Beauly is a large village steeped in history located on the northern bank of the river Beauly just before it flows into the Beauly firth. For centuries Beauly provided an important transport link for the Scottish Highlands, once upon a time offering ferry services north and west and, when the Lovat Bridge was built in the early 1800s by Thomas Telford, Beauly became a key junction in an expanding road network covering the northern Highlands.
Deriving its name from the French ‘beau lieu’, meaning ‘beautiful place’, Beauly is a wonderful place to visit. It has an ideal mix of retail and culture and has benefitted from the introduction of the Kessock Bridge in the late 1970s meaning that the main A9 north route no longer passes straight through the heart of the village.
The drive from Inverness to Beauly along the A862 is quite breathtaking, skirting the southern edge of the Beauly Firth you may well be treated to an abundance of wading birds and even Red kites. Dolphins are quite common in these parts and you may even be lucky enough to spot the odd seal. The alternative route from Inverness is via the faster A9 main trunk road and takes in the well known landmark the Kessock Bridge Beauly has much to offer the visitor whether you are just stopping off en route to the Northern Highlands or planning on staying for a week. The remains of Beauly Priory, built in the early 13th century by an order of monks from the Burgundy region of France, is located just off the main square and is open to the public free of charge. Also worth noting is the magnificent old Elm tree at the entrance to the graveyard which is believed to be the oldest Elm tree in Europe at 800 years old. Whilst not vast, the main square and High Street offer a good range of shopping opportunities with gift shops, art and antique dealers, clothes shops, food retailers, a deli, hardware store, pharmacist and the fascinating Campbells Tweed House established in 1858 and still offering the full range of Highland dress today. Further along the main road toward Inverness you can find the House of Beauly, a high end visitor centre/gift shop with tea rooms.
Most appetites can be satisfied in Beauly with a range of eating establishments including takeaways, tea rooms, the deli and hotels serving both bar meals and restaurant food. A range of accommodation is also available in the area including self-catering, Bed and Breakfasts and Hotels.
Beauly is ideally located only 12 miles from Inverness giving access to all the facilities and activities on offer in the city. There are, however, many leisure pursuits to be enjoyed locally with plenty of walking and mountain biking opportunities and the river Beauly being famed for its salmon fishing. There is a 9 hole golf course in a spectacular setting just west of Beauly along the A831 at Aigas and by following this road you can access the magnificent Glen Strathfarrar, Glen Cannich and Glen Affric.