Sheridans Guides to Great Britan & Ireland

Scotland - The Northern Highlands and Islands

With some of the wildest and most beautiful landscapes, this area combines with the Central Highlands to be Europes largest wilderness. From the northern Cape Wrath to the Highland capital of Inverness, the landscape is best characterised by the magnificent mountains in the far north and west, and the rugged coastline broken by lonely white sandy beaches and deep sea lochs. Here is a country that offers everything and more to the outdoor sportsman; some of the finest salmon and trout fishing in the world, exciting cruising for the yachtsman around Europes most dramatic coastline, stalking and seafishing, hill walking or climbing, the list is endless.

With a 1400km coastline of high cliffs and bays, the Isle of Skye is only a short ferry trip from the Kyle of Lochalsh. The island's Cuillin mountains are amongst the most distinctive and ancient to be found anywhere. The people of the West coast's sometimes remote islands offer a warm and traditional welcome. The northern Outer Hebrides or Western Isles have a unique character of their own with the Gaelic language and culture still much in evidence.

To the far north of the mainland are the Orkney and Shetland Islands where the Scandinavian influence is still strong. Orkney's hill lochs provide exciting brown trout fishing and the coasts are home to millions of seabirds of many varieties. The 100 islands of the Shetlands are almost as close to Norway as Scotland. A magical place in high summer, when the night fails to fall, there is much to experience with birds teeming the coasts and otters and seals playing in the bays.