Friday 26 August 2022
A Highland Adventure to Kiltarlity Lodges
Our head housekeeper from Balmeadowside loves to holiday at our locations throughout Scotland with her family and beloved four-legged best friend, Larsson.
Recently Jules decided that 9 days at Kiltarlity Lodges in Inverness-shire would offer the perfect relaxing escape with the added bonus of being in the perfect location for day trips and great walks for Larsson.
Read on for some inspiration for your next holiday to Kiltarlity Lodges and find out where Jules would recommend visiting…
Day 1 – A Trip to Kiltarlity Woods and Beauly…
Deciding to stay quite local for our first day, we took a short drive to Kiltarlity to pick up the papers and purchase some of Ann’s homemade jam from the very friendly local shop which doubles up as the Post Office. The homemade jam and marmalade is absolutely delicious!
At the back of the shop there is a path at the end of the car park which takes you through the woods at Kiltarlity. Larsson enjoyed running through the trees and exploring all the smells. Although the only smell he wanted to follow was the water so he could go and have a wee morning dook! The path along the wood takes you to the edge of a few fields so you could make this a longer walk if you wanted however we decided to head back to our lodge to read the papers and enjoy the jam and marmalade.
After some lunch we headed for the river Beauly and parked up at the bridge next to the power station. Once again Larsson enjoyed a run through the fields and we managed to find a few areas where he was able to go for a paddle. It was extremely enjoyable watching the salmon leaping out of the water and there were quite a few people in the river fishing and enjoying the fresh air. We then headed for Beauly and had a walk around the Priory.
The Priory was founded in 1230 and the ruins that are left are very impressive and a beautiful colour of brick work. Mary Queen of Scots was absolutely right when she named the area as ‘the beautiful place’.
To finish our day, we headed to The Lovat Arms for some food, and Larsson was happy to hear that dogs are welcome in the bar. The service was great, the food was really nice, and I would wholeheartedly recommend the steak which was scrumptious.
Day 2 – Glen Cannich & The Dam
We absolutely love this place! The drive through Glen Cannich to the dam is a beautifully scenic 9-mile journey. There are lovely places to stop along the way where picturesque images can be captured.
As you pass the roaming cattle and the wild deer, with the occasional eagle in the sky, you eventually pass beyond the dam and reach a little sandy beach where Larsson decided to take a dip (you will notice this is a reacurring activity on our days out).
After passing the dam, you can follow the road on foot passing walkers and the occasional cyclist, and enjoy the beautiful view of the hills in the distance.
On our way back we stopped off at the local Spar in Cannich for a cheese and ham toastie and a cup of coffee.
Day 3 – Glen Affric & Dog Falls
What a fabulous place to see whilst enjoying the rushing sound of the river running past.
Obviously when we heard the river, Larsson was raring to go! We followed the red markers along the easy to walk path at the side of the river, which took us down to the waterfall itself. From here you can then return to the car park or carry on via the yellow marks toward the Coire Loch trail which loops round and brings you back to the car park from the other direction.
From the car park you must also take the opportunity to visit the signposted viewing point – although not the most exciting trail, the view from the top is outstanding as you can see all the way down the Glen. All the walks around Glen Affric are extremely well marked so you have little chance of getting lost.
There is a parking and picnic area at the start of the Dog Falls walk (£3 charge for the full day) and toilet facilities are also on site.
Day 4 – The River Beauly & The Lovat Bridge
We really enjoyed our short walk along the River Beauly on our first day so decided to explore the river a little more today.
Parking up at the layby opposite the fisherman’s carpark, we followed the circular walk where you get to enjoy a beautiful wooded stretch of the River Beauly with majestic oak trees. Along the walk there are views of Beaufort Castle. Apparently in spring you can also enjoy a wood full of bluebells which carpet the ground.
There is a quiet spot next to the river to take in the view of the Lovat Bridge and watch people fishing in the hope of a catch. The inland return is peaceful walk along a farm track before re-joining the river where we retraced our initial steps.
