Walk 222 – South Sutor Viewpoint, Cromarty – 3.6 miles

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Narrow footpath along the banks of the Cromarty Firth
Walking along the eastern-most point of the Cromarty Firth towards the South Sutor

A varied circular walk starting in the pretty village of Cromarty and heading up through woodland to a viewpoint atop the South Sutor. Enjoy stunning views down across the Cromarty Firth and its many oil rigs, as well as over to the North Sutor and out across the vast expanse of the North Sea before returning to the village via quiet country roads.

TERRAIN: A mix of surfaced roads, uneven woodland trails and quiet single track roads. Some steps and steep inclines

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  Car parking at the end of Forsyth Place, Cromarty where there is also a bus stop.

route image  Route: Turn right out of the parking area then left to reach Shore Street. Walk along Shore Street (the Cromarty Firth should be on your left-hand side). This leads onto Miller Road, and you will pass the old brewery building. Where Miller Road takes a sharp bend to the right, turn left down a small lane beside a cottage (signposted “to South Sutor”). Follow the trail across the grassy foreshore and towards the hill of the South Sutor. After approx half a mile the path continues into the woods and starts to ascend very steeply up some steps. At the top of the steps turn left at the fork. Head uphill again using another set of steps, passing a concrete war bunker along the way. At the top of the hill you will emerge onto a surfaced road. Turn right and follow the road gently downhill for approximately 1 mile until you reach Cromarty Mains Farm. Turn right at the crossroads here (signposted “Cromarty 1.6km”) and follow the single track road downhill all the way back to the Cromarty Firth. The car park is on your left.

WALK REPORT: 31st July 2020

I was holidaying on the Black Isle, visiting a friend during that period of lockdown when we were allowed to travel but not outwith the country. Eve was working from home during the daytime and encouraged me to go out and explore the region, coming home for dinner and then we would often head back out somewhere local to her house in the evening.

This was one of those evenings! I’d been out all day and had already completed two walks: Fyrish Monument and Evanton’s Black Rock Gorge. But, you know, I’m Gillian’s Walks and so was more than delighted to head out again after dinner for a wee 3.5 miler…

We drove to Cromarty, a small village on the far north-eastern tip of the Black Isle. A pretty little place full of narrow streets and country cottages. The most famous of these must be Hugh Miller’s Birthplace Cottage and Museum – a National Trust for Scotland property. Hugh Miller was a geologist, stonemason and fossil hunter in the 19th century and was born here in Cromarty where he discovered a number of significant fossils, some of which can be seen in the museum.

Cottage with thatched roof where Hugh Miller was born, Cromarty
Hugh Miller’s Cottage

The walk took us up onto the hillside known as the South Sutor, to a viewpoint which overlooked its neighbour ‘North Sutor’ and the Cromarty Firth with it’s impressive oil rigs.

I’d seen these very oil rigs from my vantage point at Fyrish Monument earlier in the day! I’d never been up close to one before and was intrigued by them. Despite their industrious look, I couldn’t stop taking photos of them.

From the top of the hill we looked out at the vast expanse of the North Sea. It blew my mind to think that the next piece of land you come to if you keep heading north-east from here is Norway. Just couldn’t get my head around it. Back home in Ayrshire I think I’m doing well looking out over the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Arran, and on a *very* clear day you might be lucky enough to see Northern Ireland from some of the more southern sections of coastline. And that’s only about 60 miles away! Norway….. pffffft.

Something else which messed with my head that evening was the sunset. Back home, in the west, I look out over the water to the most beautiful sunsets. Here, as I looked out over the Cromarty Firth towards the North Sea the sun was setting behind me, inland!

Turning to look inland to find the sunset!

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