Elisabeth & Teije's reis website

A short tour north of Inverness

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 27 September 2015

Sunday 27 September, a short tour north of Inverness

Hiking at Kildary Loch Hiking at Kildary LochAfter a good sleep-in and a hearty breakfast, I take a look at the map where we could go. There are still some dead-end roads north of us and first we drive to Kildary Loch, a rustic pond in the middle of the forest. We want to take it easy for the last 2 days and we take all the time for the walk. Usually we are not such walkers but it is very nice weather today.
Water mills along Aldie WaterOn a narrow road we drive through forests and fields and occasionally encounter a farm or house and a very single hamlet like Heathmount or Pitmaduthy, names that we forget quickly again. But what strikes us is that we do not see wild animals, not even rabbits. At Aldie Water we see a house with two water mills, would they still be used for something?
Mansfield castle in Tain Murray monument at the Rose Garden, TainWe are now close to Tain, a town on the Dornoch Firth. We have been there before, but now we also drive criss-cross the streets outside the center where we have not been before and so come by chance past the Mansfield castle, a Victorian country house that is now a hotel. One of the former occupants, Mrs. Fowler, still lives on, as a spirit. But according to the hotel's website that is not unpleasant, as if she still takes care of the house.
Tain is a nice place to be and we park the car near the center to walk around. A nice spot is the Rose Garden where the high Murray monument stands in honor of a provost who has done a lot for Tain. It originally stood for the bank where he worked, but now Rose Garden has replaced it.
The Rose Garden in Tain Flower splendor in TainIn 1966, Rose Garden was opened by Queen Eliazabeth, the Queen Mother, and 900 roses were planted in honor of the 900th anniversary of the Royal Charter. This is a document in which a person, group or city received a certain right or power from the monarch. This made Tain the first so-called Royal Burgh in Scotland with city rights.
Every year there is a Britain-in-Bloom competition and the villages and towns in Scotland are always enthusiastic about it when you see how they take care of the flowers.
You have to be on the right side of Teije Sherrif Court House, TainThere are many interesting buildings in Tain, most of them built by the Maitland family, which produced many architects. We are not so good at recognizing architecture styles but always find old buildings fascinating. Especially around the center on High Street and the Royal hotel there are dozens.
The court (Sherrif Court House) is one of those buildings and here too a Maitland has cooperated. It was originally a toll house.
We walk a bit further and drink a cup of coffee outside in the sun.
The bridge over the Dornoch Firth Oil platform in the Cromarty FirthA little past Tain, a long bridge connects the south to the north side of the Dornoch Firth, but we drive up the elongated peninsula near the bridge, another road that we have not driven before. From here we can look out over the Firth which means inlet. Also here are a number of abandoned oil platforms. In the Cromarty Firth, slightly more to the south, there are many more. They are unused and discarded platforms that have their cemetery here.
Bunker at Nigg The beach at NiggGradually we drive back to the south and go to Nigg for a while, to the place where a ferry used to go to Cromarty. Unfortunately it does not run anymore so we will have to drive the long way. But first we sit in the sun on the nice beach that is here and then we make a walk and look for shells. We even find a few starfish. We also see the top of a bunker from the 2nd World War, when there was a large training base in the neighbourhood.
Logie Easter Church, Ballchraggan itinerary September 27, 2015Fortunately I see on the map some more roads in the area that we still have to drive but on the map alongside they are not all indicated, that was a bit too much work. We have been on the road for a few hours but have been more outside than in the car, which is usually the other way around during the car trips that I plan. That is the advantage that we have been here so often and have seen the most important things, now I finally take some more time for walks and have less items on my list of things that I want to see or do. Back at the hotel we have another enjoyable evening with Iain and Cathy. Tomorrow is a last quiet day and then we have to leave again. Time flies as always when on holiday.


© Teije & Elisabeth 2000 - 2024 To the top of the page