Self Catering in the Black Isle
Despite its name, the Black Isle, just north of Inverness, is not an island but a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water – the Cromarty Firth, the Beauly Firth and the Moray Firth to the east
Black Isle Self Catering
Despite its name, holiday visitors do not need to go on a ferry to the Black Isle. For it’s misnamed and actually a peninsula surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Cromarty, Beauly and Moray firths.
Lying to the north of Inverness, the Black Isle has long been fabled for its productive agricultural land and fishing villages. Today, a popular tourism beauty spot, the Black Isle is compact and distinctive being just 23 miles long by nine miles wide at its broadest point. The origins of its name are now lost in the mists of time but there are several competing theories for the Black Isle, or an t-Eilean Dubh in Scottish Gaelic. The most likely, and prosaic, explanation is that ‘black’ refers to the rich, black coloured soil that has proven so productive for countless generations of farmers. Roughly oval in shape, the Black Isle can be reached from the main A9 road when travelling from the north or south and via the A832 from the west. Conon Bridge is the first village on the Black Isle from the north west, with Muir of Ord and Beauly delineating the remainder of the boundary.
Other major towns and villages on the Black Isle include Cromarty, Munlochy, Avoch, Rosemarkie, Fortrose, Tore, North Kessock and Culbokie.
Gael Holidays Homes has selected a number of interesting properties on the Black Isle that are guaranteed to delight every visitor. What we have come up with is an attractive mix of new and traditional in the Avoch, Rosemarkie and Cromarty areas.
As a base for exploring the Highlands, the Black Isle is well placed. But that is to do it a disservice. The Black Isle is a fascinating entity in its own right. It is steeped in history and tradition.
Because of its rich farming land the Black Isle was one of the first places subjected to the Highland Clearances and was resettled by sheep farmers. However, there is evidence of the Black Isle being occupied for thousands of years. It has supported communities since before Pictish times. The remains of a crannog at Redcastle and several cairns dotted across the Black Isle indicate the peninsula has been home to people as far back as 1900BC. There is a wealth of heritage in the Black Isle, from ruined castles to monuments that have remained almost untouched for hundreds of years.
There is a certain quaintness to the Black Isle. For instance, there are no large towns. The peninsula is dotted by small picturesque villages that huddle around a bay. The Black Isle is a great spot for a holiday – and for exploring – as there is a surprise around almost every bend.
We have holiday cottages, apartments, log cabins and holiday home accommodation available across the area taking in the coastal towns of Avoch, Cromarty, Rosemarkie and Fortrose. Rosemarkie has the best beach in the area and is a great place for walking and spending time with the kids and Chanonry point in Fortrose offers a links golf course as well as one of the best places in Scotland to see the resident dolphins play in the Moray Firth. The picturesque village of Cromarty, unspoilt by modern development, has more than its fair share of attractions and places to eat for its size.
For bird and nature lovers the Black Isle has much on offer. With Red Kites aplenty across the Black Isle you will need your camera. You can see thousands of wildfowl and wading birds in Munloch Bay and Udale Bay on either side of the Black Isle. Come an hour or two either side of high tide to be rewarded with spectacular views of flocks of flying birds. In autumn up to 5,000 wigeons feed , while if you want to see an osprey fishing in the water, late summer is the time to come. The Black Isle has lots to offer the holiday visitor.
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