Day 5 – A Morning Harbour Swim
We decided to take it easy today, as we had a big day ahead of us the following day, so we opted for a gentle morning stroll along the harbour at Inverness.
The harbour has all kinds of different boats to see from working boats, canal boats and yachts. This was a popular spot with the locals too with many out walking their dogs, enjoying a morning family stroll or simply sitting and enjoying the view.
There is a lovely little coffee shop (Jammy Piece) on the other side of the road offering hot drinks and light bites which we took full advantage of!
We then headed back to our lodge and relaxed in the peaceful setting from the warmth of our hot tub.
Day 6 – Fortrose and Chanonry Point
We found a walk online which covered Fortrose, Chanonry Point and Swallows Den, so set off with the additional hope of seeing some dolphins whilst at Chanonry Point.
We started off at the Cathedral ruins, which were stunning! Fortrose is a beautiful little town with a lot to offer so we’d definitely recommend leaving some time to explore the ruins and town. Larsson then led the way down to the harbour before we carried on our walk to Chanonry Point.
Wow… Our wishes came true and we were amazed at all the dolphins only a few yards from the shore and thoroughly enjoyed a few of the younger ones putting on a show for us by playing and jumping out the water.
Tearing ourselves away from the dolphins, we then followed the sandy beach along to Rosemarkie before returning to Fortrose where we enjoyed cake and coffee at the IV10 Cafe Bar Deli (the cake slice was so big, we had to take a doggy bag home with us).
Top Tip – We use Walk Highlands whenever we are looking for walks – www.walkhighlands.co.uk
Day 7 – Reelig Green
Reeling Green is only a 10 minute drive from Kiltarlity in the direction towards Inverness and it was only a short walk too; ideal for a more relaxing day.
There is a mixture of old conifer and broadleaved trees and we were most impressed with the Douglas Fir trees, some of which were over 50 metres tall, and are recorded as being the tallest trees in Britain.
We weren’t lucky enough to see dippers or wagtails, but hopefully you are! The path can become steep at certain points but its well worth the effort. A few people had been making their own dens too, close to the Outdoor Activities hut.
There is plenty of information in the carpark and it will show you the two routes that you can take.
Day 8 – Dingwall & MacDonald Memorial
After a more relaxing day yesterday we were looking forward to another day exploring, and we decided on Dingwall.
We started our walk in the town centre and followed the route along part of the coastal path where there was a wide grassy area with a few picnic benches for a bite to eat or for some bird watching.
You can see the Macdonald Monument at various points along the route. We climbed a steep farm path up towards the monument, from where the view was spectacular. There was a bench at the top of the hill where we rested to get our breath back. Larsson enjoyed the little doggy pit stop which had fresh water, dog biscuits and some poo bags, all laid out by some very nice people in the nearby house.
On our way down the hill to the monument we got to enjoy all the little fairy trees, which would definitely keep the kids entertained. The monument is situated in a cemetery which has been very well kept.
Before heading back to our lodge for a much needed hot tub after all of our walking, we stopped in Beauly for some dinner at The Priory. Again Larsson was able to join us and even got his own sausages! The food was fabulous and the staff were just as fabulous, we would definitely recommend The Priory for lunch or dinner.
Day 9 – Cromarty
Our last day was spent in Cromarty where we had a walk along the Cromarty shore taking in the costal views before walking up the South Sutor.
Using the Walk Highlands site, we found an old pill box which was in surprisingly good condition, a remnant left over from the second world war when the area was lined with coastal defence positions. We then followed the fields to McFarquar’s Bed where we enjoyed a spot of lunch in the cave by the waterside.
Enroute to our return to the car, we meandered around the quaint town, walking up and down the narrow streets full of character and visiting Miller’s house, the site of the birthplace of Hugh Miller, the famous geologist and fossil hunter. A more reputable career than that of his grandfather who built the house…..he was a pirate!
We then headed back to our lodge for our final night to enjoy a clear night under the stars in the hot tub.
BACK TO NEWS