Scotland, May - June 2017 - NE Scotland. Fort Augustus (Loch Ness),Culloden, Fort George, NE Coast.

Commando Memorial

From Dundee we drove to Inverness via Roy Bridge as we wanted to drive up Loch Ness and stopped at the Commando Memorial which is just north of Spean Bridge. It's in a lovely location with views towards the Ben Nevis range of mountains. It is dedicated to all commandos who gave their lives in service.

Fort Augustus.

The busy small town of Fort Augustus is at the SW end of Loch Ness. The main road crosses the Caledonian Canal via a swing bridge which opens frequently to allow the taller boats to pass through. There's a series of 6 locks between the loch and the canal so there's always plenty of boat traffic.


The swing bridge opening.

Looking towards Loch Ness from beside the Caledonian Canal locks.

we had a lovely bike ride from Fort Augusts alongside the Caledonian Canal to Aberchalder.

Loch Ness was very calm when we drove beside it to Inverness - no monsters in sight!

 

Culloden & Fort George.

We spent an afternoon at the Culloden battlefield site and the following morning exploring Fort George.

You can walk around the Culloden battlefield and there's a very interesting Visitor's Centre with loads of information about the background to the battle as well as details about the battle. Very informative - we both realised how little we knew about Scottish history, something that was never covered when we were at school.

Fort George was built after the battle of Culloden and is huge, you need half a day to explore it properly - but preferable choose a dry day without too much wind! It is surrounded on 3 sides by the Moray Firth (we saw dolphins from the battlements). The fort is still used by the army today. The Highlanders' Museum is located within the fort.

 

NE Coast. Fortrose, Rosemarkie, Brora, Helmsdale, Lybster, Castle Sinclair Gurnigoe.

Fortrose is a small town is on the northern shore of the Moray Firth, only a few miles NE of Inverness. I wanted to stay here as I'd read that Chanonry Point is one of the best places to see dolphins from the shore and I did see them on the 4 occasions that I cycled down to the Point.

We stayed at Fortrose Bay campsite with a pitch overlooking the Moray Firth.|

One afternoon we cycled out to the nearby village of Rosemarkie and then along a path next to the shore.

The first time it was warm enough to braai (mid May).

The last time that I visited Chanonry Point there were lots of people around dolphin watching. Fort George is is the distance.

On a couple of visits to Chanonry Point the dolphins came quite close to the shore and were obviously feeding, chasing salmon here and there - very difficult to get decent photos with my long lens as by the time they've appeared and you 'click' they're underwater again!

We cycled into Brora from the campsite a few miles north of the town. We bough pies from the bakery and ate them overlooking the harbour and then visited the Heritage centre.

The river through Brora,

Lunch stop.

From Brora we drove north up the coast road to John O'Groats stopping at several places along the way.

We were able to park up next to the harbour at Helmsby and have a late breakfast.

Lybster harbour, where there's an interesting Heritage Centre.

 

SE Scotland. Edinburgh, Dundee, Falkirk Wheel and North Berwick.

NE Scotland. Fort Augustus (Loch Ness),Culloden, Fort George, NE Coast.

North Coast. John O'Groats, Dunnet Bay and Durness.

Orkney Islands. One day coach tour.

NW Coast. Scourie, Handa Island, Inverewe Gardens and Gairloch.

 

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Castle Sinclair Gurnigoe, an impressive ruin to the NE of Wick.