Rogie Falls

Walk and Waterfalls in Easter Ross & Black Isle

Rogie Falls
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Andrew Wood

The impressive Rogie Falls on the Blackwater River are surrounded by mixed woodland with some lovely short walking trails. The woodland is home to pine martens and red squirrels and is a good place to enjoy the scents and sounds of the forest and, as you get closer, the river. The falls are best viewed from a suspension bridge over the river – quite wobbly, but well made! In late summer, there are superb views of salmon leaping the falls. An artificial channel has been created to give the fish some assistance. Visit after heavy rain or snow, when water gushes and tumbles from the slopes of Ben Wyvis and Rogie Falls are even more sensational. The car park lies beside the A835 road, 2 miles/3 km west of Contin. Toilets are available here during the summer months.

Visiting Rogie Falls

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Easter Ross & Black Isle

Strome Castle

Castle and Walk in Wester Ross

Strome Castle
CC BY-SA 2.0 / David Brown

An easy 4 mile / 6.5km walk or cycle along the single track road from Lochcarron takes you to the ruins of Strome Castle. Perched on a rocky outcrop at the end of Loch Carron, the castle occupied a strategically important position, guarding the north side of the Strome Narrows. It was built in the 14th century and changed hands many times over the centuries, until finally, in the 1600s, it was besieged (and blown up) by Kenneth MacKenzie, Lord of Kintail. Until the ‘Stomeferry Bypass’ as it’s known locally, was completed in the 1970s, a ferry plied the route from North Strome to Stromeferry on the other side of the loch. There are fantastic views from here to the Isle of Skye.

Visiting Strome Castle

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Wester Ross

Applecross Broch & the Archaeological Trail

Historic Site and Walk in Wester Ross

Broch Excavations At Applecross
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Colin Park

The Applecross Broch, thought to be Iron Age, has been the site of many archaeological digs over the years. Only the ruins are visible but it remains a fine example of Applecross history. Detailed information, and some of the ‘finds’ can be found in the Heritage Centre. The Broch, along with two restored Hebridean Barns, and a reconstruction of an Iron Age roundhouse, form part of the Archaeological Trail that winds its way throughout a woodland. Applecross offers wonderful wildlife watching opportunities on a wider network of walking and cycling paths and trails. Sea birds, eagles, waders and wildfowl can be seen on the estuary while otters and heron hunt on both river and sea. There are also some great outdoor recreational activities available in the area, from hiking and biking to sea kayaking and wild swimming

Visiting Applecross Broch & the Archaeological Trail

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Wester Ross

Shieldaig Peninsula and Island

Village and Walk in Wester Ross

Shieldaig Peninsula
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Mal Grey

The village of Shieldaig is in a superb location and is perhaps best viewed from across the loch on the Applecross coast road. From here the village can be seen sitting below the mighty mountains of Torridon. Shieldaig was established in 1800 as a planned fishing village to encourage families into fishing and to build up a stock of trained seamen for the Royal Navy, during the Napoleonic wars. Grants from the Admiralty for house and boat building stopped in 1815 but Shieldaig continued to grow because the loch was well-known for its herring. The distinctive pine trees on Shieldaig Island, were planted to provide poles for drying fishermen’s nets but now provide a nesting site for a pair of white-tailed eagles (sometimes called sea eagles). From the front of Shieldaig village common seals can be seen at close quarters, along with eider ducks, oystercatchers and shags. The village has a range of tourist services and marine wildlife watching tours can be taken from the pontoon. From the north of the village there is a good path that takes you around the Shieldaig peninsula. Allow around an hour for the walk which has many lovely spots to admire the shoreline and look for otters and herons.

Visiting Shieldaig Peninsula and Island

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Wester Ross

Torridon Countryside Centre and Deer Museum

Museum and Walk in Wester Ross

With some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Scotland, Torridon is a magnet for walkers, geologists and naturalists. The rugged mountains are incredibly old – the Torridonian sandstone that forms the bulk of all the mountains dates back 750 million years, while to the west, the hilly and loch-strewn landscape is even older. There’s a great choice of walking and climbing routes in Torridon, with over 18 miles of paths to choose from and there’s an impressive variety of flora and fauna, including important plant colonies, rare mosses and lichens, and the elusive pine marten and golden eagle. Torridon Estate is owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland. In the countryside centre, which serves as an introduction to the estate, you can find out more about the area, its wildlife and history. The Deer Museum is a short walk along the track from the Countryside Centre. Built up by local ranger Seamus McNally over many years, it gives an insight into the lives of wild red deer and those who manage them.

