The Complete Guide to Free Attractions in The Highlands

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Free attractions in the Highlands

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  1. Ben Nevis
  2. Loch Ness
  3. Culloden Battlefield
  4. Glen Coe
  5. Glenfinnan
  6. Inverness Botanic Gardens
  7. Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
  8. Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve
  9. Lochaber Geopark
  10. (A) Smoo Cave
  11. (B) Steall Waterfall
  12. (C) The Commando Memorial
  13. (D) The West Highland Museum

If you’d like to discover even more places to visit take a look at my Scottish Tourist Attractions Map – but don’t forget to check my Weather Forecast Map before you leave home.

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis

Address: The Glen Nevis Visitor Center car park is located approx. 1.5 miles from the roundabout in Fort William located next to the River Nevis. Latitude: 56°48’38.90″N Longitude: 5°4’38.17″W. Postcode: PH33 6PF

Opening Times: Open year-round.

Tel Number: N/A

Email Address: contact@ben-nevis.com

Website: Ben Nevis

About: Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. It is particularly popular with walkers due to the well-constructed mountain track from Glen Nevis on the south side of the mountain, while climbers can enjoy some of the best rock and ice climbs in the country.

Loch Ness

Address: Loch Ness, Inverness-shire, IV63 6TU

Opening Times: N/A

Tel Number: 01463 219 219

Email Address: N/A

Website: Loch Ness

About: The area around Loch Ness is awash with picturesque towns, untamed wilderness, and breathtaking rolling hills that surround the world-famous loch that is home to the legendary Loch Ness monster.

Culloden Battlefield

Address: Culloden Moor, Inverness, IV2 5EU. Map reference: NH 745449 Lat: 57.47702, Long: -4.09302

Opening Times: Open year-round.

Tel Number: 0844 493 2159

Email Address: culloden@nts.org.uk

Website: Culloden Battlefield

About: The Culloden Visitor Centre, which stands beside the battlefield, features artefacts from both sides of the battle and has interactive displays that reveal the background to the conflict. The site is also home to a number of monuments as well as a restored traditional Highland cottage.

Glen Coe

Address: Glencoe, Argyll, PH49 4HX

Opening Times: Open year-round.

Tel Number: +44 (0)1855 811252

Email Address: info@glencoescotland.com

Website: Glen Coe

About: Glencoe is Scotland’s most famous and scenic glen. Glencoe is not only a holiday centre for hill walking and mountaineering, but it is also the perfect base to explore the Highlands. There are a number of accessible Munros in the area, including Bidean Nam Bian and Buachaille Etive Mor.

Glenfinnan

The Complete Guide to Free Attractions in The Highlands 7

Address: Glenfinnan, Highlands, PH37 4LT

Opening Times: Open year-round.

Tel Number: N/A

Email Address: N/A

Website: Glenfinnan

About: Glenfinnan is famous for several reasons but perhaps it is most renowned for the Jacobite gathering in 1745 when Bonnie Prince Charlie rallied 1,500 Highlanders. The memorial at Loch Shiel is clearly visible against the Glenfinnan viaduct, made world-famous as the setting of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express train journey.

If you’d like to explore the Scottish Highlands on a guided tour take a look at my recommended Get Your Guide Highland tours.

Inverness Botanic Gardens

Address: Bught Lane, Inverness, IV3 5SS

Opening Times: Mon-Sun: 10:00 – 16:00

Tel Number: 01463 713553

Email Address: inverness.botanics@highlifehighland.com

Website: Inverness Botanic Gardens

About: Inverness Botanic Gardens are an oasis of calm within walking distance of the busy city centre. The glasshouses contain plants from tropical rainforests and hot deserts and a waterfall pours into a pond filled with Koi carp, surrounded by bird of paradise plants and orchids.

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Address: Castle Wynd, Inverness, IV2 3EB

Opening Times: Tuesday – Thursday 12.00-16.00, Friday-Saturday 11.00-16.00.

Tel Number: 01463 237114

Email Address: N/A

Website: Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

About: The Inverness Museum and Art Gallery aims to teach visitors about Scottish history while also showing them how the Scottish Highlands are linked with the rest of the world. After browsing the collections you can relax in the café or browse the extensive shop.

Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve

Address: Balmaha, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G63 0JQ. From Stirling- follow the A811 to Gartocharn. From Glasgow- take the A82 north to Alexandria, and take the Balloch turning onto the A811 to Gartocharn.

Opening Times: Open year-round.

