This is by far one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been!! Seriously every single view was unreal. Between the fall colors, picturesque views and cozy rainy weather, the Highlands felt like a fairytale land.
We took a train to Edinburgh then drove 3 hours to the highlands. The rental company didn’t have the original car we reserved so instead they gave us a HUGE 9 passenger van!! We had no idea how Mad was going to drive the massive van through the highlands but after an eventful day of travel (and a carsick little girl) we made it.
We went on one big adventure each day. Since everything was about 1-2 hours away, we planned around Navy’s naps so any travel to our destination was during nap time. She slept in the car on the way there and really adapted well to schedule changes and travel.
After long and tiring adventures all day we would come home, get cozy, and cook dinner in and for lunches we packed food. We either pulled off the side of the road to eat at a random location or we ate in the car. We also had lots of snacks (and candy) to hold us over for the day.
This part of our trip was such a dream and we made so many memories as a family! The highlands must be on your list when traveling to the UK. Renting a car to drive through the highlands is the best way to do it. Having the ability to drive around made the trip that much better! It’s all so beautiful there and you need to let yourself explore. I cannot recommend the highlands enough and I can’t wait for another visit one day!
This is a quick stop! You can walk right over from the parking lot and get this amazing view. There isn’t necessarily a hike but it’s a great view on the way to other destinations. There’s a path heading the other direction too if you wanted to walk around a bit and explore.
The Fairy Pools along the Isle of Skye were one of my absolute favorite stops! It’s about a mile there and back from the parking lot so it’s a good option if you have kids. It also isn’t a steep incline hike but more gradual. Lots of insanely beautiful pools and waterfalls for scenic shots here and it’s surrounded by beautiful rolling mountains!! It is super muddy, rocky and you might be walking trough water so make a note to bring high boots when packing. If you go when its overcast (so most of the time, in Scotland) you can see how the fog hangs, which is SO magical. This is an absolute must do when you’re here!
This is truly one of the most beautiful and serene places I’ve ever visited!! There are so many places to take pictures in Glencoe. We drove for awhile and found a road called Glen Etive that we turned right on. It was a one way road with a stream running alongside us. We saw incredible wildlife and some of the most stunning views. Another MUST do while you’re here.
The Quaraing is an iconic Scottish landmark and is so beautiful. On the drive up we saw wild sheep and rams, which was amazing. Parking was easy and accessible and there was a drink stand right when we got there, so we had hot tea and cocoa to warm up. There’s an option to stop walking after the first short part of the hike, but it can be longer if you want. We didn’t go very far as the views right at the beginning were truly breathtaking. Definitely wear actual hiking boots when you come here, I totally slipped and fell…TWICE.
This is one of the most famous castles in the Loch Ness area and such an incredible building! You can book a tour for inside or just view the castle from boat tours down the Loch Ness, which is what we did.
This castle was built in the 1300’s! So much history and incredible architecture here. There are tours available to walk the inside, which takes about 30 minutes. There is also a cafe just outside, where we got an afternoon coffee. Just like the rest of the highlands, there are more stunning views from here. For the best pictures of the castle be sure to take it from the side so you can see the amazing arches!
This was one of our adventures. We went on a beautiful and relaxing boat tour on the Loch Ness, which was about an hour long. There was wi-fi and food provided on board, which was nice! Quick tip for when you’re planning your afternoon, make sure you are on time for the tour. We missed our first booking and had to reschedule to another day. So worth it, though!
Throughout our trip, we found a couple of places where you could buy food for the cows and feed them. One of them mentioned below is the Red Barn Cafe. Since the animals in the highlands are free roaming they are used to people and will let you come up to them. It’s something like a fairytale land, for sure! There are many other spots on the side of the road though to see these beautiful cows, too. A great photo moment!
A cute little mom and pop cafe. Since we were really far outside of any big “city” and didn’t have great internet at the AirBnb, we stopped in here for coffee, wifi, and to do some work. Navy also really loved feeding the highland cows around the barn.
This distillery is known for great whiskey and spirits. There’s a bar that’s so unique and made from an old Pot Still. Also a beautiful location to walk around. If you can, I highly recommend going in the fall when the red leaves cover the sides of the buildings!
The AirBnB where we stayed was a great location. Central for us and all the destinations we planned to visit. It’s definitely further out from any sort of “city”, so it felt really quaint and remote and was really spacious with plenty of rooms for us to spread out. There was a cute little sunroom here, which we named the “rain room”. There was a tin roof over our sunroom so when it rained (which was almost every day) you could really hear it. The views around were so beautiful and made for a great spot to hike around and explore.
This 18th century hotel is stunning!! We planned to stay here but since we cut our trip short, we didn’t. We were sad to miss it this trip, but it’s on the top of our list of stays for our next visit, for sure!