Page Four

The Dolphins at Kessock

Whilst in the Inverness area some of you may be interested that 4 miles away wild dolphins swim in the Beauly and Moray firths. To see them just follow the signs for the A9 heading towards Wick. You will pass over the Kessock Bridge and see the signs for a tourist information centre. It is worthwhile stopping here, Dolphinsas they will be able to advise you as to the best times to see the dolphins. Leaving the information centre turn right and after about 1/2 mile you will see the sign North Kessock, turn left here and head into the village. In the village there are several facilities, including a store and toilets, and a cafe. You will also be able to get more information about the dolphins from the cafe as the people who work there see the dolphins on a daily basis. It is also possible to see various bird life and seals, but beware, as the seals are not as easy to see as you think. They appear as floating debris.


Another excursion whilst in the area is the battlefield Leanach Cottageof Culloden, just follow the A96 towards Nairn and pick up the signs for Culloden, Here you will find a visitorís centre, which houses a short film show explaining what happened on 16th April 1746. There is a bookshop as well as a cafe. You can go round the battlefield itself. All around the field are plaques, which tell you where the troops of both sides stood, and how the battle progressed. There are also stones marking where the clans fell as well as a cairn to the memory of all that fell. As you enter the battlefield you find a croft, which shows how the people of the time lived. This croft was there when the battle took place and has featured in several sketches of the time. As you leave Culloden take time to look at the large stone which is said to be the one the Duke of Cumberland stood on to direct the battle.


Leaving Inverness take the B862 heading towards Dores. On your way to the village of Dores you will pass the Ness Islands, if you areLoch Ness from Dores Beach interested in taking nice steady walks though woodland areas then here is a good place to stop. The road to Dores, which is about 9 miles away from Inverness, is a tranquil and far quieter route than the busier A82. although small the village of Dores is a very peaceful and quite place. It has an attractive pub called the Dores Inn, used in the film Loch Ness. To the rear of the pub is Dores beach which offers an outstanding view down the Loch to Urquhart Bay, with the mountain of Mealfuarvonie at 2280ft (694mts), standing proud in the distance. It can be easily be spotted by its dome shape. It is here by the pub that you take a sharp right hand turn that leads you onto the B852, which runs parallel with the Loch. The road that you take is part of General Wades military road. It was decided after the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1719 that a series of roads should be built linking the Forts of William, Augustus and Inverness for the rapid deployment of troops should another rising take place. But in 1746 the roads aided the movement of the Jacobites.


Carrying on the B852 towards Inverfarigaig you are driving on a single-track road, which has passing, places. Please take care. There are several lay bys Looking from Inverfarigaigon this route, which all offer excellent views of the loch. Three of the lay bys have picnic tables. The most popular of these being the one opposite Urquhart Castle, which is approximately 1.75 miles (2.5kms) away across the Loch. Down the road after about 4 miles (6.41kms) is the village of Inverfarigaig. Here you will find a pass of the same name the sides here are very steep, and at the top is a precipice called the Black Rock on top of which are the remains of a vitrified Iron age fort known as Dun Deardail. It was through this pass that Bonnie Prince Charlie made his escape from Culloden. On his way through he called at Lord Lovat house Gorthlick, which stands on the west shore of what is now Loch Mhor. The village is made up of a crescent of houses with a small green in front. It is an idyllic example of a Scottish village. Just past the village is the Farigaig forest trail. Here the forestry enterprise has opened an exhibition and there is a series of walks you can take, with leaflets informing you of the names of the trees you can see. The walks are gentle and can be made by people of any age.

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