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HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS

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Seaplane to Loch Lomond optional; that page just has a good summary of things to do - ditto tours of Cairngorms National Park and Dunvegan Castle. *Need to look up Isle of Lewis & Harris (standing stones, etc.)*
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Loch Lomond, United Kingdom
The glittering waters of Loch Lomond—all 27 square miles of them—are on Glasgow’s doorstep less than 40 minutes away. Part of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, the largest inland expanse of water in Great Britain naturally attracts all...
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Loch Lomond, United Kingdom
Loch Lomond is one of my favourite parts of Scotland. On a sunny day it is perfect for a drive around the water, stopping in at the villages and small towns along the way. Best of all is the climb of Ben Lomond. It may take up to 3 hours to climb...
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Dunoon, UK
After a short drive from Dunoon, Scotland we found Puck's Glen hike in the Argyll National Forest. Like hiking through a mystical fairyland, the trek was both engaging and just challenging enough for our kids.
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Isle of Islay, UK
The southernmost island of Scotland's Inner Hebrides, Islay is known for its whisky, specifically smoky, peaty whisky. It also has lovely beaches (worth checking out if the weather cooperates) and a mostly flat landscape ideal for cycling.
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Isle of Mull PA65 6BD, UK
It's stiff competition for the best island in Scotland, but Mull must come close to the top. Where else can you go in the height of summer and still find peace and quiet, views to melt the eyes and restaurants to capture your tastebuds? Not to...
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Located on the north pier, this restaurant is a great choice for fresh daily caught seafood. Dinner over candlelight served with local Oban whisky.
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Fort William, UK
What was expected to be the low point of a two day getaway at the foot of Ben Nevis turned out to be one of the more beautiful experiences of my life so far. The four hour train ride between Glasgow and Fort William takes you between snow-capped...
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Fort William, UK
The Jacobite steam train runs from Fort William to Mallaig, part of the West Highland Railway Line — probably Britain’s most scenic railway line. The train departs close to Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain and passes over the 21 arches of...
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Breakish, Isle of Skye IV42 8PY, UK
After days of rain that obscured the landscape of the Northern Highlands of Scotland, I drove across the bridge to the Isle of Skye as the sun broke through and lit the hills with a beauty that made it difficult to focus on steering. Breakish was...
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Viewfield Rd, Portree IV51 9EU, UK
Aros is a cultural hub for the residents of the Isle of Skye, housing everything from theater and films to a kilt rental service. There’s also an exhibit about the people of the St. Kilda archipelago (the most remote of the British Isles) whose...
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Just a few steps from the towering gravestone of Scottish heroine Flora McDonald lies a legend from another age: Alexander McQueen. Alexander (Lee) McQueen was fiercely proud of his Scottish heritage, which influenced several of his collections....
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Trumpan, Isle of Skye IV55 8GW, UK
Scotland is full of myths and legends, and, with its tales of fairies and even dinosaurs, the tales of Isle of Skye are some of the tallest. And, yet, it is the true stories that are the most remarkable. Located on Skye's Waternish peninsula,...
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MacLeod Estate, Dunvegan House, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye IV55 8WF, UK
The English Lakeland Ramblers use local guides to lead the seven-day wander past such sites as Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, and, on Lewis Island, the prehistoric Standing Stones of Callanish. From $3,175. This appeared in the March/April issue...
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MacLeod Estate, Dunvegan House, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye IV55 8WF, UK
Located near Loch Dunvegan, this castle and grounds has been ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years. Dunvegan Castle & Gardens is at the heart of the 42,000 acre MacLeod Estate on the Isle of Skye. A tour of the castle (no...
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Quay St, Portree IV51 9DE, UK
Lined with pretty pastel houses, this quaint harbor bustling with fishing boats is the perfect excursion for those who don’t want to venture far from the cruise port. Boats run day trips through Portree Bay during the summer; and numerous shops,...
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Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye IV47 8TA, UK
Hidden amongst the scenic mountains nestled below the staggering Cuillins, are magically enchanted waterfalls and crystal clear pools of water. Progressively more beautiful the further down you hike. The scenery itself will entice you to take a...
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Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh IV40 8DX, UK
The prototypical Highland castle with its drawbridge, tower, spectacular ramparts and fantastic setting on a sea-loch near the Isle of Skye, Eilean Donan is probably the most photographed pile of stones and mortar in the country. Originally...
