Walks and Viewpoints
The countryside around Tain provides many opportunities for a wide variety of walks to suit all ages and abilities. The following is just some of the walks and trails available to you when you visit our town.
There are many planned and guided walks organised by Tain Royal Academy Community Complex (TRACC). All abilities and fitness levels are catered for. For details and a list of up and coming events contact TRACC on +44 (0)1862 893767.
1/3 mile Allow 1 hour
Easy walk with parking facilities, viewpoint and picnic areas.
This walk, with a climb of 190 feet from the car park, offers a magnificent viewpoint of Pulpit Rock, and is well worth the climb. From the top there is an expansive panorama over the outer Dornoch Firth and Tarbat Ness.
This is a pleasant and popular walk for families. It can be reached at the end of the road signposted 'Jubilee Drive' on the Tain bypass. The walk swings round the edge of an old quarry before passing through Scots Pine Woodland.
Pond Trail - Allow 20 minutes
Burn Trail 2 miles Allow 1 hour 20 minutes
Easy walk with parking facilities, picnic areas, disabled access and cycle route.
Easter Ross has a rich heritage of Pictish carved symbol stones. The symbols and scenes on these stones have provided the inspiration for the artwork along this forest walk. Look carefully and let your imagination run free.
The all abilities section of the trail meanders through the pine, cypress and larch close to Aldie Burn before returning by the same route to the short loop.
This area is home to the elusive capercaillie which thrives in mixed pinewood such as this one.
Approx 7.5 miles
Pleasant walk from Edderton Mains through Morangie Forest, returning to the Scotsburn public road.
Approx 2 miles
Pleasant short walk starting at Kildary (rear of Ken's Garage), through the old quarry, by-passing 'The Lochanan Nan Tunnag', coming out at Logie Hill. The loch is maintained by Kildary Angling Club for the benefit of local anglers.
The route runs from Castlecraig down a steep hill to Nigg Ferry, but access can be gained from the turning near Nigg Old Church. In past days local folk used this route to the ferry.
Recently when oil rigs were completed, people would gather on Nigg Hill to watch the towouts and, in summer, tourists crossing by the ferry from Cromarty often walk up the track to Nigg Hill to the view point to take photographs and see the view of the Firth.
This route is an ancient Drove Road from the A863 Struie Road through to Dalnaclack on Scotsburn Road, Tain. Over varied terrain (sensible footwear advisable). Beautiful scenery, varied wildlife, abundant flora. Route for the enterprising walker, allow adequate time for this walk, perferably with a companion.
Strathrory Viewpoint (Forestry Commission) Fascinating views of the meltwater channels left as the ice retreated at the end of the last Ice Age.
Hilton to Rockfield
This Right of Way can be walked from either end and runs beside the sea, with the cliffs to one side. Spectacular views across the Firth. On a good day seabirds and dolphins can be seen.
Advisable that stout shoes be worn.
Inver to Portmahomack
Much of the walk follows a sandy beach. Inver figured in the Highland Clearances in the19th Century. During the last war its inhabitants, along with those of Portmahomack, were evacuated to allow for army training prior to the Normandy landings. They are wide views across the Dornoch Firth to the hills of Sutherland and the town of Dornoch.
Portmahomack to Tarbat Ness
From the pier at Pormahomack this walk is more challenging but well worth the effort. The views are over the Dornoch Firth to the North. There are seabirds, seals and dolphins.
The Tarbat Ness lighthouse is the second tallest in Britain but is now unmanned.
Portmahomack is a picturesque village with restaurants and hotels, a fine beach and a harbour. There is some evidence that near Brucefield Farm was the most Northerly Roman Camp in Britain, and also that there was a battle with the Vikings near the light house. At Tarbat Old Church in Portmahomack there is an archaeological dig in progress to unearth a Pictish settlement dating from around 800 A.D. For more information visit the Tarbat Discovery website.
Wilkhaven to Rockfield
This is a pleasant walk beside the rocky seashore, with many kinds of wild flowers and birds. On the way you will pass an abandoned village and Ballone Castle which is over 300 years old; now rebuilt as a family home.
Rockfield to Hilton
This route follows a track over grass, sand and pebble beaches. Dolphins are often seen and cormorants and other sea birds abound. There have been more reported sightings of mermaids off the North East Coast of Scotland than anywhere else in Britain.
Shandwick to the Well of Health
This is a bracing walk beside a sandy beach to the Well of Health. A local man has lovingly maintained the Well. At Shandwick one should see the Clach a' Charridh, a well known landmark for seamen down the centuries. It is one of three local 8th Century carved standing stones. Shandwick Farm steading is the site of the Viking Castle and of a former Church and burial ground.
The view from the lay-by is also know as the "million dollar view" and is one of the most beautiful in Scotland. The plaque explains the view - which includes most of south and central Sutherland.
Pleasant walking and recreational area to the north of the town centre. Ample car parking facilities. Offers stunning views of the Firth, the Sutherland coastline and the open sea to the North east. Access to the foreshore and beach to the North east is provided by a narrow Victorian suspension bridge, which adds character to the landscape. Includes waterside walk, with pathway, children's play areas and large recreational/outdoor sports areas.
Several hundred species of flowering plant are present, ten of which are at their most northerly limit and are uncommon in Easter Ross and several being national rarities. The area is of major importance for wintering and breeding wildfowl, long tail ducks, ospreys and oyster catchers and offers great opportunities for bird watching.
Adjacent to the renowned Tain Golf Club and golf course.
Tain Through Time
From the Tain Through Time Pilgrimage take a fascinating personal CD tour of the churchyard and the town of Tain: who had their cheek branded with the Tolbooth key and how did Andrew Carnegie upset the Town Council?
For more information on walks around the Tain area and in the Highlands visit the walkhighlands website