Clava Lodge is the ideal base from which to tour the wealth of historic
sights, outstanding scenery and varied wildlife of the Highlands.
Here are just a few highlights….
Monster Hunting & Loch Ness
No trip to Inverness-shire would be complete without attempting to spot the world famous Loch Ness Monster. Capturing the monster on camera would no doubt make headlines, so don’t forget to take your camera and make sure the batteries are fully charged. There are numerous cruises along Loch Ness which offer a relaxing trip on the water (unless you do spot ‘Nessie’ can’t imagine that would be too relaxing). There is also the Loch Ness Monster Exhibition at Drumnadrochit and the imposing ruins of Urquhart Castle on the banks of the Loch. Even without 'Nessie', Loch Ness is a stunning place to tour around.
There are many monuments and burial cairns all over the Highlands and indeed in Strathnairn itself. The bronze age Chambered Burial Cairns at Clava however, are considered to be the best example of their kind and this atmospheric site is well worth a visit. The Cairns second claim to fame, is from Diana Galbaldon's Outlander series, the Cairns are thought to be the inspiration behind the fictional magic stone circle of Craigh na dun in which Claire time travels through a split standing stone. As the cairns have one such stone, people come from all over the world to try their luck and perhaps find a ‘Jamie Fraser’ of their own.
This is the site of the Battle of Culloden which took place in 1746 between the forces of King George and the Jacobite forces led by 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'. Enjoy a walk round the heather clad site or visit the interpretive centre, gift and coffee shop.
If the visit to the battlefield has sparked your interest in Highland Culture then a trip to one of the excellent local museums is a must. Inverness Museum has wide ranging exhibition from the prehistoric to the present day. Find out about the wonderful and mysterious art of the Picts at Groam House Museum in Rosemarkie and the Tarbet Discovery Centre in Portmahomack, or the hardy fisherfolk at Nairn Museum.
The Moray Firth has a resident group of bottle-nosed Dophins, which visitor and locals alike delight in spotting. The lighthouse at Chanory Point, Fortrose is a fantastic viewing spot with the opportunity to get a close up view. There is a strong undercurrent and at the change of tide, the dolphins can often be seen feeding and playing.
Built in 1847, of the local red Leanach Sandstone, by Murdoch Paterson, chief engineer of the Highland Railway, the viaduct is 700 yards long and has 29 arches, making it the largest railway viaduct in Scotland. It is an imposing sight even more so when a steam train makes it’s way over it.
Built by James Stuart, 3rd Earl of Moray in 1625. The castle consists of a 5 storey tower with square wings, crowned with corbelled angle turrets. The castle had links with smuggling in the past and features like the ‘laird’s lug’ listening hole, can still be seen.
Here’s a name that readers of Shakespeare’s MacBeth will recognise. The castle has been home to the Thanes of Cawdor for over 600 years. The Castle is open daily to the public and with the many fine portraits, furnishing, tapestries and colourful flower garden, is well worth a visit.
The Ruins of the ‘haunted’ Rait Castle (13 miles) are situated just past Cawdor. The Duke of Cumberland is reputed to have stayed here before the Battle of Culloden in 1746. I wonder if he saw the ghost of the young woman said to inhabit the castle? Do you dare visit?