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The National Trust for Scotland

Holm Mills in Inverness

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Calanais Standing Stones

Highland Beach

Loch Ness

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The Highlands and Islands have stunning scenery – mountains, glens, rivers, lochs and sandy beaches.  On the west coast there are sandy beaches and
palm trees and beautiful gardens, thanks to the warm Gulf Stream.

The North and West Highlands
Inverness is the capital of the Highlands.  To the east, on the Moray Firth is Fort George, a huge fort built by the British Government in 1750s. .From its ramparts you can dolphins in the Moray Firth, one of the top places in the UK, or take a boat trip.  like many of Historic Scotland's properties, the Fort is open all year..  North of Inverness is the village of Beauly, where you should visit Beauly Priory, a romanti ruin.  To the south, is the Glenmore Visitor Centre, near Aviemore; in the heart of the Cairngorms, by Loch Morlich, an inland loch with a beach..

Loch Ness – Is this the home of Nessie?  Visit Historic Scotland's Urquhart Castle and make your way down to the shores of the Loch.  Even if you don't see Nessie, you'll still enjoy the castle and the story of its turbulent history of warfare and siege.  Have a meal in its restaurant before you ocntinue on your touring holiday.. .

On the west coast, south of Ullapool, is Gairloch, a fhsing village;  with boat trips round the bay to spot dolphins and seals and perhaps whales.  Ullapool on the shores of Loch Broom is where the CalMac ferries sail to the Outer Hebrides, including Lewis and the town of Stornoway.

The Outer Hebrides  The main island has of two parts: Lewis and Harris. The contrast between the two is clear – on Lewis the scenery is wild and rugged, whilst Harris is greener, with golden beaches and azure seas. Visit the Black House to find out about the crofting life of the past. Dating from even further back are the Calanais Standing Stones, Scotland's answer to Stonehenge.

The Southern Highlands
On the Road to the Isles, from Fort William to Mallaig, (drop in at the Ben Nevis Highland Centre for a snack) is the Glenfinnan Monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie and, close by,the Glenfinnan Viaduct, make famous by the Harry Potter films.  South of Fort William is Oban -  plenty to explore around here;  Dunstaffnage Castle to the north and making the Oban area your centre is a good idea. On te shores of Loch Fyne is Inveraray,, a beautifully laid-out village because it was planned, way back before any of our new towns.  On the way to Loch Lomond from Inveraray is Bonawe Iron Furnace, one of only a handful of places featuring Scotland's industrial heritage.

For ideas on what to see and where to go, talk with staff at the caravan parks (the locals know best!).  But first of all visit this page to see which Thistles are in this area
View the Thistle Holiday Parks in the Highlands and Islands


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