Are you planning a trip to Scotland and want to visit some sights in Ross-shire? Here are a few tips and suggestions:
GETTING TO SCOTLAND
The most common way to get to Scotland is to fly out of London into Edimburgh Airport - there are several carriers who make many flights daily. The other way to get there is by train. There is a lot of good, regular train service throughout the UK. The rail ride out of London is just 4.5 to 6 hours into Waverly Station in the heart of Edinburgh. You can actually take the train all the way to Tain in the middle of Ross-shire.
Otherwise you are going to need to rent a car. Driving in the UK is a sobering experience - even if you ask for a car with an automatic transmission, the cars that may be available when you get there are likely to me manual transmission. So, you may find yourself driving on the wrong side of the road, sitting on the wrong side of the car, shifting with your left hand. It is best to have an active co-pilot, because the driver will be too busy to read road signs when you go merging into a busy traffic-circle.
Anyway, the drive up the A9 from Edinburgh is wonderful and worth the few hours it takes. Places to visit on the trek to Inverness include Perth, Scone Castle, Pitlochry and Blair Atholl market. Inverness is a wonderful city with many fine hotels, B&Bs, shops, taverns and historic sites along the River Ness. Just a few miles west is Loch Ness and Urquhart castle, guarded by The Loch Ness Monster.
SITES TO SEE IN ROSS-SHIRE
As you continue north out of Inverness, you will skirt the end of the "Black Isle" and come to a viaduct/bridge crossing the Cromarty Firth and enter Ross-shire. It is less than 40 miles from Inverness to Tain, the County-seat. Just off the A9 is the community of Dingwall where the pro soccer team plays, the Ross County Foorball Club.
Near the town of Kildary is the historic home of Clan Ross at Balnagowan Castle. Balnagowan is privately owned and opportunities to visit are rare. Check with the Ross Museum for the latest information, or call the Balnagowan Estate directly - you can Google them - mention that you are a member of Clan Ross America.
The Clan Ross Centre museum is in the center of Tain next to the Tain Through Time museum and St Duthus's church. It is across from the Royal Tain Hotel, just east of the Toll Booth Tower built in the 1620s. The Centre contains historic photographs and one of the best collections of Tain Silver anywhere.
Fearn Abbey is now a Presbyterian parish church, but there is hundreds of years of history inside and out. Sometimes there are people there on Saturday, and of course there are people there on Sunday. If you really want to visit inside, it is best to call for an appointment.
ANTA Scotland Design Center
Tarbat Discovery Center at Portmahomick
Hilton of Cadboll standing stone
Glen Morangie distillery
WHERE TO STAY
Morangie House Hotel
Royal Tain Hotel
MORE COMING SOON