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Highlands Holiday ( where to start )

Hi All 

Ive been tasked with the planning of this years Holiday planning as the misses has done the last 3 years ..... 

Ive wanted to visit the Scottish Highlands for years and have suggested this, we do long walks regularly and have a working cocker spaniel named Smudge who will be with us, Ive been looking at areas like Torridon or anywhere with similar beautiful mountains and lochs, However after looking it doesn't seem to have any local pubs near by ( A necessity :smile: ) or any large villages. So basically I'm trying to get a balance of beautiful remote Highlands but with maybe a few local villages with Pubs and food near by. And of course somewhere thats dog friendly accommodation. 

We will be driving up from Ashdown Forrest, East Sussex, south east England as thats where we live, so have transport whilst up there. 

Please help as I'm going round in circles. 




  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Hi Jordan,

    Good luck with your plans.

    If it is any help, the area of Perthshire is beautiful. Pitlochry, Aberfeldy, Dunkeld, Blair Atholl etc.
    Pitlochry is an amazing town with lots of bars, restaurants etc. It has dog friendly accommodation.
    It is so beautiful that we get a lot of photographers, painters etc coming to the area. The area is also famous for Outlander (Craig na Dunn etc) and other films & tv.

    Best of luck!
    Best regards
  • VisitScotlandAmandaVisitScotlandAmanda Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Great suggestions @fishypro! I'd also like to add Aviemore to the list - it's lovely around there with plenty of pubs etc too. 
    Kiwi gal, relocated to Scotland. 
  • FullStopNextChapterFullStopNextChapter VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    We stayed in Shieldaig recently. I wouldn't describe it as a large village but it certainly has a pub/restaurant and shop. There are plenty of great walks in the area - loch side, mountains, waterfalls etc and within a short drive even more. 

    There are plenty of Airbnb options for such a small place too.   Other options would be Aberfeldy/Kenmore in Perthshire. Both really pretty places walks, pubs, cafes, 4x4 off road, Crannog Centre, boat trips on loch Tay. 
    Join in my new chapter over on the blog. Discovering all things that make Scotland the place everyone wants to visit. 

  • Hi @JLW I would suggest that Kinlochewe, Gairloch or Poolewe would be good options for you. All three have pubs and restaurants and there's a few shops for essentials if you need them. Gairloch is possibly the larger of the three and you're still very handy for Torridon, Applecross, Skye and the North West Coast. Gairloch has some great beaches on the doorstep and if you're into a bit of history there's a really interesting WWII site close by where the Navy used Loch Ewe as a base. Many of the old buildings from the battery are still there. 

    Suggestions like Aviemore are great but, with all due respect to my fellow community members, these are essentially small towns and not ideal if you're looking to escape. That said, Perthshire is lovely! 

    Check out Drumnadrochit, Invermoriston and Fort Augustus by Loch Ness too. Drum is handy for Inverness and we have a great little selection of pubs (Loch Ness Inn and The Benleva in particular) for a post-exploration pint and there's a decent sized shop for groceries.  Invermoriston is further down the A82 and only about one hour from Skye - depending how fast you drive :smile: Admittedly I've got a heavy right foot! Fort Augustus is the busier of the three but again you've got good options for beer, food and essentials and it's handy for Fort William and the West Coast. 

    Hope that helps!
  • SmidgeSmidge VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    If you are looking at the North West Highlands then I recommend the villages of Torridon or Lochinver or tiny Glenuig, they all have pubs - The Torridon Inn, the Caberfeidh and the Glenuig Inn.  

    From Torridon you can explore the whole Wester Ross coast -

    From Lochinver - Assynt is gorgeous -

    From Glenuig - visit Ardnamurchan and Glenfinnan and even as far as Mull and Mallaig -

    Hope that helps! 
    Kate - Scotland / outdoor blogger at Love From Scotland
    Climbs hills, takes pictures. Likes remotes places.
    Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

  • I really enjoyed Kingussie. It's a tiny town between Newtonmore and Aviemore. (Accomodation is much cheaper in Kingussie than Aviemore and you can easily get a train or bus between the cities if you don't have a car.) What's right next to Aviemore is the Cairngorms. Absolutely stunning to hike up the mountains. There are multiple paths and seemed to be dog friendly. There's also a pub in Kingussie, but like one pub! Aviemore has a couple more.
  • MelaMela Member
    Hi Jordan & followers...

    I'm planning sort of the same thing. Mid- end June a 10 day trip with my Border Collie dog.
    Still not sure about travelling by train or car or a combination of both. (coming all the way from Austria)

    For this short period I would love to stay in B&B, Inns etc. having food in local pubs and do lots of walks. Can be from one spot, although it would be nice too do go from A-B, depending on the possibilites.

    Any kind of recommendations would be fine. 
    (I'm following on the comments you get here, Jordan!)

    Im visiting Scotland with my daughter in June
    We will be using Public transport as I dont drive
    Inverness to Isle of Skye
    then Oban

    what do you recommend?
  • VisitScotlandJulieVisitScotlandJulie Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @DOCRESHMA and welcome.

    I have responded over at the discussion where you posted the same question. You can find it here

    Enjoy your trip!

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