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dog-walking-inverness

Dog Walks around Inverness

As a lucky dog owner we are very fortunate to live in an area surrounded by beautiful scenery and a tremendous choice of dog walks around Inverness.  Our Highland dog, Hector, enjoys regular trips to the Ness Islands, Inverness, which is just a few minutes walk from here.  He also loves the beach and has several favourites.  We also like walks in the woods along trail paths, always better if there’s a bit of water nearby for a quick dip.  Best of all is when we walk with friends and their pooches, it’s great to sniff the Highland air with your chums around.

The Ness Islands

A fabulous, safe environment for dogs and children to walk and play.  The Ness Islands are a collection of small islands in the middle of the River Ness, connected by pedestrian bridges.  There are plenty of places to paddle in the river and you’re bound to meet other 4 legged friends there.  Even without a dog it’s a must see for visitors to Inverness.  It’s very close to the town centre yet it’s tranquil with some huge old trees and wildlife to see.

Beaches

Our favourites are Dornoch, Rosemarkie and Nairn.  Each is a car ride away but worth the trip.  A good stretch of the legs on the beach can be followed up with coffee and cake at the Rosemarkie Beach Cafe for the dog owners whilst the cafe thoughtfully provides water bowls and dog biscuits for our charges.

Walks in the Woods around Inverness

To get away from it all we like to walk in the woods around Inverness.  Craig Phadraic is within Inverness and gives a terrific view of the city from one of the highest points.  Ord Hill is just over the Moray Firth on the Black Isle and one of our favourites is Aldourie woods near the village of Dores.  It backs on to the shore of Loch Ness  so it gives the dogs a chance to cool their paws in the water.

Dog Walks around Inverness

Hector with Ellie, Charlie, Reuben, Penny, Sophie, Alfie and Kali at Ord Hill overlooking the Moray Firth

Here’s a selection of Hector’s dog walks around Inverness with some of his paw pals.  if you’re wondering how we get the dogs to sit so beautifully for the photos, there’s a great deal of shouting going on in the background!

 

Dog walks around Inverness

Hector, Alfie, Maisy and Kali at Aldourie woods overlooking Loch Ness

Dog Walks around Inverness

Hector and Gordon Kanyewestie

Dog walks around Inverness

Hector and Alfie at the beach near Nairn

Dog Walks around Inverness

Hector with Reuben, Ellie, Maisy, Kali and Alfie

 

North Coast 500 is a route of 516 miles of the most stunning coastal scenery in the highlands of Scotland.  It starts and ends in Inverness and takes in places like Ullapool, Durness, John O’Groats and Dornoch.

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Many visitors to the north don’t realise quite how much there is to see beyond Inverness but this route shows off the rich heritage of the Scottish Highlands.  From Inverness the route heads to the dramatic west coast across to Applecross and then north to Gairloch, Poolewe and Ullapool.  Then it’s up the north west coast to Durness and along the north coast right across to John O’Groats, the furthest north on the mainland of the UK.  Then it’s back to Inverness taking in the softer landscape of the east coast.

A straight forward loop but whilst you will enjoy the most fantastic scenery the roads can be challenging in places with single track driving in parts, although there are plenty of passing places.  This isn’t a journey to rush but one to savour with meandering country roads and some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.  You will enjoy golden sandy beaches, mountains, lochs and rugged coastal roads.  You will be spoilt for choice for walks and hikes along the route.

What shall we see?

This is also a great opportunity to find out more about the history of Scotland from the many cultural attractions including castles, museums and heritage centres.  Dunrobin Castle, Timespan Heritage Centre, Ullapool Museum are all fascinating places to visit.  You can also take in the rich food and drink heritage and sample local specialities along the way.  As well as a vast choice of accommodation and eating options you can also visit farm shops, distilleries and examples of cottage industry providing locally sourced produce.  The Caithness Smokehouse, Rock Rose Gin Distillery, Cocoa Mountain and the Black Isle Brewery are just a few examples.

 

Where do we start?

To help plan your trip around the North Coast 500 NC500 is the place to start with full details of the route and what you will find along the way.

 

Highland campervan

Highland Campervans – Freedom of the Road

For a great way to make the most of Scotland’s stunning scenery, hiring a campervan gives you access to every corner of the landscape. Providing both a means of transport and a bed for the night a campervan gives you the ultimate freedom of the road.  Hiring a super little campervan means maximum flexibility to plan your trip wherever the road takes you,  Or you can just adapt your plans around the ever-changing weather forecast.

