Unlock The Highlands

Words by Belmond Editors

Unlock The Highlands

Departing from historic Edinburgh, journey with us to the heart of the Scottish countryside. Suitcases at the ready: these are the best places to visit in the breathtaking Highlands.

William Wallace and Robert the Bruce; tartan and kilts, bagpipes and ceilidhs. This fabled land is famed for many things, yet there are more things to do in Scotland than drink a wee dram or two of whisky. From Edinburgh’s historic streets to the breathtaking Highlands and beyond, Royal Scotsman, A Belmond Train takes you on a journey to the heart of the country. Discover the best places to visit in this land of sweeping glens, rugged peaks and mirror-still lochs below: all visited by various journeys on our luxury train.

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World-famous cultural events, stunning history and beautiful architecture at every turn: Scotland’s capital has it all. Marvel at the blend of Medieval and Georgian buildings and hike up fabled Arthur’s Seat. Or, catch a comedy show at the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Nicknamed the ‘jewel of the Highlands,’ Plockton boasts stunning views of shimmering Loch Carron. View wild seals by boat, cycle the rugged mountain shorelines, or watch a local regatta in action. Here, you’re also ideally located to visit Eilean Donan, a 13th-century castle perched on its own island.

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Meaning ‘safe bay,’ Arisaig is picturesque village by Loch nan Ceall. It’s here where you’ll find the famed silver sands of Morar: a collection of stunning sandy beaches with crystalline water. What’s more, a short drive away is the awe-inspiring Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous worldwide by the Harry Potter films.

With the Scottish Highland's mountains looming, the arches of the Glenfinnan Viaduct span a moss and heather-green valley.

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Situated in the scenic Cairngorms National Park and below the Monadhliath mountains, Carrbridge is ideally located for nature lovers. Visit a nearby ancient pine forest, or see the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands. Nearby, you can visit the opulent Ballindaloch Castle, built in 1546 and home to a famous Aberdeen Angus cattle herd.

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This historic cathedral town, situated on the banks of the River Tay, is as pretty as a postcard. Known for the 1689 Battle of Dunkeld, these days it’s a peaceful spot perfect for those who want to amble through Scotland’s ‘Big Tree Country.’ A short drive will take you to nearby Glamis Castle, frequently cited as Scotland’s most beautiful castle.

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Isle of Skye

One of the most breathtaking places in Scotland, the Isle of Sky is world-renowned for its walking and climbing routes. Its largest town, Portree, features a stunning cliff-fringed harbour and rows of pretty pastel houses. The isle is also known as the last meeting place of Flora MacDonald and Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746.

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Isle of Lewis

The Isle of Lewis is a coveted destination for history lovers, with endless surviving ancient wonders. Visit the historic St Moluag’s Church, or the Neolithic-era Callanish Stones. Or feast your eyes on Carloway Broch, built in the 1st century AD. Those more into wildlife will be delighted by the abundance of dolphins, porpoises and whales that pass through the surrounding coastal waters.

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At a lake's edge, a man casts a fishing rod from a wooden deck watched by a woman with her hand on her hip, seen from behind.

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