I’m sure many of you booking holidays in the Highlands already know how stunning the scenery is here, and, for those that are visiting for the first time, you will find the area stunning, from our splendid coastline, the tranquillity of the straths, the majesty of the mountains (mainly west), and the peaceful walks offer some amazing views of both Ross-Shire and our neighbours of Sutherland and Wester Ross.
We are often asked where to start, to be honest it all depends on what you are looking for, so we’ve put together a small list of local places within easy reach from Shandwick House and, a few selected places well worth a drive out to.
Our town is blessed with many fine sandstone buildings, offering some fine architectural delights, the Old Tollbooth just a minute from our door. Then we have the Tain Museum and Collegiate Church, built between 1370 and 1430 to house the shrine to St Duthac. Head down toward the golf club and you’ll find a large graveyard containing the remains of the original chapel of St Duthac, from there follow the path toward the seafront and the grand suspension bridge that spans the river.
We normally have a guide to the walk printed, so ask if you’d like a copy or you can view the guide on Walking Highlands.
A quaint and very delightful fishing village situated on the Tarbat Peninsula, leading the way to Tarbat Ness Lighthouse, but often overlooked are local historical centres of the area. One of the largest archaeological investigations in Scotland took place at Portmahomack, between 1994 and 2007 to confirm the first Pictish Monastery dating around 550AD and is part of the St Columba Trail.
Portmahomack harbour was designed by Thomas Telford, much of his architecture can be found throughout the Highland region, this along with Burghead on the Morayshire coast are two gems well worth visiting. There is a lot more to this area than we can list here, so enjoy a delightful afternoon exploring the area and make sure you visit Tarbat Discovery Centre for plenty of local history.
On leaving Portmahomack, make sure you visit the seaboard villages of Balintore, enjoy a peaceful walk along the seafront, and keep an eye out for the mermaid..!
Cromarty is another hidden gem, situated on the far end of the Black Isle and adjacent to Nigg on the opposite shore. Take the ferry from Nigg, enjoy the splendour of Cromarty, visit Hugh Millers’ Cottage; and then enjoy the drive back taking in Fortrose and Rosemarkie. Take the lighthouse road through the golf course for a view of the Dolphins and Fort George.
Edderton Ardgay and Bonar Bridge
Edderton is part of the Pictish Trail, Edderton Old Church has a category A listing for protected churches; the graveyard houses the Edderton Pictish Cross Slab dated to the 9th century AD. Sadly internal viewing is limited to April to Sept, first and third Saturday of each month between the hours of 2pm – 4pm, this is done mainly to protect the church.
Struie Viewpoints, offer stunning views of the Dornoch Firth looking out into the Firth and across Dornoch Bridge, the main viewpoint offers a million pound view toward the west, with Bonar Bridge prominently positioned for glorious sunsets.
Ardgay and Bonar Bridge hold some fine views, Croick Church is accessible from Ardgay, and Bonar Bridge opens the route west, taking in Lairg or Rosehall depending on your desired touring route. One of the most majestic gold courses in the Highlands is situated at Bonar Bridge, this delightful 9 hole course offers everything you’d want from a Highland course, with stunning views, a variety of wildlife including roaming Deer in the evenings (if you can spot them before they spot you…)
Hallowed ground, yes the famous Royal Dornoch Golf Course; once home to Donald Ross, whose home is still standing in St Gilbert Street. Various walks around the area often end up back at the golf course and a walk back along the shore.
Dornoch Cathedral, the gem in the north is truly worth seeing, open most days for visitors the magnificent stained glass windows, and of course that famed christening of Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s son Rocco.
Another gem of the north, this quiet setting is ideal for those wanting to wile away the hours, bird life in abundance, Otters, Seals, Deer, Osprey.
- Tain 01862 892314
- Dornoch 01862 810219
- Bonar Bridge 01863 766199
- Golspie 01408 633266
- Portmahomack 01862 871222