Arts and Culture
Highland culture is ingrained in much of the everyday activity in the Highlands with influences from early settlers such as the Picts, Celts and Norse evident in the language, place names, environment, fashion and food.
The last battle on British soil was fought at Culloden on the outskirts of the Highland capital, Inverness. Today it is a National Trust for Scotland site, complete with a modern interactive visitor centre.
The area has an abundance of spectacular castles, each with their own captivating history. Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness has stood for over a millennium and was the staging point for some of Scotland’s most dramatic episodes.
Culture in the Highlands is not just historical though, with the region being home to many top-class theatres, music venues, festivals and events.
In fact the Highlands are home to Scotland’s leading creative industries festival XpoNorth, a unique event in the UK's cultural calendar covering crafts, fashion; writing and publishing; screen and broadcast; digital technology and music.
The latest theatre shows, music, comedians and cinema performances are presented in top quality facilities such as Eden Court Theatre and Cinema in Inverness, the Pavilion in Strathpeffer and The Ironworks in Inverness.
Throughout the summer months and beyond music festivals are held in the some of the worlds' most spectacular locations, including:
Groove Loch Ness - A nightclub under the stars on Loch Ness
Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival – A family friendly music festival near Beauly
Loopallu - A quaint festival in late September held in Ullapool on the West Coast
Groove Cairngorm – The UK’s only resort based snowsports and music festival
BLAS - A celebration of Highland and Gaelic culture encompassing music, poetry ceilidh and dance