December in the Scottish Highlands and Skye

Majestic mountains, captivating coastline, atmospheric lochs and glens… the Highlands and Skye cover an area of outstanding beauty. With the highest mountains and the deepest inland waters in the UK, you can expect awe-inspiring landscapes and plenty of open space. Here’s just a taster of what’s in store if you head to the Highlands and Skye this December.


Christmas Lights Switch On, Portree, 2nd December, 5 – 6.30pm
The annual switching on of the Christmas lights in Portree, with a light procession and the Isle of Skye Pipe Band.

Portree Christmas Market, Skye Gathering Hall, 2nd – 3rd December, 10am – 5pm

Festive crafts, gifts and food.

Exclusively Highlands Christmas Craft Fair, Eden Court, 2nd – 4th December

A Christmas fair showcasing the finest food and crafts from the Highlands.

Dougie MacLean, Strathpeffer, 3rd December, 8pm, £6 – £17.50

Catch the wonderful Dougie MacLean, one of Scotland’s most successful singer-songwriters, in concert in the heart of the Highlands.

Christmas Family Day, Lybster, 11th December, 12 – 4pm, £5 per decoration

Design and make your own Christmas glass decoration – a great family day out!

Santa Express, Strathspey Steam Railway, Aviemore, 11th, 18th, 23rd & 24th December, £4 – £12 for children, £16 for adults
All aboard this Yuletide train journey through stunning Highland scenery! Get in the festive spirit and meet Santa, who will have a gift for every child on board.

The Red Hot Highland Fling Hogmanay Party, Northern Meeting Park Arena, Inverness, 31st December, 8pm

Have a red hot Highland Hogmanay this year! Scotland’s biggest free Hogmanay party is held on the banks of the River Ness, featuring music from Highland bands Hoodja, Bags of Rock, Wolfstone and Skerryvore.


The many lochs, isolated beaches and rugged hills in the Highlands provide the perfect location for a whole host of activities, including walking, wildlife watching, mountain biking, skiing and Nessie-spotting.  There are also many historic sites and castles, to visit such as the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, Culloden Battlefield and the Glenfinnan Monument.

The Isle of Skye, joined to the mainland by the Skye bridge, also offers a wide range of things to do and see, including historic castles, the Cuillin and the 5 Sisters of Kintail.

For more ideas on what to do in the Highlands and Skye, visit the Association of Scotland’s Visitor Attractions, VisitScotland, Welcome to Scotland and For more information on skiing in Scotland, read our blog on 6 Reasons to Embrace Scotland this Winter.

Where to Stay

Why not really get to know the Scottish Highlands and Skye from your own home-from-home? EmbraceScotland has a wide range of quality assured self-catering ideal for a Highland hideaway – browse a selection of self-catering Highlands and holiday cottages in Skye.

Is your heart in the Highlands? What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of the Scottish Highlands? Post your comments below.


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