As we started heading north of Edinburgh the scenery got more and more stunning. We passed streams, lochs, huge forests and snow capped mountains, it was clear we had crossed into the Highlands!
After a 4 hour drive we arrived at Culloden Moor Caravan and Motorhome club site where we would stay for 3 nights. The site was lovely, had good disabled facilities and a great view! To get the most out of this we parked our caravan facing forwards for the first time ever and were surprisingly confused by everything being the opposite way around on the pitch!
Once we’d put the kettle on and settled in we made our way back out again. We had heard that Chanonry Point was the best place to see wild dolphins from the shore and it was only a 25 minute drive from the site so we thought we’d head there, hoping to catch a glimpse. Sitting on the edge of a little Scottish village Chanonry Point sticks out into the sea, giving amazing panoramic views into the Moray Firth and across to Fort George. We parked up and found a pathway that lead down the side of the lighthouse, right to the viewing area on the beach. It was amazingly accessible for wheelchairs! There we sat for over an hour, taking in the fresh air, incredible views and keeping an eye out for dolphins. Unfortunately we didn’t have any luck but we agreed that we’d come back at least once more before our tour took us further north.
It was another gloriously sunny day at Culloden Moor, perfect for the adventures we had planned. First we headed to Loch Ness for a boat tour. Only one of the tours started at an accessible port but that wasn’t a problem for us as we just wanted a tour of the Loch. We arrived just in time to board and we were off! There wasn’t a specific place for wheelchair users to sit but because it was such a beautiful day we made our way to the outside area at the front of the boat. It was extremely windy but we certainly had the best view! Our tour took us up to Urquart Castle and back, where we heard interesting information about Loch Ness and the surrounding areas, but my personal favourite part was when our tour guide kept breaking into Scottish folk songs, it just added to the experience.
After a lovely trip on Loch Ness we took a scenic drive to Fort Augustus before heading back to what was quickly becoming our new favourite place- Chanonry Point. It was a lot calmer than the night before, there was little wind, and all we could hear was the sea. Despite not seeing any dolphins for a second night, it was a little piece of perfection.
We watched the sun sinking low in the sky before heading back to the caravan for a peaceful nights sleep.
Determined to prove that the dolphins were not like the Loch Ness monster- a total myth. We headed to Spey Bay and the Whale and Dolphin conservation centre. Starting to feel hungry we went straight into the cafe where Stephen had a “blooming delicious” beef, bacon and melted cheese ciabatta sandwich, which didn’t take long to demolish.
At the conservation centre they have specialists who keep a look out for whales, dolphins and other marine life. They’d had two separate sightings that day already, the last being just half an hour before we arrived so if we were going to get lucky, surely now was our chance?!… Nope, I’m pretty sure they saw us coming and hid.
Despite not seeing any dolphins we had a fantastic few days in Inverness and were very sad to be leaving… but we couldn’t wait to see what else Scotland has to offer!