Hello everyone! Enjoy this post from my blog friend Evgeniy (I first heard of Evgeniy through Matthew Woodward‘s website). This is a travel-related post that makes me want to pack my bags and go somewhere!
Anyone who travels to Northern Scotland will be struck by the sense of being in a totally different world. That is usually the first impression on the arrival of any tourist to this area.
The Northern Highlands is one of many trips that will create memories that last a lifetime.
So let’s move to Scotland…
For visitors new to the area, the Black Isle is the perfect place to begin. The Isle is actually a peninsula that is wooded and farmed. The coastline is wild and faces the east. It is abrupt and sheered-off in a continuation of the Highland Boundary Fault. Towns that are definitely worth the time to visit there include Cromarty, Fortrose, and Tain, the latter of which holds the honor of being Scotland’s oldest Royal burgh.
In fact, Tain is an excellent choice to make your base while in the Northern Highlands. As you will not be able to see everything in one trip unless you plan to stay a month or so, this is an ideal location to stay while touring the town as well as outlying areas.
Tain has the distinction of offering much ancient history as well as amazing wildlife. It is said to be a town waiting to be discovered and it is easy to see why. There are only about 3,500 people living there but it is a central point in reaching Edderton, Portmahomack, Nigg and is only 40 minutes from Inverness.
Tain offers many accommodation choices whether you are travelling on your own or in a group.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful and historic of these is the Mansfield Castle Hotel. This imposing Victorian structure rests on 3.5 acres of lush grounds and offers not only breathtaking surroundings, but award winning cuisine in the hotel restaurant.
Located in the Royal Burgh of Tain, it is less than an hour from the city of Inverness and is right in the center of the Scottish Highlands. Mansfield Castle is an all-round ideal venue for any type of escape you are seeking whether that is a short trip or a longer getaway where you can play some golf, engage in sea or loch fishing, watching dolphins and seals, going for walks on the grounds, or indulging in a bit of whisky tasting.
It is also a romantic venue for weddings in addition to offering some of the very best accommodations found anywhere.
I actually do not like to travel alone and usually use some services. This time it was Travel Friendz.
The Black Isle offers many activities to do and places to see.
The Cromarty Courthouse Museum is one of these interesting places. It is housed with the original court building used during 1773 and shows the daily life of an old Scots burgh. Hugh Miller’s Cottage depicts the life of a church man and local geologist. Then there is Tain through Time ,which shares the fascinating story of the important role the town played in pilgrimage.
In addition, you will not want to miss the Highland Museum of Childhood located in Strathpeffer, The Groam House Museum at Rosemarkie, or the Tarbat Discovery Centre in Portmahomack. Excellent family tours include the Black Isle Wildlife and Country Park, which offers a delightful look at vaious animals. Some of these animals are even allowed to be fed by children. The adults can go on to enjoy a visit to distilleries at Tain and Muir of Ord.
If you have any energy left at the end of a day of touring, there are various golf courses to be played, horse riding to be enjoyed, and fishing to be indulged in. You may decide that you want to do nothing except lounge by one of the many swimming pools in town. Nearby recommended beaches are located at Portmahomack and Dornoch. These are easily reached from Tain but you can also choose to rent beach cottages in either town for better beach access.
Obviously, you cannot visit the Northern Highlands of Scotland without exploring the city of Inverness. One of the seven cities in Scotland, it rests on the banks of Loch Ness. Topped by a pink castle complete with battlements and luxuriantly adorned with flowers, this thriving city contains a wealth of places to see and activities to do. Boasting a number of historic buildings, tasteful restaurants, restful accommodations and plenty of areas to relax, it is still simple to navigate.
Inverness Castle covers the Gothic Town House and dominates the sky. This picturesque castle was originally the center of this ancient town in the 6th that it would not fall into government hands; it now serves as the courthouse.
Located beneath this commanding structure on Castle Wynd is the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. Here is where you will find informative history on the Highlands. Travel over to Church Street and see the town’s oldest surviving buildings. Visit the Steeple and Abertarff House here. This house is said to be Inverness’ oldest complete building and is marked by gables and a circular stair tower. Built in 1593, today, the National Trust for Scotland retains ownership of it.
The thriving city of Inverness will keep you busy with sight-seeing, eating, drinking and shopping. You can also participate in walking the circle from Inverness Castle, past St. Andrew’s Cathedral and onto the Ness Islands. It is quite a walk as well as a beautiful tour as you take in the wonderment that is Inverness.
At any rate, you will be ready to return to your comfortable suite back in Tain at the end of the day. Whether you walk, drive or take trains during your stay in the Northern Highlands; you can be assured of one of the most remarkable and fascinating trips you will ever take.
Author: Evgeniy Garkaviy is a person who loves travelling and usually to make some notes during his adventures. Each new trip he is trying to make more than just a travel. He hopes that you will like the post above.
Have you ever visited any of the places above?
What are your travel plans for the rest of 2014?
cave simon says
This article confirms that I gotta got there! I am adding it to my list of countries to visit. Thanks 😉
Yes you definitely must visit that place. 🙂
Great post! I love Scotland but have only explored the more southern side; I would love to go to the North and travel round one summer – the scenery and wildlife would be spectacular. The only downside (if it is one) is the weather can be so unpredictable. But, Scotland is a beautiful place and well worth a visit 🙂
I recommend you to visit this country since it is still in the UK 🙂
Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet says
Wow…..I’ve never been to Scotland but it sounds great. I hear the weather can be not great sometimes I suppose that would depend on the time of year that you go. My travel plans for the rest of 2014 involve a staycation to the mountains nearby and visiting some family about 3 hours drive away. Saving for a trip somewhere warm next spring 🙂
Scotland is the country that you have to add to your travel list 🙂