Dunlichity Church and Burial Grounds

On your travels around Inverness you are sure to come by a lot of Scottish Highlands history. This could be in museums, hotels or even in parks. However you will often be restricted from getting too near it, perhaps blocked by a glass case or a fence. Dunlichity Church and burial grounds, on the other hand, offers you the chance to touch history. Here you can stand in the same spot soldiers once stood who were preparing for battle.

Advertisement
INVERNESS WEATHER

The Road to Culloden

An army sharpens its swords

Dunlichity Church is an ancient place of worship. Its history dates back much further than the current church which was built in the 1500s. As such, it was a well-known spot for peace and calm, something that a group of soldiers on their way to fight at Culloden in 1746 took advantage of. This might have been their last chance of normality before joining the rest of the army. It might have been the last time a group of friends saw each other, or had the chance to talk about their family back home. So they paused here for a while, and took advantage of the stone around them to sharpen their swords.

We know this because we can still see the marks their swords made in stones to this day. You can stand where they stood and imagine doing the same. Draw your arm along the stone as if you were armed, dreaming of your loved ones back home whilst facing up to the battle that was in front of you. This is Culloden history right here.

It is personal, small moments like this that can really bring the history of the Highlands alive.

Clan MacGillivray burial grounds

The burial ground also hosts burial grounds of many members of the MacGillivray Clan, a lot of whom died at the Battle of Culloden. Of particular note is a large gated enclosure which hosts chiefs of the clan. This is a great place to do some family research for those related to this clan.

Keeping an eye over these and all other burials were men situated in the watchtower. This overlooked the site and was where guards were stationed to make sure the bodies of the dead were not dug up and sold on to medical schools for use in their teaching – a most lucrative enterprise, run back in those days by people called ‘resurrectionists’.

How to get to Dunlichity Church and Burial Grounds

The church sits not far off the southern shores of Loch Ness. If you are driving from Inverness, take the B861 south of the city. About five miles along, take the turning for Dunlichity and keep driving until you see the church on your right. The What3Words for the church and burial ground is mondays.insolvent.remotes.

Exploring the history around Inverness

There are many other areas to explore near Inverness to give you a taste of the thousands of years of human history under your feet. Culloden Battlefield would be a good place to visit after spending time at Dunlichity Church. If you would like to explore more burial grounds, we can highly recommend Boleskine. To discover more about the ancient humans that roamed the land, then the Bronze Age Clava Cairns is a great place to visit.

Advertisement

Address

Dunlichity, IV1 2AN

Find Out More

Historical Sites
Read more

Scottish Castles
Read more

Towns & Villages
Read more

Heading out on the North Coast 500

Looking for spectacular rugged landscapes and not afraid to escape to the true wilds of Scotland? Well, The North Coast 500 route (NC500) is perfect for you! This is a Scottish road trip to rival Route 66.

ore part of the NC500, or do the full loop around the very top of Scotland. And here lies some of the most beautiful coastal scenery, and spectacular cliffs, stacks, and seascapes. And you will find plenty of areas offering peace and solitude to gather your thoughts and absorb the beauty surrounding you.

But one of the most stunning locations is Duncansby Stacks and Duncansby Lighthouse, which lies near John o’ Groats on the North Coast 500 route. But, don’t try and do it all in a day, take an overnight stay in Wick. This will ensure that you have a wonderful trip to this area of Scotland known as Caithness. And where better to base yourself than the famous Mackay’s Hotel. A little gem of a find, set in a historic building by the Harbour, this hotel is famous for its great food and homely hospitality.

Advertisement
INVERNESS WEATHER

The Iconic Duncansby Stacks

A sight to behold, these natural formations can be viewed from the rugged cliff tops or from the sea by boat...

Visit the Duncansby Stacks

Jutting out of the sea at the northeast tip of Scotland are the incredible Duncansby Stacks. A perfect place to take your drone, and a popular influencer selfie location, these magnificent sandstone stacks jut out of the wild seas of Caithness. Through thousands of years of rough seas and erosion, they have been separated from the mainland to form points of rock coming out from the water. If you look closely you will see that there are three stacks. Two are completely separated from the mainland. The third one is still attached and has a little archway that you can walk under. This is called Thirle Door. With erosion constantly eating at the rocks, one day the arch will no longer exist. Then, the third stack will be isolated in the sea too.

The stacks are handy for local wildlife, especially nesting seabirds. Grab your binoculars and watch them fly out to the sea to fish. If they are nesting you might even see them feed their baby chicks. Or get a little closer to the structures on rib boat ride and explore the history of the area by tour guide.

