Anyone wanting to explore the world of the Picts should head to Rosemarkie. Not only was this ancient village settled by Picts, but their legacy lives on in the form of a number of carved stones dotted around the locality. Added to which the Groam House Museum in Rosemarkie is the Pictish Centre for Ross and Cromarty, whose displays include 15 carved Pictish stones. Near the village is a cave called Caird's Cave which was excavated in 1912, revealing bone, stone and deer horn implements. One of the pieces was a bone pin inset with amber, and was dated as post-Roman. The village is also a popular resort thanks to its sandy beach. Rosemarkie's Parish Church makes an impressive sight, clearly visible from the sea, which is why it is used as a landmark by mariners. In earlier times, the first Cathedral of Ross was established on the site by King David I in 1125, although this was subsequently outgunned by the cathedral in neighbouring Fortrose.
For walkers, there is a treat of a walk leading inland from the village through an area known as the Fairy Glen Nature Reserve, which got its name from eyewitness accounts of fairies there - the whisky must be strong around these parts! The reserve is run by the RSPB and comprises a wooded area centred on the Rosemarkie Burn, featuring two waterfalls. Birdwatchers will enjoy this walk, as there are buzzards, dippers, willow warblers and grey wagtails to be found here. Map of the area.
© 2009, Mike Pennington, via Wikimedia Commons