Holiday rentals in Scottish Highlands
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Your guide to Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands live up to the romantic reputation: Narrow valleys, mysterious lochs, and castle ruins mark the mountainous landscape, where remote villages and coastal fishing ports keep ancient traditions alive. If you’re looking for solitude, then you’re sure to find it in the Highlands. This rugged region, which comprises the upper half of Scotland’s territory, ranks among the most sparsely populated in the United Kingdom. This makes the Highlands’ outdoors the big draw — the largest national park (Cairngorms) and highest peak (Ben Nevis) in the British Isles only add to the adventurous allure. Come here for muddy trails to walk, summits to climb, and rivers to paddle. Squeeze a stop at the popular Loch Ness into your itinerary. At the end of each cold day, you’ll find plenty of old pubs to warm you up.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Scottish Highlands
The unpredictable Scottish weather is often the subject of lighthearted jokes, though the one about four seasons in a day rings true in the Highlands. Due to the varied elevations and microclimates, the weather can change quite drastically in a short drive. But mild temperatures and lots of precipitation are common everywhere, so pack layers and a hooded raincoat year-round.
The warmest months to stay in one of the area's cottages are June, July, and August, when Scotland’s northerly latitude makes for some long sunny days. Summer high temperatures average close to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, with warm spells rarely reaching as high as 80. Come autumn, high temperatures drop to the 40s to 50s. Winter brings the highest annual rainfall and plenty of snow in higher elevations. The mountains of the Highlands experience reliable snow most seasons, making for ideal conditions at Scotland’s ski resorts.
Top things to do in Scottish Highlands
Cairngorms National Park
Twice the size of England’s much-loved Lakes District, this sprawling wilderness area is the largest national park in Britain. Cairngorms has forest trails, snowy summits, and all kinds of animals and birds. In the summer you can lounge on the shores of Loch Morlich in the Glenmore Forest Park. Come winter, skiers and snowboarders ride the lifts up Cairngorm Mountain for some of Scotland’s finest slopes. Aviemore is the tourism hub within the national park.
Isle of Skye
Just off Scotland’s west coast, the Isle of Skye claims some of the most magical landscapes in the Highlands: imposing castles, the pastel-painted town of Portree, and the iconic Fairy Pools, a series of astonishingly blue waterfalls in the Glen Brittle forest.
Rising to an elevation of more than 4,400 feet, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. In the summer months, it’s also one of the most popular peaks to climb, inspiring more than 100,000 people to try and reach its summit. The majority of hikers take the Pony Track trail (weather permitting), a strenuous 10.5-mile trek that takes most people 7 to 9 hours to complete.