Beautiful Beauly

Beauly is a small town on the River Beauly, near Inverness. An excellent Highland base with many attractions, popular with history lovers and hill walkers alike.

Lying close to Inverness and Loch Ness, it is the perfect place to stay for a walking holiday in the Highlands. And with links to Mary Queen of Scots and the Lovat Fraser clan, it is surrounded in history and legend. Most famous its 13th century priory, located in the village.

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A Beautiful Place

"C'est un beau lieu" - legendary words of Mary Queen of Scots

Beauly History

Local legend has it that Mary Queen of Scots inspired the town’s name. On a visit during 1564, she exclaimed in French: “c’est un beau lieu” (it’s a beautiful place) and the name Beauly was born. However, another theory is that the French monks who founded Beauly Priory in 1230, first named it. Nevertheless, we all agree, it is indeed a beautiful place!

In the late 13th century, Beaufort Castle (or Dounie Castle) near Beauly, fell into the hands of the Fraser Clan. It is the traditional seat of the Lords Lovat. So there is much history of the Lovat Frasers, which surrounds the town. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in the area from fans of the Outlander book and TV series, in which the Fraser clan features.

Historic Landmarks

Beauly Priory is the oldest surviving structure in the town, dating from 1230. Although in ruins, parts of the abbey remain, along with many burial monuments and tombs. There is also an ancient elm tree in the grounds, believed to be one of the oldest in Europe.

Beaufort Castle, although not open to the public, is an impressive building from the outside. A walk along the River Beauly offers amazing views. The current castle was built in 1880, however there has been a castle on that site since the 1100s.

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Walks and Attractions

Explore local walks and attractions in the Scottish Highlands

More things to do

There are lots of great independent shops, including Campbell’s of Beauly, The Old School and Iain Marr Antiques. Along with a small number of pubs, cafes, take aways and bakeries.

There are also many amazing walks nearby, such as Phoineas Hill, Reelig Glen, Plodda Falls, Dog Falls, Loch Affric, Glen Affric and Glen Strathfarrar. These local routes offer breath-taking views of the magnificent Scottish Highlands and it’s easy to see why walkers love this area so much.

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Towns & Villages
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Beauly Priory
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Reelig Glen
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