WALKS EASTER ROSS & THE BLACK ISLE
Rewalked by: Richard & Julia Hallewell and Becky Coope
Coronavirus travel restrictions and then winter weather delayed the new edition of Walks Easter Ross & The Black Isle, but we have finally managed to get the job completed!
This is a wonderful area to walk in with a rich variety of walks, from long coastal footpaths on the Black Isle to the lofty peak of Ben Wyvis, there are walks to suit all.
It had been a few years since our last visit and some of the routes had become impossible since then. We had to drop 2 routes around Strathpeffer which had become difficult to follow due to development around the village and the long route to Orrin Dam had to be replaced due to lack of parking at the start. We have brought in 2 new routes, the Right of Way following the route of an old drove road from Strathrory to Scotsburn and a short circular walk to the site of an ancient castle from the old fishing village of Avoch on the Moray Firth with stunning views across the firth.
For many years now the area has been synonymous with the North Sea Oil Industry, the deep waters of the Cromarty Firth being ideal for harbouring oil rigs – and there is rarely a view without a rig in it. However the nature of the industry is now changing and rigs are as likely to be being broken up as built as the country switches away from the carbon economy. In its place, the construction of wind turbines for the offshore industry is now an increasingly common site and the walk to the Novar Wind Farm takes you close to these modern giants of power production. Both on shore and land these great structures divide opinion, but they are an impressive example of modern engineering.
The area is also rich in farmland along the coastal strip and has some magnificent forests, and, apart from the popular NC500 route which cuts through it, is quite quiet compared to some of the hotspot areas in Scotland. If you aren’t familiar with the area, it is well worth a visit.
Highlights include the coastal paths around Tarbat Ness, the picturesque village of Cromarty and the view across the Beauty Firth to Inverness from Old Hill.
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