Starting at Fort William a Mecca for out door pursuits, and for those who want to tackle Britain's highest mountain Ben Nevis at 4406 feet.
There are so many walks and mountain bike routes in the area, Lochs and waterfalls to see such as An Steall Ban waterfall just south of Ben Nevis, offering some awe inspiring beautiful scenery all the way to Fort Augustus at the south end of the loch at the village of Fort Augustus is a former Benedictine Abbey, part of which has been made into a heritage centre, well worth a visit for its exhibitions of the area's local history and peoples.
Home to Neptune's Staircase is a staircase lock comprising eight locks on the Caledonian Canal, built by Thomas Telford between 1803 and 1822, it is the longest staircase lock in Britain.
The system was originally hand-powered but has been converted to hydraulic operation, today a good place to spend a little time and watch the boats go up and down.
From here on, the road follows the Caledonian Canal, along Loch Lochy and through Glen Mor, along the busy A82 through Drumnadrochit, the main tourist route. You can stop at special designated places all of which are high above the loch with good for wide panoramic views and who knows, a distant view of the Loch Ness monster.
Here you will find the Loch Ness Monster exhibitions and Nessie information centres based at Drumnadrochit, you can buy souvenirs and learn about the history of sightings of this famous creature.
From Drumnadrochit you can access Glen Affric, Sited centrally within the Scottish Highlands National Nature Reserve, the 10,000 acre Glen Affric Estate is often considered to be amongst the most beautiful places in Scotland. a magical mix of native woods, glistening lochs and haunting moorland, it features over 30 miles of ancient pinewoods and is one of the largest ancient Caledonian pine woods in Scotland near to the village of Cannich, north west of Loch Ness, and the south side of Loch Ness, with waymarked paths and Ranger service with some of the most remote walking in Scotland.
From Drumnadrochit continue along the A82 to the Highland capital of Inverness the northern most city in the United Kingdom, it lies within the Great Glen at its north eastern extremity where the River Ness, containing the largest volume of freshwater in the British Isles enters the Moray Firth. There are good coach, air, road and rail links, the Stagecoach bus connects the airport to Inverness, The Inverness Airport doesn't resemble your typical commercial airline airport, it is small with two major airlines Flybe and Easy Jet connecting you to and from regional UK cities such as Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh, New Castle, Bristol, and the Republic of Ireland, the view arriving and departing into Inverness is stunning as you see Moray Firth or Cairngorms National Park.
This is a cosmopolitan city with a rich variety of places to visit and things to do both in and around the city, the city boasts a host of historic buildings, and the the Old Town, browse city shops and visit the Victorian Market then take a walk along the river and through the Ness Islands where you can watch anglers casting long lines to leaping Atlantic salmon.
From Inverness take the A96 to Nairn an ancient fishing port and market town around 17 miles east of Inverness.
From Nairn take the A939 to Granton on spey beside the river Spey at the northern edge of the Cairngorm mountains, about 20 miles south east of Inverness, home to a quarter of the UK’s rare and endangered species, it has a large upland plateau, the views are stunning and the road goes up and down, the region contains Scotland’s largest, most natural habitats, and is home to the country’s most ambitious landscape-scale nature conservation action the Cairngorms National Park, explore the nature and wildlife found in the mountainous trails of Tolmount, or relax on the beach of Loch Morlich The villages and towns in the Park have networks of community paths and trails, giving you a taste of the unique landscapes, nature, and heritage, most of the Old Military Road through Cairngorms is dual lane with narrower spots; One of the most famous is the Gairnshiel Bridge, only one vehicle at the time is able to cross.
north over the Lecht an ascent is 6 km long, over this distance, you climb 256 height meters this climb is amazing! the climb starts a few kilometres after Colnabaichin at a place called Cock Bridge, as you cross the bridge you are greeted by a sign saying 20% and the road shooting up into the sky like a wall.
First you have about 1km of 15-20% with a few semi-hairpins, you then get about 300m of slightly downhill before it picks up again for another 1.5km at ~15%.
As you go over the shoulder this is the highest point of the climb, there is then a small down hill and up hill into the ski centre
starting at Pitlochry, over to Glen Shee and into Braemar, then up and over the the Lecht and dropping down into Nethy Bridge, the bottom of the Lecht is very steep, the last section just requires you to keep a good rhythm.
There is also a nice long descent into Tomnitoul and Grantown to Colnabaichin, to a simple give-way T junction on to the A944, an area steeped in history; visitors can discover stories of the past at Corgarff and Glenbuchat Castles and explore the Doune of Invernochty, traverses the hills and moors from the Braes of Glenlivet, over the Ladder Hills to Bellabeg in the Donside Valley, used by whisky smugglers in the latter half of the 18th century, when a series of Government imposed whisky taxes led to a high level of illicit distilling
continue on the A944 onto the A97 to Glenkindie to Drumnahive and Mossat, turn right onto the A944 to the Bridge of Alford and Alford a large village in Aberdeenshire south of the River Don, surrounded by the hills of Bennachie and Coreen, there are two museums, a narrow gauge railway and a huge country park area walks, a historic battlefield, a golf course and a caravan and camping site.
Continue on the A944 to Aberdeen, the City stands at the gateway to Scotland's Castle and Whisky Country on the north east of Scotland and is famed for its links to agriculture, fishing and production of fine food, surrounded by pure air and spectacular scenery,famed for its granite buildings and elegant architecture,
along side a modern cosmopolitan city, with a thriving cultural scene, shopping and restaurants.
Here you will find Aberdeen Airport opened in 1934 with the discovery of North Sea oil in 1967, it soon became a major centre for helicopter activities linking oil rigs to the mainland, as well as business and leisure flights, today an international airport, located at Dyce, a suburb of Aberdeen, approximately 5 nautical miles north west of Aberdeen city centre.
From here you can take in some of Scotland’s most impressive wild places, from the mountains and lochs of Wester Ross and Assynt to the rugged sea cliffs of Sutherland, stunning landscape of perfect sandy beaches and sweeping moorland studded with glittering lochans, overlooked by some of Scotland's most remarkable mountains, individual peaks each with great character from rural islands and the ever changing landscape will take your breath away, take the opportunity to admire Scotland's dramatically beautiful Highlands and lochs in the comfort of your own vehicle and at your own pace
Scotland is home to a wealth of sights and sounds from internationally renowned contemporary bands and classical musicians gracing stages around the world, from Celtic music, bag pipe, Gaelic music and song, folk music, story telling, to pop and rock from intimate gigs to massive arenas, one of Scotland's biggest jazz events the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival is generally held over ten days during the summer months, every year people gather from all over the world to enjoy the sound.
Through Scotland's bloody turbulent past the ancient clans, Picts, Romans Vikings, buildings, Highlands and Lowlands have fundamentally changed each generation adding their own cultural thumb print, along with traditional to international food and drink creating a unique and vibrant country that is Scotland today.
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