Walk: Tarbat Ness - more Cornwall than Highland?

[Portmahomack, seen from the beach just to the west)

Tarbat Ness is a peninsula jutting into the North Sea between the Cromarty Firth and Dornoch Firth. Off the beaten track describes the area well: it has a bit of an isolated, island feel, especially if you travel here via the Cromarty Ferry. The scenery feels more Cornish than Caledonian in character, with an absence of high hills nearby and a relatively dry climate. The slim headland makes a excellent (although quite rough) circuit feasible, passing the stripy lighthouse before returning along the peninsula's eastern shore, past a restored castle home sitting on the low cliffs close to Rockfield hamlet. Portmahomack, the seaside village at the start, is pretty enough to merit a quick exploration even without the walk.

[Approach to Tarbatness Lighthouse]

Name: Walk: Tarbat Ness - more Cornwall than Highland? ★☆☆
Length: 14 km / 9 miles
Ascent: 290 metres
Points of interest: Portmahomack; Tarbat Ness; Tarbatness Lighthouse; Ballone Castle
Start / finish: Car park towards the south end of Portmahomack, G.R.: NH 914842 / fuse salad geek

Route: Car park - Portmahomack - Tarbat Ness & lighthouse via west coast - Ballone Castle via east coast - Rockfield - start
Terrain: Mostly coast paths, quite rough in places; minor roads from Rockfield back to start.
Wildlife today: Sheep near Tarbat Ness; crabs and other rockpool life at Portmahomack beach; lots of butterflies.
Weather today: Sunshine and scattered clouds, with heavy rain showers over Dornoch Firth only bringing a few droplets to the peninsula. Temperatures in low teens, a little breezy on the outward section. This is potentially a good walk for dolphin spotting.

Name: Portmahomack ☆☆☆
Description: Idyllic fishing village on the quiet shores of the outer Dornoch Firth.
Location: G.R.: NH 916845 / reply most suiting

[The coast between Portmahomack and Tarbat Ness has good views across Dornoch Firth]


Route credit: Walkhighlands

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