The Black Isle
Travelling north from Inverness takes you over the Kessock Bridge, built in 1982 to replace the ferry that operated there for many centuries. The bridge lands on the Black Isle, not entirely an island but a large peninsula protruding into the North Sea and bound by the Moray and Cromarty Firths. The Black Isle consists of gently sloping and green farmland edged by beaches with several curious little fishing villages intermittently spaced.
It is a short drive along the A832 to Fortrose where small-boat sailing is popular.The Fortrose and Rosemarkie golf course lies out on a peninsula stretching out into the firth like a wizened old finger. Called Chanonry Point, at its end is the memorial stone to the Brahan Seer who was boiled in oil for his revelations regarding a noble woman's spouse. The Point is also frequently visited by one of the most northerly dolphin pods who range from the Moray Firth to Aberdeen. The ruins of Fortrose Cathedral stands in the village, another great church founded by David I.
The village of Cromarty, on the north-east tip of the isle, is where most visitors stop to enjoy the pebble beach and visit the home of Hugh Miller. Run by the National Trust for Scotland, the cottage contains writings, geological specimens and personal memorabilia surrounding this famous geologist, naturalist and writer.
A nice walk or drive on the small road north-east
of the village leads to the Sutors of Cromarty with wide views across to the Moray
Coast, north to Easter Ross and the Tain Peninsula. The route continues along the
north side of the Black Isle to rejoin the A9.
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