Help us enjoy the Scottish Highlands!
June 19, 2016 7:41 AM   Subscribe

We have 9-10 hours to spend in Scotland around Inverness (arriving in Invergordon). We are interested in seeing some beautiful Scottish highland scenery. We are interested in suggestions for routes to take to see the most dramatic scenery, and what would be some worthwhile local sights/castles/picturesque villages to see. We have heard about the road from Durness to Ullapool, but are not sure if there is time for that. We do not have a car but might be able to hire a driver. Thank you for any help!
posted by xammerboy to Travel & Transportation around Scotland (1 answer total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Time is very difficult for travelling in Highland; it depends on the weather, the driver, tractors, sheep on the road and numerous other things. I've done a day trip from Inverness to Durness without any bother in the sort of time you have (including, lunch, walk on beach and visit to Smoo Cave), but I knew the roads and drove them much faster than someone unfamiliar would, and I got lucky with no sheep/tractors etc. I don't think you could do both Ullapool and Durness in the one day from Invergordon, but I think you could do one, and see half of the road.

Arrriving in Invergordon you are near a road that will give you a lovely view - the B9176 (the Struie) to Bonar Bridge. As with all things Highland, this will be very disappointing in the rain.

From Bonar Bridge it rather depends what you want to do; you can do a pretty loop by going to Lairg, then taking the A838 to the west coast, and coming back by the A837. The A838 goes through some very bleakly beautiful bits of the countryside. Or once you get to the west, you can turn left for Ullapool or right for Durness!

If you think it's safer to stay closer, you can go from Bonar Bridge to Dornoch which has a wee cathedral and is pretty; then you could go on to Portmahomack which again is pretty wee village and has a museum about its major Pictish monastery (if you are interested in the Picts, you are in the right place for Pictish Symbol Stones - there is a Pictish Trail you could follow by car. Link to pdf.)

If you want a really castle-y castle, heading south to Urqhart would be your best bet (though I hate the Loch Ness road in summertime). You could easily get to Dunrobin (but I'm a purist and that is a stately home, not a castle).

Pretty much if you stay out of the towns, and most especially Alness, Invergordon and Evanton, everything is pretty!
posted by Vortisaur at 12:17 PM on June 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

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