The Highlands of Scotland have long been a popular destination for international tourists keen to take in the stunning sights and great experiences which lie around every corner. Whether you wish to take an exclusive tour of Loch Ness or learn a little more about the process which goes into making some of Scotland’s best known whiskies, therefore, Invergordon Tours can draw upon years of experience and local knowledge to ensure your visit will be one which is not soon forgotten.
If you have visited the Highlands before, you will know that the laid-back lifestyle and welcoming hospitality of the local folks is world-renowned. Alternatively, you may be looking to visit the Highlands for the first time – in which case it is good to get a head start with planning as there is so much to see and do! There are many reasons to visit the Highlands, including;
Where to start with food in the Highlands?! Seafood lovers should rejoice, as due to the huge amount of coastline in this part of the world, you can be sure that the “catch of the day” really is the catch of the day. Mussels, sea trout and even the odd squat lobster or two are available in the vast majority of restaurants north of Inverness – for the pick of the bunch, head to the Applecross Inn on the west coast which offers not only delicious food but stunning views out towards the Western Isles. As the Highlands also have plenty of hills and green spaces, deer are in plentiful supply so venison is something of a local delicacy. Teamed up with pheasant, grouse and rabbit, a tender haunch of venison makes a delicious game pie which, again, tends to be something of a staple on a Highland menu! If you want to ensure your food is truly fresh, many lochs and estates in Scotland sell permits which allow a full day of fishing or deer stalking for a small fee – something which Invergordon Tours will be more than happy to help with.
A lot of people utilising the services of Invergordon Tours are eager to really sink their teeth in and get back to nature which is, arguably, the best thing that the Highlands have to offer. With no major cities north of Inverness, and a number of areas in which dual carriageway roads are yet to reach, the heavy traffic and pollution of city life are certainly no concern here! A lot of hillwalkers and rock climbing enthusiasts choose to visit the Highlands because of the famous Munros, the mountains in Scotland which measure over 3,000 feet high. However, many more come for the fresh air and relaxing atmosphere synonymous with the Highland way of life. Of course, because this unspoiled beauty should be preserved for decades to come, visitors are encouraged to participate in eco-tourism initiatives wherever possible and those who choose to cycle rather than drive on short day trips are made to feel very welcome by locals!
Many who visit the Highlands for the first time leave with a determination to come back again soon, yet it is not just for the views, the tranquillity or the delicious food – it is for the communities which embrace every new visitor like a long lost family member! There is a strong sense of community spirit in most of the small villages and towns north of Inverness and, as a result, parties known as ceilidhs tend to spring up at any given opportunity. Guests are invited to attend and join in with the dancing, story-telling and (usually!) drinking which invariably ensue, making these events a great opportunity to learn about Scotland and the Highlands from the people who know them best. Ceilidhs are not the only celebrated events in the Highlands, of course, as if you choose to visit in summer there is a good chance you will manage to catch one or more of the many Highland Games held between June and September. These vibrant games attract visitors from across the globe and unite communities in a way unique to Scotland – and no, you don’t need to be able to toss a caber or even own a kilt to attend (although we will be happy to hire one for you!)
Scotland is one of the most truly astonishing places in the world, and the Highlands are a huge part of that. So for these reasons, and many more, Invergordon Tours invites you to come up and enjoy what will become one of the best experiences of your life.
Contributor, Susan Bertenshaw.