Exploring the Black Isle -
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The Black Isle is neither black nor an isle, but a peninsula surrounded by the waters of the Moray and Cromarty Firths. It is renowned for its rich farmland and varied coastal landscape interspersed with pretty villages, forestry plantations, sparkling burns, managed estates and open countryside which provide habitat for both humans and a wide range of flora and fauna. It is a land full of history and culture with fascinating remnants of ages past just waiting for you to discover. It is also a place which seems to attract amazingly creative people - artists, writers, potters, brewers, workers with wood and metal, fabric and yarn who take inspiration from the Black Isle land, sea and skies.
For much more information about the Black Isle, its villages, places of interest, history and heritage and wild places visit the Black Isle Info website.
Wildlife and Wild Places abound on the Black Isle. From rocky shores to woodland paths, lochs and burns to sandy beaches and mud flats - each habitat offers the potential to see a huge variety of wild creatures and wonderful plant life.
Within a few minutes drive from Firth View there are a myriad of activities to enjoy, such as watching dolphins breach and feed in the waters off Chanonry Point; spotting waders and ducks or even an osprey at RSPB Udale Bay; following the Rosemarkie Burn up the Fairy Glen to catch a glimpse of dippers as they fly up and down the burn or dive to catch a meal. Simply taking a stroll from the house through the woods, a longer ramble down to the Eathie fishing bothy on the shore or even a cycle trip to Cromarty is an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and all the Black Isle countryside has to offer. At Firth View we have our own feeding station and a small hide from which you can watch our local wild residents from close quarters.
Villages on the Black Isle each have their own character. Most are situated on the coast and were, historically, fishing ports such as Avoch and Cromarty, but there is no fishing fleet sailing out from the Black Isle nowadays. However there remains a strong sense of community which locals are happy to share with visitors through the Saturday Community Markets at Fortrose, Cromarty, North Kessock and Culbokie, where you will find local produce, arts and crafts and a tasty bite to eat! Cromarty has more than its fair share of historical buildings scattered around the old vennels, including the Courthouse Museum and the East Church, alongside the birthplace and residence of its most famous resident, Hugh Miller. Rosemarkie's Groam House is a museum dedicated to Pictish finds, while Fortrose has its very own Cathedral.
Activities come in all shapes and sizes and there are plenty of things to do within a few miles of Firth View. For those golfers who like a challenge the Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club (the 15th oldest course in the world!) welcomes visitors to its links course. The Learnie Red Rocks Mountain Bike Trails provide challenges of a different kind with its graded tracks though the forest. If you like getting out on the water EcoVentures at Cromarty, and Avoch Dolphin Trips offer the opportunity to get close-up and personal with marine wildlife on the Cromarty and Moray Firths. A fun time can be found at Wildwoodz at Munlochy with paintball in the forest while a stroll along Rosemarkie Beach reveals caves, strange shaped rocks and a chance for a bit of beach-combing before warming up with coffee and cake at the Beach Café.