If The Black Isle isn’t on your must see list of Scotland, it needs to go on it now! It’s an absolutely remarkable area of the country and certainly not one to miss!
You can get to The Black Isle by bus from Inverness, and honestly can see all major parts of the isle with public transportation. However, we drove our own car and loved the ability to freely stop wherever we wanted. Here’s what our trip to the Black Isle looked like.
Heading out of Inverness our first stop in the Black Isle was at Chanonry Lighthouse. Here you are almost guaranteed to spot dolphins playing in the bay. We were there for about five minutes before we spotted two dolphins swimming just off the shoreline. There is a lovely walk from the bus stop along the coast to the lighthouse, or if you’re driving you can drive right down to it. This is a great place to have a picnic and enjoy the ocean crashing before you.
Stop two was at Fairy Glen. Fairy Glen is a lovely hike located right in Rosemarkie. If you’re heading north on A832 the parking area is just before the bridge, and is quite large. This walk is roughly 3km and is is a fairly flat out and back hike along a creek to not one, but two waterfalls. The glen the trail goes through is absolutely gorgeous. Be sure to bring a couple coins for this hike. There’s an awesome surprise at the end that you’re sure to want a couple coins for. (We didn’t include photos of this surprise because we don’t want to ruin it for visitors of this area. If you want to see our photos of it, shoot us an email and we’ll send you some!)
Going in late-May, we drove through loads of Rapeseed Oil farms. You have to stop and smell these beauties. Actually, if you simply roll down your window when driving alongside them you’re sure to get a good whiff! But if you stop you can snap a few pictures too!! These fields below are just outside of Cromarty. But you will see them scattered all throughout The Black Isle.
The perfect spot to spend a night or two!! This little village is absolutely darling. You have to make a stop at the Cromarty Bakery (it’s seriously the best) and if you’re into history check out the Cromarty Courthouse Museum and Hugh Miller’s Museum and Cottage. The Cromarty Courthouse Museum is free to enter while Hugh Miller’s Museum, located right next store, has a £6.50 entry fee, or you can get in with your National Trust of Scotland Membership. You can read more about a wonderful hike along with other things to do in Cromarty here.
UDALE BAY NATURE RESERVE
This nature reserve is full of wildlife. We were particularly keen on the many swans we saw paddling around in the bay. You will find Udale Bay Nature Reserve about 7 miles west of Cromarty. There’s a small pullout on the side of B9163 with an information booth and bench for enjoying the view.
GLEN ORD DISTILLERY
Glen Ord Distillery is located in Muir of Ord. It’s part of the Friends of the Classic Malts membership (read about it here) and can be toured free of charge if you’re a member, otherwise can be toured for £6. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the distillery there were two huge tour buses coming in, so we were unable to do the tour, but we will be heading back soon to try their whisky and see their distilling process! If you’re interested in touring this distillery check out opening times, and tour availability here.