With its elevated setting in the Black Isle overlooking the Moray Firth Hillockhead Farm enjoys spectacular sea views (that you can enjoy from a hot tub!). Offering comfortable self-catering accommodation in scenic surroundings, this historic farmhouse is an ideal base for exploring the Scottish Highlands and is close to a top dolphin-watching spot. We asked owner Michele Jansen more about the accommodation, the famous Moray Firth dolphins and her favourite lesser-known attractions in the area.
Can you tell us more about your accommodation?
Hillockhead Farm is a stone built farmhouse that sleeps 8/9, with a large, enclosed garden, hot tub and summerhouse where you can relax and enjoy the panoramic sea views over the Moray Firth towards Fort George. There is a spacious kitchen/dining area, living room with a wood-burning stove and all four bedrooms have stunning sea views. With plenty of space and lots to see and do nearby, Hillockhead Farm is perfect for family holidays – and we welcome pets.
Dolphin spotting at Chanonry Point is a well-known local attraction. Can you tell us more about the Moray Firth dolphins?
The Moray Firth dolphins are one of the biggest attractions of the Black Isle and Chanonry Point is said to be one of the top land-based places in the world for dolphin watching. A tip – the best time to spot the dolphins is about an hour after low tide (we supply tide timetables in the accommodation but you can ask us if you have any questions). You can also take a boat trip with Ecoventures in Cromarty or Avoch Dolphin Trips, where you might also see seabird colonies, seals and the occasional whale, if you’re lucky! And keep an eye out for dolphins when staying at Hillockhead or walking along the shore.
The Black Isle is a great base for touring the wider Highland region and the Moray Coast. What are some of your favourite day trips?
Ullapool, Gairloch and Skye can easily be reached in a day. Portmahomack is a lesser-known day trip and one of my favourites – a quaint fishing village with a lovely beach and discovery centre which provides visitors with and insight into the area’s Pictish past. There is also a very good fish restaurant called the Oystercatcher.
Dornoch and Dunrobin Castles are also great day trips or Findhorn on the Moray Coast.
The Victorian shopping centre is worth a visit in Inverness and there is also swimming, bowling and ice skating in the Highland capital. Loch Ness is a 40 minute drive away, as is the Cairngorms National Park and Landmark Forest Adventure Park.
Which lesser-known gems in the Black Isle do you like to tell guests about?
Rosemarkie Beach is gorgeous to walk along, with miles of sandy beach, rock pools and also a small park and beach cafe. (And it’s dog friendly).
Another lesser-known attraction on the doorstep of Hillockhead are the Red Rock Forest bike trails and a beach path down to the Eathie fossil beach.