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Highlands & Islands

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About Highlands & Islands

The Highlands and Islands is a loose term for the most enormous swathe of Scottish countryside as varied as it is vast! It covers all ground from Inverness to the North and then west from Fort William out towards the rugged but spectacular coastline, then beyond to Skye and Harris. The land is shaped by beautiful mountain ranges, magnificent beaches and glorious river valleys. Catch it in the right weather, then you'll be hard pushed to find a more magical place in the world.

Things not to miss:

  • The regions islands are spectacular and packed with variety. From the mountainous glories of Skye to the rugged beauty of Lewis, it's hard not be blown away by Hebrides.
  • Beaches abound all along the west coast of Scotland with some of the finest being on islands such as Barra, Tiree and Mull. For something truly unique, fly to Barra and land on the white sands of the world's only commercial beach runway (checking tide tables is advised).
  • For those keen on hiking, it's hard to look beyond Ben Nevis, the UK's tallest mountain.
  • Found at the Kyle of Lochalsh, Eilean Donan is one of the regions most significant landmarks with the castle playing a crucial role in Scottish history since the 13th century.
  • Inverness's fame has been mostly due to the nearby Loch Ness, which is full of charm whether your looking for legend or landscape.
  • It's hard not to associate Scotland with it's most famous export: whisky. The Highlands and Islands are home to the world's finest distillery's, so don't miss out on the chance to do a whisky tour when your in the region.

Our selection of the best places to stay in the Highlands and Islands echoes this variety with choices as diverse as Greshornish House, a remote but luxurious property situated on its very own peninsula on the northern shores of Skye or the Rocpool Reserve a chi-chi offering in the centre of Inverness.

The best places to stay in the Highlands and Islands

For foodies

  • The Albannach, a Michelin starred establishment perched above Lochinver Bay. Offering homely accomodation and sumptuous food, it's a great stopping point for gourmet travellers.
  • Kinloch Lodge on Skye, owned by food writer Clare MacDonald and her clan chief husband Godfrey, which also boasts Michelin starred dining plus residential cookery courses, roaring fires and a very homely feel.

For luxury

  • The Torridon, a country escape on the shores of Upper Loch Torridon where opulence is twinned with contemporary designs and 3 AA Rosette standard cuisine in its fine restaurant.
  • The Pool House in Poolewe is a romantic retreat stuffed with antiques and curios from around the world and is owned and managed by the Harrison family whose attention to detail is exemplary.
  • Glencoe House offers luxurious accomodation in a handsome baronial setting. Featuring lovely rooms, beautiful surrounding gardens and an excellent in-house restaurant, Glencoe House does things in style.

For Outdoor Pursuits

  • Fort William is the 'outdoor capital of the UK', so if your launching off for an adventure, The Lime Tree is a great accomodation option. Stylish rooms, an in-house art gallery and an excellent restaurant all combine to create a stellar guesthouse.
  • If your looking for a luxurious place to retreat to after a hard days hiking, The Grange is a good choice. Set in a Victorian townhouse, it has lovely rooms and offers beautiful views out over Loch Linnhe.

For a house party

  • Arisaig House on the Road to the Isles. This fine Victorian mansion is now run as a relaxed B&B, but also offers a great solution for larger groups. Book in advance and they can provide picnics to take to the beach plus set three course dinners.
  • Loch Ness Lodge is a brilliant party property too. It has seven sumptuous rooms plus a highly skilled chef who provides creative and contemporary "Franco-Scottish" cuisine. On top of all this it has a top notch spa and great views over Loch Ness.

For a great B&B

  • A delightful B&B out on the wilds of Skye, Glenview is a great option. Offering charming rooms, stunning views and an excellent restaurant focusing on local produce, it's the perfect base for a trip to Skye.

For Golfers

  • Royal Dornach is one of Scotland's finest golf courses and Links House provides the perfect base for playing this classic links. With spacious, comfortable rooms and a great dining option, it's a good place to relax after a day on the links.

