At Novar Estate, we are surrounded by the best of Highland culture: expect glorious sandy beaches, historical whisky trails, superb golfing experiences, fairytale castles, rugged mountains and coastlines, mythical beasts...

Our rich Highland heritage is in every glass…

The Highlands is synonymous with ‘the water of life’.  A combination of perfect growing conditions for barley and the ready availability of pristine water sources make it ideal for whisky distillation. Water from Novar is used in the production of Dalmore Whisky. Put a pin anywhere on a map of the Highlands and you will find a distillery close by. 

The North of Inverness Tour is right on our doorstep. Begin your journey of discovery at Glen Ord just 30 minutes south of Novar and follow it all the up way to Old Pulteney in Wick near John o’ Groats. Or go further afield and discover Speyside’s distilleries along the Malt Whisky Trail. All distillery visits involve tasting sessions led by experts so make sure somebody else is taking care of the driving.

From world-class courses to small friendly links…

Being Scotland’s national sport, the Highlands has many golf courses ranging from small, local links to prestigious world-class courses. Nearby are the courses of Royal Dornoch with its world-renowned, yellow gorse-lined greens, Cabot Highlands with Art Deco clubhouse and Nairn that has hosted both the Walker and Curtis cups. Any keen golfer will want to tick those off their bucket list. 

Close to Novar Estate is Alness, a low-key, 18-hole parkland course with views over Cromarty Firth and Fortrose and Rosemarkie which is a stunning links that juts out into Rosemarkie Bay with open water on both sides. Golfing does not come more picturesque than this so be careful to focus on your swing rather than the view!

Pristine coastlines and thriving marine life…

Visiting the beaches at Nigg, Tain, Dornoch or Embo is a must for families visiting Novar Estate. High sand dunes are home to waterfowl and butterflies; dolphins and seals can be seen out at sea. 

A series of paths wind through the dunes and there are numerous rock pools full of life for children to discover. The beauty of these beaches is best experienced between your bare toes so leave devices at home and let the natural world work its magic. 

For walkers there is an excellent circular hike from Royal Dornoch through woodland and dune to the beach and back. The sea view is always ahead. Lunch can be taken in one of many cafés and restaurants in Dornoch upon completion. The perfect day out.

Small Scottish towns and villages with a strong sense of independence…

With the town square at its centre, Beauly is bustling with life and full of independent shops, eateries and places to stay. The town's cherry blossom trees create a swathe of pink in spring and the 13th century priory grounds that it grew up around, are home to an 800 year-old wych elm tree and funerary monuments of the Mackenzie Clan.

Nearby Dornoch has more to offer visitors than its world-class golf course, too. It has a beautiful beach, excellent restaurants, artisanal shops and the 5-star Historylinks museum. The history trail begins here, taking in Dornoch Light Railway terminus,  The Witch's Stone, where Janet Horne met her fate, and on to Meikle Ferry via Embo Beach.

Further afield, on the banks of Loch Broom is the idyllic fishing village of Ullapool. A cultural hotspot with arts venues, cafés and fine-dining restaurants, it has come a long way from its humble beginnings. It has clement weather, to boot, courtesy of the North Atlantic Drift. From here, a regular ferry takes tourists and locals to the port of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.

Monuments, castles and mysterious monsters….

The Highlands isn’t short of castles and ruins. Nearby, Inverness Castle stands high in the heart of the city overlooking Young St. Bridge and the River Ness. Dunrobin, on the Sutherland coast is a 189-roomed castle that looks more like a French château with its ‘towering conical spires’. It is an architectural gem that overlooks delightful manicured gardens and the sea beyond. Falconry demonstrations take place there most days.

Novar Estate has a series of follies built by General Sir Hector Munro, the most impressive of which is the Fyrish Monument that towers atop Fyrish Hill and can be seen looming from miles around. Others include Little Fyrish and Bell Tower which are accessible on foot or by mountain bike.

Having a long history of clans and castles makes for a land as rich in myths as mountains but it would be remiss not to mention The Loch Ness Monster! The Loch Ness visitor centre offers an immersive tour uncovering facts and fiction. But if it’s a monster hunt you want, take the Deepscan Cruise and decide for yourself if the monster is fictitious…or not.