Monday, February 11, 2019
If you choose the 7 night Scottish Highlands & St Andrews experience with us, you’ll not only have the chance to play a round of golf each day on such well-known courses as the Old Course, Castle Course and Royal Dornoch, but you’ll also have plenty of time to get out and explore what the Highlands has to offer.
Through the gorgeous sprawl of lochs and heather-covered mountains, you’ll find more than enough to keep you busy – historic battlefields, national parks, bustling towns and cities. Here are a few of our recommended Highlands sights, for whatever your interests are.
Highland attractions for nature lovers
Whether you’re a casual rambler or a committed hiker, there’s certainly no shortage of astounding vistas for nature lovers in the Highlands. When on the Inverness leg of your trip, we recommend you head south into Cairngorms National Park.
In Cairngorms National Park, you can walk or cycle through woodland and mountain paths, then stop for a moment to take it all in on the beautiful beach that runs alongside Loch Morlich. If you’re lucky, you might get a glimpse of some of the rare and endangered wildlife that call the Cairngorms their home, including red squirrels, golden eagles and ospreys.
A bit closer to the links of Inverness you’ll find the ever popular Loch Ness. Famous for the rumoured sightings of the great beast Nessie emerging from the depths, Loch Ness is worth a visit whether you’re a believer or not. And if you definitely want to see some sea creatures, you can book yourself onto a dolphin-watching cruise aboard the Dolphin Spirit in the Moray Firth. These trips start from Inverness Marina and will take you out onto the waters with the hopes of finding some bottlenose dolphins.
Highland attractions for history buffs
The route through the Highlands between St Andrews and Inverness where your trip will take you is steeped in history. If castles are your favourite way to appreciate the history of a place, then you’re certainly not short of options. Perched on the banks of Loch Ness are the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Urquhart Castle is one of the oldest and largest of Scotland’s castles, with many a tale to tell. This castle survived through both Scottish and English ownership during the Wars of Independence, and its strategic outlook saw it through many raids by the Lords of the Isles during the 1500s. Visit Urquhart Castle for the chance to see a full size trebuchet and other medieval artefacts left behind by medieval residents.
If you haven’t had your fill of castles in the Highlands then you’ll find yet another castle in St Andrews itself. The thirteenth century St Andrews Castle is carved right into the coastal rock, and is home to many a story of murder and siege.
Not far from Inverness is Culloden Battlefield. If you’ve done your reading up on Scotland, you’ll know this to be the place where the Jacobites made their final stand against government troops in a bloody battle in 1746. This battle brought the Jacobite Rising, in which Charles Edward Stuart sought to reclaim the throne of England and Scotland for the House of Stuart, to an end. The Visitor Centre can teach you more about Bonnie Prince Charlie’s efforts and the brutal battle in which 1600 men were killed. Walk the battlefield and see inside the Leanach Cottage, the only building to have survived the battle, which has recently been restored.
Built following the events of the Battle of Culloden and the Jacobite Rising, Fort George is just north of Inverness. Considered to be one of the strongest military fortifications in all of Europe, King George II had the Fort built to protect his Scottish lands from further unrest. Visit the Fort to walk amongst the battlements and view their large collection of arms, including bayoneted muskets, pikes and swords.
Highland attractions for whisky lovers (or those who want to learn to love whisky)
Scotland is considered the birthplace of whisky, so heading out to taste a few homegrown whiskies after your day’s round of golf is a must.
If you want to taste a classic Highland whisky whilst you’re in Inverness, then look no further than Tomatin Distillery. Here, you can also enjoy the rare opportunity to fill your own bottle straight from the cask, a great and delicious memory to take home with you. Take a trip to Glen Ord Distillery for a sample of Northern Highland whisky, made vibrantly amber through the combination of Black Isle barley and water from the White Burn. At Glen Ord, you can have a tutored tasting experience, so you can learn while you drink, preparing you to express your palette precisely. A bit further out, near Elgin, you’ll find Glen Moray distillery. Tours at this Speyside distillery are given by the workers who spend nearly every day immersed in their craft, so they have great knowledge and passion to share.
As you can see, your time in the Highlands will be far from boring. These are but a few of the attractions you can visit, so if they’ve got you excited, be sure to book the St Andrews & Highlands 7 Night experience.