When we think about our summer holiday, we often think about getting away from it all. Living in Cornwall, we have the gorgeous beaches and laidback holiday lifestyle on our doorsteps, but sometimes we still need to ‘get away’.
With current restrictions on travel impacting how and where we can get away to, perhaps the answer lies a little closer to home. With Cornwall Airport Newquay’s partnership with Easy Jet offering some fantastic UK destinations, the Highlands of Scotland are only a short flight away with the new Inverness route.
Whether you plan to road trip along the North East coast and take in the stunning beaches and villages, explore the Highlands and their extraordinary landscape, or travel to the islands to the North and West of the city, there are plenty of options for travellers wanting to escape summer in Cornwall.
Here are a few of our top picks while you are there:
Spend some time in Inverness
Sometimes it’s easy to fly into a city, grab the hire car and go onto the next place. Try to factor some time into your trip to explore Inverness itself– regarded as the capital of the Highlands. History buffs will love the castle, ruins and historical battle sites and the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery can be enjoyed by all the family.
There’s a great foodie scene making the most of local produce and plenty of shops within Inverness for a day of retail therapy, including a Victorian Market filled with independent shops and boutiques.
If you are a fan of the Outlander novels, the books are based in this area and you can go on walking tours to visit some of the locations from the books.
Most surprisingly for the city is that is only 8 miles north of Loch Ness, a must do even if you do choose to stay in the city itself.
Visit Loch Ness and the surrounding area
With Loch Ness just a few miles from Inverness Airport, it is the perfect time to explore the Highlands (and look for Nessie!) Urquhart Castle sits on the banks of the Loch and is supposedly one of the best places to spot the monster.
Aside from the views, there is also a tremendous amount to do and see just around this one Loch. Whether you fancy canoeing, photographing waterfalls, dancing to highlands music in a local pub or spending your days walking, running or cycling the 80km Loch Ness 360 Trail, there is plenty to occupy your time.
Meet some of the locals
Highland Wildlife Park is open 7 days a week and is nestled in the stunning Cairngorms National Park to the South of Inverness.
Specialising in native Scottish wildlife and other colder weather creatures, the park hosts polar bears, grey wolves, snow leopards and also hosts ‘After Hours’ events throughout the long summer evenings. As well as access to the park, there are food vendors and music, making for a magical evening.
Take the Harry Potter Steam Train
The famous Hogwarts Express viaduct is just a few miles from Loch Ness and the Harry Potter steam train tour is a must for any fan. With pick up from Inverness, the Harry Potter Tour takes you not only onto the train but also on a tour through the Highlands and Loch Ness as part of a da trip.
You’ll see both the steam train go over the viaduct and then travel over it later in the day, a brilliant experience for young and old alike.
Hire a car and experience the Highlands
Inverness is the perfect base for exploring the Highlands. Hire a car for a day or two, or for the duration of your stay, and you can immerse yourself in the villages, scenery and businesses of the area.
While there are several castles nearer to Inverness, it is worth the extra journey to see Eilean Donan. Sitting on an island, the castle has appeared in many films, advertising and commercials and can be combined with a visit to the Isle of Skye – itself just two and a half hours from Inverness.
Driving north from Inverness along the coastal road you’ll find pretty seaside villages, sandy beaches and beautiful walks. If you head up Tain you can drive a little further and find yourself at the Glenmorangie distillery for a tour and a wee dram of whiskey before heading back to the city.
With so much to do just a short drive away from Inverness, you’ll be spoilt for choice when planning your summer break to Scotland!
Fly direct to Inverness from Newquay with easyJet