10 Visitor Attractions in Northwest Scotland
Posted by: 4realAdmin on April 28th, 2014
The idea of a holiday in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland often gives fellow travellers and us the feeling of equanimity and relaxation. Mile upon mile of pebble beaches, beautiful landscapes, rolling green mountains; all combined with some of the harshest weather conditions known in Europe.
And with so much on offer in this truly diverse destination, it can sometimes be hard to know exactly where to go, what to do and what’s on when you get there. Is there enough in the area to keep the family entertained for more than just a couple of days?
Well we’ve good news … the answer is a resounding YES!
The Northwest of Scotland has a myriad of different activities and attractions you can get involved in, with almost every interest, skill level and age group 100% covered.
We’ve come up with 10 activities in the Northwest of Scotland to inspire a jam-packed holiday – and that’s just the beginning.
1. Sea Kayaking in Applecross
For those that like a real sense of adventure and getting up-close-and-personal with nature, you can’t go wrong with sea kayaking! It gives you a wee bit of a physical challenge whilst offering views that will make you forget you’re exerting yourself.
Sea Kayaking is subject to weather conditions and your level of experience, but for those who’d rather somewhat tamer waters Loch Shieldaig is a great place to start; offering fantastic views of Shieldaig village and the stunning landscapes.
2. Explore the Village of Shieldaig
This village is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque in the country, with an awe-inspiring backdrop of the Scottish Highlands, a peaceful Loch, and traditional buildings.
Nanny’s is a charming little shop in heart of the village is run by the community to showcase locally made arts and crafts, resurrected by Steve Carter the shop features well-known artists and galleries from Kishorn.
You will be tempted to move to this gem of a location once you set eyes on it. You could always rent yourself a week’s stay in a cottage or holiday home too as there are plenty of private holiday rentals available in the area.
3. Glen Torridon
If you want an utterly unspoilt experience of the Highlands, take the single-track road for breath-taking natural wonders. Just make sure your camera is handy at all times!
Glen Torridon, known to locals at the Torridon Hills, are amongst some of the most dramatic and spectacular mountain peaks in the UK and are made out of some of the oldest rocks in the world.
The ‘hills’ surround the village of Torridon, with many peaks reaching up to 3,000 feet high. The various summit ridges provide excellent routes for mountaineers, hikers and even ramblers. Just be sure to stick to the walking routes if you go without an experienced guide!
4. Guided Tours from Nineonesix-guiding
Founded by an expert mountain guide in 2003, NineOneSix offers travellers a range of activities from guided walks to ski touring. Don’t worry if your fitness levels aren’t what they used to be – you don’t need to be in tiptop condition for every activity on offer.
Whether it’s rock climbing, scrambling, mountain biking or simply guided walking tours you’re after, they’ve got it covered.
5. Torridon Sea Tours
Experience nature from the comfort of a luxury catamaran, offering you the opportunity to enjoy the coastline of Loch Torridon with a glass of bubbly in hand.
These guys are great, offering luxury boat trips departing daily from Shieldaig, Loch Torridon. Choose between half-day or full-day trips, or even take their boat out as a private charter.
6. Highland Games
Experience the event that is emblematic of Scottish Highland life. Don’t worry – you don’t need to be a strongman to join in and enjoy the festivities! There’s food and drink as well as a place from which to view the talented athletes do their thing.
… and the best part? It’s absolutely free to watch!
7. Local Fishing
Even if you’re a complete beginner, it’s possible to get a catch to be proud of. There are plenty of touring companies in the area that have an abundance of experience giving guidance to those that have never been fishing before, as well as knowing when to give free rein to those that have done it all.
More experienced fishers can freely fish on the River Carron in Loch Carron, as most other rivers are private and will require permission or a license to fish there.
8. Play Tennis
If you’re a Wimbledon enthusiast, why not get a little bit of practice by channelling the spirit of fellow Scot, Andy Murray at Shieldaig’s very own all-weather tennis courts? Shieldaig is actually one of the only places in the Highlands with its own tennis court.
Not having your own equipment isn’t a problem – you can rent both your racquet and ball – and who knows, the reigning Wimbledon champion may show up for a set or two.
9. Shooting and Archery
The secluded outdoors is the perfect setting for a bout of shooting or learning how to handle a trusty bow and arrow. Having never held a gun in your life shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the experience – expert instruction is available in the area for those who have never done it before.
10. Local Trinkets and Produce
The Northwest of Scotland boasts some of the most talented individuals in the entire country. From hand-spun wool to handmade crafts to traditional knitwear and kilts, the area has so much to offer you’ll be forced to buy another suitcase to take it all home! The Old School at Arrina and Loch Carron Weavers are worth of a special mention.
So there you have it, our recommendations for 10 tourist attractions in Northwest Scotland. Of course there’s an abundance of other activities for you to get stuck into, like whiskey tasting tours, seasonal festivals and tours of Scotland’s many historic castles and sites – but that’s enough to get you started!
Article written by Chrissy Nason-Smith who owns An Cos, Shieldaig – a luxury self-catering holiday home in Northwest Scotland.
Image credit: SIMON PHILLIPS Permission: Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0