Have you ever wanted to visit the Scottish Highlands? From the towering mountains and sheep-covered hills to the quaint villages, cozy local pubs, and captivating coasts, it’s no wonder why this part of Scotland is on many’s bucket list. If you need inspiration on how to spend your time here, uncover how I spent one week exploring Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, Plockton, Ben Nevis, Steall Waterfall, and so much more.
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There’s one place in the world that I keep going back to again and again and again — Scotland.
With its gorgeous green hills, magnificent mountains, crazy beautiful views, welcoming locals, adorable villages, incredible hikes, vibrant cities (like Edinburgh!), and so much more, there’s something for everyone.
Personally, the views, hikes, and locals draw me in every time! I can’t get enough.
Which is why I’ve made it mine and Dan’s (the wanderful husband) tradition to spend one week working and traveling around Scotland every year!
With both of us working remotely and the vast amount of great Airbnbs (not to mention, Scotland only being around a 5 hour drive away), it’s never been easier to head up there for a quiet, magical week away.
Exploring Fort Augustus and Loch Ness
This time, we booked a cozy tiny home through Airbnb just outside Fort Augustus, a small town in the Scottish Highlands nestled along the banks of the wondrous Loch Ness.
The Airbnb is owned and managed by Lucy, a super friendly and welcoming local who did everything she could to make our stay comfortable and memorable.
The tiny house is perched on the edge of a quiet golf course and features:
✓ Beautiful views of the surrounding green hills and mountains
✓ A short walk into town via the lovely Fort Augustus canal
✓ A cozy log-burning stove that chases away the typical Scotland chill
✓ An relaxing outdoor space perfect for listening to the rain pitter patter on the tin roof
✓ Fast wifi and a dedicated work space for remote workers
✓ All the amenities and must-haves you could ever want for an easy, breezy stay
Dan and I chose this particular Airbnb because of its prime location and proximity to many exceptional destinations across the Scottish Highlands.
Within an hour and a half’s drive of the tiny house, we had the opportunity to explore Ben Nevis, Fort William, Plockton, Eilean Donan Castle, Glenfinnan Aquaduct (aka the aquaduct that the Harry Potter steam train crosses), Glencoe, and so much more.
Fort Augustus is also the perfect place to base yourself when visiting the Scottish Highlands. This small, yet bustling little place is a popular day trip destination, as you may expect when it comes to the famous Loch Ness lake and mythical creature.
However, while the town is busy during the day, it transforms into a quiet and tranquil place during the evening. Ideal for visiting one of the local pubs during sunset and having a nice cold pint alongside the renowned Fort Augustus Locks!
Climbing Ben Nevis
When visiting Scotland, there’s one activity that continuously shows up on lists of things to do in the Scottish Highlands — climb Ben Nevis.
The tallest mountain in the United Kingdom, Ben Nevis is a challenging hike that features wondrous views of the surrounding Scotland landscape, a picturesque alpine lake, and an incredible experience you’re not likely to forget.
Though the weather can be unpredictable in Scotland, we had clear, sunny skies and minimal winds the day we hiked Ben Nevis. We got to the top of Ben Nevis and could see for miles (all the way to the sea)! It was amazing, to say the least.
Need more inspiration for your Scotland trip? Check out my blog on the 15 best places to visit in Scotland, featuring Glencoe, Edinburgh, Cairngorms National Park and more!
Visiting the Quaint Village of Plockton
No doubt one of the cutest villages in the Scottish Highlands, Plockton is located near the Isle of Skye and situated along the beautiful Loch Carron.
Truth be told, I didn’t do much research on Plockton and had no idea what to expect from this teeny tiny village that only has one road going through it… little did I know it would blow me away!
Turns out, Plockton is very popular among Scottish Highland visitors. After checking it out for myself, this is no surprise to me, as it’s super cute and has a surprisingly good number of things to do when there!
Though we were only in Plockton for a few hours, we went out on a seal sighting boat trip with Calum’s Seal Trips, had a pint of local beer at The Plockton hotel, explored the Plockton harbor, and wandered about the village.
We also stopped at Eilean Donan Castle on the way up to Plockton, which is a remarkably beautiful castle perched on an island in the middle of Loch Duich and a super popular attraction on many Isle of Skye day trips!
Calum’s Seal Trips, in particular, was a huge highlight for me! We saw a ton of seals, including the three famous local white seals. The weather was also in our favor, providing enough visibility to see the notorious Isle of Skye off in the distance. This tour is highly-recommended and a top thing to do in Plockton!
Thinking of visiting Edinburgh? Don’t miss out on reading about the 3 best FREE tours in Edinburgh that show you the best of the city!
Hiking to Steall Waterfall
Another awesome thing to do in the Scottish Highlands is hiking to Steall Waterfall. Also known as Steall Bàn or Steall Falls, this towering waterfall is Scotland’s second-highest waterfall and popular among Fort William visitors since it’s just a short drive and hike away from the town.
Not to mention, Steall Falls is also popular among Harry Potter fans, as it was featured in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry flies past it on his broom when attempting to escape the jaws of the Hungarian Horntail dragon!
While I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and this was definitely a draw for me, the hike to Steall Falls and the landscape around this attraction is what truly blew me away.
There are a couple other hiking trails that branch off from the Steall Falls route and head into the valley nestled between the mountains of Ben Nevis and Binnein Mòr.
This leads away you from the crowds and into the wilderness where you uncover little-known waterfalls and exceptional views of the surrounding Scottish Highlands. A truly stunning destination!
No matter where you go in the Scottish Highlands, your trip is guaranteed to be memorable. This is why I’ll keep heading to Scotland time and time again, exploring more of this little, yet magnificent country and uncovering every inch of it in the process!
Tell me, where in Scotland is on your bucket list? Are you planning to head to the Scottish Highlands in the next few years? Share your travel plans in the comment section below!
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Fern BundeJanuary 13, 2023 9:23 pm
I love to read your trips only wish I was young enough to do it. Your writing makes me feel like I was there, it’s. Exciting and the places you talk about is amazing. Thank you for sharing these beautiful places you travel. Grams