A tour through the Scottish Highlands

Written in October 2022

Scotland was founded between 800 and 900 as Kingdom of Alba (the Gaelic term for Scotland) and remained fully independent (with some invasions and wars for independence in-between) until 1707. Macbeth, the main character of the Shakespeare play with the same name, was inspired by Macbeth, King of Alba between 1040 and 1057. In 1603, James VI, King of Scotland since 1567, became James VI and I, King of Scotland, England, and Ireland, by inheritance – this is known as Union of the Crowns. James VI was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, who fought Elizabeth I for the throne. Mary lost, but her son inherited the crown of England when Elizabeth I died without heirs. In 1625 James VI and I died. Some turmoil followed until The Act of Union was signed in 1707, officially uniting Scotland and England under the same Kingdom.

However, Scottish people were not one single people. In truth, there were two peoples: the Lowlanders and the Highlanders. The Lowlanders settled in the strip of terrain between the current border with England and the line between Dumbarton (northwest of Glasgow) and Stonehaven (south of Aberdeen). The Lowlanders have an Anglo-Saxon origin and their language (Scots) evolved from old English. Highlanders are descendants of Celtics that moved from Ireland and settled there. Therefore, they spoke a Gaelic language (which is now the Scottish Gaelic). They were composed by clans, each clan owning a piece of land, and were identified by their unique Tartan, the pattern used in kilts, for example.

Driving in Scotland can be daunting as they drive on the left-hand side of the road. However, it is always a good option for those who like to stop along the way to enjoy the landscape and take pictures. Scotland has a good network of public transportation that can be considered. You can use the Journey Planner from Traveline Scotland 45762-200 to make your decision.

Along the border between the Lowlands and the Highlands

Although located in the Lowlands, Edinburgh 45762-200, the capital of Scotland, is one of the best gateways into the country. You can land at the international airport or take the train from London 45762-200, which is about a 5 hour journey. After sightseeing through Edinburg, you can travel along the border between the Lowlands and the Highlands by visiting Stirling 45762-200, Perth 45762-200, and Dundee 45762-200. Once in Dundee, you might consider take a detour to go and see St. Andrews 45762-200, a beautiful city by the sea. If you are a fan of cities by the sea, you will love to take the road from Dundee up to Aberdeen 45762-200 along the coast. In Aberdeen you can take the boat to the Shetland Islands 45762-200 – fans of Ann Cleeves’ books have here a great opportunity to get to know the place where Detective Jimmy Perez solves crimes.

The Grampian Mountains and the Loch Ness

The Grampian Mountains 45762-200 is where many scenes are filmed for cinema and TV shows and where the Royal Family spends their holidays, as it is there where Balmoral Castle 45762-200 is located. The mountains are part of the Cairngorms National Park 45762-200. There is no train station inside the park, but there is a bus that go as far as Braemar 45762-200, a village (and a castle) not far from Balmoral, from Aberdeen. However, you need to go back to Aberdeen afterwards as there is no connection to the other side of the Park. If you choose to go by car, you can go through the Park until Pitlochry 45762-200, and then drive again towards north to Aviemore 45762-200, and finally Inverness 45762-200. In case you do not have a car, you can go directly to Inverness by train from Aberdeen. Inverness is the most important city in the Highlands, so take time to visit it. You also have plenty of alternatives to visit the northwest and the islands from there. Here the suggestion is for you to drive (or go by bus) to Fort William 45762-200, along the Loch Ness 45762-200 and the Loch Lochy. Finally, you can then drive (or take the train) to Glasgow 45762-200, back in the Lowlands, to visit it and the flight back home. You can also drive (or take the train) to Edinburg (about a 1,5 hour journey by train) or to London (about a 6 hour journey by train).


Information about Scotland | the UK:
Please note: Scotland is one of the countries that constitute the United Kingdom.

Official name: Scotland | United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Capital: Edinburgh | London

Official information about entering in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control 45762-200

Official Language: English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic | English

Currency: Pound Sterling (GPB) – £

European Union: Not a member

Schengen Country?: No

Type of Government: Scotland is a devolved parliamentary legislature within a constitutional monarchy | the UK is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy

Foreign embassies: in Scotland 45762-200 | in the UK 45762-200

Emergency number: Scotland: 999 | UK: 999 and 112

Country Code: SCT | GB

International Phone Code: +44