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The Central Highlands contain some of the Highland’s most well-known places: world-famous Loch Ness with its mythical monster and loch-side Urquhart Castle; bustling Fort William, the self-proclaimed ‘Outdoor capital of the UK’; Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain; and beautiful Glen Coe, scene of both a historic massacre and several Hollywood films.

To the east, the vast Cairngorms mountain range is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The area around the convenient town of Aviemore is popular for both high and low level walks in the summer and skiing in the winter.

‘The Great Glen’ stretches south-west from the Highlands only major city, Inverness – jumping off point for dolphin-spotting trips in the Moray Firth – to Fort William and the sea loch of Loch Linnhe on the opposite coast. As well as Loch Ness, lochs Oich and Lochy line the glen. To the north, beautiful valleys and glens are ripe for exploring.

West of Fort William, towards the coast, narrow, winding roads offer stunning driving through wonderful rural and coastal scenery and pretty villages, with a variety of historic sights and viewpoints to discover. The stunning West Highland Railway cuts through the area.

Image © VisitBritain / Joe Cornish