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28-36 Victoria St, Stromness KW16 3AA, UK
Most major Scottish island chains now feature a modern arts center but Orkney's Pier Arts Centre is a little different. It fills many roles—from gallery space to bookshop to events venue—in the town of Stromness, about 22 kilometers (14 miles)...
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Marwick Head, Orkney KW17 2NB, UK
After picking up a fantastic batch of fresh haggis to go with our fish and chips in Stromness we made our way north to Marwick Head. Upon reaching Marwick Head - a beautiful tower situated atop impressive cliffs - we walked along the cliff tops in...
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Maeshowe Visitor Centre (at Stenness, Ireland Rd, Stennes, Stromness KW16 3LB, UK
The Orkneys have a piece of prehistoric engineering every bit as impressive as Stonehenge. A 7.3-meter-high (24-foot-high) burial mound, dating to about 2800 B.C.E., covers a chambered cairn constructed with gigantic stones. When Vikings arrived...
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Sandwick, Stromness KW16 3LR, UK
Skara Brae might trump all of Orkney's other Neolithic sites (which are grouped under one UNESCO World Heritage Site). Here you have a settlement that offers hints of how people lived five millennia ago. Stone hallways connect now roofless...
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B9055, Stromness KW16 3JZ, UK
Near the Maeshowe chambered tomb are standing stone circles first erected sometime between 2500 and 2000 B.C.E., possibly for use in Neolithic ceremonies. The stones at Stenness are a bit older (dating to 3400 B.C.E.) than those nearby at the Ring...
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Broad St, Kirkwall KW15 1NX, UK
It may not be surprising that one of the few medieval cathedrals to survive the enthusiastic cultural cleansing of the Reformation would be on a fairly remote island. Unfortunately, many of the relics did not survive as well as the architecture...
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Old Man of Hoy, Stromness KW16 3NJ, UK
Since we saw the pictures of The Old Man of Hoy for the first time we were dreaming to go there. Towards to the end of your 3 miles hike from Rackwick suddenly you see the Old Man rising behind the cliffs far away. When you get closer the scene is...
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Dornoch IV25 3SE, UK
According to historical record, this Cathedral was erected in the 13th century under the guidance of St. Gilbert of Moray, the final Scot to be canonized prior to the Protestant Reformation—whose more zealous followers then razed the Cathedral in...
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Urquhart (pronounced irk-hart) Castle, now in glorious ruins, was once the most important fortification in the region, sacked by the English king Edward I in the 1290s and retaken by the Scottish king Robert I in 1308. Today the tower retains an...
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Grantown on Spey PH26 3HG, UK
Over seven days, you’ll find the food, estate visits, and distillery tours and tastings just as spectacular as the daily hikes, which include Culloden Moor and Cairngorms National Park. From $4,095. This appeared in the March/April issue 2014...
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Northern Europe
Rarely have I felt as content as I did earlier this year, at a wonderful little retreat in Scotland called The Woodman’s Hut. Located inside popular Cairngorms National Park, it’s the choice accommodation at Lazy Duck Hostel, a farm and lodging...
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Victoria St, Speyside AB38 9SR, UK
The Copper Dog is The Craigellachie's bar and eatery in the lower level of the hotel - but it's so much more. Where food has been sourced within a 40-mile radius from local handpicked suppliers, you'll experience the very best of local Scottish...
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The Sailors Store Seafront House, Port Long Rd, Cullen AB56 4AG, UK
Take a scenic drive along the northern coast from Inverness to Cullen Bay and find pockets of charming beach towns like Cullen, the home Cullen Skink, a thick Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions.
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Peterhead AB42 0NS, UK
Anywhere else in the world, and the glorious sea cliffs at Bullers of Buchan would be surrounded by honking tour buses and touts hawking piles of plastic puffin merchandise. Instead, you'll likely have this craggy stretch of coast to yourself....
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Aberdeen, UK
Aberdeen's alternative shopping scene is concentrated on either side of Union Street. Heading toward Aberdeen Art Gallery there's busy Belmont Street, while toward the harbor visit the quieter 14th century medieval quarter, The Green. Home to a...
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Union St, Aberdeen AB10, UK
In my year of living in Scotland, Scots had always told me to not go to Aberdeen. "There's nothing there. It's ugly. It's boring. It's dead depressing", they would say. But in my current trip to Scotland, I would have to say I really enjoy the...
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Stonehaven AB39 2TL, UK
Dunnottar Castle is a dramatic and evocative ruined cliff-top fortress in a truly stunning setting. And just a half hour's drive from Aberdeen, Europe's oil-capital. William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots graced the Castle with their presence....