The epic views and rugged terrain of Western Scotland make it an awe-inspiring destination at any time of year. But aside from the spectacular scenery, the region boasts a surprising array of other highlights, from terrific Scottish food and drink to some fantastic activities. If we had to narrow it down to just a shortlist of must try experiences and things to see and do, these would be high on our list:
1. Discover the UKs wildest (and quietest!) beaches
Do you crave space and seclusion? Don’t relish the prospect of a gazillion people and screaming kids by the sea? You’ve come to the right place. Sure, you might have to walk a bit further, but our beaches have clean white sand and, for much of the year, not another soul in sight. Head for the Singing Sands, Sanna or the White Sands of Morar and just drink in the peace and quiet.
2. Sip a fine single malt
Never mind supermarket blended whiskies, the authentic “water of life” lives in the Scottish Highlands. Indulge your passion, bring home a wee souvenir or go one of our excellent regional distillery tours to educate your taste buds. Here are five to discover a taste of traditional excellence. Here at Kilcamb Lodge we have dozens for you to try for yourself.
3. Take a tour by paddle or pedal
For adventurous types, our fabulously craggy terrain is not just there to be admired; it should be felt and experienced. Why not bring or hire bikes or kayaks to get a true sense of the place? On our very doorstep in Ardnamurchan, you’ll find Sunart Cycles, while heading north, providers such as Sea Kayak Arisaig can provide all you need for exercise and adventure.
4. Embark on a scenic cruise or wildlife safari
Don't just admire our lochs from the roadside, get onboard and explore! (Image: Ardnamurchan Charters)
If you prefer life in the slow lane, or love marine life, there are of course more leisurely ways to take in amazing views. One is to book a cruise or sea safari trip. Seals, otters, whales… you never know what you will see next. Don’t forget the camera!
5. Enjoy a delicious Scottish seafood platter
Crab and lobster. Fresh mussels, prawns and langoustines, perhaps washed down with a fine white wine. Does it get any better? With such an abundance of coast and some of the best seafood in the UK, those who love the fruits of the sea would be silly not to indulge. Give our chef a little notice and we would be delighted to give you a plate fit for a king.
6. Conquer a Scottish mountain
Head for the heights, for summer hiking or winter thrills (image: Nevis Range)
For those with a taste for mountaineering, Scotland is quite simply the best place in the UK to hit the heights. The famous Ben Nevis or Beinn Resipol are two perfect options, with trails ranging from tough full day hikes to easier routes.
7. Catch a wild trout
Wild trout are plentiful and free-rising for the keen angler. (Image: DG Fishing)
If you love fishing, you simply must pack a rod when you visit West Scotland. We have a silly number of lochs to explore and with the exception of private fisheries and salmon rivers, you often don’t need any license. Most plentiful and obliging of all are our brown trout. Beautiful, wild and greedy, most methods work- but the most sporting way is fly fishing. We’d recommend de-barbing hooks and releasing your catch.
8. Spot a sea eagle or osprey
As adept as you might fancy yourself at fishing, there are some local experts whose skills are well beyond our own. Ask the locals around the sea lochs and you may be lucky enough to spot some of Britain’s largest and most spectacular birds of prey. With better protection, these birds are certainly clawing their way back in their ancient homelands.
9. Visit a local lighthouse
To the lighthouse! (Image: Ardnamurchan Lighthouse & Visitors Centre)
Occupying commanding positions on our dramatic coastline, these buildings have long provided key lookout posts. Not that they are all about splendid isolation; in fact many open to visitors at selected times. At the far end of our peninsula, for example, Ardnamurchan Lighthouse runs regular tours.
10. Hop across to Mull, Skye or the “Wee small Isles”
Splendidly rocky and secluded, islands such as Rum, Eig and Muck make a great day trip from the mainland. Or should you want a longer stay and a greater mix of activities rather than simple seclusion, you could try Mull or Skye. Catch a boat from Arisaig or Mallaig for the day and away you go, spotting seals and perhaps stopping for an al fresco lunch en route? See http://www.visitsmallisles.com/
Further inspiration for your next trip to Scotland from the Kilcamb Archives
For more ideas on what to see, taste and try on your trip to the West Highlands, why not take a look at our area section and previous blog posts on the area? Equally, it's worth keeping an eye on our Facebook page and bookmarking our offers section for even more ways to enjoy your next trip: