Chanonry Point, at the end of Chanonry Ness, on the Black Isle
Chanonry Point, at the end of Chanonry Ness, on the Black Isle

Ten fantastic places to visit in… The Black Isle

Despite its name, the Black Isle is not an island, but is surrounded on three sides by the sea.

There is the Cromarty Frth to the  north, the Beauly Firth to the south, and the Moray Firth to the east.

It’s a part of the country adored by Rebus creator and writer Ian Rankin.

Here’s our top 10 places to visit.

Hugh Miller’s Cottage

The birthplace cottage and museum of the prominent writer and polymath presents his life and work at the Georgian Miller House. It also contains Miller’s impressive fossil collection, which includes original discoveries.

Black Isle Brewery Co

Based in Munlochy, it uses only the freshest, organic ingredients for its award-winning brews. If you visit you will be treated to a shop and a free tour, culminating in a tasting of the final product.

Groam House Museum

Based in Rosemarkie, this is an outstanding centre for Pictish and Celtic art. The display is focused on 15 carved Pictish stones, all originating from Rosemarkie, which was an important centre of early Christianity.

Poyntzfield Herb Nursery

Open from 1 March-30 September the nursery, which is a real hidden gem, has been growing herbs since 1976. It has over 400 varieties of herbs, gathered on botanical tours of India, Nepal, Sikkim and Japan.

New year’s Day Splash and Dash

This popular annual event in Cromarty sees locals – many in fancy dress – running into the sea and then racing for 5k around the village. There is a shorter distance for kids. Come along and join in, if you’re brave enough!

Chanonry Point

Chanonry Point, at the end of Chanonry Ness, on the Black Isle

One of the best places in the UK to see bottlenose dolphins, who come in on the strong tidal currents to play and feed. Porpoises, grey seals and, occasionally, otters can also be spotted.

Glen Ord Distillery

Located in Muir of Ord and founded in 1838, the distillery is one of the oldest in Scotland. This five-star visitor attraction is open all year round. Visitors can also enjoy exclusive offers on its single malts.

Wildlife Boat Trip

The best place to view the Black Isle’s wide variety of wildlife, including dolphins, porpoises, seals, herons, gannets and ospreys is from the sea. Ecoventures, Dolphin Trips, Avoch and New era Cruises all offer wildlife boat trips.

Fortrose Cathedral

Fortrose Cathedral was the episcopal seat of the medieval Scottish diocese of Ross. The cathedral was constructed primarily of red sandstone, and after the Reformation it continued to be used as a church, but began to fall into disuse in the later 16th and early 17th century. It has been owned by the government since 1851 and is a scheduled monument.

Cromarty Courthouse

This Grade A listed former courthouse now houses exhibitions about the history of Cromarty. Life-like figures and audio enactment bring the old courtroom and the cells to life. The museum also has a shop.