The Scottish Highlands offer a wide range of beautiful scenery and unique opportunities. Great heather-covered moors roll into a broad, blue horizon. Ruined castles stand watch over silvery lochs. There’s a wonderful wildness to it all. But for all of that sweep and solitude, it’s the close-ups of local life that we remember the most. You’ll meet the shepherd whose choreographed collies steer a flock with fluid grace. We walk with a naturalist along a windswept North Sea Estuary famous for its salmon runs. We’ll also introduce you to fascinating folks like the cashmere weavers of Elgin…the whisky aficionados at an artisanal distillery… and the groundskeepers who manicure a 600-year-old golf course to within a micron of perfection. Throughout, you’ll spend your nights in lovely country house hotels and enjoy a wide range of walks from canal towpaths to Edinburgh’s lively High Street. We suspect you’ll join our honorary clan of travelers who count the Scottish Highlands as one of their favorite destinations ever.

#1 Local Life In The Highlands

Get a look at local life in the Scottish Highlands on a farm

The Scottish Highlands are a beautiful landscape full of rich history. This rugged region is renowned for its rolling hills, castle ruins, steams, glens, and breathtaking panoramic views of nature. On tour, you’ll get the opportunity to enjoy a guided walk through lush fields to a working sheep farm to see how locals, like our friend Neil, live on a picture-perfect farm.

#2 Loch Ness

Explore the ruins of Urquhart Castle and the Loch Ness in Scotland

Visit the famous ruins of Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness and then board a leisurely cruise along the deep blue waters. Keep your eyes peeled, as the ruins sit on a fine headland near the stretch of the loch where many of the reputed Nessie sightings occurred.

#3 Culloden Moor

Walk through history in the battlefields of Culloden Moor in Scotland

Walk through history at the Battle site on Culloden Moor to learn about the one-hour battle that changed highland life forever. On the way out, stop in Elgin at a woolen mill where raw cashmere is dyed, teased, carded, spun and hand-finished into luxurious woven fabrics. It’s a must-see, as it’s a rare look at one of the country’s most storied crafts (and the perfect place to get a Scottish souvenir).

#4 Cairngorms National Park

Spot wildlife on walks in Cairngorms National Park in Scotland

Enjoy a fantastic walk in the crystal clear air through the Cairngorms National Park. Along the way, there are terrific birding opportunities to spot local species like the wrens, jays, and treecreepers. Keep your camera at the ready as you follow scenic footpaths with your expert local guide.

#5 Falkland Palace

Explore Falkland Palace in Scotland

The gardens at Falkland Palace, the country residence of Mary, Queen of Scots, are some of the best anywhere. Full of vivid flowers, beautiful plants, and a wildflower meadow that carpets the estate’s orchard, this is a place you should not miss. If you are a fan of the show ‘Outlander’, you might recognize the village where the palace is located was the filming location for Frank and Claire’s honeymoon.

#6 Whiskey Distillery

Taste locally made whiskey in Scotland

After 5+ centuries, Scotland’s whiskey distilleries remain one of the most characteristic crafts in the country. Visit one of the best and see how the single malt is produced, and participate in a “nosing” and tasting session… cheers!

#7 St. Andrews Old Course

Visit St. Andrews Old Course with Classic Journeys in Scotland

Even if you’ve never held a golf club, you’ll know that St. Andrews is the home of the world’s most fabled links where the game was first played around the year 1400. If you are a golfer then take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play a round of your own on the Old Course or one of the many remarkable courses in and around St. Andrews. And with your guide, get the chance to see Granny Clark’s Wynd, cross Swilcan Bridge, and pass through the Valley of Sin, before ending up at the famed Royal & Ancient clubhouse.

#8 Edinburgh

Explore the Castle of Edinburgh with Classic Journeys in Scotland

Edinburgh’s historic capital is a beautiful blend of medieval Old Town, Georgian New Town, and Victorian Lanes, all over-lorded by the ancient Edinburgh castle. Take a stroll along the Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s main thoroughfare and explore the sloped streets, lined with shops, medieval buildings, and landmarks. You’ll also get an ‘only with Classic Journeys’ proper afternoon tea time at the iconic Signet Library.

If you’d like to do all these immersive activities, plus a little more, without the hassle of logistics—join a Classic Journeys cultural walking tour of Scotland. You’ll have the trip of a lifetime!

Walking along the Scottish coast

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