Inverness is a perfect base to start and finish your highland adventure, with excellent transport links by air, train and road. You can take in the local landmarks, like Culloden and Urquhart Castle, and enjoy the wonderful range of restaurants, night life and accommodation before heading out in your chosen chariot.  Highland Campervans are conveniently located near the airport and will take time to match you with the right vehicle.  They offer comprehensive pre-hire advice to ensure you have the most suitable campervan or motorhome to suit your needs.  They offer unlimited mileage and 24 hour support during your holiday.  The hire fleet includes  vehicles suitable for the remoter roads in the far reaches of the Scottish Highlands.  They’re also narrow enough to fit in a standard parking space.  And of course they include a few home comforts.  Whether you choose to sleep underneath the stars or in a fixed bed in the van, there’s still a shower and toilet on board.  The full fleet is fuel-efficient which will come in handy in the remotest parts of the country.

From their base near Inverness you can head in any direction to get on the road and start enjoying your holiday.  So what more do you need to enjoy the trip of a lifetime.  There’s breathtaking scenery, the freedom of the road in a modern, comfortable campervan with a few home comforts thrown in.

How to drink whisky

Do you need advice on the best way to appreciate whisky?  Have you always thought it looks like a good idea but you are confused about the dos and don’ts of whisky-drinking.  Here’s a fascinating article to help you.  It reminds us all that, as with most things in life, it’s not about etiquette or snobbishness,  it’s all about your personal preference.  5 Myth-Busting Ways to Improve Your Whisky Drinking

It’s not surprising that it’s confusing, with hundreds of different malts distilled in Scotland alone.  The industry is currently booming with exports increasing throughout the world.  Along with our cashmere, tweed, fishing and farming produce, you can appreciate  the fruits of our labours thoughout the world.

You can find out a great deal about the industry visiting the many distilleries in Scotland.  Even the smallest are aware of the interest by tourists and most have organised tours of their facilities and the all important tasting session at the end of the visit.   You don’t have to go too far to find the Malt Whisky Trail, with its concentration of 7 distilleries in a few square miles and includes the Speyside Cooperage where they make the barrels for storage.

With so many whiskys to choose you could spend a lifetime finding the one that suits you best, but think what fun you would have trying and testing! Picture yourself in front of a roaring fire, relaxed on a comfortable sofa, nursing a glass of single malt in a heavy crystal glass.  Imagine you are in an advert with David Beckham, being directed by Guy Ritchie.  If this doesn’t convert you to the glamour and coolness of the refined act of whisky drinking, nothing will.  And remember point number 5 in the myth-busting article – Leave a whisky bottle open for too long and it loses its flavour.

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Have a wee dram

 

 

 

Cruise on Loch Ness – a fabulous way to go monster hunting

As the clocks change to British Summer Time this weekend it marks the start of the new season for many tourist attractions, including a cruise on Loch Ness. Although open 12 months of the year Jacobite Cruises start their summer schedule this month with more trips scheduled and more places to start the tour.  You don’t need to have your own transport to get to Loch Ness as there are pick up points from the town centre by coach and the option to sail from Tomnahurich Bridge on the Caledonian Canal, which is less than 10 minutes walk from here.

Jacobite Loch Ness Cruises is a 5 star rated tourist attraction by VisitScotland and gets rave reviews from our guests.  For visitors to Inverness, Loch Ness is a must-see place to visit and a cruise on the loch gives you fantastic views of the stunning scenery around Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle which you can’t see when travelling by road.  There are options as well to visit the Loch Ness Centre in Drumnadrochit as part of your trip.

With various options on how long you want to travel on a boat cruise, many of the trips include a visit to Urquhart Castle which is included in the price.  Urquhart Castle is a ruinned castle built on the banks of Loch Ness around 700 AD.  Again this gives the opportunity for unique views of the Loch that can’t be seen from the road as the castle is built into the cliff.

If you’re wondering “What can I do on my Jacobite Cruise?” here’s some suggestions.  Well first of all there’s just breathing in the fine fresh air and drinking in the vast, never-ending views of one of the most iconic lochs in the world.  You can take some great photographs from inside and outside the cabin or you can relax with a Costa coffee and a snack.  If you need to be warmed from the Loch Ness breeze, you can try some Scottish whisky or a lovely hot chocolate.  You can watch for hidden happenings on the sonar screen or listen to the commentary pointing out landmarks around the loch.

So are you ready for some monster hunting?

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Loch Ness

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The view of Loch Ness from Urquhart Castle