The Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands are truly one of the most beautiful and magical places in the world. You will find rugged, stunning landscapes, numerous inviting lochs, rocky beaches, majestic mountains and an abundance of wildlife. This corner of the globe should be on every traveler’s bucket list.

Our Highland adventure included the Backies, a region in the northeastern part of the Highlands where you will find charming villages, castles, lochs, miles of deserted coastline, distilleries and that crazy, fickle weather that is typical of Scotland. A colleague said to me “people don’t go to Scotland for the weather!” The locals say, “just wait ten minutes and the weather will change.” We certainly found that to be true; rain, wind, sun, ominous looking clouds, repeat.

Loch Brora

We went to the Backies in October, 2017, to visit some dear friends who live in the area. We stayed in their home, and they were our tour guides for our three day visit. One of our first stops was a hike to Loch Brora (pictured above). Thankfully, it didn’t rain while were were hiking, but the wind was fierce!

We also visited a broch; brochs are ancient, stone-walled structures that date back to the Iron Age. They are found in northern Scotland and provided shelter and safety for locals and animals during invasions.

Dunrobin Castle was also on our itinerary. The home of the Sutherlands, this fairy tale looking castle seems a little out of place in the rugged Highlands. The castle and gardens are open to the public and are well worth a visit.

Dunrobin Castle
Thankfully, it was mostly clear on the day we visited, so we were able to take our time as we wandered through the gardens.
theTravelSketcher and our friend even found time for a game of croquet on the castle lawn.

Not far from Dunrobin Castle are the ruins of Skelbo Castle, overlooking Loch Fleet. Another interesting place to visit.

Skelbo Castle

Another stop during our visit was a tour of Clynelish Distillery. If you enjoy Scottish whisky, I highly recommend this tour; it’s educational, packed with interesting facts about the history and making of scotch, and is loads of fun as well.

And, as always, I enjoyed taking photos of the area.

The rocky coastline.
Did not strong connections draw me elsewhere, I believe Scotland would be the country I would choose to end my days in. Benjamin Franklin
TheTravelsketcher did this painting of our friends’ home as a thank you gift for their generous hospitality.

We had a wonderful visit with our dear friends that included lots of laughter, lively conversation, great meals (including haggis!) long walks and the fondness that comes with spending time together. I’m looking forward to visiting them again someday.

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As always, please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you.

Wishing you grand adventures,


7 thoughts on “The Scottish Highlands

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  1. Tricia:
    We made our trip to the Scottish Highlands at the end of 2019 – pre-pandemic, thankfully. During our circle tour of the highlands, we got as far north as Inverness but did not travel farther north into the Backies, as you did. I had a short side trip as a possibility, to Invergorton and/or Cromarty, during our brief stay in Inverness, but that did not fit into our schedule.

    We thoroughly enjoyed our three week trip, which began and ended in Edinburgh. We are big Outlander fans so finding some of those locations determined a bit of our itinerary. However, perhaps our single favorite stop was our stop in Glenfinnan to see the Harry Potter viaduct. It started out eerily foggy which made for some great pictures, but the fog subsided as we were there, allowing for some more classic pics.

    We actually found Glasgow to be a bit more interesting than Edinburgh, despite what I had read durin my research prior to our trip.

    Anyway, nice to read about your 2017 trip as well. Our first post Covid trip will be to Molokai and Kauai in the Hawaiian islands this coming February 2022.

    Here is a link to part 1 of my 4 part blog on our Highland trip.


    1. Hello Pearl! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments and description of your Scottish adventure; which sounds lovely. Your stop in Glenfinnan sounds amazing. We hope to move to France next year, mainly to allow us easier access to the places we love most in Europe; Scotland is high on that list.

      I agree with you about Glasgow. My first European trip included several days in Glasgow) my husband was there on business) and I found it to be quite interesting.

      Hawaii in February should be lovely, and I hope you enjoy your time there. We visited Molokai over 25 years ago and throughly enjoyed the tranquility of the island.

      Thanks for sharing your blog site; I am looking forward to reading about your travels as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you’ve had a chance to look at any of my mutliple posts about our Highland trip in 2019, then you can probably tell that i like to write, and I like to take pictures!

        So you can imagine that if we will be spending three weeks on Molokai and Kauai this coming Feb/Mar, I just “might” have something to write about after we finish that trip. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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