For a holiday cottage

  • Sometimes the best option is a self catering property, especially if you are travelling with a group or friends or family. We recommend the selection with our online partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • The best options for flying to the Highlands and Island are either to go to one of Scotland's major hubs such as Edinburgh and or hire a car or to fly to smaller regional airports such as Inverness or Stornoway for the Outer Hebrides.
  • Having a car is almost a necessity for accessing this area so we recommend visiting our online partner Holiday Autos.
  • Weather is difficult to predict in the Highlands but the summer is the best option for travellers looking to explore the area.

Still not sure where to book?

Best Hotels in Highlands & Islands

  • Woodbine House 5 rooms from $90

    Portree, Skye

    A delightful B&B on the west coast of the isle of Skye. The rooms have a homely feel and there's an excellent family suite. With self-catering options, it could be perfect for a family or group trip to Skye. Friendly owners and a great location prove a winning combination.

    Back to Nature  -  Skye is the ideal place to get back to basics and return to the wind and the wild.
    Local exploring  -  A great base for exploring the beauitful west coast of Skye.
    Kayaking  -  Guests can hire sea kayaks to explore the surrounding coastline.
    Birdwatching  -  Skye is a great spot for puffin watching.
    Check prices
  • The Lime Tree 9 rooms from $91

    Fort William

    This stylish hotel is situated in the heart of the North West Highlands. Being the 'outdoor capital of the UK' there are a plethora of activities on offer. The in-house gallery has contemporary art on show and the award winning restaurant serves seasonal, locally sourced food. A great country escape

    Kayaking  -  The coast offers a number of paddling areas to get up close to nature
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    Check prices
  • Smiddy House 4 rooms from $98

    Fort William

    Set in the quiet village of Spean Bridge just 11 miles from Fort William and close to Loch Lochy. The four rooms are comfortable and tastefully decorated in a Scottish highland style. The restaurant serves up locally produced fare and the garden room offers the perfect spot for a quiet drink.

    Great walks  -  Fort William is at the base of Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis and is also the gateway to walks in the picturesque Glen Nevis
    Fishing  -  The surrounding areas offer excellent wild brown trout, northern pike lochs and wild Atlantic salmon rivers
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  • Glenview 3 rooms from $117

    Portree, Skye

    A charming and homely B&B run by helpful owners, on the picturesque island of Skye. The rooms are cosy and comfortable with stunning views of the Trotternish peninsula. The superb restaurant focuses on local produce such as oysters and venison. Perfect for a remote getaway.

    Back to Nature  -  Escape to the picturesque, wild Scottish island of Skye with it's dramatic landscapes and stunning wildlife.
    Local exploring  -  The perfect base for exploring the amazing island of Skye, with cosy beds and hearty meals.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the iconic natural landmarks such as the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the Trotternish Ridge.
    Great walks  -  There is superb walking around the nearby Trotternish Peninsula.
    Check prices
  • Forss House 14 rooms from $129

    Thurso

    A charming 1810 country house hotel set in 20 acres of Scottish woodland. The perfect launchpad for all outdoor pursuits particularly walking, shooting and fishing. Spend the evenings with a choice whisky in hand by the fireplace. A great country escape.

    Back to Nature  -  A rugged coastline on one side and the inland forests and mountains on the other gives plenty of outdoor space to explore
    Great walks  -  The local coastline and hills make for some excellent walking for both the ambler and the serious walker
    Fishing  -  Both rivers and coastal fishing are accessible from the hotel
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
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  • Greshornish House 8 rooms from $130

    Isle of Skye

    Remote but luxurious B&B on its own private peninsula on the Isle of Skye. 10 acres of land provide stunning views. Log fires and rustic charm. Luxurious rooms and tasty food.

