See in the Highlands & Hebrides!
Stargazers will be thrilled by the sweeping coverage of glittering stars in several areas of the Highlands, thanks to low levels of light pollution. If you're staying in our Mallaig apartment, head over to the Isle of Skye, as there are nine locations on the island registered as Dark Sky Discovery Sites. From Armadale to Stein, Broadford to Portree, set up a picnic blanket – don’t forget to take blankets, a flask of hot chocolate and lots of layers. If you're staying in our Fort William apartments, the black corners of Glen Nevis are also must-visit starry places during the winter months, when the conditions are at their best.
The clash and conflict of Scotland’s colourful history has left a legacy of military strongholds scattered across the country, from the border castles raised against English incursions to the island fortresses that controlled the seaways for the Lords of the Isles. If you're staying in our Fort William apartments, you should visit the Old Inverlochy Castle.
Visit the Commando Monument which is a Category A listed monument as a result of its historical importance. It was unveiled in 1952 by the Queen Mother and has been almost completely unaltered since then, with only a plaque added years later. It sits in a spectacular location, with views of Ben Nevis and Aonach Mòr. Or visit the Glenfinnan Monument which is the iconic monument honouring the fallen Jacobite clansmen, framed by spectacular Highland scenery. Raise your bonnet to the lone, kilted highlander who stands on top of the monument. Enjoy the panoramic views of Loch Shiel, the dramatic mountains and, especially for 'Harry Potter' fans, the Glenfinnan viaduct.
Visit the West Highland Museum, world famous for its Jacobite exhibits but also for housing an excellent local history collection from archaeology to the present day. Or visit the Clan Cameron Museum, which tells the history of Clan Cameron and its involvement with the Jacobites and the 1745 uprising. There are displays about the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders and the commandos who trained here in World War II.
LOCH NESS MONSTER
We all know that the tale of the Loch Ness Monster lurking in the dark expanse of Loch Ness in the Highlands is not just a tale. Nessie does really exist, and there are over 1,000 eye witness accounts and lots of unexplained evidence, leaving scientists baffled. What does she look like? She's long and thin, usually green and with black humps, tail and snake-like head. And she's shy. When she's emerging from the water, you can just see her body breaking through the waves. You'll be strangely mesmerised by the sight, and you'll instantly know that you saw her when you spot perfect circles of disturbed water that she leaves behind as she swiftly disappears again to the depths of the loch. Where can I see Nessie? Visit Loch Ness and keep your eyes peeled as you explore the area!
Scotland's wildlife is one of its biggest attractions, and the best way to see it is simply to spend time in the great outdoors. Pull on your boots, grab your binoculars, go quietly and see what you can spot. Many species that have disappeared from, or are rare in, the rest of Britain survive here in Scotland. If you're pushed for time, you can improve your chances of spotting wildlife by joining a ‘wildlife safari’. Many operators around the country run full- or half-day 4x4 safaris searching for eagles, deer and other species, or operate boat trips to spot seals, dolphins, whales and seabirds.