Find Out More

Things to see on the NC500

Just along the coast from the Duncansby stacks is the famous Duncansby Lighthouse. It is well worth the 40-minute walk to explore. It was originally built in 1924 and in its time has seen plenty of drama, including being machine-gunned by a German bomber during World War 2. From here you can enjoy some more magnificent views out over the North Sea. Nearby the lighthouse is another geological formation called the Geo of Sclaites. This is like a slice of the earth has been taken out and in its place, hundreds of loud, squawking seabirds have been added!

Visit the Whaligoe Steps

But before this, on your way up to Wick and Caithness, you must visit the Whaligoe Steps! These flagstone steps lead down 250ft cliffs to the most extraordinary harbour in Scotland! And if you don’t fancy climbing the 330 steps, surrounded by cliffs, then explore this historical Scottish site by boat. But apart from these dramatic cliff steps, you will also find a remarkable harbour at their foot. And here was a base of successful fishing for herring, salmon, shellfish and whitefish boats. But the site was originally turned down as a “dreadful place!” by the famous engineer Thomas Telford. And as such, they were built later built at a cost of £8 by Captain David Brodie. As such, they became the successful home to some 20 fishing boats. Here fisherwomen would carry baskets of fish up the Whaligoe Steps, before walking all the way to Wick for sale.

Advertisement

Getting there...

And where to stay in Caithness

North Coast 500 Castles

And if it’s Scottish castles you’re after. Be sure to visit the Castle of Old Wick when you arrive in Wick and Dunrobin Castle on your travels up the north coast.

Old Castle Wick

So, Old Wick Castle is one of Scotland’s oldest castles! And its ruins, perched on top of the cliffs of Wick are spectacular to this day! What’s more, the walk to the castle takes in epic sea views from the massive cliff tops. This Scottish Castle stood approximately 10 metres tall, with walls 2m thick. And with only a single window per floor, perched upon cliff tops, it was spectacularly protected from attack. But you must have a head for heights! This castle isn’t for the faint-hearted! As it’s protected on 3 sides by 30m sheer cliffs with only the crashing wild seas below.

Visiting Dunrobin Castle

Dunrobin Castle, on your way up to Wick and Caithness from Inverness, however, is still very much intact. And it is quite a spectacle to behold!

John O’Groats Brewery and Distillers

And if you need a tipple to revive you after all your exploring, John O’Groats (the most northerly tip of Scotland) is home to John O’ Groats brewery. So pop in for some craft beers and a tour. Or if you prefer a distillery then Dunnet Bay Distillers offer tours and shopping for their Scottish Gins and Vodkas. So pop in to sample some refreshing Rock Rose Gin and seasonal spirits.

Find Out More

Exploring the North Coast 500

Where to stay in Wick

It sounds like this is all happening in the far reaches of an inaccessible landscape. In fact, getting to Duncansby Stacks is simple! That’s because you can follow the North Coast 500 route.  Whilst you can certainly do a day trip from Inverness to Duncansby Stacks, it might be more relaxing to stay overnight. A particularly welcoming place is Mackays Hotel in Wick. It is family-owned and often has deals if you can book in advance. As an added bonus, it is also situated on the world’s shortest street, as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records! Here you can relax after a day of exploring Duncansby, and have a lovely dinner in their No. 1 Bistro. Highly recommended.

There’s so much to see north of Inverness, and the North Coast 500 route is a great way to do it. It offers a whistlestop tour of the coast including sites like Duncansby Stacks and Lighthouse. And of course, if anything takes your fancy inland, there are plenty of other road trips and opportunities to explore the untamed Highlands of Scotland!

Advertisement

Find Out More

Historical Sites
Read more

Scottish Castles
Read more

Towns & Villages
Read more

Invermoriston Bridge and Folly

If you love history, engineering, and Scottish history in the great outdoors, then we have the perfect Highland hidden gem for you… There’s a tiny little village near Fort Augustus, at the opposite end of Loch Ness to Inverness, that makes for a wonderful stop-off on your journey around Loch Ness. So look out for signs for Invermoriston. And whilst you might blink and miss it, you must stop off here!

Yes, step out of the car for a glimpse into the past, as well as gorgeous riverside walks and views of the beautiful old Invermoriston Bridges and Folly. Hidden across the road from a little car park you will find two historic, humped bridges, the Invermoriston Bridges. And just a little further down river spot the Invermoriston Folly here. And if you are feeling adventurous, you could even set out to discover the secrets of a ghostly set of footprints nearby… but that’s another story!

Advertisement
INVERNESS WEATHER

Invermoriston Bridges Loch Ness

There are two beautiful humped bridges over fast flowing Scottish waters...

The History of the Invermoriston Bridges

There are two bridges for you to explore in Invermoriston. The first was built back at the beginning of the 1800s by renowned Scottish engineer Thomas Telford. This is the man responsible for building hundreds of bridges all over the UK. And Thomas Telford was responsible for the road networks you can enjoy today around Loch Ness and Inverness. This particular bridge of his at Invermoriston was part of the wider effort to connect the Highlands up to the rest of Scotland, making trade and tourism easier.

In total, it took eight years to complete. It’s a beautiful structure, comprised of two stone arches that meet in the middle of the River Moriston. The water gushes below over the flat rocks and you can imagine how hard a job it would have been to build this two hundred years ago. This is Invermoriston Falls and is quite the sight any time of year.

Although Telford’s bridge at Invermoriston can still be walked over, it is quite well worn and damaged in places. So care should be taken with sensible footwear. But it is the perfect place for photographs and a popular influencer location in Scotland.

As the original bridge slowly began to crumble, a new one was constructed in 1933, which is the bridge utilised for the main road and cars of today. This is a similar style of bridge and offers great views of the original bridge and its structure.

Invermoriston Folly

From both of the Invermoriston Bridges, if you look downriver, you will find the Invermoriston Folly tucked in the trees. This is a small structure built by a former laird by the side of the river. It was initially used as a shelter so his guests could watch the great salmon migration upstream. This old summerhouse is balanced on the edge of the river cliff – precariously, some might say! However, it does offer magnificent views of the river and falls and is one of the best things to do in Invermoriston.

It’s a good place, to this day, to come and watch the salmon swim back upstream to their breeding grounds. And to watch salmon leaping in beautiful pools in Scotland is always a great way to spend a few hours. The best time of year is around the end of October. And this is a wonderful time to visit as the falls are in full autumnal colour. But be prepared to get up early, or stay late, to be in with the best chance of seeing some salmon action.

Wondering what Invermoriston Bridges and Folly look like?

Advertisement

Step further into history near Invermorison

Take a walk to see the ghostly Preacher's Footsteps near Invermoriston Bridges...

Invermoriston Things To Do

Whilst you are exploring this area, another great thing to see is the ghostly Preacher’s Footsteps near Glenmoriston. So take a walk and see if you can find them! It’s just a ten-minute drive away to Torgyle, and is the site of some very mysterious goings-on. Yes, here you can discover a set of footprints imprinted forever in the ground. And it is said, by the locals, that these footprints have been there for over 200 years! Find out more about the Preacher’s Footprints and where to find them.

How to get to Invermoriston

Invermoriston is by the northern shoreline of Loch Ness, towards its southwest corner. So simply follow the A82 out of Inverness until you get there. And then it’s time to explore and, if it’s sunny, get your feet wet!

It’s also possible to hop on a bus from Inverness to Invermoriston. Find out the best time for you on the Citylink website. And as you travel down by the water, don’t forget to keep an eye out for its most famous (and shyest!) resident, the Loch Ness Monster!

Advertisement

Find Out More

Historical Sites
Read more

Scottish Castles
Read more

Towns & Villages
Read more

Explore The Beautiful Divach Falls

If you are looking for a quiet escape near Loch Ness, then a walk to Divach Falls (pronounced “Jeevach”) is the perfect activity. This is a gentle stroll through some beautiful oak-tree woods. Whatsmore, it’s suitable for everyone with a good level of mobility and offers an experience immersed in nature. Plus, the path takes you to a viewing area from where you can see the stunning Divach Falls, sometimes written as Dhivach Falls. The falls change in strength depending on the weather, but they are truly beautiful at any time of the year. A real must on any Scottish bucket list. It takes an hour to get there and an hour to walk back. So, it offers a good hearty walk for those looking to explore Scotland’s great outdoors.

Advertisement
INVERNESS WEATHER

Exploring Divach Falls

...and the beautiful walks around

Spectacular Walks to Divach Falls

With so many areas of beauty and history around Inverness and Loch Ness, it can be hard to narrow down where to spend time. And this is especially true when you are only here for a short vacation. However, if you want to get away from it all and have some quiet time in one of Scotland’s less-known beauty spots, then you must visit Divach Falls. And these are much more hidden falls, so you can enjoy the tranquillity of the waters in peace.

They are not quite as dramatic as the waterfalls of Plodda Falls, but the walk is much more spectacular! And you can enjoy these Scottish waterfalls all to yourself, as this is a true hidden gem of the Highlands. The falls are combined with a lovely oak forest walk with the opportunity to spot Scottish wildlife, as well as a huge array of fungi and flora, it makes for a great day trip out. The waterfall at the end of the walk is just the icing on the cake!

About the Divach Falls

The falls begin where the Divach Burn tumbles over a cliff before falling down 30m to a plunge pool below. The burn then joins the River Coiltie before continuing to Urquhart Bay where it finally flows into Loch Ness. In dryer summers, it the waters can be a gentle cascade. However, after stormy weather, and in the depths of winter, the falls flow fast and its roar can be very loud indeed!

Advertisement

Enjoy a woodland walk

And a waterfall at the end

Where to find these Highland waterfalls

There’s no real dedication to the footsteps or any useful markers, so finding them for the first time can be tricky. If you use what3words, then input trickling.replying.bids to find the location precisely. From the car park, a signed path off to the right descends through the woods to reach a fenced viewpoint for the falls. 

If you are hiking and looking for directions, then cross Torgyle Bridge and head east for a quarter-mile. You’ll come across a small parking area, with a gate. Go through and you should see the cairn and Glenmoriston footprints straight away. 

Wondering what Divach Falls look like?

 

Divach Falls are especially impressive after heavy rains. Here the waterfall swells the 30m cascade. And below you can see just how exciting the waters are in flood. This is news footage of the falls glowing red after an epic flood in the summer of 2012.

Advertisement

Find Out More

Historical Sites
Read more

Scottish Castles
Read more

Towns & Villages
Read more

Explore some of Telford's finest works of engineering

Thomas Telford was one of Scotland and Britain’s most celebrated engineers and was responsible for some of the finest bridges, harbours, tunnels and roads up and down the country. Held in such high regard, he was granted a burial at Westminster Abbey. However perhaps his greatest achievement, certainly in Scotland, was the planning and building of the Parliamentary roads and the Caledonian Canal.

In this post, you can travel along your own Thomas Telford Trail and admire some of the greatest engineering work the country has ever seen.

Advertisement
INVERNESS WEATHER

Clachnaharry Locks

The Caledonian Canal is unlike any other canal boat experience in the UK

Beginning of the Caledonian Canal

Start your tour just north of Inverness where the Caledonian Canal begins. Here are Clachnaharry Locks, site of some ingenious thinking from Telford. How can boats safely enter the sea from a canal when the coast was just deep mud flats? The boats would sink quickly. So what they did was build out into the sea, piling up land and then cutting through the mud to extend the canal deeper into the water. Here, the boats could safely move away from the coast.

This was heavy, manual labour and you can still see how they did it today. Nearby is a plaque with a poem by Robert Southey, to his friend Thomas Telford about the opening of the Caledonian Canal in October 1822.

Top tip – whilst you’re here, keep an eye out for dolphins who like to come and visit these waters regularly!

Find Out More

Invermoriston Bridge

Small in stature when compared to some of his other designs, nevertheless this bridge stands as one of Telford’s lasting memorials to his hard work. About half-way down the north-western side of Loch Ness sits the small village of Invermoriston and Telford’s bridge is just nearby. One of over a thousand bridges built to connect up the towns and villages of the Highlands, its humpbacked design has stood the test of time. There are two bridges here because time and vandalism have taken their toll on Telford’s original bridge. A new bridge was built in 1933. This one gives a great view of Telford’s original construction.

Top tip: This is a great spot to see salmon leaping! The end of October is the best time of year, and going early morning or early evening will increase your chances of spotting one.

Advertisement

Loch Ness Roads Today

Most of the roads that today surround Loch Ness were down to the work of Thomas Telford

A82 Travel

Continue southwards past Loch Ness on the A82 and consider for a moment what you are driving on. This road was mostly planned by Telford. When he was young, there were no roads connecting up the Highlands like this. He changed how people could travel, and opened up much of northern Scotland to commerce and tourism.

Top tip: The A82 travels through to Drumnadrochit, the location of the Loch Ness Visitor Centre. This is worth a visit to find out more about the reclusive resident in Loch Ness!

Explore Drumnadrochit

Caledonian Canal and Neptune’s Staircase

The Caledonian Canal took 12 years to build and was planned by Telford. It is a stunning feat of engineering even by today’s standards. if created today, would still beIt was originally planned as a safe route for the British Navy so they could avoid travelling around the dangerous waters of the Pentland Firth and Cape Wrath. Telford was given the charge to design and build it – and he did it with style!