    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
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  • Toravaig House 9 rooms from $137

    Isle of Skye

    A peaceful contemporary hotel set overlooking the Atlantic waters. Log fires and a choice selection of whiskies can be enjoyed after a day pursuing one of the many outdoor activities on offer. A restaurant serving freshly caught seafood perfectly rounds off this award winning gem of a hotel.

    Fishing  -  The Hotel is perfecly located to indulge in salmon and trout river fishing as well as trout and arctic char in nearby Lochs
    Great walks  -  Wild coastal scenery, deep fjords and secluded windswept bays and a wealth of history make for excellent walks
    Sailing  -  The owners offer a day excursion around Skye on their luxury yacht Solus
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
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  • Links House, Highlands 8 rooms from $137

    Dornoch, Highlands & Islands

    Delightful highland hotel set on one of Scotland's most picturesque links golf courses. Its rooms have a distinctly Scottish feel with tweed headboards and tartan patterned quilts. The fine dining restaurant serves an ever changing menu of locally sourced delights and an extensive range of wines.

    Active Holiday  -  With golf on the doorstep, walking, shooting and fishing close by, it's the perfect spot for a weekend of country sports.
    Country Escape  -  After a long day outdoors, head in to the roaring fires and cosy sofas of the library and sitting room.
    Fishing  -  Great salmon fishing in the surrounding areas such as on the river Carron and Helmsdale.
    Great walks  -  Beautiful walking in the surrounding Highland countryside.
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  • Hillstone Lodge 3 rooms from $156

    Colbost, Skye

    Hillstone Lodge offers refreshingly modern accommodation, overlooking Skye's wild landscape. Designed with stylish elegance, the rooms offer excellent sea views. Just a short walk from the coast, it's perfect for a quiet relaxing retreat.

    Country Escape  -  The perfect cosy base to return to after a day exploring around Dunvegan and wider Skye.
    Active Holiday  -  Hill walkers and mountaineers will cheerish Skye's superb mountainous landscape.
    Great walks  -  Make the most of the excellent walks all along the nearby coastline.
    Sailing  -  The perfect port of call for a sailing trip around the Hebrides.
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  • Arisaig House 10 rooms from $156

    nr Mallaig, Highlands & Islands

    Victorian country house turned luxury b+b set amid 19 acres on the Road to the Isles

    Exclusive offer  -  Up to 15% off for group bookings
    Great walks  -  Walks to suit all from gentle strolls to strenuous hill climbs
    Views  -  Great views over to the Small Isles.
    House party feel  -  Great for parties!
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    Check prices
  • The Grange 3 rooms from $169

    Fort William

    Victorian townhouse turned luxury guesthouse on the western edge of Fort William. Stunning views over Loch Linnhe to the Ardgour Mountains and more activities in the area than you can possibly imagine. Traditional yet stylish bedrooms with sumptuous bathrooms and views to die for.

    Views  -  Stunning views over Loch Linnhe to the Ardgour Hills
    Great walks  -  Plenty of Munros around or even attempt Ben Nevis
    Sights nearby  -  Just outside Fort William in the heart of Glencoe
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only establishment
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
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  • Highland Cottage 6 rooms from $176

    Tobermory, Mull

    This 'cottage' (owners David and Jo do not call themselves a hotel) is located in the centre of Tobermory. Rooms are Edwardian in style with billowing, satin fabrics, ornate lamps and many with four poster beds. There's a cosy living room and dining room serving delicious locally sourced cuisine.

    Great walks  -  With one roundabout and not a single traffic light you could say the island of Mull is almost made for walkers!
    Birdwatching  -  Puffins, egrets and much more can be spotted on the nearby coastline.
    Sailing  -  Take a boat to nearby Iona or Staffa for the day.
    Restrictions on children  -  Above the age of ten only.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
    Check prices
  • The Dower House 4 rooms from $182

    Ross Shire, Highlands & Islands

    A charming scottish country home nestled between the Conon and the Beauly rivers. Three en-suite bedrooms and one suite come with outstanding views of the mature gardens. The self-taught owner/chef Robyn produces award winning scottish fair. The ideal place to get away from it all.

