The Scotland Highlands Trip You Need To Go On Right Now

Teacake Travels

The Scotland Highlands are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Their exterior radiates a mysterious yet soothing jaw-dropping beauty, guaranteed to disorientate your senses for all the right reasons, without you even having to touch a drop of their infamous whisky. Alas, simmering under the fairytale castles, snow-capped mountains, glorious tartan and The Pretenders lies a bloodthirsty, relentless, full-on murderous past. I went for 3 days with Haggis Adventures and uncovered all the stunning and gory bits rolled into one!

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Undoubtedly, Scotland has a bloody and fascinating past. A hell of a lot of families and kings were topping off each other in the meanest ways possible amongst those evil witches, pesky English and solo Nessie swimming somewhere deep in the darkest shadows of Loch Ness. Scotland’s past is gruesome but it sure is riveting and seeing the Scotland Highlands with a local guide opened the door to me getting the juicy historical gossip!

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Scotland Highlands Adventure

The grass is always greener on the other side and that ‘other side’ has been Asia for me. Sometimes you don’t know how good you’ve got it right on your doorstep. This English rose has never stepped foot in Scotland. Thankfully, I’ve redeemed myself. I teamed up with Haggis Adventures on their Skye High Tour and over the next 3 days, Scotland conquered my heart. Hold on to your horses, I’m going to show you the best bits of my Scottish Adventure!

Scotland Highlands

Day One: Edinburgh To Loch Ness

A childhood dream! Dramatic mountains, never ending lochs, ruined castles and the ultimate hunt for Nessie!

Best places to stay in Edinburgh before the trip

The Lowlands to the Scotland Highlands

As we set sail with our trusty wheels out of Edinburgh, bobbing along the roads with anticipation at what lie ahead, we edged nearer and nearer to the mighty mountains of the Scotland Highlands. Through the raindrops lightly pattering on our windows, we ogled at the iconic and modern UNESCO Forth Bridge, slowly taking us into a world most of us had been excited about seeing for a very long time! Halting at Dunkeld Cathedral, this was our last chance to take in the Lowlands before entering tales of bloodshed, lucky fairies and strange monsters.

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Teacake Tip: Apart from enjoying yourself in the beautiful grounds and soaking up the exceptional stained glass, check out the dude buried in the corner here. Nicknamed the ‘Wolf of Badenoch‘, he was a serious rotter who did all kinds of unforgivable things. Make sure to give him a good telling off.

‘Outlander’ Highlander Life

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Ladies, calm yourselves, for our next stop was on the set of the deliciously romantic and historical TV series Outlander (swoon)! Lights camera action aside, visiting this recreation of how the early Highlander people lived had us all popping our heads into their houses to see what was going on. This hut in particular is where Jamie has his shirt ripped off to reveal all of the scars on his back (it’s OK Jaime, we could look at that muscular back all day).

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

As an extra special bonus, they had a real Hairy Cow pottering about in the village too!

Scotland Highland Whisky Distillery

Unashamedly one of the highlights for me was stepping into a working Scotland Highland Whisky Distillery to see all of the gadgets, gizmos and processes used to make the ‘water of life’ whisky! I tried my absolute best to pay attention but the cheeky tasting at the end of the tour was at the forefront of my mind.

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Once we hit the barrels, oof(!) rose and berry aromas with malty undertones began swaying under my nose and once the glass hit my lips, ahh! Honey and nut, spices and a gentle herbal smoke tingled my taste buds. Now that’s a good whisky.

The mysterious ancient Clava Cairns

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Silently yet boldly standing just one mile away from the Battle Of Culloden site that changed Scotland forever, lies these mysterious ancient stones. Estimated to be 4000 years old, your mind will run wild imagining the Clava Cairns’ purpose. It is speculated that they were a King and Queen’s burial chambers. Wander through the trees gently whispering in the wind and come to your own conclusion…

Scotland Highlands Loch Ness

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Stunning views over Loch Ness from Urquhart Castle

As we wove through the stunning Scotland Highland highs and lows, through towering rocks and sparkling rushing waters, the time to catch a glimpse of Nessie was finally here! With my nose eagerly pressed against the glass, my wide eyes flashed left and right repeatedly as the scenery galloped in front of me. The Loch felt endless. No wonder these sightings are sporadic!

I jumped out of my seat as I saw a shadow in the depths. Turns out those cunning locals are good at setting up plastic replicas of the beast to fool the likes of me. I still believe! She’s there. Next time!

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

We headed to Morag’s Lodge to calm down from the excitement of the day, eat some haggis, drink more whisky and get to know each other more at the quiz. We went to bed excited about venturing to the Isle Of Skye the next day!

Day Two: Highlands To The Isle Of Skye

Neverland

Welcome to Neverland. Literally. This charming enchanted spot on the way to Skye is where JM Barrie spent  his childhood in summer. That little house you see at the back? Yep, he was dreaming of crocodiles,  ferocious pirates and eternal youth right here. Scotland has inspired many a writer including JK Rowling with Harry Potter. Go figure!