Visiting Torridon Countryside Centre and Deer Museum

Address: Deer Museum Achnasheen IV22 2EW United Kingdom
Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Wester Ross

Flowerdale Glen

Walk and Woods in Wester Ross

The well-sheltered Flowerdale Glen is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life and owes its English name to the impressive display of wildflowers which can be seen in spring and summer. A gentle walk passes Flowerdale House, built by the MacKenzies of Gairloch, in 1738, who still own much of the surrounding area. In the woods keep a look out for woodland birds such as great spotted woodpecker and spotted flycatcher. Follow the path marked ‘Waterfall Walk’ for a longer, and delightful, waymarked walk (3 miles / 4.75Km) up the glen. On the return from the waterfall, you pass a memorial to Iain Dall MacAoidh – the blind piper of Gairloch (Am Piobaire Dall), who was a famously-talented hereditary piper to the MacKenzies. He succeeded his father in the role and was succeeded by his son and grandson – these four MacKay pipers spanning two centuries as pipers to the MacKenzie lairds of Gairloch. The car park is opposite the turning for the harbour, across the bridge from the Inn. Cormorants, shags and black guillemots can often be seen around the harbour.

Visiting Flowerdale Glen

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Wester Ross

Knockan Crag

Walk in Sutherland

Rock Art, Knockan Crag
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Gordon Hatton

Knockan Crag – which lies within the North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark – is a globally important geological site. Geologists first learned that rocks can move vast distances when continents collide through studying the rocks of the North West Highlands and geologists have used Knockan Crag to help demonstrate this for more than 100 years. There is stunning sculpture and the evocative poetry of Norman MacCaig carved into the rock. Trails offer you a chance to get higher in this exceptional landscape, enjoy breathtaking scenery and place your hands either side of the Moine Thrust, where older metamorphic rocks lie over the top of younger limestone. The famous survey geologists of the nineteenth century Ben Peach and John Horne, who unravelled the mysteries of the area’s geology are celebrated with statues at Knockan Crag. The unmanned visitor centre has excellent interactive, family-friendly information and displays on the landscape and geology of the area. You can pick up details of the Rock Route, which takes you on a deeper exploration of the North West Highlands Geopark. Good footwear is recommended for the circular walk on the crag.

Visiting Knockan Crag

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Sutherland

Falls of Kirkaig

Walk and Waterfalls in Sutherland

Falls Of Kirkaig
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Ian Cunliffe

A rewarding walk into the heart of this amazing landscape starts at Inverkirkaig. The path starts at the car park by the river and leads 2 miles / 3.2km up a beautiful wooded glen, full of birch, rowan and hazel, then on to open moorland towards the Falls of Kirkaig. Ahead you can see Suilven, the iconic ‘sugarloaf’ mountain that rises spectacularly behind Lochinver. The path descending to view the falls is steep and great care is needed. The return is by the same route.

A memorial in the car park by the river, to poet Norman MacCaig, many of whose poems were inspired by the landscape of Assynt is inscribed with verses from his poem ‘Climbing Suilven’: “I nod and nod to my own shadow and thrust a mountain down and down. Between my feet a loch shines in the brown, its silver paper crinkled and edged with rust.”

A few miles away is Lochinver (Loch an Inbhir, meaning ‘the loch of the river mouth’). As well as being an excellent base for exploring the local area, the village has a busy and interesting fishing harbour, a famous pottery and some great dining options.

Visiting Falls of Kirkaig

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Sutherland

Dunnet Head & Dunnet Head Lighthouse

Lighthouse, Nature Reserve and Walk in Caithness

Dunnet Head Lighthouse
CC BY-SA 1.0 / Peter_Glyn

This rugged Caithness peninsula has the honour of being the most northerly point of mainland Britain. It’s a wild and untamed landscape, with stunning sea cliffs and coastal grasslands which are home to puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwake. The trip of a few miles from the sweeping sand dunes and beach at Dunnet village to the lighthouse rewards the visitor with magnificent cliff-top views of Orkney and west along the coast to Cape Wrath. In early summer, the cliffs are alive with seabirds nesting on the steep ledges. A walk along the cliff top through flower-rich heathland gives you a chance to experience the ferocity of the Pentland Firth as it rounds this headland. Dunnet Head is managed as a nature reserve by the RSPB.

Visiting Dunnet Head & Dunnet Head Lighthouse

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Caithness


Historic Site and Walk in Caithness

Badbea Clearance Village
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Postdlf

The former clearance village of Badbea is perched on the edge of the cliffs south of Berriedale in a spot with great views over the Moray Firth. The village was settled in the late 18th and early 19th centuries by families evicted from their homes when the straths of Langwell, Ousdale and Berriedale were cleared for the establishment of sheep farms. According to legend, Badbea was so windswept that those living here had to tether their cattle, hens and even their children to prevent them being blown over the cliffs. One resident, John Sutherland, ‘John Badbea’ has been credited with doing much to help the survival of the community in his role as a preacher, doctor and all-round leader. The last resident left the village in 1911 and a monument to those who lived there was erected by the son of a former inhabitant. Badbea is accessible by foot from a signposted car park on the seaward side of the A9. Good footwear is recommended as the walk can be wet underfoot.

Visiting Badbea

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Caithness