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Beauly – Walks and things to do

Beauly – A beautiful place

If you are looking for somewhere that offers lovely walks, and more, then look no further than Beauly. This beautiful village nestles on the north bank of the River Beauly in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. It is a wonderful place to visit if you are looking for old village charm. But perfect if you are looking for some outdoor activities like walking, hiking, cycling, and fishing.

History of Beauly

Steeped in history, the first settlements around Beauly are thought to date back to 2000 BC, and the remains of several crannogs (manmade islands) can still be seen in the Beauly Firth. In 1230, a priory was established by French monks. The completion of Lovat Bridge by Thomas Telford in 1814 saw  Beauly become a key staging post for anyone traveling north or west from Inverness.

The name of the village dates back to the French monks who set up the Priory and comes from the French ‘beau lieu’ or ‘beautiful place’. But, the more romantic story is that Mary Queen of Scots visited in 1564 and uttered the words “Un beau ieu!” when she saw the village and surrounding countryside.

What does Beauly have to offer?

Things to see and do in Beauly

The village offers visitors a taste of traditional Scotland with an ironmonger, a butcher, a baker, award-winning gift shops, and an antique shop to browse. Campbell’s of Beauly, a tweedhouse and country tailor, is a Highland gem worth a visit. Established in 1858, it is an iconic, family-run retail business that holds a Royal Warrant to Her Majesty the Queen.

The ruins of the priory can be seen at the eastern corner of the main square. They are definitely worth exploring. The priory is mentioned as a location in the Outlander books written by Diana Gabaldon.

Feeling a little thirsty or peckish? There is a coffee shop, a deli, and a few restaurants to try. On the main square, there is also an art gallery and an Aladdins cave for keen photographers.

Celebrating is in the blood of the inhabitants of Beauly, with various events taking place throughout the year. You can see a calendar of events here. Why not plan your visit to coincide with some of these?

Walks and outdoor activities

For those who love the outdoors, the River Beauly is a renowned salmon river. But, if trout is more your thing, the ironmonger in the village can give you some more local information on the type of fishing that is available. And, of course, there are some absolutely fabulous walks to be had in the area.

Starting with the River Beauly and Lovat Bridge Circular. A 5-mile circular walk that takes in a beautiful wooded section of the River Beauly with easy-to-follow paths and no hills to climb.

You could try Cnoc Croit na Maoile (Ord Hill) which is only 2 and a half miles but, has a fairly steep ascent. All the effort is worth it though as it takes you through open woodland and heather moorland and the views from the summit are spectacular.

The Abriachan Forest Community Trust have created an excellent woodland and moorland walk using their trails. The Abriachan Trails is a 5-mile walk with excellent quality paths and tracks and some fabulous views along the way.

Phoineas Hill is a short and easy climb through the forest up to the 180m summit. But the views over Beauly and the surrounding area are very much worth it. It is just 3 miles up to the site of an ancient Pictish fort above the Beauly Firth.

There are lots more Highland walks nearby that suit all abilities. We have detailed some of them for you. Take a look. There are also some great websites with more information on local walks and cycleways in Beauly.

Get Outside is worth a look. It has the option to swap between walking, cycling, and running routes, opening Ordnance Survey maps at the click of a button.

Walkhighlands gives a little more detail about the walks – how to get there on public transport and it even has a button to press to get the proper pronunciation for the names of the walks!

Scottish Highlands accommodation

Relax at our 5-star log cabin village

Our luxury log cabins sit high on a remote hilltop, just 20 miles from Inverness, and 13 miles west of Beauly. So if you’re in need of some rest and relaxation after doing one of the Beauly walks or visiting Beauly village, Eagle Brae is the perfect place. Here, you can relax in the 5-star comfort of our hand-crafted cabins, where loving care and attention fills every space. Enjoy our secluded Highland setting where wildlife and nature surrounds you, and take part in our range of outdoor activities. If you have any questions about Eagle Brae or need any help at all with making a booking, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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