A walk along a quiet beach can do wonders for the mind and body. Something about the sea air, sounds of the tide and the birds in the distance makes you really switch off. Last weekend, we headed out to Rosemarkie Beach and Chanonry Point.
Rosemarkie is situated in the Black Isle near Fortrose. A small village steeped in history, geology and nature which was particularly picturesque in the low autumn sun.
One end of the sandy beach is dotted with rocks and caves while, at the other end, Chanonry Point is one of the best (summer) dolphin-watching spots in Scotland.
We spent the morning here so the tide was in when we walked along the beach. The red sand was complemented by the orange and brown woodland behind us. I realised I was overdressed for the morning when I noticed the hardy (presumably local) kids running in to the sea completely starkers – I had donned my woolly hat for the outing in case the wind was cold… what a wimp.
We came across a cave along the beach nestled slightly higher up on the woodland. Looking in to this further it seems there are a whole series of caves to explore when both time and tide allows.
After a decent walk, some rock scrambling and sea dodging, we made our way to the other end of the beach to Chanonry Point.
The east coast of the North Sea is home to a population of 200 bottlenose dolphins that can be seen playing and fishing in the summer when salmon are in from the Firth. There is an active lighthouse adding to the excellent photo opportunities when dolphins cannot be found.
And what would a mini adventure be if there wasn’t some Highland folklore to end with? A final landmark to look out for is a cairn where supposedly the ‘Brahan Seer’ died.
The story goes that a man from the Isle of Lewis – Coinneach Odher (born in the 17th Century) – claimed to be able to predict future events such as floods and wars by looking through a pebble with a hole in it. He worked for the Earl and Countess of Seaforth in Brahan Castle, situated near Dingwall.
The Brahan Seer died a horrific death at the hands of Countess Seaforth for witchcraft after (correctly) predicting her husband’s numerous affairs. He was burned in a spiked barrel of tar. It is said that he cursed the family as he was dying and, three generations later, his curse came true, with a series of genetic problems and illnesses affecting the family…
Whether you are looking for nature, geology, unusual stories, or simply going for a walk and getting a coffee, there is plenty to see and do in Rosemarkie and the surrounding area.
Just bring a camera – you might be lucky and see a dolphin.