Northwest Highlands

Northwest Highlands

Northwest Highlands

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The Northwest Highlands are the northern third of Scotland that is separated from the Grampian Mountains by the Great Glen (Glen More). The Caledonian Canal, which extends from Loch Linnhe in the west, via Loch Ness to the Moray Firth in the north splits this area from the rest of the country. The city of Inverness and the town of Fort William, by far the two largest settlements in the area, both straddle the boundary between the Northwest Highlands and the Cairngorm Mountains.


The Highlands are formed on Lewisian gneiss, the oldest layers of rock in Scotland. Liathach, Beinn Alligin, Suilven, Cùl Mòr, Cùl Beag, and Quinag are just some of the impressive rock islands of dark red Torridonian sandstone which rests on the gneiss, being the younger rock. Some of the peaks, such as Beinn Eighe and Canisp, are topped with later light gray or white Cambrian quartzite. The gneiss, sandstones and quartzite are among the oldest rocks in the world.

The city of Inverness, known as the "Capital of the Highlands", is by far the largest settlement in the region. It is the administrative centre for the Highland Council area.


This area's climate is dominated by the warming influence of the Gulf stream but varies with altitude, altogether having wet, warm summers of average under 17C (62.6F). The winters are mild at low altitude but become snowier and colder with higher elevation, mountains may have up to 6 months of snow and naturally, the area would be a vast...
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