Activities at Kildermorie

and within driving distance of the estate

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Enjoying Kildermorie

Walking

A stay at Kildermorie would be incomplete without taking advantage of the breathtaking scenery, and with 19,000 acres to explore, numerous walks are available to suit all ages and abilities.

The glen road makes its way west alongside the River Glasa, where stark tree trunks rise from an undulating duvet of moss. Piptoporus betulinus, the ‘razorstrop’ tree fungus provides an interesting diversion. Emerging onto the open hill the road follows the course of the river past the trees planted for winter shelter. Further west the river widens with lush ‘greens’ providing grazing for the deer. The double peak of Carn Chuinneag dominates the skyline.

A walk south from Meall Mor Lodge parallels the river, passes the remains of the ice-house, and often affords a view of the garrons relaxing before their day's work on the hill. Ancient beech trees in Cille Mhuire (the burial ground) can be admired near Loch Morie where boats are moored in readiness for guests.

This secluded beach, one of several at the head of Loch Morie, was witness to a wedding ceremony – with the skirl, the sound of the bagpipes echoing around the hills. In the colder months the deer often shelter from dusk to dawn in the Gleannan, the starting point for a walk around the top of Lady Laird Wood which provides a magnificent hilltop view of Meall Mor Lodge.

The Kennel Path rises through light and shade to emerge onto high moorland with its long view down to the buildings at the heart of the estate.

The Old Cart Road formerly linked the Estate to the sawmill and the peat banks which were so important for survival during the winter months. Impassable until recently, it has been cleared to provide an easy stroll from Meall Mor Lodge through the dense woodland, habitat of the reclusive but curious sika.

The estate provides privacy and seclusion, and there is no ‘through traffic’; the closest public road ends at Breantra Gate, some five miles away, after which point unauthorised vehicles are not permitted to drive through the forestry.

Photography

The clear light and the weather variations experienced in an open glen sheltered by surrounding hills offer infinite photo-opportunities.


Photos: Eve Thomas (left) and Will Smith (right)

Bird watching

Top of the list of resident birds must be the majestic golden eagle; stalkers have been known to lose sight of their quarry, their binoculars so intently focused on this magnificent bird. Buzzards and herons are a common sight and occasionally a hunting osprey is seen. At the smaller end of the scale the crossbills, golden plover and meadow pipit are resident, but more evident in spring and summer when busy providing for their young. Mallard, teal and oystercatcher, which tend to winter on the coast, come up to the estate in the spring to breed and take advantage of the ample food supply. Summer visitors include the wheatear, redstart, swallow and house martin. The barn owl, though resident, is more visible in the summer when out hunting voles. Of the winter visitors, snow buntings arrive in their hundreds to feast on the abundant supply of grass seed.

The estate is home to many birds also found throughout the country, for example mistle thrush, robin, pied and grey wagtail, blackbird, cuckoo and woodpecker.

Getting around the estate


Within easy reach...

HISTORIC EVENTS

Credit: David Morier

Culloden

The new Culloden Battlefield visitor centre and exhibition tells the whole Culloden story of the Jacobite Rising, Charles Edward Stuart “Bonnie Prince Charlie”, and the events of April 16th 1746 in an interactive family-friendly way.


SALMON LEAP

Falls of Shin

The Falls of Shin visitor centre in Sutherland is less than an hour’s drive from Kildermorie Estate. With its waterfalls, natural salmon leap and a highly praised restaurant/tearoom it is open to visitors all year round.


CASTLES

Dunrobin Castle

Dating back to the early 1300s, the 189 room Dunrobin Castle is home to the Dukes of Sutherland. Open April to mid-October, it was built in the style of a French chateau and is set in magnificent grounds and gardens.


CATHEDRAL

Dornoch Cathedral

A cathedral dating back to the 13th century, its many interesting features include stained glass windows which were donated in memory of the industrialist Andrew Carnegie who was born in Scotland and owned the nearby Skibo Castle.


GOLF

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

For passionate golfers there are clubs at nearby Alness and Invergordon, but the famous Royal Dornoch Golf Club, formed in 1877 is just an hour away, and the town’s historic centre and ‘blue flag’ beaches are nearby.


SEA FISHING

Cromarty

Sea fishing is available from the harbour in the18th century village of Cromarty, located on the Black Isle just 40 minutes from the Kildermorie Estate.

The coastline surrounding Cromarty is rich with fish like haddock, turbot, cod, pollack, and ling as well as more elusive species.


THE WHISKY TRAIL

Dalmore Distillery

Established in 1839, the Dalmore distillery, can be found just 1 km from Alness High Street, about a half hour's drive from Kildermorie Estate. In 2002 a 62 Year Old Dalmore Single Highland Malt (left), known as "The Kildermorie Bottle" was sold at auction for £25,877.50 by McTears of Glasgow. For more information click on the bottle.

Tours of the distillery are available.