The Aird is an area of the west of Inverness situated to the south of the River Beauly and the Beauly Firth. To the south of the Aird rise the hills above Loch Ness and the Glen Glen Way passes this way from Drumnadrochit to Inverness. There are several villages scattered around the Aird (including the village we live), but much of the area is made up of small crofting townships or isolated crofts.
Yesterday we took a ten-mile linear walk around this area, after being dropped off by our son and walking home – the long way. Most of the walk was along roads, but very minor country roads. In fact we only saw less than 10 vehicles and at one point the only moving vehicle for over one hour was a farmer herding sheep on a quadbike.
We started near Moniack (home of Moniack Castle Winery, who make very tasty liqueurs) and this was the only short section of road that was more than about 3m wide. It is served by a public bus – but only one each way per day.
We headed into the Forestry Commission forest at Reelig near the Moniack burn.
and headed uphill away from the coniferous plantation to the upper forest which has lovely old beech trees.
A local community group has been formed to manage this part of the woodland. The community woodland group have harvested some of the old wood for making charcoal and creating structures for the Forest School
After leaving the woodland we emerged to the crofting area of Clunes
where we saw a couple of local farmers/crofters
The road rises to 300m and gives wonderful views north over the Beauly Firth to the Black Isle and the hills to the north.
While looking west we saw the hills of Glen Affric
We dropped down from the heights, skirting the edge of Battan Wood and with views north to Ben Wyvis.
Just before the village of Kiltarlity we stopped briefly to look for an old stone circle somewhere in the beech trees lining the Bog Road. We didn’t find it, but I recognised the name of one of the local geocaches, searched for that and found it!
More photos on Flickr