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Beauly activities

$52.54 Day Trips & Excursions

Black Isle, Loch Ness and Scotch Whisky Tour from Inverness

Depart Inverness by minivan and travel with your guide to the heart of Scotland’s dramatic Highlands. The first stop of the day is at the banks of Loch Ness to try and catch a sight of the fabled Loch Ness monster. As you stroll through the village of Drumnadrochit and around the gorgeous shores of this famous loch (lake) surrounded by flora and fauna, you’ll soon realize that there’s more to Loch Ness than just a monster! Next you’ll head to the nearby town of Beauly for lunch (own expense) and to have a look around. The name of the town comes from the French beau lieu meaning ‘beautiful place,’ and you’ll find it to be just that while you explore its charming streets at leisure. The town is home to the legendary Glen Ord Whisky Distillery, and you’ll visit this next with your guide. While touring the cellars and distillery itself, you’ll see the whisky workers creating their flagship product – a 12-year-old single malt whisky – and you’ll be given a wee dram to sample before leaving. Our next stop of the day is in Cromarty, a picturesque village where time feels like it’s truly standing still. Enjoy a leisurely walking tour around its quaint streets, seeing cute fisherman’s cottages and houses with typical Scottish crow-stepped gables. Heading west, you’ll venture along a stunning stretch of the Highlands known as the Black Isle, an area of land that’s actually a peninsula and named for its association with the dark arts during medieval times. Hear tales like this and more from your friendly guide as you journey deep into the Black Isle’s beautifully barren countryside. Continue traveling by minivan through the pretty villages of Rosemarkie and Fortrose, and then stop for a walk along a ridge known as Chanonry Point. Jutting out into the sea at Moray Firth, the ridge is widely acknowledged as the best place in Britain for see dolphins – home to a community of some 130 bottleneck dolphins. After dolphin spotting to your heart’s content, your tour continues back to Inverness.

$512.58 Cultural & Theme Tours

Outlander Experience in the Scottish Highlands from Inverness

Truth they say, is stranger than fiction. This bespoke tour for fans of Diana Diana Gabaldon’s widely acclaimed and hugely successful series of books, will bring alive, for devotees of the story, the actuality of life in the troubled times portrayed in the series. Our tour will be a tapestry, weaving between the romance of Diana’s fact based fiction and the real Highland Story. We will begin our adventure from Inverness and travel to The Rings of Standing Stones and the Chambered Burial Cairns at Clava, known in the Outlander series as Creag na Dun. The stones have been standing in their position for over 3000 years. Like Claire, we step back to 1700’s with a visit to Culloden Battlefield and the excellent Visitor Centre there. The tragic event Claire foresaw which took place on 16th April 1746 was the last ever pitched battle fought on British soil. This changed the Highland way of life and ended the clan system forever. We will follow the Monadhliath Mountains, stop and point out the the hillside location which contains the secret site of the now overgrown Fraser Cave. Here is the place where the real James Fraser, the 9th of Foyers, reportedly hid for 7 years from the Redcoats.  This southern route we follow circles Loch Ness until we arrive at Fort Augustus a thriving and beautiful village, an important link in the Diana Gabaldonian Canal. No trace today of the fortification built on the site of the present day Abbey. This was one three Hanoverian Forts built in the aftermath of the 1745 rebellion.  The setting of Urquhart Castle, will propel you back to the times of the Wars of Independence – another historic time in Scottish History. Next, the market town of Beauly. We stop at The Priory where some members of the Lovat Frasers are buried.  Then on to Castle Leoch – The Clan Mackenzie  stronghold. (Please note it is only at certain times of the year Castle Leod is open to the public). Then it’s on to Strathpeffer, a village built in the 1870’s in the style of Victorian architecture and famous for the healing properties of its spa waters, and we take another ancient symbol of Highland culture, The Eagle Stone, believed to be from the 6th century, and possibly used by the Picts as part of their marriage ceremony. Driving back we may have the opportunity  to visit the Wardlaw Mausoleum, final resting place of the ‘Red Fox’ (Jamie’s grandfather in the book). Here you can visit the secret underground grave containing the headless body of the 11th Lord Lovat.   Witness in Inverness the fairly modern Castle, (its predecessor burnt by the Jacobite Army) This one built in the 1830’s is nowadays home to the Sheriff Courthouse,  and the imposing statue of Flora MacDonald looking westward to Skye in the hope that her beleaguered Prince has made it “over the sea.”

$506.17 Multi-day & Extended Tours

4-day Outlander Trail Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

Leave Edinburgh and begin following the trail of the best-known film locations featured in the Outlander TV Series. Your first stop is the charming village of Culross. You continue to the small town of Falkland to relive the first scenes of the show, where Falkland substitutes for 1940s Inverness. In the early afternoon you stop at the Newtonmore Highland Folk Museum, which houses replicas of 18th century turf-roofed Highland crofts. These were used as a setting in the first episode of the show. You then pass Aviemore, where you may recognise the stunning hilly and wooded area of Tulloch Ghru. You arrive in Inverness later that afternoon, which will be your base for the next two nights. The next day starts by visiting the majestic Glen Affric. Lochs, mountains and pine forests: this is one of Scotland’s most glorious glens. In the afternoon you visit Culloden, which plays an important role in Scottish history and the Outlander books. It’s at the Culloden Battlefield where Claire and Jamie said their tearful goodbyes, before Jamie joined the Jacobite army to fight for the Stuarts. You have the opportunity to explore the visitor center and site, and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last battle fought on British soil. You then take a short drive to the ancient standing stones at Clava Cairns. Take a short drive the next morning to Beauly, the site of Beauly Priory and the tomb of Lord Lovat in the heart of Clan Fraser lands. From here you continue to Castle Leod, “home of the Clan MacKenzie”, where you can enjoy a relaxing walk while your guide tells you some of the history of the clan and castle. In the afternoon, you have the opportunity to sample ‘The Water of Life’ with a whisky distillery tour and tasting. There might even be time to look out for the Waterhorse at Loch Garve! You then continue along the entire length of Loch Ness before arriving in Fort William for an overnight stop. On the last day, you travel to Glenfinnan and visit the monument which commemorates the beginning of the last Jacobite rising. It stands framed by typically spectacular Highland scenery at the head of Loch Shiel. You continue through magnificent Glencoe and cross the rugged Trossachs area and onto Doune Castle. The castle is an extensive ruin that represents Castle Leoch in the TV programme, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in the 18th century episodes. We return to Edinburgh later that afternoon (approx. 19:00) with a photo stop at Blackness Castle on the banks of the Firth of Forth.

