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31 July 2017

FSB members shine in the Highlands & Islands

 

Balnakeil Durness

The Highlands & Islands is a vibrant, confident and outward-looking region, and while many factors have contributed to this success, the most important has to be the strength of our tourism industry.

The Highlands alone welcomes around 2.3 million visitors annually from all corners of the globe, generating a visitor spend of £706m, sustaining 15,700 jobs and leading to around £3bn of investment. Why? Well, people flock here for the scenery and landscape, history, culture and attractions, and a whole raft of businesses enables visitors to experience them at their best. Canyoning 1

So if you plan to take some time off later this year, why not come north and enjoy the hospitality of the many FSB members who live and work here? Here’s a small sample.

In Orkney, you can go back 5,000 years by entering the Tomb of the Eagles burial mound. In Shetland, Islands Trails takes small groups of visitors out to experience the islands’ famed history, culture and wildlife, while Speyside Wildlife can introduce you to some of the finest wildlife in the Cairngorms and wider Highlands & Islands.

If water’s your thing then Shellfish Safaris in the village of Badachro, Gairloch, takes you out in a working creel boat to see the day’s catch being hauled; sailing out of Kyleakin on Skye, the glass-bottomed boat, Seaprobe Atlantis, reveals the undersea world in all its glory; in Cromarty, EcoVentures takes you out to see Moray Firth dolphins cavort; or you can charter the Laurenca II or hire a self-drive boat from Ardnamurchan Charters in Acharacle, Lochaber. Why not glide down Loch Ness in a boat hired from Caley Cruisers in Inverness, or go kayaking with Ft William’s Rockhopper Sea Kayaking?

EcoventuresIf adventure’s your thing, there’s a wealth of businesses to get your juices flowing, including Active Outdoor Pursuits, G2 Outdoor and Full-On Adventure in the Cairngorms National Park, or Vertical Descent in Ft William.  Or you might like to challenge yourself on the Ice Factor’s ice-climbing wall in Kinlochleven, enjoy a wide range of activities at Craggan Outdoors in Grantown-on-Spey, or go riding at Aviemore’s Alvie Stables.

Time spent in the fresh air necessitates regular refuelling stops and the region has great restaurants, cafes, inns and bars. It also has world-renowned whisky distilleries like Ben Nevis in Ft William, gin micro-distilleries including the Dornoch Distillery, or real ale brewers such as Aviemore’s Cairngorm Brewery.

Last but not least, there is accommodation aplenty to cater to all tastes and pockets. However, for novelty value you could consider one of Sleeperzzz railway carriage bunkhouses in Rogart, Sutherland, a Black Isle Yurt overlooking the Moray Firth, or Rua Reidh Lighthouse in the wild, remote North West Highlands.

If variety is the spice of life, then whatever the weather, the Highlands & Islands is guaranteed to make your life hot!

 

David Richardson is FSB's Development Manager in the Highlands and Islands

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