‘You’re moving to Inverness? There’s not much to do there…’ was a statement I heard a couple of times prior to our move from Glasgow in 2016. Oh how wrong they were. If you are a keen explorer and enjoy being active in the outdoors then the Highlands is your playground. Whether walking, running, cycling or skiing, there is a route out there close by that is guaranteed to satisfy you.
On a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon in May, we wanted to find a walk (with potential for a run) that had decent views and a varied trail.
We set off from our home in Inshes (anyone further away can easily park a car in Inshes Park) and headed towards the fairly hidden Old Edinburgh Road just off Stevenson Road, a gradual ascent to stunning views of the area surrounding Inverness and over the Moray Firth.
The top of this hill has a path leading to Daviot woods. This was a great find for us, as keen runners who wanted to find trail paths to get away from the knee pounding roads.
Daviot woods is a perfect circular 5k route for dog walkers, wanderers and runners alike, with kilometre markers to help you with pacing. It also has a car park for those needing to stretch their legs after a trip up the A9.
We ambled round this sunny path and came almost full circle before cutting down towards Castleton Village on a track that gave stunning views over the Firth and Black Isle to hills that reminded me of Australia’s Blue Mountains. Only on a rare, blue sky kind of day will you see views stretching this far.
Walking through Castleton Village will make you feel like you have landed in to a scene from Shrek 5 (yes there is going to be a 5…) with fairytale turrets on each of the houses.
From here you can meander through the suburbs of Milton of Leys and back to Inshes to complete a 9 mile circuit.
A word of warning though – if it’s sunny in Scotland and you plan on making the most of it outdoors – remember the wise words from our old friend Baz Lurhmann – ‘Always wear sunscreen‘.
Lessons were learned.