Fancy a holiday with a difference this year? Read on to find out why you should visit the Highlands and what you should do once you get there. The Scottish Highlands are one of Britain's most rugged holiday destinations - where nature is king and tourists travel hundreds of miles to reach it.
Blending an enticing mix of both active and family-friendly attractions, the north of Scotland has become a 'must-do' for adventurous holidaymakers. Whether taking a scenic train journey through its hilly passes or deciding to hire a car, the unique world of the Highlands can be explored in a variety of ways.
But in an area brimming with attractions, what should you do first? Read on to find out what makes the Highlands so special and the top places to visit.
Aside from its wondrous sights and rolling landscape, it's the history of the Highlands that makes it such a special place. Proudly distinct from the Lowlands, the culture of the north of Scotland is indebted to the clan system which governed the area for centuries and the struggles the people of the area had to overcome to survive in such a wild environment.
The legacy of Scottish historical events can still be felt in the region, with the Jacobite Rebellion and Highland Clearances contributing to its sparse population and enduring proud cultural heritage.
The Glenshee Ski Centre is the largest in Scotland and located between Blairgownie and Braemar. With over 40 km of ski and snowboard courses of varying difficulty, the area offers some of the best runs in the country and is popular with both national and international snow sport fans.
Who hasn't heard the legend of Nessie? For decades visitors have been flocking to this small town to the southwest of Inverness to explore its natural beauty and try to discover what lurks in the water of its famous loch. Containing more water than all of England's and Wales' lakes, no one was yet been able to get to the bottom of the Loch Ness monster mystery.
The highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis is one of the Highlands' most popular hillwalking destinations. Over 100,000 people visit its slopes each year and can enjoy routes of varying difficulty. More ardent mountaineers and rock climbers can explore the increasingly challenging ascents towards Ben Nevis' peak, whilst less experienced visitors can enjoy the area's natural beauty and wildlife.
The Highland Wildlife Park displays an array of local and exotic animals which have proved hugely popular with visitors to the north of Scotland. Split between a safari park and expansive zoo enclosures, the park is famous for its wildcats, wolves and two male polar bears.
Located on the historic battle site that marked the end of the Jacobean Rebellion, this visitor centre gives an insight into the causes behind and consequences of the conflict. The site itself remains much the same as it did in 1746, with tourists able to wander along trails or view the field from an observation platform.
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