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Top Rated Attractions in Highlands & Islands

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Urquhart Castle

Nestled on the scenic shores of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle is one of Scotland's largest castles, chronicling soul-stirring stories and secrets of the nation. It is said that Urquhart Castle has been on this site since the Iron Age. Standing in ruins for hundreds and thousands of years, parts of this stunning structure have been rebuilt with utmost precision. From Jacobite Risings to Wars of Scottish Independence, the castle, during its heyday, has braved myriad ravages and today, its ruins stand as a striking testament to its storied, legendary past. Situated strategically over a craggy promontory, the castle is further accentuated by the sweeping expanses of the Great Glen and by the iconic Grant Tower which affords astounding views of Loch Ness. The castle boasts a troupe of stirring ruins like the Great Hall which evokes unbridled fascination, the eerie prison cell where tales of the castle's eventful past still linger, and an array of artifacts like the ornate Urquhart Ewer.

The Jacobite

Take a romantic steam train ride through magnificent Highland scenery on one of the most beautiful train journeys in Britain. Following in the footsteps of Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Jacobite takes you from Fort William to Mallaig, a scenic West Coast fishing port. The journey takes you past Loch Shiel and Glenfinnan, where the train stops for you to explore the station museum. An on-board shop sells snacks, drinks, souvenirs and audio guide lines. Part of the line can be seen in some of the Harry Potter movies.

West Highland Museum

West Highland Museum in Cameron Square is thought to be one of Fort William's oldest buildings. Inside, you'll find displays of the area's natural and cultural history, and archaeology. The icing on the cake is a display of artifacts from the 1745 rebellion, including a secret portrait of the young pretender himself. Wheelchair visitors have level access and special toilet facilities.

Highland Folk Museum

Reckoned as the foremost open-air museum of Britain, the Highland Folk Museum is a fascinating spot for history buffs and culture enthusiasts. Opened for public viewing in 1944, the museum attempts to re-create ancient culture and the old-school way of living as witnessed in the Highlands. The museum comprises reconstructed buildings from the 18th Century, a township belonging to the 1700's, a working farm and various archives and photographs. The museum holds systematic collections of various artifacts that retell the stirring history of the land. Right from agricultural elements, domestic life, crafts, trades and the lives and times of the region’s inhabitants, the wholesome artefacts of the museum chronicle multiple facets.

Loch Ness

One of the most famous lochs (or lakes as non-Scots say) in the world, Loch Ness is best known for its mystery. Its great depth has fueled speculation that within its waters lives a prehistoric animal, or as it is more commonly known, the Loch Ness Monster. Nicknamed "Nessie," this monster features in Scottish myths and legends and each supposed glimpse only adds to the region's rich folklore. Perched above the lake, Urquhart Castle's dramatic history and stark yet scenic location have drawn visitors hoping to soak in the Highland's untamed charm.

Commando Memorial

Just outside of Spean Bridge on the A82 trunk road to Inverness, you'll see the Commando Monument on the left-hand side engraved with the motto "United We Conquer." Three Commandos look towards the Nevis Range. During the Second World War, Commandos carried out extensive training in this area. You'll find a special museum in Spean Bridge itself, if you want to know more. It's a beautiful spot with ample parking.

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