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Last updated : Nov 2009
Highlands and West Coast Scotland
Highlands and West Coast Scotland -
The Scottish Highlands is home to some of Britain’s most breathtaking scenery. Railway and road cross the countryside between the capital and Inverness, passing through the Grampian Mountains and the Forest of Atholl.

The lochs of the central highlands feed the River Tay, one of the best places for fishing in the British Isles. Tayside, and Speyside to the north, are Scotland’s whisky-producing areas, with dozens of distilleries. Also in the Highlands are the Blair Atholl, Pass of Killiecrankie, Kingussie and Aviemore, the winter ski resort.


This is the UK’s northernmost city, many of whose buildings date back to the 17th century. Inverness is also known for its location at the head of Loch Ness, deep-water home of the mythical lake monster. The site of the Battle of Culloden where the government forces, including the lowland clans, crushed Bonnie Prince Charlie’s forces in 1746. For further Information contact the Tourist Board

Fort William

One of the best-known towns on the West Coast, as well as the largest resort. Above the town looms Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis (1343m/4406ft). Attractions in the town include the Ben Nevis Distillery and Visitor Centre. Nearby is Glencoe, where the Campbells massacred the Macdonald clan in their sleep; when shrouded in mist, Glencoe still has a haunting atmosphere. The Glencoe Visitor Centre tells this story, while Celtic myth and legend is the topic of Highland Mysteryworld close by.


On the West Coast of Loch Linnhe is Oban, gateway to the islands and the beautiful region of Kintyre.

One of the better ways to reach Mallaig is on the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William, which passes through some spectacular scenery. The so-called ‘Road to the Isles’, which also runs through Glenfinnan and Arisaig, a resort known for its white sands, is the driving alternative.

Ullapool is an important fishing port, and is also the point for car ferries to the Outer Hebrides. North of Ullapool, the road travels through Inverpolly Nature Reserve into Sutherland, and the landscape becomes even wilder, with mountains rising from a rocky plateau. Fishing villages dot the coastline. Inland is one of Europe’s great wildernesses, an area of mountains, moorland, lochs and rivers, all rich in wildlife.