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Drive along the A9 north of Inverness

We have a free Tuesday in Inverness in June. We'll be visiting Culloden, Clava Cairns, etc on Monday. On Wednesday we're heading south toward Oban. We're thinking of doing a meandering drive north to Dornoch and possibly beyond, just to see the sights. Any suggestions of places or sites of interest? Museums, towns, scenic views, etc.

Posted by
461 posts

Assuming it is a nice weather, either going or returning, take the B9176 rather than the A9 between Alness and Bonar Bridge. Known as The Struie, this is one of the most scenic roads in Scotland with super views on a good day. The road is narrow and slow to drive but is definitely worth the time!

Beauly with its ruined Priory and Dingwall are both attractive small towns. There is also Strathpeffer, which was a Spa town. Just beyond Strathpeffer on the A835 are Rogie Falls and there is a short walk to the falls. Map and information here.

Dornoch with its Cathedral where Madonna got married is another attractive town. Just to the north is Dunrobin Castle...

Have a look at these two map pages from the Undiscovered Scotland website. Follow the links to information pages about the different places that have lots of pictures. You will find all sorts of hidden gems not mentioned in the usual guide books.

Posted by
2311 posts

Thanks for the tips Wasleys, I'll look into your suggestions. Dornoch is on the list for a peak because my wife's Great Grandfather was born there. We don't know of any family there, but still fun to walk where our ancestors did. On the way to Inverness from Edinburgh we're going to go a bit out of our way to drive to Alloa near Stirling just because I can trace family from my Grandmother's side dating back to the 16th century.

Posted by
1345 posts

Of the suggestions if you have not been to Dunrobin Castle it is something to consider given the role of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland in the history of the area. I would also add Cromarty out at the end of the Black Isle as a place to consider.

Posted by
5669 posts

I think that is a nice drive. As already stated, Dunrobin Castle and Gardens are well worth a visit. As you head north, you'll drive up the north shore of Cromarty Firth. Look for a very modern site--an oil rigs. But also as you look across the Firth you're looking at the Black Isle--not Island, but a lovely place to visit on another trip. Once you cross over the Dornoch Firth you could do a side trip to Dornoch. There is a world class golf course there. Head back north on the A9 and just before you get to bridge across Loch Fleet there is road to the east and south that takes you out to the Loch Fleet National Nature Reserve. Continue north through Golspie to Dunrobin Castle. The gardens are wonderful. And then if you go just a little bit further north you can visit Carn Liath. Parking is on the north side of the road. It is right on the edge of the North Sea and you can easily start to visualize what it was like to live in Northern Scotland 2,000 plus years ago!

When you turn around to head south all the views will be from a new perspective even though you are on the same road.