    Fishing  -  The hotel is perfectly positioned between two of the world’s best salmon rivers, the Conon and the Beauly
    Great walks  -  Explore the beauty of the highlands on walks of varying lengths from the guesthouse
    Hideaway  -  A cosy getaway in the heart of the Scottish wilderness
    Outstanding location
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
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  • Mackays Rooms 7 rooms from $194

    Durness, Highlands & Islands

    A remote Scottish hideout with stunning coastal views and surroundings. Owner managed, this boutique B&B features seven individually designed bedrooms with merino blankets and hand crafted furniture. Locally sourced produce and hearty Scottish breakfasts. Bring walking boots!

    Great walks  -  Walk roads with relatively little traffic whilst enjoying some of the most epic scenery Europe has to offer
    Outstanding location  -  Mackay's rooms are located in one of the most scenic spots in the UK
    Sights nearby  -  Smoo Cave
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
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  • Coruisk House 2 rooms from $195

    Skye

    Tucked away on the picturesque peninsula of Elgol, Coruisk house offers a superb restaurant with elegant rooms. Both rooms are stylish and comfortable with warm colour schemes and luxurious furniture. For intrepid mountaineers the nearby Cuillin's lie in waiting.

    Local exploring  -  Perfect for exploring the south coast of Skye with cosy beds and hearty meals waiting for you on your return.
    Country Escape  -  This stylish hotel makes the perfect bolthole for a rural escape to the rugged, wild landscape of Skye.
    Sights nearby  -  Historians will enjoy visiting a local Neolithic stone circle, several chambered cairns and the High Pasture Cave.
    Birdwatching  -  Birdwatchers can go in search of golden eagles and peregrin falcons.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
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  • Duisdale House 18 rooms from $219

    Sleat, Skye

    Escape to this rural nineteenth century hunting lodge on Skye's stunning south-east coastline. Explore the extensive gardens and local beauty, before retreating back to cosy four poster beds in surprisingly modern interiors. Look out for statement wallpaper. Great for a romantic weekend away!

    Traditional  -  A nineteenth century hunting lodge that has been converted into a hotel
    Great walks  -  Skye is renowned for its fantastic walking for all abilities.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
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  • Summer Isles Hotel 12 rooms from $221

    Achiltibuie, Highlands & Islands

    A charming hotel, situated in beautiful scenery with stunning sea views over Badentarbet Bay and the Hebrides, and restaurant specialising in local seafood. Bright, white, airy rooms with sea or garden views. Separate cottage sleeps six. Breathtaking landscape & lots of outdoor activities on offer.

    Great walks  -  The area is great for walking with stunning routes for all abilities.
    Fishing  -  The hotel has its own boats for sea fishing. Loch fishing available.
    Outstanding location  -  Situated in the most glorious position in North West Scotland
    Views  -  Stunning views out to sea and over the Hebrides
    Check prices
  • Tiroran House 10 rooms from $228

    Argyll and Bute, Mull

    Stunning views, 17 acres of unspoiled Scottish countryside and luxurious classic country rooms; it comes as no surprise that Tiroran was voted 'Best Country House Hotel in Scotland' two years running. Treat yourself to hearty, locally sourced meals - the great outdoors can build quite an appetite!

    Sailing  -  Take a boat trip along the Loch na Keel or to Tobermory for whale watching.
    Great walks  -  Along the bracing coastline of the Ardmeanach Peninsula.
    Birdwatching  -  Eagles, puffins and much more can be spotted.
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide
    Check prices
  • Hotel Eilean Iarmain 16 rooms from $254

    Skye

    A lovely hotel on a small harbour overlooking the Sound of Sleat. The individually furnished rooms are cosy and comfortable with many boasting great views. The standout feature is the hotel's heralded restaurant which focuses on local seafood and game. A remote gem.

