River Beauly and Lovat Bridge Walk
This was our New Year’s Day outing, a short 5 mile circular walk from the fabulous Walk Highlands website, which has a wide variety of hikes and walks from gentle river strolls like this one (https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/lochness/Beaulyriver.shtml) to more adventurous and ambitious mountain hikes.
Starting just south of Black Bridge on the road linking Kiltarlity and Kilmorack, the walk starts by crossing the River Beauly, and walking through forest and open farmland, before the trail takes you right along the riverbank past some beautiful river facing houses and a weir. There are also some lovely glimpses of Beaufort Castle, which was the historic ancestral home of the Lords Lovat (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaufort_Castle,_Scotland).
We had a lovely afternoon for our walk, but it had been raining heavily the day before, so the river was quite swollen and had flooded in parts – John had to wade a bit to get some of these snaps, but at least we know his boots are still waterproof!
Due to fading light we had to miss off part of the forest walk, but we’ll be heading back in April/May time, as the walk description says that the Croiche Wood is carpeted in wild bluebells in the springtime, and there were lots of wild broom, gorse and rhododendron shrubs along parts of the walk which will be gorgeous in full bloom.
Whilst you’re in the area, why not take in a visit to the lovely town of Beauly? There is a historic ruined abbey, and a fantastic deli and tea shop called Corner on the Square, as well as a number of quirky little shops and stores in the high street for you to have a look around. And for those of you who love a photography store, you will pass right by Ffordes on your way back from the start and finish point of this walk. Sadly our walk was on a Sunday, and it was closed, but I’m sure John will be back there soon as the staff are really helpful and knowledgeable, and they have a great selection of second hand equipment to tempt even the most strong willed photographer!