The Highlands is bursting with things to do especially when it comes to taking advantage of the incredible landscape. Here are some pointers to help you plan your days out.

Whisky Distilleries

You are spoiled for choice when it comes to whisky tours. Here are a few to get your itinerary off the ground.

North of Inverness Tour
Starting at The Singleton in Glen Ord and taking you all the way up to Old Pulteney in Wick via Brora, Glenmoranjie and Balblair. Novar Estate is in the middle of the route so a perfect place to stay and explore from.

Inverness Whisky Tour
Tours of nearby distilleries. A picnic lunch can one ordered, too.

Or organise your own single visits…

It's not all whisky, though...

Black Isle Brewery
If beer is your preferred tipple, visit this organic brewery and market garden just 14 miles away in Munlochy.

Golfing Opportunities

The courses are all magnificent around here with amazing greens, varying levels of challenge and fabulous vistas as far as the eye can see. Here is a list starting with clubs closest to Novar.

Alness Golf Club (4 miles): 18 holes overlooking Cromarty Firth.

Invergordon Golf Club (6 miles): 9 and 18 holes in beautiful parkland.

Strathpeffer Spa (12 miles): 18-hole hilltop course overlooking Cromarty Firth.

Muir of Ord (14 miles): 8 holes over heathland and moorland. A railway line dissects the course! Toughest par 3 in North Scotland.

Tain Golf Club (16 miles): 18-holes championship course with coastal views overlooking Dornoch Firth

Fortrose and Rosemarkie (17 miles):18-hole championship course, partly on a large promontory with sea views on both sides. A dolphin colony can be seen from course.

Royal Dornoch (27 miles): An 18-hole championship course that is ablaze with yellow gorse in the summer months. Caters to professionals and families, too, on the Struie course.

Cabot Highlands (Formally Castle Stuart) (25 miles): An 18-hole championship golf course with an art deco clubhouse overlooking the Moray Firth..


Walk through woodland, up on high moorland, visit monuments, lochs, gorges and see immense seascapes as standard. For a comprehensive list of walks of varying difficulty and challenge in the Novar area visit

The Battle of Littleferry Memorial Stone
On April 13th, 1746, the Earl of Cromartie’s regiment were marching from Dunrobin Castle to join Prince Charles at Culloden. On April 15th, they were ambushed by the Earl of Sutherland’s militia at Littleferry. Kith and kin fought together and against one another; ordinary people were locked in a bloody battle that saw the death of around 50 men and the capture of 178.

Whilst plenty is known about the Battle of Culloden the following day, little is known about the conflict at Littleferry. Golspie Community Council sought to rectify this. As an act of conciliation, a seven-tonne piece of red sandstone, as old as the hills themselves, was taken from Ben Bragghie and set on the battle site. Its weight and gravity bring a sense of resolution and stand as a peaceful memorial to all who fought and died there.

A map of a four-mile, self-guided walk is enclosed in the information pack in Novar Estate cottages.

A book about the Battle of Littleferry that includes a map of the walk can be bought here:

Golspie Heritage Society

For further information:

Battle of Littleferry Facebook Page
Golspie Community Council Facebook Page

Mountain Biking

Some of the best, extreme cycling can be enjoyed here at Novar Estate with over 150 miles of tracks across varied terrain. Visit the sites below to find the right trail for you.


All Trails

Highland Bike Academy
Specifically for children from beginners to more advanced with routes here on the Estate.

Forestry and Land, Scotland.
Further afield. Graded trails ranging from moderate to severe for families and dare-devils.
Learnie Red Rocks


Seaside Fun and Marine Life

Highland beaches are extraordinarily fine and golden and the seas team with marine life. Treat yourself to a classic day out at the seaside...

Nigg Beach, 19 miles
A quiet, sandy beach on the Easter-Ross peninsula.

Shandwick and Balintore, 20 miles
Unspoilt sandy beach with high dunes and rocks at either end at Shandwick Bay. Plenty for children to get on and explore. Visit the Mermaid of the North in the sculpture park at Balintore.

Dornoch Beach, 27 miles
A fine stretch of sand by the town of Dornoch with its variety of cafés, restaurants, artisanal shops and museum.

Embo beach, 30 miles
Remarkable fine, golden sands stretching across the coast of Dornoch Firth looking out to the North Sea beyond with paths through high dunes ands rock pools galore.

Ullapool, 54 miles
Drive through high moorland and mountain to reach this idyllic fishing village on Loch Broom. The North Atlantic drift keeps it warm in the summer. Plenty of day and night life with cafés, restaurants, bars, seafood shacks, arts venues and more.

Ullapool Ferry
Regular ferries leave Ullapool for Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis. Hop along for a history-packed, fun-filled island experience.

Ecoventures, 22 miles
Offering boat trips out on then Cromarty Firth for dolphin watching and other marine life.

Escape North
Paddle boarding out on the open water.

Family Fun Days

Apart from cycling and the seaside, there are many other activities for families in and around the area. Here is a list to get your holiday activity plan started.

Dalmore Farm
Friendly farm with animals, a play park, space to run around and a great restaurant with gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and children’s options. Expect great cakes!

Paintball, lasertag, archery, axe throwing, and bushcraft facilities in Fortrose.

For an extensive list of things to do in Inverness…

Historytrails Museum, Dornoch
Rated a 5-star museum by the Scottish Tourist Board, the museum has lots to see and has an enlightening history walk around the area.



The Highlands was once ruled by clans and where there are clans there are castles! Some are in ruins, others still display their magnificence...

Dunrobin Castle, Golspie
The architecture resembles a French château, with its fairytale towers and whitewashed stone. The castle has a vast 189 rooms. Perched on the cliffs overlooking the Moray Firth, it appears fantastical. Seeing is believing. Visitors can spend the whole day out here with plenty of different activities available.

Urquhart Castle, Inverness
Urquhart Castle's ruins sit on the headland overlooking Loch Ness. There are panoramic views of the Loch and plenty to explore.

Castle Leod
Close to the Victorian spa village of Strathpeffer, the castle has been the seat of Clan Mackenzie for over 500 years. They offer public open days and private tours.

Cawdor Castle
Built in the 14th century as a private fortress for the Thane of Cawdor, the public can now tour the castle, garden and grounds. There is also a nature trail perfect for keeping the kids active and engaged.

Places to Eat

The Highlands has a reputation for good food made with excellent local produce and you won't find better seafood anywhere in the world.


The Eating Plaice, Alness
Posh Fish and Chip restaurant and take away also serving good burgers and fried chicken.

The Mallard, Dingwall
A traditional, friendly bar menu. Lovely building. Family and pet-friendly

Tulloch Castle Hotel, Dingwall
Serves classic bar food or three course meals in Turrets Restaurant. Gluten-free and vegetarian options.

Culbokie Inn, Culbokie
Serves a range of gastro pub specials. Views over Cromarty Firth. Vegetarian and vegan options.

Highland Farm Cafe, Dingwall
Eco-cafe with an excellent breakfast and lunch menu. Good gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options are available.

The Storehouse, Evanton
Restaurant and Food Hall serving and selling fresh local produce. Menus change daily.

Greens Restaurant, Tain
Comprehensive lunch and dinner menus. Separate vegan menu.

Photos courtesy of Visit Scotland