A Family Mini-break in the Scottish Highlands

Back in February half term, what feels like a lifetime ago now, myself, my mum, Ed and the kids all packed up the car and headed off to Scotland for the week. As we live in Dorset, it is a long way to go for such a short time, so we stopped off on the way up and down to break the journey up a little. On the way up we went to visit my brother and his family in County Durham and then had a whirlwind 24 hour stay in Edinburgh too. On the way back down, we stayed by an abandoned theme park, which was… interesting!

Our time in the highlands was limited, but we managed to do a few things and see some landmarks whilst we were there, so I would definitely recommend it to others, even if you aren’t able to stay for a long time. We went during February, which meant the weather wasn’t brilliant and it was freezing cold (it even snowed at one point), but that didn’t take away from our visit, just make sure you wrap up warm and wear appropriate clothing and footwear to make the most of your trip and to keep safe.

We stayed in Glencoe, in a lovely private lodge, which was right on the waterfront. I always book last minute these days for our holidays, so I believe we had a good deal on the price, as they usually book up in advance. It was a great base as it was within driving distance of many of the ‘sights’ we wanted to see including Loch Ness and the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Our journey to Loch Ness was not without difficulty as it turned out we didn’t actually know which area to go to to get the best views. It decided to tip it down with rain just as we arrived, and then we discovered we would need to go across the other side (past Inverness, which would have taken over an hour) in order to see the view we wanted. In the end, with the light fading, I just about managed to get a couple of shots before we headed back towards our lodge again. We did manage to get some nice shots of the neighbouring Loch, however.

We also stopped off at some beauty spots on our journeys, and it was lovely to see some pretty areas we otherwise wouldn’t have been to.

On our last day in the Highlands, we visited the Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous by the Harry Potter films. Again, we actually didn’t get the shot I would have liked to, as we didn’t have the time to walk further on, but it was still nice to see the viaduct and to take some photos. We also climbed the monument there, which was an experience (it is very narrow on the way up and I struggled a little with claustrophobia). I would definitely recommend a visit if you are staying or visiting nearby.

Finally, on the drive back through the mountains, we came across an area used in one of the James Bond films Skyfall, completely by accident. It was so cold by this point that we ended up having an impromptu snowball fight by the side of the car with the kids. It was a lovely way to end our trip and burn off some energy before our long drive back down the country.

Have you visited the Scottish Highlands before? Where would you recommend we go on our next visit? 

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