The Black Isle Again

In August 2018 we vis­it­ed the Black Isle once more. The Black Isle (Scot­tish Gael­ic: an t-Eilean Dubh) is a penin­su­la with­in Ross and Cro­mar­ty, in the Scot­tish High­lands. It includes the towns of Cromar­ty and Fortrose, and the vil­lages of Cul­bok­ie,  Jemi­mav­ille,  Rose­markie,  Avoch,  Munlochy, Tore, North Kessock and Muir of Ord, as well as numer­ous small­er set­tle­ments. About 12,000 peo­ple live on the Black Isle, depend­ing on the definition.The north­ern slopes of the Black Isle offer fine views of Ding­wall, Ben Wyvis, Fyr­ish and the deep­wa­ter anchor­age at Inver­gor­don. To the south, Inver­ness and the Mon­adhliath Moun­tains can be seen.


For the first five days on our trip we rent­ed a real­ly nice room in Munlochy (via AirBnB). Munlochy  is a small remote vil­lage, lying at the head of Munlochy Bay.

Anoth­er Place of inter­est ( and a very spooky one) in Munlochy is the Munlochy Clootie Well. In Scots, a “clootie” or “cloot” is a strip of cloth or rag.Clootie wells are wells or springs, almost always with a tree grow­ing beside them, with an assort­ment of gar­ments or rags left, often tied to the branch­es of the trees sur­round­ing the well. Clootie wells are found in Celtic Nations, Scot­land, Ire­land and Corn­wall in Eng­land. In pre-Chris­t­ian times a god­dess or local nature spir­it was said to inhab­it the well, with spe­cial pow­ers of heal­ing. Rags and cloth­ing could also be tied to the trees sur­round­ing the well, sim­ply to hon­our the spir­it of the well.The tra­di­tion is that if you are ill you need to tie a piece of cloth that belongs to you to the tree near the well after it has been dipped in the water of the well. The Munlochie Clootie Well is right beside the A832 Fortrose and Cro­mar­ty road, the car park is ide­al for vis­it­ing the well safe­ly.

The Munlochy Clootie Well.
View over Munlochy Bay

Fields near Munlochy
Munlochy Bay in the Evening
View over to the Moray Firth.
House ruin with Munlochy Bay in the back­ground
No Rain this Evening

Munlochy Church

Fortrose and Rosemarkie

Rose­markie lies a quar­ter of a mile east of the town of Fortrose. The pair make up the Roy­al Burgh Of Fortrose and Rose­markie, sit­u­at­ed either side of the Chanon­ry Ness promon­to­ry, about twelve miles north-east of Inver­ness. Rose­markie fronts on a wide, pic­turesque bay, with views of Fort George and the Moray coast­line across the Moray Firth. Rose­markie has one of the finest beach­es on the Moray Firth Coast Line. At the south­ern end of the beach is Chanon­ry Point, reput­ed to be the best loca­tion on the Unit­ed King­dom main­land from which to seedol­phins. We saw no Dol­phins but still it was a won­der­ful walk along the coast. 

Light­house at Chanon­ry Point
Fortrose Beach
Wait­ing for the Dol­phins

Rose­markie Beach
Again we were too late, because when the tide sets in there is no fur­ther walk­ing along the beach

We walked also through the woods and found the Fairy Glen and the famous water­falls in Rose­markie. But that’s anoth­er sto­ry and it’s sup­posed to be told anoth­er time .…


Last stop that Day was Cro­mar­ty, a sea port on the south­ern shore of the mouth of Cro­mar­ty Firth, 5 miles (8 km) sea­ward from Inver­gor­don on the oppo­site coast. Until 1890, it was the coun­ty town of the for­mer coun­ty of Cro­mar­tyshire

The name Cro­mar­ty var­i­ous­ly derives from the Gael­ic crom (crooked), and from bati (bay), or from àrd (height), mean­ing either the “crooked bay”, or the “bend between the heights” (refer­ring to the high rocks, or Sutors, which guard the entrance to the Firth), and gave the title to the Earl­dom of Cro­mar­tie. In 1264, its name was Crum­bat­hyn. The tiny town grew around its port,

It was rain­ing when we arrived so the first thing we vis­it­ed in Cro­mar­ty was the bar of the Roy­al Hotel. After a won­der­ful­ly cool beer, the sun came out again and we could con­tin­ue our tour.

The Royal Hotel (after the Rain)
The Roy­al Hotel (after the Rain)
bench with a view
bench with a view
just in love with these phone booths
just in love with these phone booths

The Cro­mar­ty Primary’s school
The Light­house
beside the Har­bour in the Evening Light

It was very dif­fi­cult to find a place for din­ner in the small vil­lage. Either all seats were already reserved or the small restau­rants were already closed. So we decid­ed on a piz­za from Sutor Creek and looked for a dry place with a won­der­ful view of the evening sun.

Piz­za Time
Best Place to have Din­ner — at the Light­house

About Heike Ballegeer

|Human|Woman|Mother|Wife|Friend| Pho­tog­ra­ph­er| Blog­ger| |TV-Junkie|Photoshop-Beginner|Art-Lover|Cologne-based|Outlander-addict |Sher­lock­ian |TWD-devot­ed
All my photos can be purchased as posters. Prizes, sizes and type of prints (for example, on canvas, behind acrylic glass) on request. Just write me a mail!
Heike Ballegeer Written by:

|Human|Woman|Mother|Wife|Friend| Photographer| Blogger| |TV-Junkie|Photoshop-Beginner|Art-Lover|Cologne-based|Outlander-addict |Sherlockian |TWD-devoted


  1. Heike Ballegeer
    30. December 2018


  2. Jan Bowling Moutzj
    30. December 2018

    Love it! You are so tal­ent­ed! Might be as close as I will ever get to Scot­land!

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