Hidden Black Isle

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add to itineraryAvoch Harbour and seafront

Avoch is a delightful little village to explore, with a picturesque and busy harbour and attractive seafront where terns nest on rafts in spring and early summer. Ormond Castle, the mediaeval stronghold of Andrew de Moray, dominates the bay and provides an excellent walk.

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add to itineraryBeauly Priory

Obscure and austere Valliscaulian monks (from the ‘Val des Choux’ in France) founded Beauly Priory in about 1230. French-speaking, they dubbed its beautiful riverside location ‘beau lieu’ - hence ‘Beauly’ today. The priory's lands were transferred to the Bishop of Ross by royal charter in 1634. A gnarled elm tree (about 800 years old) stands at the ruined priory’s gates.

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add to itineraryChanonry Point

Chanonry Point attracts dolphin-spotters from all over the world, but is also historically notable as an early pilgrimage ferry crossing (King James IV frequently used this route). It was the point of embarkation for D-Day landing rehearsals during the Second World War.

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add to itineraryThe Clootie Well

This is a healing well, not a wishing well, and those with an injured hand, for example, would once have brought along a glove to ‘offer’. As the glove rotted away, so the hand was believed to get better. Woodland walks available.

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add to itineraryCromarty Courthouse

This elegant Grade A listed former courthouse, complete with chilly, damp cells, was built in 1773. It now houses fascinating exhibitions about the historic town of Cromarty and its neighbouring parish, Resolis.

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add to itineraryCromarty East Church

Few churches standing demonstrate better than the East Church the sheer extent of changes brought about by a changing religious, social and political landscape over many centuries in Scotland.

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add to itineraryCromarty to Nigg Ferry Crossing

Our tiny last-remaining Black Isle ferry carries pedestrians, cyclists and one or two cars over the narrow strait at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth during the summer months (check website for exact dates).

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add to itineraryCulbokie Woods

These light and airy woods offer lovely walks with opportunities to see wildlife such as red squirrels and woodland birds as well as a loch and an ancient hill fort, Carn Mor.

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add to itineraryFairy Glen RSPB Reserve

This sheltered series of wooded 'dens' provides a wonderful habitat for wildlife, especially dippers which fish for insects in the clear water. Carpets of bluebells in the spring and waterfalls to enjoy all year round.

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add to itineraryFerintosh Preaching Dell

The Ferintosh Burn was in use for evangelical preaching even before the Disruption of 1843. One memorable sermon by the Rev. John MacDonald in 1814 attracted 10,000 people! It is located above a sharp bend in the road, up a little burn bordered by oak trees not far from a small stone bridge - look for twin stone markers beside the path.

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add to itineraryFortrose Cathedral

The original cathedral at the heart of the diocese was at Rosemarkie, but by the 13th century the canons had relocated a short distance to the south-west to the site known as Fortrose or the Chanonry, today tucked behind the busy High Street in Fortrose.

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add to itineraryGroam House Museum

Groam House Museum is much bigger on the inside than it looks from outside! It has grown far beyond the original collection of Pictish stones, including the Rosemarkie Cross itself, with which it was first established over forty years ago.

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add to itineraryGlen Ord Distillery and exhibition

The Black Isle’s only distillery offers tours and tastings for visitors.

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add to itineraryHugh Miller's Birthplace Cottage and Museum

Hugh Miller was a writer, a stonemason-geologist and a collector of tales, a devout man whose religious faith was matched by his intellectual curiosity.

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add to itineraryKirkmichael

First written records of Kirkmichael date back to the C14th. The Kirkmichael Trust has been working towards the restoration and repair of Kirkmichael for over 20 years and in 2017 works will be completed. You will find a beautifully-restored building containing a fascinating display of wall-mounted monuments, including rare C13th and C14th wheel crosses and a fine ‘pedestal’ monument.

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add to itineraryNorth Kessock old ferry pier

This attractive seafront provides a haven for birds, otters and other marine wildlife. The last car ferry to cross from South Kessock to North Kessock was the ‘Rosehaugh’- sadly none run today.

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add to itineraryOld Cullicudden Burial Ground

Old Cullicudden Burial Ground sits almost invisibly below a farm on the northern side of the Black Isle.

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add to itineraryRosemarkie Beach, Cafe and Exhibition

Early religious settlers in Rosemarkie were doubtless attracted by its warm, sandy beach, plentiful salmon and the lush habitat up the ‘Fairy Glen’ with plenty of timber for building.

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add to itineraryRosemarkie Church and Burial Ground

The history of Rosemarkie Church in these parts goes back 1,500 years to the sixth century AD when a Christian monastic foundation was established in Rosemarkie, the predecessor of Fortrose Cathedral. There are connections with many early Celtic saints including St Curidan and St Monan.

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add to itineraryUdale Bay RSPB Reserve

This shallow muddy bay is a major 'service station' for migrating birds such as geese which pause to feed, bathe in the fresh water from the Newhall Burn and rest. The beautiful bird hide offers windows with non-distorting glass for keen photographers.

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Hidden Black Isle offers you the chance to tailor-make your own trail around the Black Isle based on your direction of travel and the time you have available.  Please note this trail is curated by Verity Walker as part of the Kirkmichael Trust's 2016/7 partnership project with the Black Isle Tourism Team.  All information provided is accurate as far as we know.  Additions and corrections welcome.  You can contact Verity here.

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