$512.58 Cultural & Theme Tours

Inverness

See the Highland Capital, its Castle and Cathedral.Learn some of its fascinating history and visit the hill where Saint Columba made pilgrimage to the Pictish King, preaching “new Christianity” to the warrior Brude in his hill fortress around 550AD.Appreciate the strategic significance of the town to the sea and understand the various fortifications by Oliver Cromwell, and in turn the British Army, whose government forces have garrisoned the town from Jacobite times to the present day. Motor past Tomnahurich Hill then down the mouth of the Great Glen to Loch Ness. Visit Urquhart Castle steeped in history, myth and monster legend. Take the opportunity, if so inclined, to do a bit of “Monster Spotting.” Wonder at the geographic fault that divides the Highlands and glimpse the remarkable engineering feat of the Caledonian Canal, enabled by the Lochs that host its coast to coast passage. At this point you have the option of returning to Inverness via Fort Augustus and the South shore of Loch Ness, taking in the impressive Falls of Foyers, or continuing Northwards from Drumnadrochit over Culnakirk Hill down into Beauly with its 13th Century Priory.

$512.58 Cultural & Theme Tours

The Black Isle

The Bonnie Black Isle is, on a bright summer’s day, not black. Nor, on any other day is it an island. “Bonnie” (Scots for “beautiful”) however, it assuredly is and it affords the visitor many beautiful views, seascapes, wildlife and places of interest. The “Isle” is in fact a peninsula strategically lying between the broad expanses of two Firths, Moray and Cromarty.Manageable in a morning is a trip to Cromarty, there looking across the narrows, the Suttors of Cromarty and Northwards to the seaboard villages of Easter Ross. Invergordon, still visited by the “High Seas Fleet”, is one of the best natural deepwater anchorages in Europe and the scene of the only ever recorded mutiny in the British Royal Navy. At Cromarty there is an opportunity to visit the ancient Courthouse and the home of world famous geologist Hugh Miller.Chanory Point at Fortrose is probably the best viewpoint to catch a glimpse of the Moray Firth’s colony of Bottlenosed Dolphins if they are to oblige us, as they often do. This is also the historic scene of the ignominious end of Kenneth MacKenzie, the Gaelic Seer who made the mistake of offending the wife of the Earl of Seaforth (Clan MacKenzie) with one of his prophecies. The fact that it came true being no mitigation!Fortrose Cathedral dates from the 13th century, though it was extended and altered in the 14th and 15th centuries. Charles I tried to encourage repairs in 1626 as part of his attempts to restructure the Church of Scotland on the same lines as the Anglican or English church. Stone was reputedly looted from here by Oliver Cromwell to build his citadel fort in Inverness.The Priory at Beauly is associated with many prominent luminaries, none more so than Mary, Queen of Scots.Learn today the significance of a “Clootie Well” and visit one nearby. Note: Only a distant relative of a “Clootie Dumpling”.

$845.76 Shore Excursions

Shore Excursion - Invergordon - Loch Ness and Cawdor Castle

Meet and greet at the pier gates 08:00-08:30am We will set off towards Loch Ness ahead of the ships own tours. We start by driving through the Black Isle countryside to the scenic village of Beauly for a photo stop at the ruins of the 12th century Beauly Priory. Just a 10-15 minute stop. Back on the road again through the highland countryside as we climb through Glen Convinth, before the steep descent toward Drumnadrochit and Loch Ness You can visit Urquhart Castle ruins on foot, on the banks of Loch Ness, or we can offer a cruise on Loch Ness and see Urquhart Castle from the waters of the Loch, rather than joining the hundreds of others from the ship on dry land. (if you would like to take the cruise, please let us know in advance so we can book seats for you. Tickets are not included in our fare). After either of the above we have a quick rest stop at the Clansman Hotel for a visit to the gift shop, a refreshment or just the restrooms.From here we will drive up the side of Loch Ness to Inverness, and after a Panoramic tour, we head east 10 miles to Cawdor Castle.Cawdor Castle, magical name, romantically linked by Shakespeare with Macbeth. A superb fairy-tale Castle, and just what every visitor is looking for Scottish history that you can touch and see and sense for yourself. Cawdor Castle is not another cold monument, but a splendid house and the home of the Cawdor family to this day. The group can have lunch in the Castle restaurant, and then wander round the castle and formal gardens at your leisure before returning to the vehicle at an agreed time, to start our journey back to the ship On route we pay a visit to Clava Cairns, prehistoric burial grounds which are worth seeing and it’s on route to our last photo stop, Culloden Moor Culloden Moor is the site of the last battle on Scottish soil. The Jacobite rebellion of 1745 ended here on 16th April 1746, with the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite's. After all this, its time to head back to the port, so you can re-join the ship.