Leg 3: Dingwall to Rosemarkie on the National Cycle Network
On the third leg of your holiday, you will travel from Dingwall to Rosemarkie; travelling along the beautiful Cromarty Firth, riding the ferry to the Black Isle, and cycling through ancient woodland and castle ruins as you descend into Rosemarkie.
This leg of the tour is approximately 45 miles long and takes around 5 hours and 45 minutes to complete. With stunning scenery in all directions, the Black Isle is not actually an island, but a peninsula. The exact origin of the name is unknown, but could be associated with witchcraft in medieval times.
En route you will pass through Tain, Nigg and Cromarty, giving you plenty of opportunities to stop for something to eat at the many pubs and cafes. This part of the tour is rich in Pictish history, with the pretty towns and villages en route linked by the ‘Pictish Trail’. The trail gives you the opportunity to visit ancient Pictish standing stones carved with unique symbols. Other than these distinct symbols etched into stone and jewellery, very little is known about the history of the Picts as very few written records survive, but it is thought that they lived in the area during and shortly after the Romans ruled Britain.
Tain is Scotland’s oldest royal burgh with a charter dating from 1066. If you have time, do check out the town’s stunning architecture.
Perhaps the highlight of any tour around the Black Isle is the possibility of spotting dolphins and seals playing in Rosemarkie Bay, and the end of the route gives you the opportunity to pitch your tent on the shores of the bay, relax and watch the sea.
Full step-by-step instructions of the route can be downloaded below, and the map above illustrates the route you will be taking on the third day of your holiday.