Minor roads around The Aird

Shepherding

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.

Setting off on our walk near Reelig Glen

We headed into the Forestry Commission forest at Reelig near the Moniack burn.

Reelig Glen

and headed uphill away from the coniferous plantation to the upper forest which has lovely old beech trees.

Upper Reelig Walk

Beech trees and sunlight  = magic!

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
The community woodland group are managing the woods

One of the more substantial structures in this lovely wood cabin which is a store for the Forest School.
The community woodland group

After leaving the woodland we emerged to the crofting area of Clunes

South Clunes looking to the hills above Abriachan

where we saw a couple of local farmers/crofters

The only vehicle we saw for 2 hours

The road rises to 300m and gives wonderful views north over the Beauly Firth to the Black Isle and the hills to the north.

Beauly Firth and the Black Isle beyond

While looking west we saw the hills of Glen Affric

Distance view to the Glen Affric hills

We dropped down from the heights, skirting the edge of Battan Wood and with views north to Ben Wyvis.

View 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!

Beech woods on the 'Bog Road'

More photos on Flickr

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14 comments on “Minor roads around The Aird

  1. Thought you’d be waiting for the bikes to do this one Sheila 😀 – mind you starting at the winery might have had its problems. Lovely relaxing scenery.

    • We would not have managed the first section up Reelig woodland with the bikes. We could have gone around that section by road, but it is a long pull uphill. I’m not fit enough to cycle up. so would have been pushing my bike for several miles. However there are several other minor roads and forest tracks we want to explore so will see some of it by bike.

  2. Looks like a very fine walk. The photos of the sunlight in the woods are particularly inviting.
    Is it easy to embed a flickr slideshow?
    I think I’ll use the help section on wordpress to see how it’s down – I like the fact that your posts end with a video and/or slideshow.

  3. Nice photo at the start of this article. Everything is balanced well. The sheep to the left, the dog in the middle, the tractor to the right, the cottages upper middle, the trees to the middle left, the slopes behind. It all looks great 😀

  4. Looks like a lovely quiet walk Shiela, hope you have a great holiday and thanks for the info on the Edinburgh campsite, I hope to try it out next year. Enjoy Nottingham its a town I have long associations with having worked and lived there for quite a few years…

  5. Interesting walk, Have been up the Reelig glen a few times with the kids, when the tallest tree in Britain was there, and we all enjoyed that. Haven’t tried any of the Moniack wines/liqueurs though.

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