Sample Day Tour — The Black Isle

The Bonnie Black Isle is, on a bright summer’s day, not black. Nor, on any other day is it an island. "Bonnie" (Scots for "beautiful") however, it assuredly is and it affords the visitor many beautiful views, seascapes, wildlife and places of interest. The "Isle" is in fact a peninsula strategically lying between the broad expanses of two Firths, Moray and Cromarty.

Manageable in a morning is a trip to Cromarty, there looking across the narrows, the Suttors of Cromarty and Northwards to the seaboard villages of Easter Ross. Invergordon, still visited by the "High Seas Fleet", is one of the best natural deepwater anchorages in Europe and the scene of the only ever recorded mutiny in the British Royal Navy. At Cromarty there is an opportunity to visit the ancient Courthouse and the home of world famous geologist Hugh Miller.

Chanory Point at Fortrose is probably the best viewpoint to catch a glimpse of the Moray Firth’s colony of Bottlenosed Dolphins if they are to oblige us, as they often do. dolphins leaping in the Moray FirthThis is also the historic scene of the ignominious end of Kenneth MacKenzie, the Gaelic Seer who made the mistake of offending the wife of the Earl of Seaforth (Clan MacKenzie) with one of his prophecies. The fact that it came true being no mitigation!

Fortrose Cathedral dates from the 13th century, though it was extended and altered in the 14th and 15th centuries. Charles I tried to encourage repairs in 1626 as part of his attempts to restructure the Church of Scotland on the same lines as the Anglican or English church. Stone was reputedly looted from here by Oliver Cromwell to build his citadel fort in Inverness.

The Priory at Beauly is associated with many prominent luminaries, none more so than Mary, Queen of Scots.

Learn today the significance of a "Clootie Well" and visit one nearby. Note: Only a distant relative of a "Clootie Dumpling".