The 22-mile canal has 29 locks and in 1873 Queen Victoria took a trip along it. People still flock to see it and enjoy time on a boat. It travels from Inverness on Scotland’s east coast to Fort William on the west. If you visit, make sure you head towards Neptune’s Staircase near Fort William. This is an astonishing feat of Telford’s engineering. It is a series of locks, raising the canal 19 metres over a quarter-mile. It’s a mesmerising sight to watch and takes a boat 90 minutes to traverse all the locks. It’s the longest staircase lock in Britain. You can find it at Banavie, near Fort William.

Top tip: Fort Augustus is at the south-westerly tip of Loch Ness and is the perfect place to watch canal boats enter and leave Loch Ness. Sit outside a local pub and enjoy the view!

So enjoy your first steps along a Thomas Telford trail, and admire amazing engineering examples. If you are looking for more examples of beautiful structures here near Inverness, then visit some of the beautiful castles in the area.

Advertisement

Abandoned Pier

Inverfarigaig used to be a bustling industrial area with the pier providing access for materials and shipping of goods.

Inverfarigaig Pier

And now it’s time to drive along the beautiful south side of Loch Ness, past Cameron’s Tearoom. But if the temptation of delicious cake and patting Highland Cows is too much, you may need to stop! And then on to Foyers (but take in Loch Tarf, Suidhe Viewpoint, and Foyer Falls as you go). Finally, it’s time to drop down the steep hill, through the forests in search of Thomas Telford’s hidden Inverfarigaigpier. Yes, this hidden gem on Loch Ness is now served by a solitary single track and marked at the end by an old boat shed. But creep through the bushes and you will find a beautiful, secluded sanctuary upon this historic engineering feat. Beginning as a mass of rubble, extended in concrete, and in rubble contained in metal piles, the pier took shape being built in the early 19th century.

Find out the story of Thomas Telford's full life...

Advertisement

Find Out More

Historical Sites
Read more

Scottish Castles
Read more

Towns & Villages
Read more

East of Inverness History Trail

So, you want to see the best of our Scottish history and explore new places when visiting Inverness? Well, our East of Inverness History Trail is the ideal day trip for you. So make the most out of your visit to Inverness, Loch Ness, and the Highlands of Scotland with our planned day trips. Further, we’ve selected some of the best known, most beautiful, and historic locations to give you a sense of Scotland’s heritage.

You can travel to them all, starting at Culloden Battlefield and finishing at Brodie Castle. Or just select the highlights if you are short of time. Whatever you decide to do, you are sure to love the East of Inverness History Trail!

Advertisement
INVERNESS WEATHER

Culloden Battlefield

Where the Jacobites rebellion met a bloody death...

Inverness History Tour of Culloden Battlefield

One of the most famous battlefields in the UK is in the Scottish Highlands at Culloden. It was here in 1746 that Charles Edward Stuart – better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie – was decisively beaten and his claim to the throne was over. Culloden was the last set-piece battle where both sides stood ready for each other on British soil. It only lasted an hour, but saw up to 2,000 of Charles’ troops die, compared to only around 300 of the government’s.

Today, a battlefield visitor centre presents the full history of events leading up to the battle and the aftermath which is still a topic of discussion today. Culloden has inspired many works of art, including the well-known Skye Boat song as Bonnie Prince Charlie fled ‘over the sea to Skye’. Viewers/readers of Outlander will be familiar with Culloden, and it also made an appearance in an early Patrick Troughton episode of Doctor Who.

Start your East of Inverness History Trail at Culloden. You can find it on a map here, and it’s what3words is having.restrict.rephrase

Find Out More

Inverness Clava Cairns

Fancy touching a piece of Scotland’s history that dates back over 4,000 years? Then a visit to Clava Cairns is what you are looking for. This is a burial ground from the Bronze Age which has lasted remarkably well through time. The Prehistoric Burial Cairns of Bulnuaran of Clava (as they are officially known) was a significant site for millennia for rituals and burials in Scotland.

It is believed that many of the stones used to build the cairns were actually from an even earlier farming settlement in the area, further adding to the historic significance of this ancient place.

The cairns are only six miles east of Inverness, and 300 yards east of Culloden Battlefield. You can find them on a map here, and their what3words is abstracts.stirs.funny.

Advertisement

A magnificent structure

Also known as the Clava Viaduct and the Nairn Viaduct

The Culloden Viaduct

So good they named it thrice! This stunning stone viaduct goes by three names depending on who you ask: Culloden, Clava, or Nairn Viaduct. But one thing everyone agrees about is that this is a breathtaking piece of engineering. Opened in 1898, it has 29 semicircular arches over the valley of the River Nairn. It is 1785 ft long and 132 ft high and will give you a sore neck if you stare up at it for too long!

