The Scottish Highlands are mainland UK's most northwesterly tip. From the wind-scoured Cape Wrath, with its sandy bays and plunging cliffs, to the tranquil Ardnamurchan peninsula and the harsh peaks of the Cuillins the Highlands represent a remote and hugely diverse landscape featuring high mountains, and miles of coastline. And with opportunities for top-class mountain biking, rock climbing, and mountaineering the area is certainly on the tick list of many outdoor adventurers. Cyclists are well catered for here - National Cycle route seven winds through the moors and ancient pine forests of the Cairngorms, making it one of Britain's highest transport routes. Mountain bikers should head to Scotland's National Centre Glenmore Lodge, in Aviemore, where there are miles of twisty, technical trails. The town is also Scotland's winter sports centre and is a mountaineering hub. Off-road driving is another way to test out the Highland terrain with 4x4s and quad bikes easily tackling the landscape. Fort William and Lochaber are hotspots for fans of kayaking and canoeing. Lochaber's amazing variety of lochs and coastline provides a stunning backdrop for a day on the water and the Great Glen and Loch Morar are must-do destinations for canoeists. Back on dry land a trip to the region wouldn't be complete without experiencing Ben Nevis, Britain's highest peak (1334m). Ben Nevis sits at the western end of the Grampian Mountains close to Fort William and although all routes up are strenuous, there are a number of ways to get to the top.
The Cairngorms National Park, Britain's largest National Park, lies within the Highlands region. Five of Scotland's six highest mountains are in the park and there are 55 peaks over 900 metres. It's the largest area of arctic mountain landscape in the British Isles, and provides hundreds of miles of paths and trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
- Written by: David