North of Inverness lies the Highlands town of Alness, located on the northern shore of the Cromarty Firth. Boasting a idyllic river and beautiful surroundings, it's a quintessentially Scottish haven with plenty to surprise and delight even the most seasoned of travellers. The town is home to two distilleries, a golf club and plenty of pretty shops perfect for whiling away an afternoon.
If you prefer bracing walks across rugged terrain, there are several routes to satisfy your sense of adventure, as well as a few gems for those who prefer a gentle amble. A short 4.5-mile drive will bring you to the start of the Fyrish trail, a pleasant hike along a well-maintained path with sloping stone steps, tall trees and rolling hills. The Fyrish Monument stands proudly at the top, a majestic landmark that's an ideal spot for a picnic as well as being a brilliant photo opportunity.
Venturing slightly further along the coastline, the port town of Invergordon 3.5 miles away has impressive views across to the Western Beins and Black Isle, and an interesting history to match. The area was of significant naval importance during the first and second world wars, which you can learn more about in the charming museum. Stop for a bite to eat in one of the charming cafes or treat yourself to a delicious ale from the local brewery.