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Ross-shire Guide

Ross-shire, or the County of Ross, is a former county of Scotland. The county bordered on Sutherland, Cromartyshire, Inverness-shire and an exclave of Nairnshire. It included most of Ross as well as Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Dingwall was the traditional county town.

Here are some facts about Ross-Shire:

• While many people still refer to Ross-shire or The County of Ross, the county technically ceased to exist with the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 which combined Ross-shire with Cromartyshire to create Ross and Cromarty. To confuse matters more, Ross and Cromarty was dismantled in 1975, with the mainland portion becoming part of the Highland region and the Hebridean part becoming part of The Western Isles.

• Macbeth, the Scot's king immortalised by William Shakespeare, is thought to have been born in a castle (long since destroyed) on the outskirts of Dingwall.

• Chanonry Point, on Ross-shire's Moray coast, is said to be the best place in the UK to see bottle-nosed dolphins, particularly in summer, when the animals hunt the wild salmon that are returning to the rivers Ness and Beauly. Porpoises and grey seals are also regularly be spotted off Ross-shire.

• Not far from where the dolphins play is the beautiful Black Isle. Despite it's name, Ross-shire's Black Isle is actually a peninsula rather than an island, the name derives from Gaelic which uses the same word 'eilean', for both island and peninsula.

• The area is also popular with connoisseurs of beer and whisky. Glen Ord single malt whisky is distilled here and also local microbrewery 'the Black Isle Brewery' produces a variety of organic beers including Yellowhammer and Red Kite Ale.

• Ross-shire's historic capital Dingwall owes its name to the Vikings. Situated at the head of the Cromarty Firth, Dingwall was of great importance and became a hub of Viking activity in north Scotland.

• Palm trees and Australian eucalyptus trees grow in the gardens of Inverewe, despite the fact that Inverewe is actually at the same latitude as Hudson Bay in Canada. The spectacular 50 acre garden is open to the public throughout the year.

• For hundreds of years, the fishing and ferry port of Ullapool has been a key link between the Highlands of the Scottish mainland and the islands of the Outer Hebrides. Today, there are an average of 2 return ferry crossings a day between Ullapool and Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, with sailings taking around 2 hours 45 minutes.

• Whisky has been distilled at the Glenmorangie distillery since 1843.

Here are just some places to visit in and around Ross-shire:

Inverewe Gardens
Inverewe Gardens Poolewe Achnasheen,
Ross Shire, IV22 2LG
The National Trust
Inverewe Gardens Poolewe Achnasheen,
Ross Shire, IV22 2LG

District Museum
IV19 1PB

Hugh Miller's Museum & Birthplace Cottage
IV11 8YB
Cromarty Court House
IV11 8XQ
Dornoch Craft Centre
Fearn Abbey
IV20 1TL
Saint Duthus's Chapel
Tain IV19 1PB

Scotland is packed with stunning countryside views, steaped in history and proud of its many traditions.
There really is something for everyone in Scotland and the BEST way to get the full experience is by camping.

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