Tel Number: 01786 453354

Email Address: nnr@snh.gov.uk

Website: Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve

About: There are lots of activities for visitors to get involved with at this nature reserve. You can take tranquil walks on a wooded isle or head down to the loch shore to watch osprey on the hunt for fish. There are also geese, wigeon, teal, and shelduck to keep a look-out for against a background of dramatic mountain peaks.

Lochaber Geopark

The Complete Guide to Free Attractions in The Highlands 9

Address: Visitor Centre: 55A High St, Fort William, PH33 6DH

Opening Times: The park is Open year-round.

Tel Number: 01397 705314

Email Address: info@lochabergeopark.org.uk

Website: Lochaber Geopark

About: Lochaber Geopark boasts some of the best geology in the world, along with the UK’s highest mountains and deepest lochs. Outdoor adventure enthusiasts will love the mountain trails and the beautiful landscapes.

Smoo Cave

Address: Durness, Lairg, IV27 4PN

Opening Times: Open year-round.

Tel Number: 01971 511259

Email Address: durnesstic@host.co.uk

Website: Smoo Cave

About: This dramatic sea cave is set into limestone cliffs in Sutherland and can be explored by boat or by the path from the car park on the cliffs. Smoo Cave boasts one of the largest entrances to any sea cave in Britain and offers visitors the chance to walk into a number of subterranean inner chambers.

If you’d like to find free attractions in Aberdeenshire read this guide: Free Attractions in Aberdeenshire and Moray, and get close-up to the Highlands with this article: 360° Virtual Tours of Attractions in the North Highlands, and 360° Virtual Tours of Attractions in the Scottish Highlands.

Steall Waterfall

Address: Old Military Rd, Fort William, PH33 6SY

Opening Times: Open year-round.

Tel Number: N/A

Email Address: N/A

Website: NA

About: Steall Falls offers a first-class walk below Ben Nevis and the surrounding mountains as it passes through the stunning Glen Nevis. The lower falls are impressive after a rainfall and the glen is particularly scenic in summer when it blooms with a carpet of wild flowers.

The Commando Memorial

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Address: Spean Bridge, PH34 4EG

Opening Times: Open year-round.

Tel Number: N/A

Email Address: N/A

Website: The Commando Monument

About: This monument in Spean Bridge is the site where thousands of allied troops came to train for warfare during World War II. The three-figure bronze statue commemorates the sacrifice given by thousands of Allied troops and is fittingly set against the mountain backdrop where they trained.

The West Highland Museum

Address: Cameron Square, Fort William, PH33 6AJ

Opening Times: Mon-Sat 10:00 – 16:00/17:00. Sun 11:00 – 15:00 (July – Aug)

Tel Number: 01397 702169

Email Address: info@westhighlandmuseum.org.uk

Website: The West Highland Museum

About: The West Highland Museum tells the story of the region, its people, and its history and includes fascinating artefacts from the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite uprising.

Discover more free places to visit in Scotland with: The Best FREE Places to Visit in Scotland – Ultimate Visitor Guide.

More free places to visit in Scotland

  • Glen Ogle – Stirling: Complete Visitor Guide
    Glen Ogle lies in a particularly scenic area of Stirlingshire, 2 miles northwest of the village of Lochearnhead. The Glen is a popular tourist destination thanks to the Sustrans Route 7 which offers a superb cycle and walking route through the glen, where stunning views are on offer from Loch Earn to the Glen Ogle railway viaduct and beyond.
  • Seacliff Beach – East Lothian: Complete Visitor Guide
    Seacliff Beach is situated 5 miles south of North Berwick in East Lothian. This remote beach is overlooked by the dramatic ruins of Tantallon Castle and is best known for its unusual sandstone harbour which is said to be the smallest in the UK.
  • Preston Mill – East Lothian: Complete Visitor Guide
    Preston Mill is located next to the River Tyne in picturesque farming country in the heart of East Lothian. The mill dates from the 18th-century and was used commercially until the 1950s but is now open as a tourist attraction managed by the National Trust for Scotland. Discover this unique historic attraction with this guide which includes a 360° virtual tour.
  • Silver Sands of Morar – Inverness: Complete Visitor Guide
    The Silver Sands of Morar are a series of celebrated beaches located on the Morar Peninsula, south of Mallaig. These stunning white-sand beaches are a favourite spot for tourists due to the crystal-clear turquoise waters along this stretch of coastline, as well as the stunning views of the Small Isles.
Free Attractions Highlands

By Craig Neil

Scotland travel writer and specialist 360° photographer. Founder of the Out About Scotland travel website and Vartour virtual tours.