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The unique and alluring qualities of the Scottish Highlands have drawn discerning visitors from across the world for generations.

Whether they are initially enticed by golf, or whisky - or both – they are soon seduced by the breath-taking scenery of mountains, glens and lochs; the natural, unspoilt environment with a rich past and a host of historic attractions.

Here are just some of the landmarks to look out for.

Players taking part in the Highland Golf Links Pro Am will enjoy panoramic views from all three courses over the Moray Firth, which has a resident population of bottlenose dolphins.

Near The Nairn Golf Club is Cawdor Castle, which dates from the late 14th century and, although is mentioned in Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, was built too late for the events in the Scottish play.

Driving towards Inverness, you will pass the imposing Culloden battlefield, scene of the last hand-to-hand battle fought on British soil and where the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion came to an end. The events inspired the recent highly successful Outlander series of books and television adaptations.

Along the firth is Fort George, a garrison built in the aftermath of the Rebellion and still used today as an Army barracks.

Near the battlefield is the imposing Culloden House Hotel, a Pro Am partner, which is more than 200 years old but with parts dating to its origins as a 16th century castle. It was here that Charles Edward Stuart - Bonnie Prince Charlie – set up his headquarters ahead of the battle that resulted in defeat by British Government troops in 1746.

Another partner, the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness, dates from 1786 and was visited by the Scottish Bard Robert Burns the following year.

Castle Stuart Golf Links takes its name from the landmark that was started in 1561 on land granted to James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, by his half-sister, Mary, Queen of Scots, reputedly the ‘Mother of Golf’.

A short drive from Inverness is the world-famous Loch Ness, home to the elusive Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie, part of the 60-mile Caledonian Canal system, built to plans produced by Thomas Telford and which connects the south west of Scotland to the north east.

Travelling north, Royal Dornoch Golf Club has two renowned attractions in close proximity. The steel magnate Andrew Carnegie built Skibo Castle four miles from the course where he was once vice president. In 1901 he presented members with the Carnegie Shield which is still competed for today.

Resembling a French château, Dunrobin Castle, home of the dukes of Sutherland, is the most northerly of Scotland's great houses and the largest in the northern Highlands.

Further afield, there is a wealth of history, wildlife, scenery and landmarks waiting to be discovered. But leave that for the next visit.


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