BEAULY (on the main road 12 miles north-west of Inverness) Car parking is available in the town centre which is often well decorated with floral displays in the summer months. Near the priory ruins is The Old School, Beauly which includes a cafe in the old school canteen, gift shop, book shop and a gallery area. Regular exhibitions and events are held in the gallery, including demonstrations (such as painting, weaving and other crafts). Just half a mile north of Beauly is Robertsons The Larder - Tomich Farm Shop which has a variety of produce for sale and is open all year (Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 12am to 4pm).The town has won awards in the Britain in Bloom contest on more than one occasion! There are several eating places, grocers, baker, butcher, gift shops, coffee shops, etc. Also available is a huge range of photographic equipment and cameras. They also have a Children's Farmyard which is open from Easter until the end of October for a small entrance fee. Hotels in Beauly village square include The Priory Hotel and the Lovat Arms. GLEN AFFRIC NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE From Beauly you can take the back road across country to visit Glen Affric and Strathglass (and also Drumnadrochit on Loch Ness).Also visit the Cromarty Image Library and the interactive tour of Virtual Cromarty.
It is the best preserved 18th century village in the Highlands.Eco Ventures offer trips in a high speed RIB to see bottlenose dolphins, seals, whales, etc. Operates daily from June to October, every half an hour.For local information, check out Cromarty Live which includes details of local events.North of Inverness is the peninsula known for some reason as The Black Isle (it is neither black nor an island).To reach the Black Isle, take the A9 northbound and cross over the Kessock Bridge. There are forest walks at Ord Hill and a great view over the Moray Firth towards Inverness.The Anderson in Union Street offers good food and drink in the restaurant and bar, and accommodation in 9 guest rooms. Also try the Eilean Dubh restaurant in High Street and the Fortrose Cafe. Airport collection (Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Inverness). Services can include itinerary planning and accommodation reservations.Celia Ffitch-Stewart is a fully insured driver-guide with Mercedes limousine for your tailor-made guided tour. Meet your clan chief, trace your roots, stay in a castle, tour the distilleries.The lighthouse was built by an uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson in 1846.Nigg Old Church contains an interesting 8th century Pictish cross-slab. Bookings can be made through The Dolphin Centre (including shop) at the Harbour Workshop, Victoria Place, Cromarty (by the harbour). The Cromarty - Nigg ferry service is on the 'Renfrew Rose' which can take 12 passengers and 2 cars.Andrew Mc Callum covers all areas around the Black Isle, Dingwall and Inverness. AVOCH (13 miles from Inverness) Grave of Sir Alexander Mac Kenzie.Explorer of the North West Territories of Canada, he gave his name to the Mac Kenzie River.