On the far tip of the Black isle, just across from Inverness, the Fairy Glen is a gentle walk through a delightful wood beside a tumbling stream, with two waterfalls. The walk is a little less than 2 miles, there and back, starting from the car park on the North side as the road leaves Rosemarkie.
The wood is a joy in spring, carpeted with verdant new growth and abundant wild flowers, while birdsong fills the air. Its still possible to hear (and see) the song thrush here, while dippers play in and around the waterfalls and along the stream.
The glen has a long-standing fairy association – local children annually decorated a pool by the spring with flowers, in a ceremony to ensure that the fairies kept the water clean. The wee glen certainly has a magical atmosphere, and a presence.
Another great reason to visit Rosemarkie is the local Pictish Museum, Groam House. The museum is renowned for its display of Pictish carved stones, originally part of the vibrant early Christian monastic settlement here, around 1200 years ago. The museum also houses the collection of George Bain, who rediscovered many of the techniques for drawing Celtic design, and promoted its renaissance.
If the tide and weather conditions are good, its worth the trip out to nearby Chanonry Point, where you may see the Moray Firth Dolphins leaping as they hunt salmon, only yards from shore in the fast-flowing current.