I thought I knew Scotland well until I found the beautiful gem of the Black Isle. What a gorgeous peninsula surrounded on three sides by water – the Cromarty Firth, the Beauly Firth and the Moray Firth. As the saying goes – something for everyone! The hubs had the delight of tastings at the Black Isle Brewery and bought a fair few bottles before we headed to Chanonry Point (between Fortrose and Rosemarkie) where we promised our 4 year old Roddie that we might spot dolphins. I wasn’t convinced we’d have any chance of seeing these gorgeous mammals (don’t we need to head to the Caribbean for that?) and was all set to bribe him and offer cheer with a doughnut at the Cromarty Bakery in Fortrose. I needn’t have worried. What a truly show stopping surprise to be welcomed at the shores of the Moray Firth by an amazing display of ducking and diving by the beautiful dolphins – we were in luck! It was about 10:30am in the morning and it was a rising tide which apparently is the best time to have a chance of seeing them. What a complete treat. The most memorable part of our trip.
This whole peninsula is a joy – we celebrated our ‘at one with nature’ moment with a Black Isle Dairy ice cream before we headed on to Cromarty – what a find with its Georgian merchant houses. Quite the hidden gem.
There are lots of lovely places to eat in the Black Isle; our favourite was the Allangrange Arms in Munlochy. Really tasty food, good prices and a wee activity box complete with a finger of fudge for the underling. Denied a doughnut in Fortrose, he fair perked up at the sight of this. The Black Isle is a brilliant base for Highland touring. Other highlights of our trip included the beach at Dornoch, Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness and the ‘Corner on the Square’ in Beauly; a fantastic wee delicatessen for lunch. We only scratched the surface of this stunning part of Scotland and its great unique selling point as a base for further afield exploring. We’ll be back.