The viaduct sits half a mile east of the Clava Cairns. You can view it on a map here, and it’s what3words is dreamer.forge.openly.

Find Out More

Train rides over the viaduct

The most remarkable aspect of this viaduct is that it is still in regular use today. Check out this video of an LNER train driver’s point of view as he heads from Inverness to Edinburgh.

The viaduct sits half a mile east of the Clava Cairns. You can view it on a map here, and it’s what3words is dreamer.forge.openly.

Advertisement

Fort George

Built as a result of the Jacobite rebellion

Fort George

Jutting out into the Moray Firth is Fort George, a magnificent artillery fortification – perhaps even the mightiest in all of Britain. The fort was built after Bonnie Prince Charles’ defeat at Culloden as a way for the King to stop any further Jacobite uprising. The fort was completed in 1769.

Although the barracks are still in use by the army (but will completely close by 2032), most of Fort George is fully open to all visitors. Some assistance for wheelchair users may be required at times. It is a fascinating example of how life in the army was hundreds of years ago. It lets you literally walk the same paths of soldiers of the past.

You can find Fort George on a map here, and its what3words is meaning.tributes.spurned.

Find Out More

Dolphin Spotting

Whilst at Fort George, make sure to keep your eyes peeled on the water. This is a popular area for dolphins! Here and across the water at Channory Point are some of the best places to visit near Inverness to catch a really good sighting. Make sure you bring your camera as some of the dolphins like to play! Or you can book a boat trip on the Moray Firth to explore the sealife and spot dolphins with the experts at Dolphin Spirit!

Advertisement

Cawdor Castle

Walk in the stunning gardens after a Scottish castle tour

Step back in time at Cawdor Castle

“All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee Thane of Cawdor.” And so with that line in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Cawdor Castle was immortalised (even though never directly mentioned). With origins in the 15th century, the castle was home for hundreds of years to the Calder and then Campbell families.

It now sits as a five-star visitor attraction – even Robert Burns once paid a visit! It is open to the public between April and October when you can visit the gardens and go inside the castle. Of particular note to visit here is the ‘thorn tree’ which is underneath the castle. Its base dates from AD 1372.

The castle also offers plenty of woodlands to explore, and fishing opportunities too. You can find Cawdor Castle on a map here, and it’s what3words are zoom.flush.easygoing.

Find Out More

Beautiful Nairn Beach

Ready for a break? Then Nairn Beach is the perfect place to take a coffee or picnic and relax. With wide expanses of sand and breathtaking views over the Moray Firth, the beach is the perfect place to stop awhile. There are parking facilities, toilets, and some nearby cafes. There’s even a play area for the kids, Nairn Beach is dog friendly too.

If you can come when the sun is due to set, there’s a good chance you’ll get a beautiful display. In the colder winter months, it’s also a good place to spy the Northern Lights, if you are lucky. Narin beach can be found on a map here, and what3words are folds.bond.releasing.

Advertisement

Brodie Castle

Another wonderful castle in our area for you to explore...

Brodie Castle

Brodie Castle can trace its origins back to 1587. I was home to the Brodie family until the early 21st century. The castle is open to visitors and a particularly good time to go is in spring when daffodils carpet the gardens. There are hundreds of varieties on display, and make for a beautiful spring walk!

This is a family-friendly attraction too, with woodland walks and an area called The Playful Garden. The kids will love it! Brodie Castle is on the map here, and it’s what3words is strain.wiggling.retain.

Visit Website

Enjoy east of Inverness

By heading east of Inverness, you are guaranteed to find beauty, history, and culture. Enjoy your adventures in this beautiful part of the Scottish Highlands! If the East of Inverness History Trail has whetted your appetite for adventure, check out some more road trips near Inverness. So, now to head back to the start with a bit more history and Culloden Battlefield – one of the most popular attractions in Inverness.

