summer months bring the warmest temperatures and a greater chance of sunny days—ideal for getting outside to explore all of the Scottish Highland attractions.
All-weather clothing is best when traveling to the Scottish Highlands. Chilly mornings and evenings are typical, rainy spells are common, and warm sunshine often prevails in the afternoons. Check out our packing list and make sure you’re comfortable and prepared for gallivanting around the Scottish Highlands.
Scotland is known for its castles and there’s more than enough to explore on a Scottish Highlands tour. However, if you’re wondering what to do in the Scottish Highlands after you conquer all the castles, we’ve got plenty of ideas.
We got the inside scoop from our travel experts to bring you the best things to do in the Scottish Highlands. Whether you want to learn some new dance moves, sample the national drink, or marvel at the mind-blowing scenery, we have a list of activities to fit every traveler’s wish list.
Whether you’re a history buff, a nature-lover, or a foodie at heart, we want you to get the most out of your tour of Scotland. That’s why our Scottish Highlands Travel Guide includes these travel tips on how to spend free time on tour.
Scottish Highlands travel should definitely include plenty of eating and drinking. Scottish cuisine draws influence from its local environment as well as British dishes and European fare. The result is a multicultural combination of foods with some long-standing Scottish favorites. From the North Sea’s fresh seafood offerings to intriguing traditional dishes, a hearty meal is never hard to find while on our Scotland tours.
You’ll definitely want to bring back a few mementos to remember your travels to the Scottish Highlands. Luckily, the Scottish Highlands have plenty of unique souvenirs to offer. These are some of the best things to buy in the highlands to commemorate your trip to Scotland.