The Highlands, including Skye and Loch Ness

The Cuillins, Isle of Skye (credit: Martin Webb)

The Cuillins, Isle of Skye (credit: Martin Webb)

The Highlands of Scotland offers limitless opportunities to watch wildlife and enjoy nature. The Moray Firth on the east coast is home to the world’s most northerly resident population of bottlenose dolphins and there are increasing numbers of sightings of other cetaceans.

To the south-west is Fort William and the country’s highest peak, Ben Nevis. Golden eagles, red deer and peregrine falcons range the hills with beautiful divers on the lochs between here and the west coast.

Warmed by the Gulf Stream, these dramatic shores of the west coast host white tailed sea eagles and otters, there are mountain ptarmigan near Applecross and, from Arisaig in the south to north of Ullapool there are seabirds and whale-watching boat trips aplenty.

Skye has an impressive density of otters, golden eagles plus sea eagles, and whale watching boat trips.

As wild and untamed as anywhere in the world, Caithness and Sutherland in the north of the region have ice-scoured and inspirational landscapes. The mountains of the far north-west hold considerable interest for botanists. Between Thurso and John O’Groats coastal flower highlights include Scottish primrose and numerous orchids.

Inland, the largest blanket bogs in the world, ‘the Flow Country’, stretch for mile upon mile and are important for a range of animals including hen harrier, greenshank, golden plover, greenshank, and black-throated diver.

Also in the area:

  • Cape Wrath: the north west corner of the British mainland has formidable seabird cliffs with puffins, great skuas, guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills and fulmars.

View all accommodation and attractions in this area