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The Highlands

Where can you find such attractions as fabulous and spectacular mountains, impressive glens and mirror-like lochs? In the Scottish Highlands, of course! They are situated in the northwest part of Scotland and they are formed by mountain ranges of sandstone and granite.

The wilderness and high peaks are the cards of this region - it is nearly impossible to observe so varied wildlife and higher mountains anywhere else in the United Kingdom. Hundreds of peaks top 3.000 feet and seven overstep 4.000 feet, rising majestically above deep valleys. Many summits ascend from offshore islands such as Skye, Arran and Mull. The highest of the Scottish peaks is Ben Nevis which elevates 4.406 feet (1.343 meters). The Scottish Highlands are covered with snow for much of the year. However, there are no glaciers. If you want to go skiing or boarding, there are excellent places for you: Cairngorm, Nevis Range, Glencoe, Glenshee and Lecht. All they are very popular ski areas. The pistes of Cairngorm and Nevis Range are designated for advanced skiers mostly. The nightlife and ‘apres ski’ are well-organised there. In Cairngorm, apart from the ski runs, there is also a snowboard fun park. The Nevis Range is situated in the west of the Highlands. It is an impressive area because of Ben Nevis and huge open snowfields. There is a unique gondola system. It is also excellent for climbers and mountain bikers. If your level of skiing is not satisfactory enough, we advise you to go to Glenshee or Glencoe. Glenshee is placed in the east of Scotland. This zone runs over three valleys and four mountains and has the best lift system of all the Scottish areas. Glenshee offers you interesting nightlife activities. In turn Glencoe is located about an hour and a half from Glasgow, on the slopes of Meall and Bhuiridh. There is the Famous Fly Paper run - the steepest piste black run in Scotland. It also seems to be perfect for boarders because of the unique and diverse slopes. The most favourable ski area for beginners is Lecht, especially for children who are about to learn skiing. There is also a snowboard fun park. This resort offers you activities for non-skiers (e.g. snow tubing) as well as for skiers. If you are fed up with skiing, there are many other sights to visit in the Scottish Highlands, such as the impressive Fort George, constructed in 1748 as a consequence of the Jacobite rebellion. Now it is the one of the well-preserved fortifications in Europe. That rebellion was once and for all quelled at the battle of Culloden, the location of which is four miles east of Inverness (the biggest town in the Highlands of Scotland, often dubbed their capital). In the vicinity of Culloden are the stones and cairns of Clava which exist from 1500 years BC. The principal tourist attraction however is situated south of Inverness. Loch Ness, well-known for its monster has enthralled locals and visitors for hundreds of years. The earliest written down sightings of the monster date from the 7th century. Beauly, located only 12 miles from Inverness, and at the innermost coast of the Beauly Firth, is an outstanding and enjoyable example of importance in history Highland town.

Fort Augustus at the south end of Loch Ness has a tourist centre at the Benedictine Abbey, right on the loch side, with an exposition itemising the history of the Highlands.

And what about natural attractions? Well, we can say that the Highlands are one huge natural attraction! But what would you choose if you did not have so much time to see everything? You can either gaze dizzyingly down into the depths of the Corrieshalloch Gorge (from a fine secure viewing platform and bridge) or admire the unusual stack of the Old Man of Storr beyond Portee. If you want to see two spectacular waterfalls: the Falls of Glomach in Kintail and the Eas Coul Aulin by Kylesku, you have to take your walking boots.

After skiing and visiting all these places, you will be probably starving. The next good information: the food in Highlands is delicious. There are special home-made pies in Lochinver and smokeries in Strathspey (but also in other spots). Highland cheeses are in great demand. There is a big variety of edible fungi. Worth mentioning are also whisky distilleries from Old Pulney in the north to Ben Nevis in the south and Talisker on Skye. When it comes to symbols of Highland culture, they are easily recognisable: tartans, kilts and pipe bands, whereas venison, salmon, haggis and other traditional foods are present in menus for all the time. The history, legend, romance and great outdoors unite seamlessly in order to guarantee tourists a warm Highland welcome and really unforgettable holidays. No matter if you are searching for a real adventure, a taste of the local history and culture or just total calm and silence, the Highlands of Scotland are the place for you to come.

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