Cromarty Coastal Circuit.

Start. Cromarty.

Route. Cromarty - Shore Street - Miller Road - Little Rock - Sutors of Cromarty - South Sutor View Point - Gallow Hill - McFarquhar's Bed - Mains Farm - Cromarty House - Causeway - Miller Road - Shore Street - Cromarty.

Notes. The problem with the Black Isle is it lacks the attractions of the mountainous regions of Scotland, for me this actually adds to the appeal, unfortunately they think they promote walking, they do but not very well, as we found out today. Cromarty, a delightful coastal village, an ideal mix of Georgian merchants houses and Georgian and Victorian fisherman's cottages, the fact oil rigs in for repair at Invergordon and Nigg tower above the tiny houses only adds to the charm, a strange thing to say but they do. Come for a ramble with us, the first section was a delight to walk, the second a disappointment, but who knows you may love it.

Along Shore Street we wandered colourful cottages to our right the Cromarty Firth our left, the road left the coast before swinging sharp right, here a finger-post announced we'd reached the path to South Sutor. A delightful coastal walk followed, a good path under foot, when the path entered woodland it started climbing, we climbed with it. Many steps guided us through dense tree cover, we passed St Mary's Well without giving it a second glance, a war time pill box held our attention a little longer, the path ejected us into a parking area, I believe this was South Sutor View Point, there were limited views over the firth to Nigg Hill and North Sutor but that was it.

Leaving the parking area via the right hand of two gates we rambled over Gallow Hill an ancient track under foot, boggy in places the track deteriorated quickly, hunting for a safe dry route detracted from the stunning views over the Moray Firth this boggy track gifted us. After climbing over a farm gate our route descended to a stile, out of nowhere a yellow arrow indicated the route ran around the edge of the field, we followed it tentatively stepping over crushed vegetation, trodden flat by boots that graced this path before us, every footfall a potential ankle breaker.

Once at the far side of the field we hunted in vain for a path our guide book promised would carry us down the cliffs to McFarquhar's Bed, a secluded beach and a couple of sea caves. Back and forth we searched, all to no avail, if the path existed it was hidden from us. Eventually we threw the towel in, ascended a green trod following an ancient lane between trees, this lane was more than likely used to service a small fishing station that operated from the beach at McFarquhar's Bed. The lane gave way to field paths and wonderful vistas over the Moray and Cromarty Firths, passed Mains Farm we rambled to access Causeway before re-joining our outward route at Miller Road.

view route map.


Views across the Cromarty Firth to the fabrication yard at Nigg.

Looking to the mouth of the Cromarty Firth, with North Sutor to the left and South Sutor the right.

From the shore path views back to Cromarty, the two structures towering above the village are drilling rigs, designed and equipped to drill wells in high pressure/high temperature environments up to 35,000 feet.

War time pill box passed en route.

Seen from South Sutor View Point, Nigg Hill.

From Gallow Hill views over the Moray Firth.

This green trod across Gallow Hill provides a fine view point, looking to the narrow spit of land home to Fort George.

Above steep cliffs hunting for the path to McFarquhar's Bed, with this wonderful view to compensate for not finding it.

A dramatic scene over the Moray Firth.

On the cliffs above McFarquhar's Bed, drinking in views to the Kessock Bridge.

Looking to Nigg backed by the hills of Easter Ross.

View taken across the Cromarty Firth.

The tradesman's entrance to Cromarty House? wealthy Victorian estate owners often built such structures under their lavish estate gardens, this allowed their staff to pass to and fro without ruining the views over the manicured lawns and well-groomed trees, even the family doctor was expected to use the tradesman's entrance.

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