    Hideaway  -  The perfect spot to getaway from it all, overlooking the Isle Ornsay lighthouse and the hills of Knoydart across the sea.
    Beach Life  -  Explore the stunning secluded beaches on Skye, with the nearest just a minutes walk from the hotel.
    Birdwatching  -  Skye is a great place for birdwatching especially puffin watching.
    Fishing  -  Take a sea fishing trip off the coast of Skye.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
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  • Scarista House 6 rooms from $274

    Isle of Harris

    Old Georgian manse on the Isle of Harris, now run as a charming hotel. Fabulous views over the stunning coastline. Rooms are cosy and comforting and the food is delicious: the freshest seafood imaginable. Perfect for a romantic escape away from it all.

    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    House party feel  -  Be prepared to meet people.
    Hideaway  -  Tranquil and intimate.
    Check prices
  • Kinloch Lodge, Skye 15 rooms from $284

    Isle of Skye

    Stunning scenery, dazzling food and plenty of peace and quiet just a short drive from the Skye Bridge. The elegant and traditional rooms are filled with natural light. A cosy sitting room with an open fireplace is the ideal spot to unwind with a whisky. Exceptional Michelin Star cuisine.

    Foodies  -  Foodies won't be able to resist the stunning Michelin Star restaurant- check out the taster menu with excellent wine pairings.
    Romantic Break  -  A picturesque south Skype romantic retreat offering excellent food, roaring fires, chic suites and long country walks.
    Great walks  -  Venture on a Wild Walk with resident naturalist Mitchell Partridge, packed lunches are provided on request.
    Fishing  -  The area won't dissapoint, keen anglers can fish for salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout.
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  • The Torridon 18 rooms from $287

    Highlands & Islands

    Country escape on the shores of Upper Loch Torridon. 53 acres of park and woodland provide many outdoor activities. Scottish country house opulence twinned with contemporary designs. Seriously good restaurant and whisky bar.

    Restaurant  -  3 AA Rosettes
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Traditional
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays, Michelin Travel
    Hotel Website
  • Boath House 22 rooms from $339

    Nairn

    This Georgian house once found itself on the "endangered' list. Now restored to its former glory by current owners, rooms decorated with original artworks, antiques and four poster beds. There is a Spa, manicured gardens and a very popular restaurant. Activities are arranged on guest preferences.

    Sailing  -  Keen sailors might wish to visit Ness and Moray Yacht Charters
    Sights nearby  -  The Inverness Harbour is well worth a visit
    Restrictions on children  -  This hotel does not accommodate children
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
    Check prices
  • Glencoe House 7 rooms from $443

    Glencoe

    Once the home of Lord Strathcona, this handsome country house is set in ravishing Highlands scenery overlooking Loch Linnhe. Family and dog friendly, comfortable, spacious suites, some with open fires and superb in-suite dining. There is plenty to entertain the hearty from fly fishing to walking.

    Suites  -  The elegant suites with high celings and stunning views have separate sitting rooms and free standing baths
    Private dining room  -  Exquisite meals are served in the comfort of the guests suites, including afternoon tea
    Views  -  Wonderful views over the stunning countryside and lochs
    Back to Nature
    Check prices
  • The Albannach Hotel 5 rooms from $502

    Highlands & Islands

    A charming country property in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands. Five rooms have been simply yet stylishly renovated with soft hues and modern bathrooms. Plays host to a fabulous Michelin-Starred restaurant (Scotland's most northern). Stunning rugged countryside to be explored. Magical.

    Foodies  -  Enjoy a 5 course dinner in the Michelin-Starred restaurant overlooking the surrounding mountains.
    Great walks  -  Testing hill climbs or less strenuous exploring around the coastal paths.
    Sailing  -  Boat trips to surrounding islands can be locally arranged.
    Views  -  Over the sea loch to the mountains beyond.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
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