Top Alternative 10 Things to do in Scotland and the Scottish Highlands
There are so many great things to do in Scotland when you visit and explore this beautiful country. We have compiled a few ideas from our guests over the last few years that you could enjoy.
We welcome any thoughts or delights that you may have found and would be delighted to add them to our list for all to explore and experience.
Please see the following alternative things to do in Scotland and let us know which ones that you may have done and whether you agree?
See Marine Wildlife on a West Coast Cruise –
Scotland is one of the best places in Europe for various different types of marine wildlife. Minke whales and porpoises are frequently seen during high season (July and August) and the Moray Firth is famous for its resident population of bottlenose dolphins. Basking sharks, the biggest fish to be found in British waters, make another common sighting. Tobermory and Easedale (near Oban) are popular departure points. Experience the Corryvrecken Whirlpool, the third largest whirlpool in the world which is formed when the tides meet to create quite a maelstrom in the waters between the islands of Jura and Scarba.
Go up Ben Nevis –
Enjoy the truly magnificent view from Britain’s highest peak which reaches a heady height of 1,345 metres, Ben Nevis, having reached it either by cable car or, for the amazing sense of achievement, on foot. Real walking enthusiasts can warm up by walking the 96-mile West Highland Way first. This runs from Milngavie to Fort William, taking in a large variety of scenery along the way, from countryside parks to loch shores and open moorlands to steep mountains.
Admire the Falls of Dochart at Killin –
The beautiful Falls of Dochart run through the small town of Killin, near the western end of Loch Tay. Watch as the waters of the River Dochart crash into the rocks and then flow around the Islands of Inchbuie, known as the traditional and ancient burial place of Clan Macnab. The Breadalbane Folklore Centre is nearby, where you can learn more about the area’s history. Afterwards, visit the Falls of Dochart Inn for a hearty meal and some local beer.
Go Pony Riding at Loch Lomond –
Whether you are a novice or experienced rider, take a leisurely trek through the tranquil countryside onto the more rugged terrain of the surrounding moorland on the back of a pony. This is a fun and enjoyable way to witness the stunning views of Scotland’s National Park.
Say ‘Hullo’ to Nessie –
The 23 mile long Loch Ness is one of 4 lochs joined together by the Caledonian Canal, which you can cruise on short trips or on a six-hour voyage from one end to the other. The canal and each of the lochs is surrounded by some of the most beautiful highland scenery, but the best photo opportunities are to be found on Loch Ness itself, with the romantic ruins of Urquhart Castle on its hillside above the water.
Let off Some Steam on the Train –
Take the Jacobite steam train’s 84 mile round trip from Fort William along the shores of Loch Eil, passing the deepest freshwater loch, Loch Morar, and onward to Mallaig, where there is a ferry service to the Isle of Skye. Possibly the best photo opportunity is at the Glenfinnan Viaduct (famously appearing in the Harry Potter films), where there is a stunning view towards the Glenfinnan Monument and Loch Shiel.
Tee Off –
Scotland is the home of golf and offers 550 courses to choose from, which is more per head of population than anywhere else in the world! Everybody has heard of the Old Course in St Andrews, but there are ten other courses in in this historic university town as well. Whilst there, visit the old Clubhouse and the British Golf Museum and have afternoon tea at Greywalls Hotel on the edge of Muirfield Championship Golf course.
Tour the Glenkinchie Whisky Distillery –
There are over 120 active whisky distilleries spread across Scotland, which are split into five whisky-producing regions; Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland and Speyside. Glenkinchie is a Scotch single malt whisky distillery in the Lowland region, and is located in a breathtaking setting only 15 miles from Edinburgh. Visit the Glenkinchie Whisky Distillery exhibition and tour the distillery and enjoy a complimentary dram of the 12 year old single malt.
Time Travel in Glasgow –
Visit The Old Tenement House in Glasgow and tour the four rooms appearing as if frozen in time. Shorthand typist Miss Agnes Toward lived there from 1911 until 1965 and preserved her furniture and possessions with love and care. She held on to all sorts of things that most people would have thrown away, so this place has become a valuable time capsule for early 20th century life. Why not follow your visit with a tapas style curry at Mother India’s Cafe in central Glasgow.
Witness the Falkirk Wheel and Stunning Kelpies –
The Falkirk Wheel is the world’s only rotating boatlift used to connect the Forth & Clyde and Union canals in central Scotland. It is a ‘State of the Art’ landmark which shows off Scotland’s engineering expertise. The Kelpies are 30 metre high horse head sculptures paying homage to the working horses of Scotland which used to pull barges along Scotland’s canals and worked in the fields in the area where they now stand.
Come and see this beautiful land for yourself and a good place to start is the Visit Scotland website. For ideas on where to stay such as a log cabin in Scotland or an idyllic lochside cottage check out Waterside Breaks.
Author – Waterside Breaks, Holiday Cottages & Lodges by Water across the UK