One thing announces that you are in the Highlands more than anything. Mountain ranges. Scotland has 2,080 hills throughout the entire country and, believe it or not, anything up to 2000 feet (609.6m) is classified as just that. But anything over that threshold is classified as a mountain.
There are 140 mountains in the lowlands, known as The Donalds, which measure between 2,000 and 2,500 feet but the mountain ranges we think of as true mountain ranges are The Munros, mountains over 3,000 feet (914.4m) and they are exclusively in the Highlands and Islands.
Our most famous range is the Nevis Range, home to Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain at 4,413 feet (1,345m). Located by Fort William, on the west coast, the Nevis Range sits at the end of arguably the most spectacular 79 miles in the world, the Great Glen. As well as scaling the UK’s highest point, the Nevis Range is abundant with spectacular walks, a Mountain Gondola and a world class mountain bike course. The range with the most Munros, however, is the Cairngorm Range in the eastern Highlands, covering Aberdeenshire, Moray, Speyside, Angus and Perthshire. The main concentration is situated in Speyside, near Aviemore, which is the heartbeat of Scotland’s skiing industry.
The Lomond Range, around Loch Lomond, provides a spectacular backdrop to perhaps our most beautiful Loch but arguably the most visually striking range is The Cuillin Range on the Isle of Skye. The Cuillin Range is split into two ranges, The Black Cuillin and The Red Cuillin, each under separate ownership. Rocky, jagged in outline and with steep cliffs and deep cut corries and gullies, The Black Cuillin consists of twelve peaks, eleven of which are classified as Munros, and 16 other summits over an 11-kilometre range and provide the breath-taking centrepiece to the spectacular videos we have all seen and marvelled at. It is the UK’s most challenging mountain ridge. The Red Cuillin, classed as Corbetts and Grahams and rising between 2,000 and 3,000 feet are gentler but no less spectacular.