Scottish Highlands

Area guide

The Scottish Highlands are an area like no other in the UK.


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Located in the North-Western most point of the UK, residents are frequently able to bear witness to the Northern Lights and, in summer, the region benefits from remarkably long days: up to 18 hours of daylight. It is blessed with a dramatic landscape; mountain ranges dominate the region and the Highlands are home to an amazing collection of lochs and lochans and Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the British Isles. The area is one of the least densely populated in Europe and as such is extremely rural with unrivalled wildlife and scope for outdoor pursuits. The area’s quaint villages and remote islands offer a relaxed way of life and the area as a whole usually scores high in quality of life surveys.

Strutt & Parker’s Inverness office covers the whole of the Highlands and further afield, boasting an incredible repertoire of properties that includes magnificent family homes in extensive grounds, enormous country houses with breath-taking views, successful and profitable B&Bs, properties on the banks of the Loch Ness, cottages and bungalows on the Isle of Skye and eco homes in stunning rural locations. In the Highlands, you can get a lot of space, both inside and out, for your money and an unusually high number of properties have splendid, far reaching views over the lochs to the mountains and beyond. The Strutt & Parker Inverness office also manages farms and estates in the Highlands as well as sporting property; the fishing, shooting and stalking estates for which the Highlands is famous.

Things to do in Scottish Highlands

It is home to the Cairngorms, the UK’s largest national park, and Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain and is generally known for its stunning, unspoilt landscapes, offering unrivalled vistas. The Highland Access Project is significantly improving the Highlands’ already extensive opportunities for walking, cycling and riding by providing a vast network of versatile paths and accompanying recommended routes. The numerous lochs in the Highlands, including the largest by volume and most fabled off all, the Loch Ness, provide a beautiful setting for a wide variety of outdoor pursuits including bird watching, water sports and golf, with Nairn and Dornoch boasting two of the best golf courses in the country.

Stalking and fishing are also extremely popular in the Highlands, where the remote and rugged landscape lends itself well to this sort of sport. With the Highlands experiencing extreme weather, a number of Highland mountains also offer alpine, telemark and cross-country skiing in the winter months, with three resorts offering a lift network, ski hire and lessons: Glenshee, The Lecht and Nevis Range 131.

The perfectly preserved natural landscape is exemplified by the beautifully peaceful Isle of Skye, which alone boasts 400 miles of wild and rugged coastline and unforgettable sunsets. Across the length and breadth of the Highlands, spectacular and rare wildlife is widespread; seals, otters, golden eagles, red squirrels, dolphins and even puffins are frequently spotted in their natural habitat and such treats are not limited to the confines of the extensive national parks.

Why we love the Scottish Highlands

Inverness has a vast selection of restaurants for all tastes, some of the best include the Rocpool Restaurant which is situated on the River Ness and is only a two minute walk from the city centre. It offers a contemporary, relaxed environment enjoying views of Inverness Castle which looks impressive lit up at night. Another popular restaurant is The Mustard Seed which is also located on the River Ness and Café One on Castle Street which offers some of the finest local produce from around the Highlands. Hootananny and Johnny Foxes/The Den are popular pubs which attract not only the locals but tourists with their regular live music bands.

Rockness is an annual music festival which takes place close to the banks of Loch Ness in Dores, near Inverness which has increased in popularity over the years attracting headliner acts.

The Highlands is well known for its stunning scenery and vast open space for those who enjoy the outdoors whether it be walking along the sandy beaches on the Moray coastline catching a glimpse of the dolphins, enjoying the picturesque views of Torridon & Applecross on the West coast, hillwalking along the Great Glen or trying to locate the legendary Monster ‘Nessie’ on a boat journey down the famous Loch Ness.

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Properties for sale in Inverness

Properties for sale in Nairn

Key villages & towns in Scottish Highlands

Schools in the area

Inverness does very well for schools

With both the Charleston Academy (in Inverness) and Glen Urquhart High School (in Drumnadrochit, 15 miles from Inverness) being judged good/very good by HMIE. Fortrose Academy (13 miles from Inverness) has some excellent features. Further afield, Invergordon Academy and the high schools in both Kinlochleven and Thurso are all judged to be very good; Dornoch Academy is good with some very good aspects.

Inverness is also lucky as far as primary schools are concerned, with Aldourie and Balloch Primary Schools being good/very good and Dochgarroch Primary School being judged very good. Elsewhere in the Highlands, Millbank Primary School (in Nairn), Cannich Bridge Primary School (in Beauly) as well as the Primaries at both Dingwall and Newtonmore are all judged as good/very good.

For a more comprehensive list of schools in the area we recommend the Good Schools Guide.

Transport links

By train

From Inverness, there are regular direct trains to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and other Scottish towns. Regional trains provide links within the area: Newtonmore is an hour from Inverness (every four hours); Nairn is 18 minutes (every 2 hours); Beauly is quarter of an hour (every couple of hours). Two direct trains a day (8 hours) take you from Inverness to London.

By train

An A-road links Inverness to Perth; from there, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the rest of the UK are accessible by motorway. Dornoch and Newtonmore are both about an hour by car to Inverness; Beauly and Nairn are less than half an hour.

There's beautiful scenery no matter where you are in the Highlands, friendly locals and plenty of outdoor pursuits.