The Scottish Highlands

Discover the breathtaking beauty and rich history of the Scottish Highlands with the ultimate road trip experience – a motorhome adventure! The Scottish Highlands offer a diverse landscape, from towering mountains and deep glens to mystical lochs and rugged coastlines.

By choosing a motorhome for your journey, you’ll be free to explore at your own pace while enjoying the comfort of a home on wheels. In this guide, we’ll provide essential information and tips to help you plan an unforgettable trip to this enchanting region.

But don’t worry if you’re exploring the Highlands by other means, there’s still plenty of essential information here to help you plan your ideal itinerary. And if you haven’t decided how you’ll be travelling yet? Discover Zoom’s Luxury Motorhome Hire in Scotland.

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The Best Time to Visit the Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands can be visited throughout the year, but the best time to travel depends on your preferences. Spring (April to June) offers mild weather, blooming wildflowers, and fewer crowds. 

Summer (July to August) is the peak season, with long days, warmer temperatures, many events, and more tourists. Autumn (September to October) brings stunning foliage colours and crisp air, while winter (November to March) is ideal for snow sports enthusiasts. However, some roads and attractions may be closed due to weather conditions, and the days will be short.

Consider planning your trip around local events and festivals to experience authentic Scottish cultural events. Notable options include the Highland Games in various locations from May to September; the Royal National Mòd, a celebration of Gaelic language and culture in October; and the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in April/May.

Choosing the Right Transport for Your Trip


Motorhomes offer the ultimate road trip experience, allowing you to explore the Scottish Highlands at your own pace while enjoying the comfort of a home on wheels. They provide flexibility in your itinerary and the convenience of combining your accommodation and transportation. 

At Zoom Motorhome Hire, all our motorhomes and campervans are under 18 months old, are serviced regularly, and are kept in first-class condition. Explore our Motorhome and Campervan rental options. 

Car rentals

Renting a car is another popular option for exploring the Highlands. With a car, you can stay in various accommodations like hotels, bed and breakfasts, or campsites while still having the freedom to roam. However, unlike a motorhome, you’ll need to pack and unpack at each stop.

Public transport

The Scottish Highlands are also accessible by public transport, including trains, buses, and ferries. However, you may need to plan your itinerary around timetables and will not have the same flexibility to explore remote areas or lesser-known attractions.

If you are not going to rent your own transport, joining an organised bus trip may be your best option, so you can see the Highlands while not having to study timetables and carefully plan connections, etc. 

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Creating an Itinerary

Recommended trip length

A 7 to 10-day itinerary allows enough time to explore the Scottish Highlands without feeling rushed. However, if you have more time, you can extend your trip to discover lesser-known gems and immerse yourself in the region’s beauty.

Balancing driving time and sightseeing

When planning your itinerary, allocate enough time for both driving and exploring. Break up long drives with stops at points of interest or scenic viewpoints. Don’t forget to take additional time for potential delays, such as single-track roads or weather conditions.

Must-Visit Natural Attractions in the Scottish Highlands

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is a must-visit destination, renowned for its dramatic landscapes and picturesque villages. Key attractions include the Old Man of Storr, a striking rock pinnacle; the Quiraing, a unique landslip offering incredible views; and the Fairy Pools, a series of crystal-clear pools and waterfalls.

Glen Coe

Glen Coe is a breathtaking valley shaped by glaciers and volcanic eruptions, surrounded by steep mountain peaks. It’s perfect for hiking, photography, and wildlife spotting. Don’t miss the Three Sisters, a trio of towering ridges, and the picturesque Loch Achtriochtan.

Cairngorms National Park

As the UK’s largest national park, the Cairngorms offer diverse activities and attractions. Discover ancient Caledonian forests, sparkling lochs, and the park’s namesake mountain range. Highlights include the funicular railway to Cairngorm Mountain and the picturesque Loch Morlich.

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Historic Sites and Landmarks in the Highlands

Eilean Donan Castle

Perched on a small tidal island, Eilean Donan Castle is one of Scotland’s most iconic and photographed castles. Dating back to the 13th century, the castle has been restored to its former glory and offers guided tours to glimpse its fascinating history.

Culloden Battlefield

The Culloden Battlefield is the site of the last major battle fought on British soil in 1746. The visitor center offers an immersive exhibition. The battlefield itself is marked with informative plaques and monuments, allowing you to step back in time and understand the events that took place.

Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness

Urquhart Castle, set on the shores of Loch Ness, offers stunning views of the famous loch and its surrounding landscapes. Explore the castle’s ruins and learn about its turbulent history through interactive exhibits. Don’t forget to watch for the legendary Loch Ness Monster!

Charming Towns and Villages

Fort William

Fort William, known as the Outdoor Capital of the UK, is an excellent base for exploring the Highlands. It offers a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and water sports. Nearby attractions include Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak.


Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, is a vibrant city with a rich history. Stroll along the River Ness, visit Inverness Castle and the city’s museums, or take a cruise on Loch Ness. Inverness is also a hub for public transportation, making it an ideal starting point for your motorhome adventure.


Ullapool is a picturesque fishing village on the shores of Loch Broom. It’s a perfect stop for a stroll, shopping for local crafts, or enjoying fresh seafood at a waterfront restaurant. 

Ullapool is also a gateway to the Outer Hebrides, with regular ferry connections to the Isle of Lewis and Harris.

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Tips for Exploring the Highlands by Motorhome

Many roads in the Highlands are single-track with passing places, which require patience and courtesy. Always give way to oncoming traffic and pull over into passing places on your left side. Use your headlights and be prepared for sudden stops due to animals or slow-moving vehicles.

Weather in the Highlands can change quickly, so always check the forecast and be prepared for rain, fog, or snow. Drive cautiously, especially on narrow, winding roads or during adverse conditions. Monitor fuel levels, as petrol stations can be scarce in remote areas.

The Scottish Highlands offer a range of motorhome-friendly campsites, from basic wild camping spots to fully equipped holiday parks—research and book campsites in advance, especially during peak season.

Wild camping is allowed in Scotland, but you must adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Camp in unenclosed land, at least 100 metres from roads and buildings, and leave no trace. Remember that wild camping may not be suitable for larger motorhomes or in busy tourist areas.

Use your motorhome’s kitchen facilities for cooking delicious Scottish meals using fresh, local ingredients. Visit farmers’ markets and local shops, or even catch your own seafood to create unforgettable dishes inspired by your surroundings.

Embracing Highland Culture

Traditional Scottish music and events

Experience the region’s vibrant music scene by attending traditional ceilidhs, live music events, or local pub sessions. Many towns and villages host regular music nights, allowing you to enjoy authentic Scottish music.

Whisky distilleries and tasting tours

Whisky is synonymous with Scotland, and the Highlands are home to numerous distilleries. Take a guided tour to learn about the whisky-making process, and enjoy a tasting session to sample the region’s finest dram’s. Some famous distilleries include Glenmorangie, Ardbeg, Glenfiddich, and Talisker.

Local crafts, shops, and markets

Support local artisans and bring home unique souvenirs from your trip by visiting craft shops, galleries, and markets. Look for traditional Scottish items like tweed, tartan, and hand-knitted goods.

In conclusion, an adventure in the Scottish Highlands offers a unique and unforgettable experience, allowing you to explore breathtaking landscapes, delve into the rich history, and immerse yourself in local culture. 

Start planning your dream journey today! If you have any questions, please get in touch.