Scottish Landscape, Scotland, United Kingdom


A vibrant history and culture, vast open wilderness and the finest whisky in the world – little wonder that the Scots are a proud people who love nothing more than welcoming visitors to their beautiful country.

Rugged and uncompromising, rural Scotland has a mythical quality that goes beyond its undeniable aesthetic appeal. And the people that inhabit Scotland’s wilder more remote regions, are as intriguing and unfathomable as the landscape in which they live.

Split into the Lowlands and the Highlands, and both with their own distinctive appeal, we are nonetheless, with the Scottish poet Robert Burns when we declare that our ‘heart is in the Highlands’. It is no surprise that a procession of poets and writers have taken inspiration from the hills, lochs and glens of Scotland’s most northerly territory. Steppes’ holidays in Scotland celebrate the natural history of the country but at the same time, fully acknowledge that Scotland’s culture and people are an intrinsic part of any rural experience in the Highlands.

Otter, Scotland
Otter in Scotland
Queen's View at Loch Tummel - Scotland, UK
Loch Tummel, Scotland
White tailed Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) in flight in the rain, Scotland
White tailed sea eagle, Scotland
Mountains in Highland,Scotland
Scottish mountains

Into The Wilds

The comedian, Billy Connolly once said  ‘In Scotland, there is no bad weather – just the wrong clothing’

With allegedly over 100 words for ‘rain’, it pays to be prepared for four seasons in one day when travelling in Scotland. See beyond the ‘yillen’ (shower) and ‘goselet’ (downpour) and Scotland is one of the most rewarding places to visit for anyone with a love of wildlife and wild places. Go in search of golden eagles in Loch Lomond or visit Mull for the chance to photograph the charismatic sea otter. The Hebrides are renowned for spectacular golden beaches and all along Scotland’s western coastline, there is good opportunity to spot whales, basking sharks and dolphins. Trekking and biking are also particularly well catered for – try the Cairngorms for memorable walks and the North Coast 500 for exceptional road cycling (or an exceptional self-drive holiday)

Woodsman and wood carving lessons, Cairngorms, Scotland
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

The People

The writer, Walter Scott once wrote ‘Where is the coward that would not dare to fight for such a land as Scotland’.

The Scots love of their country is renowned. The film, Braveheart was a little too moderate for most Scot’s sense of national pride (and many have yet to forgive Mel Gibson for his attempt at a Scottish accent). Try visiting a Scotland vs. England rugby international at Murrayfield and you’ll get a sense of just how much being Scottish matters to the people of this country. In the Highlands, the people’s intimate connection with the land is palpable – the rugged landscape provides a tangible link with a history that is rich and full of fascinating stories (best heard when sat in front of a roaring log-fire, nursing a glass of single-malt whiskey).

Valley in autunmal colours with track leading to cottage and snow covered mountains behind.
Alladale Wilderness Reserve, Scotland

Alladale Wilderness Reserve

Escape the world with a stay amidst unspoiled wilderness, spending days in search of wildlife, fishing, walking and mountain biking.

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Coastline, Land Rover, Scotland

Scotland’s North Coast 500 by Land Rover

Join a guided, self-drive adventure, exploring Scotland’s renowned North Coast 500 by Land Rover. With an experienced driver-guide leading the way, you will be joined by one other vehicle, as you venture along some of Europe’s wildest coastal tracks.
The route you will take on this trip has been carefully recced to avoid the busier sections of the North Coast 500, but you will still see the most spectacular sights such as Cape Wrath, Applecross and Bealach na Ba pass. If you like the idea of this holiday but would rather travel privately without a guide, please call us to talk to one of our experts.

8 days

from £4,250 pp

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Where to Stay

Every captivating tailor-made itinerary needs a perfect base. Our team has handpicked this collection of properties to give you luxury options in styles to suit any adventure.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

John Faithfull

My love affair with travel began in a vintage Italian train carriage at sunset on a hot and sticky September evening in 1983. Sardined into a two-bench compartment, I’d spent five hours sharing sweaty thighs, broken-Italian pleasantries and furtive glances while rattling towards Turin, stopping at every wisteria-draped village along the way.

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Charlotte Lawton

Charlotte is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Asia.

My strong sense of belonging in Asia stemmed from a childhood in Hong Kong and Nepal. My Grandmother was born in a tent in India. Some of my clearest memories are of walking through a dense, tropical jungle while hailstones the size of cricket balls rained down on us; of being carried on my father’s shoulders as we trekked through the Himalayas; my mother wearing flipflops on a snowy mountainside; and me falling into Dal Lake in Srinagar as we disembarked from our houseboat. 

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Jarrod Kyte

A love of wildlife and wild places has long been my motivation for travelling. I am at my happiest when photographing big cats on the plains of sub-Saharan Africa or trekking in the shadows of mighty Himalayan peaks.

Before joining Steppes Travel, I consummated my love affair with Africa by upping sticks and moving to Kenya for two years to manage a luxury tented camp in the Masai Mara. While Kenya takes some beating, recent trips tracking snow leopards in Ladakh and meeting eagle hunters in Mongolia has made me realise that travel outside of Africa can be equally rewarding.

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