The Highlands is closer than you think...
Novar Estate is just a 40-minute drive from Inverness airport and with regular flights from Gatwick, Heathrow, Bristol and Luton, you can arrive in the Highlands sooner than you would think. Or you could start your holiday early by taking the Caledonian Sleeper Train to Inverness Railway Station which is even closer.
There is plenty to see and do in the Highlands but there are also amazing things to take in here on the Estate. Visit Novar for great walking and cycling routes and some incredible things to see whether designed by nature or man.
There are over 150 miles of accessible tracks to be enjoyed. Levels of difficulty on all of them change according to the weather. Sometimes dry, sometimes slippery and snow-covered, cyclists have to take the risk and that fuels the adrenaline! A favourite route amongst experienced bikers is the Three Monuments Fyrish Ride. Climbing up wooded slopes to the Fyrish Monument, with views over Cromarty Firth, then onward to Bell Tower and finally descending very steep and narrow woodland slopes to Little Fyrish, the terrain makes for an exhilarating ride. There are easier tracks for those less daring.
Novar Estate enjoys a good relationship with local mountain biking groups based on mutual respect and trust. The Estate clears fallen trees and debris from trails to maintain accessibility and, in turn, bikers raise awareness of the importance of respecting protected wildlife in Special Protection Areas. Responsible cyclists do their best to leave little or no mark on the land or the flora and fauna that thrive there. Walkers also share some of the trails so care must be taken.
Walks around the Estate
Walking routes around the Estate lead you through open parkland, stunning natural woodland, rugged uplands and climb up onto high snow-capped moorlands. The views are varied and sometimes vast especially when overlooking over Cromarty Firth. The Black Rock Gorge is just two and a half miles from the village of Evanton on the edge of Evanton Wood. To appreciate it, you would need to turn your gaze down. Featured in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, this dramatic glacial cleft dives 100 feet to the fast-flowing River Glass below. For the greatest effect, it is best experienced from above via a wooden footbridge that crosses it.
Paths range from easy-going to very challenging but there are wonderful things to see on all routes. Wild deer, red squirrels, pine martens and red kites all call Novar their home as well as friendly locals. Walks are on the doorstep of all our holiday cottages.
For more information about walks around the Estate, visit Walk Highlands.
Visiting the Fyrish Monument
Above the Estate, high on the top of Fyrish Hill stands the Fyrish Monument. Erected on the instruction of General Sir Hector Munro, it is a replica of the Gate of Negapatam in Madras. Here, in this landscape, it has an otherworldly appearance.
The walk begins at the Fyrish Monument car park on Boath Road off the B1796. To get to the monument, visitors must walk or cycle. The Jubilee Path takes visitors on an undulating ascent through woodlands, over footbridges across burns and down stone steps across the hillside. Once through the woodland, the path opens out into a clearing and reveals breathtaking views behind of Cromarty Firth. Now in open moorland, the monument can be seen around a third of a mile ahead.
The stone structure has three separate arches and four towers that were constructed to appear as a ruin, caught in another time. When upon the monument, there are other great rewards in the vast views across Cromarty Firth and out to the North Sea. The natural world surrounds the structure. It is one of three follies built across Novar Estate.
Please note: It can be tricky to find the Fyrish Monument car park. Using what3words will take you exactly where you need to be: