The Scottish Highlands have a mystique born of rugged, untamed landscapes and a long history, at once violent and romantic. Sparsely inhabited, these mountains and rocky shores are loved equally by hikers and bikers and by those who enjoy fishing, golf, sea kayaking, white-water rafting, gorge walking, and other outdoor adventures in Britain’s largest area of outstanding natural beauty.
Sprinkled through it are lovely little villages and towns with lodging and eating places. Stop in the tiny coastal village of Dornoch to see its cathedral and castle ruins, and in John o’Groats, overlooking the Pentland Firth, where a much-photographed sign proclaims it the northernmost point of Britain, 874 miles from the southernmost point at Land’s End in Cornwall. You can explore this northern tip of Scotland on a new tourist route, the North Coast 500.