Updated: May 6
There are so many things to do in the Highlands it is hard to know where to begin. But we’ve researched, calculated and written up the very best activities for you and the family within a 90 minute radius from The Highland Club.
A Great Rail Trip, Fort William to Mallaig – approx. 50-minute drive away. -Scot Rail: We might be cheating with this slightly, but the train ride from Fort William to Mallaig as part of the West Highland Majesty route has been called the most beautiful rail journey in the world. The train ride is 1hr 30mins, and at Mallaig you can catch a ferry to visit the Small Isles or the Isle of Skye before returning back to Fort William. This journey can be as cheap as £14!
For more information, please visit https://www.scotrail.co.uk/
-West Coast Railways: For any Harry Potter fans, you can travel the same route as the Hogwarts Express, this includes going over the Glenfinnan Viaduct on the Jacobite Steam Train! You travel past it on Scotrail but on West Coast Railways you can travel over it. If booking with West Coast Railways it is advisable to book far in advance as this journey is very popular.
For more information, please visit: http://www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite/jacobite-steam-train-details.cfm
Nevis Range Mountain Resort – approx. 40-minute drive away.
Near Fort William is the Nevis Range Mountain Resort which rests on the slopes of Aonach Mor. This is located around 3km away from Ben Nevis. Here you can travel 650m up the mountain via the gondola and hike, bike or eat at Snowgoose Restaurant or Pinemarten café bar at the top. In winter, Nevis Range is an excellent spot for snow sports as well.
Another fun activity that is offered is the Tree Adventure, letting you walk amongst the trees. Open from April til October, all the family can enjoy this experience (though there are different height restrictions on different courses).
For more information on Nevis Range and Tree Adventure, please visit http://www.nevisrange.co.uk/
Ceilidh – approx. 40-minute drive away and approx. 50-minute drive away
There are also family friendly Ceilidh Evenings on at Nevis Range Mountain Resort during the Summer. This takes place at 650m on Aonach Mor! Adult tickets cost £14 + a gondola ticket, the last gondola down leaving around 11pm. Enjoy traditional Scottish food at the Snowgoose restaurant and watch the sunset in the Highland mountains whilst you listen and dance to live Scottish music. Don’t worry about not knowing the dance, each one will be explained before you start. It is recommended to book a space, as there is a limited capacity.
For more information please visit
Phone: 01397 705 825
Every evening from late June until September, the Skipinnish Ceilidh House in Fort William offers a Ceilidh Show from 8:30-10:30pm. Ceilidh is a fantastic part of Celtic culture and introduces you to traditional music and dancing, the translation of ceilidh from gaelic being party! So wear some dancing shoes and enjoy the show!
For more information please call 01397 705 666
Ben Nevis Distillery – approx. 45-minute drive away.
Opened in 1825, this distillery ranks among one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland. At the foot of Ben Nevis you have the option to not only taste and buy good Scotch whiskey, but you can also learn about the distillery process. Find out what makes Ben Nevis whiskey, made with water from Ben Nevis, so legendary – and even better, taste it!
For more information, please visit http://www.bennevisdistillery.com/
Ship Space – approx. 55-minute drive away.
If you’ve ever wanted to explore the sea, this is the perfect interactive museum for you! Ship Space has a 1:10 model of the Titanic as well as replica Nautile submarines, which can make the 3 mile dive down to the Titanic. Learn how to bait a West Coast creel fishing boat and step on board many other different boats.
To find out more please visit http://www.shipspace.co.uk/ Phone: 01463 716 839 Address: 16 Clachnaharry Road, Inverness IV3 8QH
Inverness Castle and Inverness Cathedral – approx. 60-minute drive away.
Overlooking the River Ness, Inverness Castle has stood proud for 175 years. Previously the castle has not been open to the public as it has been the base for the city’s court. However, the city is currently in the two-year process of moving the courts out and opening up the castle to the public. This has started with the opening of the North Tower Viewpoint, which give a fantastic 360-degree panorama of Inverness.
To book a ticket for Inverness Castle Viewpoint in advance, please visit https://www.highlifehighland.com/invernesscastleviewpoint/admission/
Saint Andrew’s Cathedral originated in 1853 on the opposite side of River Ness to Inverness Castle. Still in use, visit the cathedral as a tourist and admire the beautiful art and architecture or join in the congregation during a service.
