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The Perfect Scottish Winter Getaway

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 by Jonathan Willet

What destination in Scotland could you choose that would be the perfect Scottish winter getaway?

For me there are a few key ingredients; mountains, the sea, a beach and not too difficult to get to.

The Perfect Scottish Winter Getaway

An Teallach in the North West Highlands


There is a great deal of choice of course, you have pretty much the whole west and north coast of Scotland. Close to my neck of the woods is Wester Ross, the combination of open views of the sea to the Western Isles and spectacular mountains make it hard to beat. There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore off the beaten track.

The Applecross Pennisula has stunning views over to Raasay and Skye and if you go in winter you will get plenty of opportunity for storm watching! This area has a really remote feel but does have a pub that sells great food and is open all year round. The views from the summit of the road “The Bealach na Ba” are quite something. It isn’t often you can drive to 2000 feet in Scotland and this is one of the four places you can do it. It may be third highest but it has the best view, as on a good day you can see the Skye and Rum Cullins and Western Isles.

The Perfect Scottish Winter Getaway

The Bealach Na Ba view over to Skye.


A little further north, but still in Wester Ross, the area between Gairloch and Ullapool is amazing. (More info on the North West Highlands here). There are all sorts of places to stay, hidden beaches, impressive views and only one and a half hours from Inverness. There are rough walks round headlands, marvellous beaches like Big Sand (yes really!) and forest walks near Loch Maree. Plus it has the amazing Torridonian Mountains, which when covered with snow take on an entirely new character.

When travelling to the Highlands in the winter, pack warm clothes, pack waterproof layers and take a pair of wellies. True Highland dress, for males, is a pair of wellies and a blue boiler suit, call it Crofter Chic, but it is supremely functional. In winter the ground is always squelchy and your leather boots will never dry, so buy a study welly for low level walking and you won’t go wrong. Lastly buy a newspaper and some matches, you can read the former and light the fire in your accommodation with both!

The Perfect Scottish Winter Getaway

The Northern Lights in the Highlands last winter.


NASA has been predicting another great winter for aurora activity and spotting the northern lights. This is due to the solar cycle of activity which is due to increase every 11 years. The north west highlands is a great place for spotting the northern lights throughout winter months. Check out this guide which gives you a rundown of how to prepare!

Do you look forward to winter in Scotland? Do you have any tips to add about the perfect Scottish winter getaway?

About the author

Jonathan Willet

Jonathan has a wealth of experience in biodiversity, history and landscape. With degrees in zoology and ecology and 20+ years as a wildlife guide, his regular blogs are always packed full of informational gems.

Read more articles by Jonathan

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