Scart Craig and the Fairy Glen.

Start. Rosemarkie.

Route. Rosemarkie - Caird's Cave - Scart Craig - Thorn Roan - Brown Hill - Hillockhead - Eathie Road - Fairy Glen - Rosemarkie.

Notes. Compared to our other ramblings this week this was five star, a thoroughly enjoyable wander taking in a great variety of scenery. Sandy dune backed beaches gave way to a rough and ragged coast line, cliffs whitewashed with cormorant droppings opened the door to a delightful wooded glen complete with waterfalls, we explored caves and drank in wonderful views. A word of warning, the rocky beach at Scart Craig is only passable when the tide is low enough, we had to race against the flooding tide, getting cut off minutes after rounding the cliffs, it all adds to excitement.

We left Rosemarkie heading along the shore, north passed a café before reaching a flight of steps, ignoring the steps we followed the beach, walking near the lapping wavelets made for easy walking all the way to Scart Craig, a quick visit to Caird's Cave followed, nothing more than a rock shelter but once inhabited. We then raced the rising tide under the cliffs at Scart Craig before safely reaching another sandy beach. On we rambled to be greeted by a finger-post inviting us to Hillockhead, we turned our backs on the shore ascending a steep path into woodland of birch and oak.

Once on easier ground we followed a fence line to the right, passed a kissing gate before the path and fence swung left, we continued our companion the fence guiding us onto a sylvan ridge, passed another kissing gate to a way-mark announcing we'd stepped onto the Ridge Path to Brown Hill. Brown Hill gifted us with stunning views, we drank them in before descending to a farm lane, a right turn saw us treading over the tarmac of the Eathie Road, this single ribbon of the grey stuff ushered us to the Fairy Glen, a wooded glen cooled by the waters of a tumbling highland burn.The descent back to Rosemarkie was an absolute delight, guided by a well trod path and said burn we passed a couple of fine cascades plunging into deep pools before stepping into the village.

view route map.


The beach at Rosemarkie.

Golden sand broken by black rock, this stretch of coast was a delight to wander along.

Views across the Moray Firth.

The way ahead, the distant headland is Gallow Hill visited earlier in the week.

Looking to the shadowed cliffs of Scart Craig, Scart being galic for cormorant, and to prove a point sunlight captures the white cliff face, many generations of bird droppings paint the cliff white.

Caird's Cave, only a rock shelter but excavations have found humans lived here thousands of years ago.

Sue dwarfed by the cliffs of Scart Craig.

Once round the point the sculptured rock scenery continues.

Escaping the beach on a path honed from the cliff face.

From ancient birch woods views across the Moray Firth to a sandy Whiteness Head and the seaside town of Nairn.

Whiteness Head as seen from Brown Hill.

Chanonry Point reaches out into the Moray Firth with the beach we wandered earlier clearly visible.

With Fort George to the left and Chanonry Point the right this is the narrowest point of the Moray Firth.

Another stunning view over the Moray, this time taken from the Eathie Road.

There's a storm brewing in the south, and it's creeping in our direction, but there's no rush, we're about to step into the tree cover of the....

....Fairy Glen, with it's cool burn and tumbling cataracts.

This wooded glen was a delightful way to end the day, this is the second of two waterfalls, or the first if you're just visiting the glen.

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