For more information, please visit www.invernesscathedral.com
Highland Aviation Museum – approx. 75-minute drive away.
If you’ve ever wondered how some airports came to be, now you can find out. The Highland Aviation Museum contains not only models of airplanes and engines, but also tells you how Inverness Airport was transformed from the RAF Dalcross into the busy runway it is today. Sit in old cabins and cockpits and learn more about post-war British aviation, military and not.
For more information, please visit http://www.aviationmuseum.eu/World/Europe/UK/Inverness/Highland_Aviation_Museum.htm Phone: 01667 461 100 Address: 9 Dalcross Industrial Estate, Inverness, IV2 7XB.
The Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary – approx. 90-minute drive away.
Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary lies on Loch Creran near Oban. This fantastic centre rescues and rehabilitates seal pups, as well as helping to conserve turtles and red squirrels. They house otters, seals, red squirrels, sea horses, and turtles, as well as other animals.
To find out more, please visit: http://www.visitsealife.co.uk/oban Phone: 01631 720 386
Culloden Battlefield – approx. 65-minute drive away
Though there is fantastic history behind Fort Augustus and The Highland Club, it does not quite compare to Culloden Battlefield and Fort George. Culloden Battlefield marks where the Jacobite Rising was finally put down. Over 1,000 Jacobites, in the hope to restore the Stuart monarchy to the English throne, were slain in this battle. Explore the Visitor Centre and examine the different artefacts and exhibits to understand exactly what happened on 16th April 1746.
For more information, please visit Culloden Battlefield: http://www.nts.org.uk/Visit/Culloden
Fort George & Highlander’s Museum – approx. 90-minute drive away.
Because of the Jacobite threat, Fort George was built to combat the rebels. However, in the 22 years it took to finish the fort, the threat had been defeated. Fort George since then has stood as a base for the British Army. Visit the Highlander’s Museum, a regimental museum, within it to view the many artefacts it houses. Explore the barracks of Fort George to see how soldiers used to live. Within the grounds, there is also one of the only two dog cemeteries in Scotland that you can visit.
Highlander’s Museum: http://www.thehighlandersmuseum.com/
Cawdor Castle – approx. 75-minute drive away.
Built around a thorn tree that a donkey supposedly chose, Cawdor Castle still houses the Cawdor family. Though associated with Macbeth’s murder of King Duncan, as the website say, this castle is not where King Macbeth (person, not character) would have murdered Duncan. Despite the lack of literary history, this castle has plenty of look at. It contains 3 beautiful gardens and different gift shops (including a wool shop). You can also go salmon fishing in the grounds (with permission and only with a license bought from the website) or go on nature trails around the grounds. The grounds of the castle include not only beautiful gardens that you can wander throughout, but also a golf course and putting green for those interested.
For more information about prices or activities within the castle, please visit http://www.cawdorcastle.com/
Dolphin Watching at Chanonry Point – approx. 80-minute drive away.
On the opposite side of Moray Firth to Fort George is Chanonry Point. It may just look like a peninsula that helps separate Moray Firth from the North Sea, but it is actually the best point to watch for Bottlenose Dolphins! Here you have sweeping view of Fort George and Moray Firth as well as many other dolphin watchers hoping to catch a glimpse of these playful creatures. The best time to spot them is on a low tide where they’ll be feeding in the channel.
To find out more or to book a boat trip around the Moray Firth coastline, please visit http://www.moraydolphins.co.uk/
For more options on boat trips, please visit www.dolphinspace.org – this site lists credible and responsible boat companies who provide tours with fantastic views of wildlife without disturbing the animals or damaging the environment extensively.
A little further out
Blair Castle – approx. 1 hr 40 mins to 2 hr drive away
Blair Castle is a historical site that has played a significant role in Scottish history. Said to have started in the 13th century, Blair Castle has been visited by Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Victoria, and it was an important location during the Jacobite Rising. Explore the grounds of the Atholl Estates (on which Blair Castle is located), even do so on the back of a Highland pony. There is plenty here for an exciting day out in a historical castle.
For more information, please visit: www.blair-castle.co.uk Phone: 01796 481207 Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH18 5TL
Post first published 25th July 2018