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Highland & Islands Countryside

Argyll and Bute, Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Highland, Orkney, Shetland

Discover the countryside of the Scottish Highlands & Islands on your doorstep or on holiday

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Hand Picked & Reviewed

Visit Scotland - Highlands
Magnificent outdoors places to explore and things to see and do in the Highlands.

The Highland Council - Attractions
Things to see and do, countryside rangers events, walking, countryside access...

Highland Biodiversity
Raising awareness of the Biodiversity in the Highlands of Scotland...

National Trust for Scotland - Highlands
Outddors places to visit and things to do at The National Trust for Scotland.

Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust
Our mission is to sustainably maintain, enhance and promote the coast and countryside of Argyll and the Isles...

Special Protection Areas in northern Scotland
Archived at JNCC but still a valuable resource with details of each site.

Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Wikipedia page with details of glens, lochs, islands, mountains and hills...

Geography of Highland
The geography of different areas with subcategories including landforms, geology, protected areas and more at Wikipedia.

Sponsored Listings

The National Trust for Scotland

A vital conservation charity protecting Scotland's coast, wilderness, wildlife and countryside for the good of all. Funded largely by donations, membership is very affordable, comes with a raft of benefits and supports their work.

CoolStays in The Highlands & Islands

Over 40 remarkable self-catering properties in stunningly beautiful locations. Retreats on the shores of lochs, romantic hideaways, roundhouses built into hillsides with exciting views of the coast, mountains and wildlife and so much more, worth a browse just out of curiosity.

Also see Coast for more information and listings.

Photo by Bjorn de Leeuw from FreeImages

Latest News

  • Whale watch scheme to be rolled out in Northern Isles

    A WHALE and dolphin conservation charity is to extend its ‘Shorewatch’ scheme to Orkney and Shetland in a bid to help save cetaceans. Thanks to a successful National Lottery bid, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) will extend its citizen science scheme to monitor at risk species of whale, dolphin and harbour porpoise in the Northern Isles.

  • New study says isles were covered by own ice sheet thousands of years ago

    RESEARCHERS say that a large ice sheet covered Shetland and its surrounding seafloor tens of thousands of years ago. The study, which was led by the University of Stirling, said there was “clear and unequivocal” evidence that Shetland hosted its own ice sheet. The research found that the sheet covered more than 50,000 square kilometres

  • Humpbacks captured on camera in sea off Fetlar

    AN ACCOMPLISHED nature photographer had a close encounter with humpback whales yesterday (Tuesday) that he says should bolster Shetland’s place as a top nature destination, even in the winter. Brydon Thomason from Fetlar snapped a sensational shot of a humpback whale breaching close at hand when he went on a seal counting trip on a

  • Environmental campaigner to screen film in Hillswick

    ENVIRONMENTAL campaigner Cal Major is hosting a second screening of a film highlighting “positive solutions” to plastic pollution tonight (Thursday) in Hillswick. Major made what was described by organisers as an “inspirational” appearance at Shetland Museum and Archives in Lerwick on Wednesday night with her film Vitamin Sea. The film is said to […]

  • Plastic is built into nearly all North Atlantic gannet colonies

    A STUDY has highlighted the threat marine plastic poses to the North Atlantic’s largest seabird. Researchers studying northern gannet populations across the UK, Norway, Iceland, Canada, the Faroe Islands and Ireland found that birds in 28 out of 29 colonies had incorporated plastic into their nests. Scientists at the University of the Highlands and Islands,

  • Isles retain Global Geopark status

    SHETLAND has retained its status as a UNESCO Global Geopark for a further four years. It comes after an “incredibly intensive” re-assessment process which involved a visit to Shetland in July. Shetland was awarded Global Geopark status in 2009 in recognition of its “world-class geological heritage and the local effort to conserve, celebrate, and promote […]

  • Close encounter of the orca kind

    A LOCAL thrillseeker says kayaking just metres away from a pod of orcas was an “unbelievable experience which I will probably never forget”. Balazs Onhausz, who is also known for taking ‘selfies’ with killer whales, got up close and personal with a group of orcas near St Ninan’s Isle on Tuesday evening. His partner Melissa

  • Seal captured on video being flipped into air as orcas put on show

    STRIKING footage has emerged of a pod of orcas putting on a show in Shetland – with a seal seen being flipped into the air by a killer whale. Lee Coutts captured the footage on Thursday morning at Sella Ness and said he was so close to the action that he was splashed by one

  • Isles-wide footpath from Unst to Sumburgh would provide ‘spectacular experience’

    THERE are hopes that a long distance walking route from Sumburgh to Unst could be created in a bid to attract more visitors to Shetland as well as encourage locals to don the hiking boots. The ambitious idea for the ‘Shetland Way’ has been coined by VisitScotland, Shetland Islands Council and Scottish Natural Heritage. There

  • Bird watchers could be more responsible in the outdoors, councillor says

    A SOUTH mainland councillor believes visiting bird watchers could be more responsible in Shetland’s outdoors after claiming some have accidentally damaged crops and fences when out in the countryside. Concerns were raised on Wednesday by Allison Duncan, who also crofts, as members of Shetland Islands Council’s development committee discussed a draft new outdoor […]

  • Police issue orca watching reminder

    THE POLICE have reminded people to watch orcas responsibly – both at sea and on land. Scottish Natural Heritage’s (SNH) Karen Hall issued a reminder at the weekend following reports of boats closely following orcas near Lerwick on Friday evening. The police have now followed suit, saying that people using a boat need to be

  • Boat users reminded to keep their distance from orcas

    PEOPLE have been reminded to keep their distance from orcas after a number of boats were seen following a pod of whales near Lerwick on Friday evening. Scottish Natural Heritage’s Karen Hall said it is an offence to disturb any cetacean. She added that the Scottish Marine Wildlife Code should be observed. People on the sea

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