Advertisement

Find Out More

Historical Sites
Read more

Scottish Castles
Read more

Towns & Villages
Read more

Boleskine burial grounds and house

On the south-east side of Loch Ness sits Boleskine Burial Ground. It’s the sort of place you might just drive past without further thought, but to do so would mean missing out on hundreds of years of history – and some spooky goings-on too! Boleskine Brusial Ground offers a tranquil place to pause on your trip around Loch Ness. It’s a place for quiet contemplation, looking down through the gravestones onto the loch and hills beyond. But if you look closer, you will be able to see physical remnants of a more violent time. Here’s what to look out for on your visit…

Advertisement
INVERNESS WEATHER

Touching history

Musket shots from the past

A history you can touch at Boleskine Burial Ground

Look for the tombstone of Donald Fraser, dated 1730. Upon it, you’ll see three small dimples. These are said to be the holes made by musket shots in 1746, just after the Battle of Culloden. A military wagon was carrying supplies southward to Fort Augustus past a group of mourners. One of them – some say it was just a boy – took a loaf of bread and threw it to a hungry dog. Well, the soldiers didn’t take kindly to this and let off a series of musket shots to scare and disperse the crowd, and it is some of these that hit the stone of Donald Fraser. The person who stole the bread was taken and imprisoned but, fortunately, was later released. 

 

Find the bullet holes on these stones below:

You can touch these dimples today, connecting you directly with the time of the Battle of Culloden.

This graveyard also has a site that mentions Lord Fraser of Lovat, known to Outlander fans as the Old Fox. He was the chap who changed allegiances from the House of Hanover to support the Stuart claim on the crown of the United Kingdom. It turned out to be a poor decision, and he was beheaded in London for high treason…

Haunted Highlands

The area around Boleskine has for hundreds of years been said to be haunted or, at the very least, bewitched. For example, some say a minister of the parish called Thomas Houston (1648 – 1705) had to return the burial ground’s re-animated corpses back to their graves after a devious local wizard raised the dead. Houston’s stone can still be seen in the graveyard today. 

However, if you look behind the graveyard, across General Wade’s road and up the hill, you will catch a glimpse of an old house. Some say Boleskine House is one of the spookiest houses in Scotland. That’s because it used to be owned by occultist Aleister Crowley. This was a man who performed a series of spells or ‘operations’ here, some taking months at a time in order to evoke his guardian angel.

To do so, he had to ‘…summon the 12 Kings and Dukes of Hell’. Whilst in the process, Crowley was called away without ending the spell and so never banished those demons already summoned. Some believe they still roam the house and grounds to this day. Indeed, his lodge-keeper suffered a variety of personal tragedies, resulting in Crowley admitting everything got a bit out of hand. 

Advertisement

Boleskine House and burial grounds in later years

The house then changed hands over the years, at one point being owned by Led Zepplin founder Jimmy Page. Reports of haunted goings-on continued, with bangs at doors and inexplicable ratlings happening throughout the years. Unfortunately, Boleskine House was gutted with fire (at a time when nobody was in the house) in 2019. However, there is work underway to restore Boleskine House and gardens, with plans to eventually open up to the public.

So take your time as you wander through Boleskine Burial Ground, and look up at the house. But don’t take too long – you never know who’s going to be looking back at you…

Address

General Wade's Military Rd, Inverness IV2 6XT

Find Out More

Historical Sites
Read more

Scottish Castles
Read more

Towns & Villages
Read more

The Preacher's Footsteps at Glenmoriston

Have you ever wondered who has stood exactly where you are standing before? Kings, peasants, maids and warriors, all lost to time. All, that is, apart from one specific place near Inverness where two footprints in Glenmoriston have, somehow, persisted through time.

Two perfectly formed footprints in the ground. Nothing special about that? Well, these footprints have been there for over two hundred years, and it is said that they won’t disappear until the End of Days…

Yet you can see for yourself these ancient but fresh-looking set of footprints at Torgyle, just an hour south-west of Inverness near Loch Ness. But beware, they might send a ghostly shiver up your spine. Read on for more…

Advertisement
INVERNESS WEATHER

The story of Preacher Finlay Munro...

...and his eternal footsteps in Glenmoriston

The mysterious footprints

So how can a person’s footsteps last this long? And who did they belong to? To answer these questions, we need to travel back to the 1820s and acquaint ourselves with a travelling preacher named Finlay Munro. He would travel around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland preaching the gospel to anyone he could find. He wasn’t always treated well, but he had a persistence about him that meant he would endure torment whilst still continuing with his work.

Munro was subjected to regular heckles about his faith. His views were not popular amongst the Roman Catholics of the time. Many of them came to hear him speak at Glenmoriston. Having faced enough abuse, Munro called on the power of God to prove that what he was saying was true. 

"...my footprints will endure"

It is recorded that Munro informed his hecklers that the very clay in which he stood would testify to the truth of his words and that his footprints would endure. They would last until his hearers met their judgment or, according to some, until the Day of Judgment.

And so, to this very day, you can find the footprints exactly where he was stood. Even after some vandals tried to rip up the area in 1976, the footprints returned. It isn’t often you can get up close to unique Inverness historical attractions like these.

