It is hard to describe the pure beauty of the Scottish Highlands and Islands to someone who has not seen the area with their own eyes. It seems that every twist in the road brings you to a new landscape or new little community to explore. Wildlife and nature play a large part in life in the Highlands and Islands, and there are few places in Europe where you can go on holiday in such unspoilt surroundings. Most people looking for self catering accommodation in the Highlands and Islands will already know a huge amount about the area and the possibilities for walking holidays, golfing breaks and fishing trips, but there is always more to see and do in the far north of the UK!
Gaelic culture is still strong in the Highlands and Islands, and although the small communities which adorn the landscape have had to adapt to survive, there are still distinct features of Gaelic culture in music, food, arts and sport, which all come together perfectly at the frequent Highland Games competitions which occur throughout the summer. If the local games are on when you are staying in a holiday property in the Highlands and Islands, you are in luck. They provide a wonderful day, brimming with entertainment and Scottish delicacies! Local folklore is hugely regional, and there are some magnificent stories and tales to investigate, which really capture the imagination.
The Scottish Highlands and Islands have had a rough and highly innovative history, resulting in the landscape being covered with fascinating places of interest from huge, humbling castles and ancient monuments to whiskey distilleries and original steam engines.
Walkers, hikers and climbers who fancy a challenge and unrivalled peace will be in their own personal heaven whilst staying in a property in the Scottish Highlands. You could walk and climb for days without having to walk across a road, and there are an enormous variety of marked trails to embark upon, from the dramatic coastal paths to the timelessly secluded forest trails. Riding and mountain biking holidays thrive from Highlands accommodation too.
There are over 40 golf courses to choose from when staying in a cottage in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Golfers will already know of courses like Nairn, but wherever you decide to take self catering accommodation in the Scottish highlands and Islands, you are sure to be able to find a local course for a round.
The untainted rivers and lochs of the Highlands and Islands teem with fish, and although conditions may vary from the optimum conditions you are used to, finding someone willing to pass on a little local knowledge should not be too hard in the Highlands! Fishing permits are required, but are easily purchased from most towns. The waterways and coast of the Scottish Highlands and Islands are perfect for water sports, although wet suits are strongly advised for much of the year. Sailing, kayaking and windsurfing are among the most popular.
During the winter, the Scottish Highlands and Islands are the best place in the UK for skiing. The skiing in Scotland is highly enjoyable, with rewarding runs for beginners and experts alike. There are three main skiing centres which all provide everything you need for a fun skiing holiday or weekend break. These are to be found in the Nevis Range, (near Ben Nevis, and offering Scotland’s highest pistes), Cairngorm (the most popular) and Glencoe (which offers the longest runs in Scotland).
Anyone staying in a self catering holiday in the Scottish Highlands and Islands towards the southern region should also concider a quick exploration of the Aberdeen and Grampion region.
The weather in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland is famously unpredictable, largely due to their position on the edge of the European landmass. The weather is not as bad as it may appear by the number of jokes made, but it is nonetheless hard to predict! As long as you have a jacket ‘just in case’, there should be no problems!
There are numerous options for reaching self catering accommodation in the Highlands and Islands. Some of the more remote cottages will have specific instructions for arrival, but in general, Inverness Airport (INV) is the main entry point, with flights from London taking just over an hour. Alternatively, road and rail networks are surprisingly good across the region, but having the freedom to explore by car is a real luxury.