The Easter Ross Peninsula is alive with interesting historical sites as well as being rich in coastal wildlife, magnificent beaches and views.
Start at the RSPB Nigg Bay reserve. The car park is on the right and from there it is only a short walk to the hide. If you plan your visit around high tide you will get the best views of the birds.
On leaving the car park, turn right to continue for about 0.5 miles. Turn left to Nigg village. At the T-junction turn right and drive to a car park on the right for Nigg Church, home of the Nigg Stone.
Retrace your journey through Nigg Village and head north for just under 2 miles. Turn right (signposted to Pitcainie and Shandwick).
Stay in the Seaboard villages
Then turn right to Shandwick. Park in the layby on the right. The Shandwick Stone sits securely in a glass case, is a short walk further on.
Drive into the village of Shandwick. The three villages of Shandwick, Balintore and Hilton run along the coastline here. A short walk along the seashore of Balintore will take you to the Mermaid of the North and the Seaboard Centre.
A replica of the Pictish Hilton of Cadboll stone can be found at the north end of Hilton on the site of the ancient chapel where the original once stood.
Enjoy an evening on the beach maybe join in with some wild sea swimming or just relax on a blanket, enjoying a drink underneath the stary sky. There’s a little pub in Balintore which is sure to give you a warm welcome.
Go north to Portmahomack.
Continue on the north road out of Hilton towards Portmahomack which is 5 miles further north. This attractive village has a beautiful sandy beach, perfect for sandcastles. Visit the Tarbat Discovery Centre while you are here.
For the more adventurous walkers, there is a circular 9-mile walk around the head of the peninsula, following the coast most of the way and taking in the Tarbat Ness lighthouse. The path leaves Portmahomack along the coastline and returns overland from Rockfield.
If you prefer continuing by car, take the road out of Portmahomack heading north-east for around 3 miles arriving at a car park. Take a relaxing stroll around the tip of the peninsula and below the third tallest lighthouse in Britain. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and seals. Take care on the coastal track, especially with young children.
There is no rush Relax and enjoy one of the best sunsets you will ever see from Portmahomack beach and then book into one of the Peninsulas places to stay!
Make time for Tain.
Take another day to explore Tain, it is worth visiting with the excellent Tain Museum, Clan Ross Centre and Tain Through Time exhibition. Tain is unusual in Scotland for the rare distinction of having upstanding remains of three medieval kirks or chapels. The ruin on the links, Ruins next to Collegiate Church and The Collegiate Church. Each one owes its existence to the respect, amounting to veneration, in which men and women of previous times held St Duthac.
Wander through the Rose Garden and sit awhile. If you time it right there are outdoor markets held here, throughout the year on the 3rd Saturday of each month from May – December.
There are so many eateries here, you will be spoilt for choice whether eating in or out. You can even spoil yourselves with cake or an afternoon tea,