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Eilean Donan Castle

After studying Jiu Jitsu in China for three months, I recently spent my last week there venturing into the lands of Tiger Leaping Gorge. I took this photo and proclaimed it was the most beautiful scene I had ever snapped. Then the Scotland Highlands and Eilean Donan Castle happened…

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Iconic! It’s one of the most photographed castles in Scotland. With camera in tow, I snapped this beaut from all angles whilst jumping around like an extra in Game Of Thrones. Highly recommended!

Forever young in the Waters of ‘The Slig’

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Before stepping foot on the much awaited Isle Of Skye, we paid a visit to the fairy doctors to have a spot of facial reconstruction. Legend has it that by placing your precious skin into these waters, you’ll materialise forever young thanks to the Fairy King.

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

The ladies legged it down to the waters and the men quickly followed suit! Natural healing at its best? We’ll see how my selfies turn out in a couple of years!

The Old Man of Storr

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

CC image courtesy of John Mcsporran on Flickr

The touching story of The Old Man Of Storr is a tale I’ll leave to Haggis Adventures to tell you. The view however speaks for itself!

Lealt and Kilt Rock

As we visited each place, I thought I was seeing the best of the Scotland Highlands but this day continued to give us even more mighty, epic and romantic views. When we pulled up to Lealt in the Trotternish area on the coast, with the fresh air and vast sea before me, the Highlands were really starting to touch my heart.

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Looking out from Lealt

Dinosaurs’ hearts were also touched by Scotland don’t you know! Their footprints have been found at Kilt Rock, appropriately named for the pleats that appear within it. Can you see them?

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Bare Castle

To wrap up our day, we returned to the gateway of the Isle Of Skye to check into Saucy Mary’s Lodge and grab a spot of dinner. Broken yet still hanging on proudly to its foundations, this ruined castle standing atop a little harbour grabbed my curiosity by the horns. I just had to go before the sausages and mash. Grabbing my camera, I waded through the seaweed and rocks and reached this point…

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Eilean Donan Castle was dreamy but this little spot is unreal!

WARNING: Scotland has another monster other than Nessie: midges! I was surrounded and covered by them here. They’re not going to hurt you but save yourself from being bitten by stocking up on Midge Spray.

The next morning, I slowly worked my way up to the top of the ruins and this was the view!

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Magic and by far my most favourite spot on the whole trip! And yes, the sausages and mash are really good along with the beer and live music opposite the Saucy Mary’s Hostel!

Scotland Highlands

Day Three: Loch Ness to Edinburgh

Glencoe

Day 3 was a chance to start winding down and slowly work our way back to Edinburgh for the evening. To get ourselves off to a jolly good start, we made our wishes at the adorable Fairy Cairns…

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

The roads we took after making our wishes are monumental and have been featured in James Bond and Harry Potter movies. If only I had had a drone whilst I was there to show you the action! Time to load up You Tube…

The Weeping Glen

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Our final stop was a sobering one after the local ales we’d been drinking the night before. In a place of such natural beauty and awe was once a terrible and unforgivable massacre. Haggis Adventures will fill you in with all the gory details.

Before long it was time to head home! We passed Stirling Castle, found out the real story of Braveheart and rolled into Edinburgh with tons of tips and ideas on how to spend our evening in the capital thanks to our trusty guides.

Scotland Highlands Question Time

Should I See The Scotland Highlands With Haggis Adventures?

I’m always passionately yearning for independence just as much as the Scottish, so the last place I thought I’d collect these fascinating experiences would be with a Haggis Adventures Tour Bus. Me, on a bus, being driven by someone else, with a set schedule? Surely not?!

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Well ladies and gentleman, I’m officially eating my hat. Haggis Adventures asked me along for the ride, inviting me to dip my English tootsies in their magical Scottish waters and I loved every minute of it. Their trips are perfect for solo travellers like me to meet fascinating people, learn so much about a culture, get insider knowledge and concentrate on the views, knowing I’m going to see the best of the best! I enjoyed the experience so much, I will be going back for more.

The tour guides were absolutely amazing, the pace was just right, the accommodation was really good and the people I met were all kind, friendly and excited to be there too. I’m missing everyone already!

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

The Need to Knows

I recommend you bring the following things: A raincoat or umbrella, some shoes you don’t mind getting muddy, midge spray (100% essential) and a water bottle (15% off Water 2 Go Bottles for Teacake readers with special code TEACAKE15) and snacks for the bus. You’re gonna need some spending money for your beer and food but there’s plenty of places to get cash out or buy ingredients for self-catering along the way. Want to ensure you have everything? This packing list will help.

The best places to stay in Edinburgh after the trip

 

Are You Heading To Edinburgh? Read My Guide!

All the things to see and do in Edinburgh

Save This Trip For Later! Pin Me!

Taking a trip to the Scotland Highlands? Here's an awesome 3 day itinerary for you with Haggis Adventures!

