Balblair Cottages

Balblair Cottages

If you’re looking for self-catering accommodation in the Inverness area, Balblair Cottages are ideally located 10 miles from the Highland capital, on a small farm in the Croy area.

The three traditional stone cottages all have fully-equipped kitchens, central heating and Wi-Fi, as well as cosy wood-burning stoves and individual patio areas with garden furniture.  Both The Bothy and The Byre have open gallery bedrooms reached by a cast iron spiral staircase from the living area.  The Barn is ideal for families or groups, sleeping 6, with an open plan living area.

The holiday cottages are perfect for touring the Highlands and exploring the picturesque Moray Coast, or simply unwinding in tranquil surroundings.  Owner Barbara Bariskan shared her highlights of the area with us and her top tips for visiting the Inverness area.

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The Local Area

Highlights of Inverness

Inverness is a beautiful city located at the mouth of River Ness and is well worth a visit at any time of year.  A stroll along the River to the Islands and then a bite to eat in one of the many of the excellent restaurants located next to the river banks is one of our highlights.

Favourite local walk

Our family love walking along Nairn Beach (20 mins from Inverness) all year round followed by ice cream from the Links Tea Room and a play in the park on a sunny day or with hot chocolate from Basil’s Café at the harbour in winter.

Nairn Beach. Photo credit Veli Bariskan Photography.

Nairn Beach. Photo credit Veli Bariskan Photography.

3 ‘must-sees’ 

Dolphins in the Moray Firth, Loch Ness (preferably from Urquhart Castle), Culloden Battlefield.

Dolphins can be seen at Chanonry Point.  It’s always worth popping into the Dolphin and Seal Centre at the Kessock Bridge (open June – September) for the tide times and best times to see the dolphins.  For some dolphin and wildlife spotting adventure we highly recommend EcoAdventures.

Loch Ness. Photo credit Veli Bariskan Photography

Loch Ness. Photo credit Veli Bariskan Photography

Favourite places to eat

Girvans on Stephen’s Brae – the queue out the door at lunch time speaks volumes!

The Mustard Seed Restaurant, with a great view of River Ness, serves up amazing food using Scottish ingredients.

Lesser-known sights or attractions not to miss

If you enjoy castles and history Fort George and Cawdor Castle are only three miles from Balblair Cottages.  Dolphins can be seen from the Fort and the Highlander’s Museum is well worth a visit.  Cawdor Castle, (Thane of Cawdor featured in Shakespeare’s Macbeth) is a magical fairy tale castle set in beautiful gardens and located in the Cawdor village.

Fort George. Photo credit Veli Bariskan Photography

Fort George. Photo credit Veli Bariskan Photography

What makes the Inverness area an ideal holiday destination?

We have everything on our doorstep!  Inverness is the perfect location to explore the Scottish Highlands.  From the world class golf courses, hill walking and historical sites to the amazing beaches where you can watch dolphins and of course the Loch Ness Monster!

Suggestions for the winter months

The winter festival in Inverness starts in November with the switching on of the Christmas lights.  Take the family to Eden Court Theatre to see a pantomime – this year it’s Aladdin followed by The Nutcracker in January.  Again the River Ness is beautiful in winter with the trees that line its banks lit up with twinkling lights.  Inverness is also home to the biggest free Hogmanay party in Scotland – the Red Hot Highland Fling with music from The Red Hot Chilli Pipers.  Prior to the evening’s event there is the also the Wee Hot Highland Fling during the afternoon with street performers.

Other tips

For great views of the city and surrounding area walk to the top of Craig Phadraig, a wooded hill to the west of Inverness with an ancient fort.  I also recommend a trip to Leakey’s second hand book shop in a converted church (on Church Street, Inverness).

On a wet day the Inverness Aquadome is great for families.  Next door is the Flora Hall (botanic gardens), great for all ages and currently free to visit.

Highlands. Photo credit Veli Bariskan Photography

Highlands. Photo credit Veli Bariskan Photography

All images courtesy of Veli Bariskan Photography ©.

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