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Explore

The Big Sky Croft is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, on the edge of the beautiful Black Isle. Just ten miles north of Inverness we are around a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Glasgow or Edinburgh, or 25 minutes from Inverness Airport. The Ideal base for exploring the whole of the Highlands.

THE CROFT

All of our Big Sky places has a private garden and deck with views of our beautiful Highland coos. Each of our lodges has it’s own bbq and firepit area. You’ll also have access to other areas of the croft, such as our wee wood which is wonderful for picnics, wildlife spotting and den building. Spittal Wood is right next to the croft and provides miles of walks and a safe route down to the village. You can happily stay right here at Big Sky with just the sound of birdsong and cows munching, but if you’d like to explore further afield, we’ve listed our favourite places below.

WHAT TO DO LOCALLY

Big Sky is a countryside location so most guests do travel by car for ease of exploring. However, we always encourage our guests to travel by bike or foot if possible. If you look up Big Sky Lodges on google maps you should find us no problem. The postcode is IV6 7RP

Our local villages, Muir of Ord and Beauly

The 'Muir’ is the closest village to Big Sky. It’s a 3-minute drive or a lovely 40-minute walk down through the Spittal wood and along a disused railway line. It’s small, but it has a handy wee supermarket for collecting provisions. Plus, a pub, bakery, pharmacy, petrol station and community cafe, the Muir hub. The Glen Ord distillery hosts whisky tours and tastings and is the home of The Singleton single malt whisky, highly recommended by Jonny and Angus.

Beauly is the next village along and is a little more picturesque with quite a few pretty gift shops and cafes. The corner on the square deli and veg shop is brilliant for a taste of the Highlands. The River Beauly is just a few miles away and is one of the best Scottish salmon rivers.

The Black Isle

Big Sky is near the edge of the beautiful Black Isle. It’s not actually black or an island but a peninsula that reaches out into the North Sea. Famous for its rich farmland and increasingly popular food and drink scene – from the Black Isle’s natural larder to craft beer, world class mountain biking and one of the best spots in Scotland for spotting dolphins! Dotted with charming villages, cottages & ruins, visitors can circuit the whole of the Black Isle by bike or car, stopping off for a pint or a pub lunch at the Allangrange arms in Munlochy, the Anderson in Fortrose of the Plough Inn in Rosemarkie. Chanonry Point is the place for dolphins, Rosemarkie has a great child friendly beach, with magical waterfalls at the Fairy glen. Cromarty is right at the tip of the Black Isle and you can spend a whole day beach combing, oil rig and seal spotting, topped off with delicious pizza from Sutor Creek or coffee and cake at the Slaughterhouse cafe. Don’t forget a visit to the Black Isle brewery on the way home for a tour and tasting in their pretty garden. We also stock their organic craft beer in the Big Sky shop. Black Isle berries is our local farm shop for delicious locally grown veg and berries and the Black Isle dairy honesty shop is an essential stop off for creamy local milk and AMAZING ice cream.

INVERNESS

The capital of the Highlands, Inverness is a 15-minute drive over the Kessock bridge. It’s a small city with plenty of pubs, bar and restaurants. We love the Black Isle bar for organic brews and homemade pizza, Hootannny’s for live music and great atmosphere and Rocpool for top notch cuisine from local produce. The high street and Eastgate centre are the places to shop and the Victorian market is worth a visit for interesting small businesses. It has a theatre, swimming pool and cinema and lots of supermarkets to choose from. Nearby is Urquahart Castle and the famous Loch Ness with plenty of boat trips for those keen to catch sight of Nessie. For anyone interested in Scottish history, Culloden Battlefield is well worth a visit to walk on the atmospheric battlefield, where the 1745 Jacobite Rising came to a tragic end. Cawdor castle is a 15th century castle near Nairn. This 600-year-old private fortress was built for the Thanes of Cawdor and remains the home of the Cawdor family today. With beautifully preserved interiors and wonderful gardens its open for May to October.

CHILDREN AT BIG SKY

There’s plenty to see and explore right on the doorstep of your lodge. Say hello to the Big Sky beasts, our friendly Highland cows. Our mini herd of Highlanders live in the field in front of your lodge and love to visit our guests. Take a short walk in our wee wood behind the lodges and see what wildflowers and wildlife you can see.

Why not build your own den and have a picnic inside! Our big forest is great for walking your dog and having adventures. Can you spot the Roe deer, Red Squirrels or foxes?

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

There are some brilliant places locally for kids to explore and many are free and less than 30 minutes’ drive. We love the forest playground at Little Garve and Abiachan community forest is well worth a visit. The Abriachan Forest Trust manages a network of spectacular paths, family suited mountain bike trails and pump track, innovative outdoor learning as well as health and well-being opportunities. Our other favourites are Rosemarkie and Cromarty beaches, loch Achilty, and Landmark forest adventure park. Landmark is about an hour’s drive and tickets can be pricey for a whole family but there is a lot to do. With Rollercoasters, tree top trails, dinosaur kingdom, aerial assault courses and loads of other attractions it’s a really fun day out. Or for rainy days, Inverness has the Aquadome swimming pool with flumes galore, Eden court theatre and cinema and even a trampoline park. Give us a shout and we’ll give you plenty of local places for the wee ones to explore. Tested and approved by Big Sky's Rosie and Caitlin!

HILLWALKING, MOUNTAINEERING, CYCLING AND SKIING

Big Sky is the place to be for outdoor lovers. There are miles of tracks for walking, cycling and running through Spittal Wood and plenty of quiet backroads to explore. Learnie Red rock and Strathpuffer mountain bike trails are nearby and Cairngorm mountain Ski resort is only an hour away.

The Cairngorms, Western Isles, Isle of Skye, Glen Coe, Torridon and the famous North Coast 500 route are all within easy reach as are endless brilliant places to walk, cycle, climb, wild swim, kayak and ski. The Highlands are a civilised place with its ‘access to all’ policy enshrined in law, so if you love remote outdoor activities then this is the place for you. Jonny is a keen hillwalker; mountain biker and climber so get in touch for all his local tips.
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