Do You Believe In The Loch Ness Monster? Would You Put Your Face In The Slig? Comment Below!

About Alice Teacake

I'm a kickass girl who believes in women facing their fears and pushing their boundaries, to reach their full potential through solo adventure travel! Follow me for travel advice and inspiration, so you can go forth and challenge yourself to reach your own personal goals!

41 replies
  1. Sujit
    Sujit says:

    Great Post, I also love Scotland Highlands that is why I keep going back.. :)
    Amazing images of Highlands’s nature. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Alice Teacake
      Alice Teacake says:

      I think once you go to the Highlands you just can’t help but want to go back again and again. It’s a truly magical place. I’d love to get back there and do some killer road trips. So many places to visit – I need to be a car with 9 lives haha.

      Reply
  2. Korinne
    Korinne says:

    I am traveling to Scotland in the summer for a study abroad program then staying for a few weeks after! Great tips and places to see in the highlands! Thank you!!

    Reply
  3. Ava Carmichael
    Ava Carmichael says:

    This post blew my mind!!!! Thank you for so much awesome information! I am heading to Scotland this March to visit my family’s heritage. Your post got me so giddy!
    Thank you!
    -Ava

    Reply
  4. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    As someone who is absolutely obsessed with the Highlands of Scotland, I really loved reading your post. I’ve been visiting Lochaber, at least twice a year, for over 30 years now (seriously – I’m only 35! Ha ha), and can whole-heartedly agree with a lot of your comments. However, I have not managed to venture to the Outlander set (think my husband would have a hard time trying to get me away from there), and I’ve never seen the faerie cairns… Can you please be so kind as to tell me where they are? Thanks :) x

    Reply
  5. Dan
    Dan says:

    I had to come and see your photo of the Scottish bagpipe player that you found on my website, and yes after three years since I was there, same guy, same outfit! Although he now has shorter hair and a beard (then again so do I since then).

    I’m glad you came by my blog as I didn’t know about your site, I’m now going to bookmark it and keep up to date with your adventures!

    Dan @ loneXplorer.com.au

    Reply
  6. Vicky and Buddy
    Vicky and Buddy says:

    I fell in love with Scotland when I was there, especially Edinburgh! And it’s too bad you didn’t see Nessie. I looked for her too and wasn’t able to see her. Maybe next time! ;)

    Reply
  7. Janna
    Janna says:

    Omg I love Outlander! Ever since I started watching it, I fell in love with Scotland and I seriously can’t wait to visit it! So gorgeous!

    Reply
  8. Sophie
    Sophie says:

    Alice i’m so jealous! It looks like a perfect mini adventure. I haven’t been to Scotland but I just can’t believe how beautiful it is. And the thing that strikes me the most is just how green it is!

    Reply
  9. Dave
    Dave says:

    Wow this looks and sounds absolutely amazing. I still haven’t made it to Scotland, but it’s slowly getting to the top of the list!

    Reply
  10. Jo
    Jo says:

    Wow amazing captures of the scenic beauty of the highlands. I went to Scotland few years ago but sadly didn’t have enough time for Scottish highlands. I reallllly wish I did as I quite enjoyed Scotland and I am sure I would’ve liked being close to nature in highlands and hopefully catching a sight of the loch ness monster ;) I know I know its like Santa but hey , a girl can hope!

    Reply
  11. Vicki Louise
    Vicki Louise says:

    Love the hairy cow pottering around the village! Scotland is such a magical place – and I think a really underrated destination. I know the weather tend to be a bit off-putting – but its worth braving the cold for the scenery – as can be seen from your post and awesome pics!

    Reply
    • Alice teacake
      Alice teacake says:

      Absolutely Vicki! I feel it is an underrated destination too – seeing as I didn’t give it much attention either until now (and with it being on my doorstep!). I had an amazing time. I highly recommend it :)

      Reply
  12. Tom Bourlet
    Tom Bourlet says:

    I’m the same as you, English (well, not an English rose, but English) and haven’t made the most of visiting the areas a bit closer to home. I’ve never been to the Highlands but it has definitely made the list!
    I was at Edinburgh festival a couple of years ago and I’ve wanted to visit Scotland again ever since!

    Reply
  13. MariaAbroad
    MariaAbroad says:

    I fell in love with the Scottish Highlands when I watched the series Highlander as a kid. I would love to visit and see the lush hills and the scruffy landscape. So beautiful!

    Reply
    • Alice teacake
      Alice teacake says:

      Oh noooo :( Yes, the weather is a tricky one for sure here. I’m hanging out in Brighton now and it is pouring haha >< If you come back, I hope we are better behaved for you <3

      Reply
  14. Meg Jerrard
    Meg Jerrard says:

    I second that Haggis Adventures are an amazing company – we traveled through Scotland with them over New Years a few years back, and even though we are generally independent travelers and try to avoid tour buses, we loved every minute of it. Still in touch with our tour guide 3 years later – she was fantastic. What I love most about Haggis is the passion of their guides :) Really makes the whole trip.

    Reply

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