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.
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.
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.
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.