As for a scientific reason how the footsteps have remained intact for so long? We haven’t been able to find one yet…

Advertisement

Step back in time

Discover another world

How to find the Preacher’s Footprints at Glenmoriston

There’s no real dedication to the footsteps or any useful markers, so finding them for the first time can be tricky. If you use what3words, then input trickling.replying.bids to find the location precisely. If you are hiking and looking for directions, then cross Torgyle Bridge and head east for a quarter-mile. You’ll come across a small parking area, with a gate. Go through and you should see the cairn and Glenmoriston footprints straight away.

At least, we hope so, otherwise it might just be the End of Days…

Wondering what Glenmoriston looks like?

Advertisement

Find Out More

Historical Sites
Read more

Scottish Castles
Read more

Towns & Villages
Read more

Travel the Great Glen Way

The long distance walking trail, the Great Glen Way, is a challenging route through some of the most dramatic scenery in Scotland. 73 miles/117 km in length, it follows the entire length of the Great Glen from Fort William in the south west to Inverness in the north east. (You can also walk from Inverness to Fort William in the other direction, of course!). There are many spectacular views to enjoy along the way, with some awesome panoramas on the Loch Ness section of the walk. There are also lots of historic and natural heritage sites and information. The route is suitable for all levels of walker and takes up to 7 days to complete. A must do hill walk, Meall Fuar-mhonaidh a short diversion from the trail just south of Drumnadrochit. Highly recommended for the spectacular coast-to-coast views from the top!

Advertisement
INVERNESS WEATHER

Great Glen Way Route

The Great Glen Way is 117 km in length, running from Fort William to Inverness.

Walk or Cycle The Great Glen Way

The Great Glen Way is 117 km in length, running from Fort William to Inverness. The route is part of the Loch Ness 360° Trail, so you can continue on at Inverness around the south side of Loch Ness, completing a full loop of the loch. Below, the Great Glen Way is split into six sections. You can set yourself the challenge of walking the entire trail. Or, you can choose any section and walk it at your own pace. Prefer to cycle? Why not hire bikes for the trail, see Ticket to Ride.

Section One: Fort William to Gairlochy

Length: 17 km
Walk time: 4 hours

Section One of the trail begins in Fort William and take you to the tiny village of Gairlochy.

You’ll find full instructions on how to walk from Fort William to Gairlochy on the Great Glen Way website.

Advertisement

Gairlochy to Laggan Locks

Explore this stretch between Gairlochy and Laggan Locks

Section Two: Gairlochy to Laggan Locks

Length: 19 km
Walk time: 5 hours

Section Two of the trail goes on to Laggan beside the River Spey.

You’ll find full instructions on how to walk from Gairlochy to Laggan Locks on the Great Glen Way website.

Section Three: Laggan Locks to Fort Augustus

Length: 17 km
Walk time: 4 hours

Section Three takes you to the popular town of Fort Augustus on the Caledonian Canal.

You’ll find full instructions on how to walk from Laggan Locks to Fort Augustus on the Great Glen Way website.

Advertisement

Fort Augustus to Invermoriston

Continue your spectacular journey in section four of the Great Glen Way

Section Four: Fort Augustus to Invermoriston

Length: 13 km
Walk time: 2.5 hours

Section Four starts at Fort Augustus and ends in Invermoriston.

You’ll find full instructions of how to walk from Fort Augustus to Invermoriston on the Great Glen Way website.

Section Five: Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit

Length: 23 km
Walk time: 4.5 hours

Section Five has a low route or high route option, taking you to the village of Drumnadrochit, home of Nessie.

You’ll find full instructions on how to walk from Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit on the Great Glen Way website.

Advertisement

Drumnadrochit to Inverness

Head to the capital of the Highlands, Inverness, on this stretch.

Section Six: Drumnadrochit to Inverness

Length: 32 km
Walk time: 9 hours

Section Six brings you to the end of the Great Glen Way at Inverness, capital of the Highlands. This longer part can be split into two at Abriachan.

You’ll find full instructions on how to walk from Drumnadrochit to Inverness on the Great Glen Way website.

The journey continues …

The Great Glen Way connects up with the South Loch Ness Trail at Inverness and Fort Augustus, creating a loop around the whole of Loch Ness. If you’d like to continue your route around the south side of the loch, please see the Loch Ness 360° Trail website. This epic journey takes around 6 days to complete or 3 days to cycle.

Advertisement

Find Out More

Walking
Read more

Cycling
Read more

Loch Ness 360° Trail
Read more
Advertisement