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The Best of the Scottish Highlands

5 things to do on your Scottish Highlands holiday

Parkdean Resorts by Parkdean Resorts on 23/07/2019
Highland Cow in Scotland

Why visit Scotland?

There are countless reasons to visit Scotland and - boasting some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world - the Scottish Highlands are without a doubt one of the most sought-after destinations to spend a UK holiday. Surrounded by rolling, craggy mountains and spectacular lakes and forests, Scottish holidays really are the cream of the crop. You’ll never be short of things to do in Scotland and we’ve accumulated a list of essential activities to immerse yourself in during your visit.

Places to stay in the Scottish Highlands

We have eight fantastic holiday parks in Scotland, three of which are perfectly located for exploring the best places to visit in the Scottish Highlands. From the leafy woodland setting of Tummel Valley to coastal escapes at Grannie’s Heilan’ Hame and Nairn Lochloy, we promise it’s all worth the trek. Caravan holidays in Scotland are second to none and for adding that extra touch of luxury, check out our relaxing lodge holidays too!

Discover Scotland's Ancient Castles

Amongst many incredible things the region is renowned for, Scotland plays host to some of the country’s best castles and you’ll find some great ones in the Highlands to explore. Steeped in fascinating medieval history, Urquhart Castle to the southwest of Inverness is definitely well worth a visit and it extends its opening hours until 8pm during the summer months. The castle has over a thousand years of historical stories to tell, including being passed back and forth between the Scots and the English during the Wars of Independence. With stunning views which span over Loch Ness, it’s a popular tourist spot for trying to catch a glimpse of the legendary Nessie!

Alternatively, if you’re venturing further north, a trip to Dunrobin Castle definitely won’t disappoint. Often likened to a fairytale castle due to its French chateau style, this truly is a magical experience which will appeal to adults and kids alike. Consisting of nearly 200 rooms, Dunrobin Castle is one of Britain’s continuously inhabited residences, dating all the way back to the early 1300s. Overlooking the Moray Firth, there is plenty to do if you wish to spend the whole day there, including a museum, gardens and even a falconry display twice daily.

Urquhart Castle, Scotland
Urquhart Castle, Inverness

Explore a Picturesque Scottish National Park

For scenic views like no other and countless activities to take part in, the Cairngorms National Park is sure to be one of the highlights of your Scottish Highlands holiday. The Cairngorms offer something for all ages to enjoy - from exhilarating zip wire treks through the pines, to nature reserves teeming with wildlife. Popular with walkers and cyclists, there are hundreds of paths and trails to discover and take in the beautiful surroundings. Pop into one of the numerous museums or visitor centres, many of which have hands-on activities for children.

The park is also home to Loch Morlich, an award-winning freshwater loch with a sandy beach, perfect for watersports such as white water rafting and windsurfing to name but a few. If you’re holidaying with kids, you’ll find plenty to keep them occupied including Landmark Forest Adventure Park, complete with a Dinosaur Kingdom, labyrinth and lots of fun rides to wear them out. Furthermore, if you’re visiting during the summer, you can expect exhibitions, art shows, live music and even one of Scotland’s Highland Games.

Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Cairngorms National Park, Scottish Highlands

Go on a Scottish Animal Adventure

Calling all animal lovers, if you’re visiting the Cairngorms, make sure to take a walk on the wild side with a trip to the Highland Wildlife Park. With unspoilt views across the mountains, this wildlife park was made famous by being home to the first polar bear born in the UK in 25 years! Unlike many zoos, the park focuses on conservation and gives the animals lots of space to move around in their enclosures whilst replicating their natural habitats as closely as possible. The collection of species has expanded over the years to include several endangered creatures - and in addition to the polar bears, you can expect to see Amur tigers, wildcats and snow leopards roaming the area.

The park offers the convenience of being able to drive around the main reserve in your own car or via a guided Land Rover tour, followed by a walking area so you can get the full safari experience. Get even more up close and personal by attending one of several daily feeds where you can learn all there is to know about your favourite animal!

A deer in the distance in the Scottish Highlands 

Take a Scenic Steam Train Ride in Scotland

All aboard, it’s time to experience one of the most exciting days out in the Highlands – a ride on a steam train! The perfect activity when you want to sit back, relax and take in the glorious scenery with the option of disembarking to explore new towns should you wish to stretch your legs. If you’re visiting the Cairngorms National Park, be sure to check out the Strathspey Railway, a ten mile restored section of the original Highland Railway Line departing from Aviemore Station. You’ll undergo an awe-inspiring journey through heathery moors and woodland, running parallel to the Speyside Way. Break up your journey at Boat of Garten and visit the Osprey Centre or hop off at Broomhill for some excellent views. You can even book a traditional afternoon tea, transporting you through the countryside with a real taste of the 1950s.

If you’re passing through Fort William, a ride on the Jacobite Steam Train is an absolute must, especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan! Step into Harry’s shoes to experience the magical journey across the Glenfinnan viaduct and you’ll feel like you’ve climbed aboard the Hogwarts Express. Comprising an 84 mile round trip from Fort William to Mallaig and often described as the greatest railway journey in the world, it’s an opportunity you won’t want to miss.

Jacobite Steam Railway, Scotland
Jacobite Steam Railway, Glenfinnan

Catch Waves on a Scottish Beach

Scotland is unparalleled when it comes to its beaches and with over 6000 miles of spectacular coastline it’s easy to see why. If you’re spending your holidays in the Scottish Highlands, there are plenty of coastal hotspots to discover - from sweeping sandy beaches to quaint pebbled bays. Embo Beach is on the doorstep to Grannie’s Heilan’ Hame Holiday Park and is a fantastic beach for a family day out. Benefitting from a wide stretch of golden sand and views over the Dornoch Firth, Embo Beach has all of the key ingredients for the perfect seaside experience including clean water for swimming and rock pools for exploring. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might even spot a dolphin.

Travel half an hour up the coast and you’ll arrive at Brora Beach, a hidden gem overlooking the Moray Firth with crystal clear waters and top quality sand. An excellent place for wildlife watching and collecting shells and fossils, this beautiful beach will keep the children occupied for hours. Brora Beach is also dog-friendly, so make sure to bring the pooch along for a stroll!

A family building sandcastles on Embo Beach
Embo Beach, Grannie's Heilan' Hame

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