Independent Cottages Logo

No Booking Fees

Verified Owners

Unique Offers

Loch Ba, Scottish Highlands
Loch Ba, Scottish Highlands

Holiday Cottages In The Scottish Highlands & Islands

Scottish Highlands Travel Guide


Everything you've heard about the Scottish Highlands is true. It's a land of fierce pride, a history chequered with conflict and divided clans, incredible mountain passes and a sense of space and peace that's difficult to find in modern life. There was a time when the sovereign held no authority in the Highlands and that sense of independence and self-reliance is still strong today.

Just want to see a list of our cottages in the Scottish Highlands and Islands? If so, you can go straight to our holiday cottages in the Scottish Highlands & Islands page.

If you're looking further afield than the Scottish Highlands, we also have cottages in West Central Scotland, East Central Scotland, South West Scotland, South East Scotland.

Know where you want to go in Scottish Highlands? Follow these quick links:

HebridesCairngormsScottish IslandsIsle of SkyeWestern IslesHighlandMoraySutherland

Explore The Scottish Highlands & Islands

Where to stay in the Scottish Highlands

Polar bears playing in water, Highlands, Scotland
Highland Wildlife Park in Kingcraig, Scottish Highlands

It isn't until you see the true Scottish Highlands for yourself that you realise just how extensive this region is. Included in its borders are Caithness, Inverness, Sutherland, John O'Groats - the most northerly point on the UK mainland, Lochniver and Fort William.

Loch Ness is the second largest loch in Scotland, or the largest when you take into account its depth and volume. It's the perfect hiding place for a legendary monster. There are several beautiful lochs along the Great Glen Fault - the natural fault line which gives Highland so much of its character. It's the perfect destination for those who like to get their adrenaline kicks by throwing themselves down a mountainside on a bike, or who appreciate the sense of achievement that can only come from scaling the crest of a mountain for a view not many people will ever see.

Commanding a prime position at the very heart of the Scottish Highlands, the Cairngorms is the UK's largest National Park. Encompassing more than 4500 square kilometres of dramatic rugged beauty, the Cairngorms is double the size of the Lake District National Park and even outsizes the country of Luxembourg. Simply put, the Cairngorms is vast and magnificent, and possibly the most extraordinary of all outdoor playgrounds.

Scotland also has hundreds of beautiful islands dotted around its shores with the Hebrides (both inner and outer), the Shetland Isles and The Orkney Islands being the three main groups. Many islands are uninhabited but those that are, make wonderful holiday destinations with their crystal clear waters, Caribbean white sands, incredible wildlife and welcoming laid-back charm.

When to Visit the Scottish Islands

Colourful cottages on the waterfront of Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

There is always something to do in the Scottish Highlands, making it a great year-round destination. However, if you’re looking for a little more information so that you can plan your activities around the weather, keep reading to find out more.

Spring is an excellent time to visit the Scottish Highlands if you’re hoping to avoid the busy crowds that summer brings. Wildflowers begin to bloom across the landscapes and the wildlife makes an appearance after hibernating during winter. With temperatures averaging around 11°C, spring is also perfect for those hoping to get outdoors and active in the highlands.

Summer in the Scottish Highlands is great for long days and warmer weather. Temperatures average from 16°C to 20°C during this time, meaning plenty of sunny days and a comfortable climate. This is also an excellent time to sit out, enjoy a BBQ or explore all that the stunning Highlands have to offer. However, it is worth noting that summer is much busier, as these months tend to attract the most visitors.

Winter is perfect for snowy activities and beautiful frosted landscapes. There are some excellent slopes in the Scottish Highlands during winter, meaning you don’t have to travel far for a skiing adventure. This is also a great time to make the most of the pretty towns and villages in the Highlands as they prepare for the festive season. A trip to Cairngorms National Park is outstanding during this time, with icy lochs and white woodland, the park becomes a true winter wonderland.

Be sure to wrap up warm if you plan to visit the Scottish Highlands in winter as temperatures have been known to drop below 0°C!

What to Do in the Scottish Highlands

View over the water of Loch Morlick, Cairngorms, Scotland
Loch Morlich, Cairngorms, Scotland

With beautiful national parks, impressive mountains, neverending rural countryside and stunning landscapes everywhere you look, there is so much to do in the Scottish Highlands. Visitors often find themselves lost in the great outdoors as they hike, bike or climb their way through the terrains.

If you’re looking to uncover some history during your trip, there are also some great castles and ruins worth exploring in the Highlands. You can also spend your time here wandering around the many quaint towns and villages, the perfect way to see more of what this beautiful part of Scotland has to offer.

How to Travel to the Scottish Highlands

Dolphin leaping out the water, Moray, Scotland
Dolphins in the Moray Firth, Scotland

If you are travelling from one of the major cities in the UK, below displays an average distance to the Scottish Highlands so you know what to expect when choosing to visit by car.

  • London: 567 miles
  • Birmingham: 447 miles
  • Glasgow: 169 miles
  • Liverpool: 376 miles
  • Bristol: 528 miles
  • Manchester: 374 miles
  • Leeds: 380 miles
  • Edinburgh: 157 miles
  • Newcastle: 283 miles

Learn More About the Region

The Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands, Scotland

The Scottish Highlands is a place of natural beauty, alongside an interesting history. There are three languages spoken here, these consist of English, Scots and Gaelic. This provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about the culture in the Highlands whilst visiting.

For outdoor enthusiasts, you’ll be pleased to know that the Scottish Highlands is also home to the UK's highest mountains. However, the renowned Ben Nevis takes the prize, sitting at an impressive 1,345 metres!

With beautiful lochs, million years of geological history and towering mountains throughout the Highlands, it comes as no surprise that there are so many choices here for a truly unique getaway!

Scottish Highlands FAQs

A Famous Highland Cow
A Famous Highland Cow
  • Are there luxury cottages in the Scottish Highlands?

With so many beautiful properties to choose from, guests can find the perfect luxurious holiday cottage in the Scottish Highlands. This provides an ideal place to relax and unwind after a long day exploring all that the Highlands have to offer.

  • Are there self-catering cottages in the Scottish Highlands?

When visiting the Highlands, your trip will be all about exploration and adventure. With this in mind, many tourists prefer self-catering accommodation as it prevents them from having to stick to a schedule. Luckily enough, we have plenty of self-catering holiday cottages in the Scottish Highlands to choose from. Browse our collection and find the perfect one for you!

  • Is the Scottish Highlands a good place for a romantic getaway?

The Scottish Highlands boasts beautiful scenery, dramatic landscapes, exceptional wildlife and varying terrains throughout. All this natural beauty makes it the perfect place to enjoy a break with your loved one. What’s more, there are some truly romantic holiday cottages in the Scottish Highlands, providing the perfect place to relax in utter tranquillity.

Last Minute Offers in The Scottish Highlands & Islands

Thinking of a break in The Scottish Highlands & Islands? Let us tempt you with a selection of our best last minute offers. Remember, we don't charge a booking fee, so the price you see is the price you pay.