Top 5 reasons why the Highlands is one of the top tourist hotspots in the world.
There are a number of reasons why British holidaymakers are deciding to stay in the UK instead of going abroad for their holidays. Recent findings show that 57% of British people have chosen to stay in the UK for their holidays, throughout 2017. Also known as staycation, the holidaymakers have boosted the UK economy by nearly £24 billion - with this figure expected to skyrocket in upcoming years, as more British people join the staycation craze. The stress of flying abroad with family during busy tourist seasons and the current exchange rate from Euro to Pound has led many holidaymakers to choose the UK as their preferred holiday destination. In the Highlands, there is so much to explore. From the beautiful beaches, relaxing countryside, castles, Loch Ness, NC500 and the world renowned food and drink, there’s never a dull moment.
With the Highlands being one of the most popular tourist hotspots in the UK, why exactly are people choosing to holiday here rather than go abroad?*Findings published by VisitBritain
1. Get more bang for your buck
For many families, the stress of working and the cost of living means holidays are becoming more and more expensive. Paying for flights, hotels, passports, food, holiday clothes and spending money can add up, making for an expensive week (or two) away, especially for big families. With the exchange rate dropping against the Euro, more and more people are visiting the UK each year.
Staying in the UK for a holiday is much easier and cheaper. Whether you decide to drive, take a train, ferry or bus you can easily reach most destinations within a few hours.
2. The hunt for Nessie
The Highlands are home to the world-famous Nessie. The myth of the mysterious creature brings tourists to Loch Ness from across the world and with Loch Ness being on many peoples’ bucket lists; it is a must-do when visiting the Highlands. Tourists are hopeful they will spot the mystical creature while driving along the shores of Loch Ness or on a boat trip across the water.
The Highlands are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Castlehill Beach, Murkle Bay, Sandwood bay, Mullon Udrigle Beach and Brora Beach are only but a few I could name. They are not only great to look at, but on a warm summer’s day, they are a great day out for the family. With a number of activities for holiday makers to partake in, from sunbathing and windsurfing to canoeing and boat trips, there will never be a dull moment.
3. Never a dull moment in the Highlands
With so many holidays abroad consisting of the same activities; sunbathing, going to the beach, water sports, no wonder people are looking for more fun and exciting trips to experience. The Highlands may be a small county but there is nothing but a huge range of things to see and do. There are many family run businesses offering cruises, sailing and boat trips across the Moray Firth and Loch Ness. You can also go dolphin spotting in the Black Isle. All activities ensuring you have the best holiday and get to experience the best of what we have to offer. You can also partake in a range of tours enjoying the local wildlife, distilleries, castles, museums, historic sites and islands including Orkney, Skye, Shetland and many more.
4. North Coast 500 - The ultimate road trip
The Highlands are renowned for its beautiful scenery and countryside, so for tourists who are visiting from some of the busiest cities in the UK, it’s definitely a holiday away from home. Not only is the Highland countryside peaceful and relaxing, it hosts some of the most spectacular views in the world. One of the most popular draws to the Highlands for is to experience the North Coast 500 (NC500). Covering just over 500 miles, it is one of the world’s most iconic touring routes where you will explore the best of the Highlands. The route starts and ends in Inverness and while embarking on this 500 mile journey there is much to explore and enjoy - from castles and beaches to distilleries and local restaurants. Many who have taken part regard the experience as “life-changing” - and the numbers speak for themselves. It is an opportunity to explore the true beauty of the Highlands.
- 2,300,000,000 global audience reach in 2017
- 85,000 followers on social media
- 516 mile-long route
- 5 star rated on Trip Advisor
- 1 unforgettable experience
5. The Outlander Effect plus much more
Without a doubt, the Highlands of Scotland is home to a vast number of beautiful beaches, mountains and hills for people to explore. With the release of the TV show, Outlander, there has been a huge increase in visitors to the Highlands after seeing the show all keen to experience the Outlander lifestyle. With experience days and tours offering the full Outlander experience this has had a huge effect on local tourism in the area. But there is so much more that can be experienced while up here on your holiday, including exciting days out with the family to tours across the land and sea. There are also easy links to the islands such as the Isle of Skye or Shetland which can make for a fun trip away. The Highlands are also well known for the large number of popular golf courses which attract golfers from all over the world. There is so much to see and do, and with a great deal to offer tourists, while on their staycation, there will never be a boring day.
Even a simple shopping trip can unearth wonders, with many small family run businesses offering one of a kind products or services. Even visiting a restaurant or café for lunch or dinner to try the fresh food, is an experience in itself. From haggis, neeps and tatties to a local fish dish, or a day visiting some of many world famous distilleries such as the Tomatin Distillery, Glen Ord Distillery or the Glenmorangie Distillery – visiting these could be a week long holiday in themselves.
With so much more to offer here in the Highlands, there really is no need to go abroad. We have everything here in our own ‘wee’ county for everyone to enjoy.