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Highland attractions

We have much to be excited about says VisitScotland director

A World War II Festival, Highland gatherings and cycle sportives are amongst events due to take place in the Highlands over the summer months.

The tourism season will soon be getting underway once again, with a host of activities, things to see and do, and fresh and tasty locally-sourced food and drink on offer.

Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said: “As we progress towards the 2017 season, we have much to be excited about. We have just seen the opening of the Inverness Castle North Tower viewing platform – the first element in the redevelopment of the castle into a major visitor attraction – which will add significantly to the city’s draw as a global tourism destination.”

This year marks Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and there are events taking place in the Highlands to mark this theme.

One such new event, the Loch Ewe World War II Festival, is being held in May in Loch Ewe and Aultbea, to showcase the intrepid Russian Arctic Convoys that braved the North Atlantic passage to Russia in extreme weather and war-time conditions. Once described by Sir Winston Churchill as the “the worst journey in the world” they brought support to our ally in what was a vital strategic war effort.

The two-day extravaganza of military and naval re-enactments will be complemented with a movie night, Highland Swing band, D-Day Darlings singers to reminisce along with some serious vintage glamour and military style.

Another event takes place at Fort George at Ardersier on the anniversary weekend of the D-Day landings in June, where visitors can meet World War II soldiers who will teach them about the important role the fort and the surrounding landscape played.

Scott added: “We are anticipating another good season in terms of our popular annual events, including the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Loopallu, Etape Loch Ness, the Highland Military Tattoo and Highland Games, including the Isle of Skye, Assynt, Glenfinnan and City of Inverness.

“Scotland’s answer to Route 66, the North Coast 500 has been one of the biggest tourism success stories of recent years.

“The route has captured the imagination of visitors around the globe while also providing a fantastic boost to tourism businesses in the Highlands. We look forward to continuing our work with the North Highland Initiative and other partners, to ensure we capitalise on the amazing success that the route has enjoyed so far.”


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