The most dramatic scenery in Scotland is to be found in the western Highlands, especially in glorious Wester Ross, where the mountains rise directly from the sea. Off the coast are the lovely and romantic islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides. There is something particularly appealing about being in the lap of luxury, savoring delicious food, while surrounded by wild and remote terrain. The western Highlands consistently provide this alluring combination.
And for anyone who loves intimate ships, country house hotels and Scotland, the 50-passenger Hebridean Princess scores a spectacular hat trick.
The Road to Applecross
If you stay at The Torridon Hotel, you will have the chance to drive one of the most dramatic roads in all of Europe. The Road to Applecross ascends to offer a sensational panorama of the Isle of Skye and descends into Applecross (where the Applecross Inn, a simple place, serves fine seafood). From this dot of a village, it then climbs to the Bealach na Bà (“Pass of the Cattle”) at a height of 2,053 feet; on a clear day, the vistas are unforgettable.
Fine Dining on the Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye has some fine restaurants. The Three Chimneys has long been regarded as one of the top dining rooms in western Scotland. The charming Eilean Iarmain hotel, located in the movie-set-perfect enclave of Isle Ornsay, also has an excellent restaurant and a charming little bar.
Pleasant Lodging and Dining Options on the Isle of Islay
Although I do not currently recommend any hotels on the Isle of Islay, I know that many readers are interested in the place because of its famous distilleries. Islay is easy to get around, and the distilleries are conveniently clustered. I have stayed in two comfortable hotels on the island. Both had their charms, but neither was up to Hideaway Report standards. The 11-room Bridgend Hotel is well-located in the center of the island. The Port Charlotte Hotel, set by the sea, features 10 rooms that are snug but attractively decorated in a country house style. Tasty fare is served in an appealing bar and a pleasant stone-walled dining room. Be sure to book a sea-facing room. There are good restaurants in Bowmore, the best being at the seven-room Harbour Inn, which is now owned by the noted Bowmore distillery.