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Evanton offers an ideal base from which to explore the Northern Highlands of Scotland. We are situated at the start (or finish) of the very popular North Coast 500 route. Local road maps show that there are many minor roads that lead from the main roads so if you want a days walking or just a leisurely drive through glorious scenery there is this network of these minor roads that makes the whole area easily accessible.
Although described as being on the East side of the Northern Highlands, Evanton is situated on the narrowest part of Scotland where it is only about 50 miles from coast to coast, so a trip to the west coast and the Isle of Skye is possible in a day. Visitors are surprised at just how easy it is to visit Loch Ness without having to be part of the very commercialised area. The journey from Kiltearn is along quiet roads, through pretty villages (many of which have their own attractions, coffee houses and quaint shops) past distilleries and a winery.
1. Historical Kiltearn Circular Walk
A two minute walk to the left from the house takes you to the ruined church with an anient burial ground. Just past the church you can walk over the footbridge which spans the Skiatch River. From here you can take a left to walk beside the river to Evanton village, through the village and back across the bridge over the A9 and along the foreshore, approaching Kiltearn House from the opposite direction. You will pass the walled garden of the now demolished Balconie Castle. The scenic circular tour will take around an hour at a leisurely pace.
Should you choose to turn right after the footbridge, you will pass what is listed as being an old fishing bothy, possibly linked to Castle Craig which can be seen on the opposite shoe of the firth. Further down, the path crosses the site of an old military airfield , where across the river, a number of wartime remains can still be found.
Please take a leaflet from the porch area for further information and to guide you.
2. The Storehouse of Foulis
Visible from the breakfast conservatory, if you turn right on the A9 heading towards Inverness, the storehouse is two minutes down the road on the left. Local produce, crafts and gifts together with a cafe make this a worthwhile stop. On sunny days you may opt to sit outside and enjoy expansive views across the firth. A few hundred yards south of the storehouse is a lay-by from where seals can often be spotted at low tide.
3. Black Rock Gorge and Evanton Wood
Labelled as one of the most attractive woods in the Highlands, this award-winning wood with 6 miles of easy-access pathway is well worth a visit. It is also home of the Black Rock Gorge, a deep and narrow cleft in old red sandstone conglomerate through which the Allt Graad flows. In April 2004, 10 days of filming took place in the area for the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the gorge is the setting for one of the scenes. In Evanton, park in the car park opposite the Cornerstone cafe and bookshop in the centre of Evanton. Cross the main road and take the road between the Co-op and the Post Office. Turn right into Camden Street and follow this to the end where a signed track bends left to head uphill.
4. Loch Glass
A true hidden gem, we are so lucky to have this spectacular loch close by. A short drive through Evanton, go over the Allt Grad and take the next left up Glenglass Road. Drive as far as you are able to, up to the farm gate and then walk further up for spectacular views across the south side of the loch.
5. Fyrish Monument on Fyrish Hill
Take a right at the top of the road and drive through the village. Take a left at the juntion and continue down the road to IV16 0XL to locate the Fyrish car park (10 min drive in total). You will see the Jubilee Path signposted- park in the designated car park and allow 2.5hrs to complete this scenic 4 mile walk. The Fyrish Monument is a huge structure of three central arches and four flanking towers, built in 1783 by Sir Hector Munro - the local laird.