|Track length:||135.4 km|
|Total ascent:||0 m|
|Total descent:||0 m|
|Difficulty Level:||3/5 - Medium|
From the roundabout take the A9 route over the Kessock bridge across the Beauly Firth to the Black Isle, through North Kessock, Artafallie, Arpafeelie to the Tore roundabout, take the A9 turning to Duncanston and over the Cromarty Bridge cutting a dozen or more miles off the A9 route north, and bypassing towns such as Beauly, Muir of Ord and Dingwall, it significantly shortens the route north from Inverness.
Built in 1979, the whole structure is about a mile and a half long, terminating in a roundabout with the A862 on the north shore, continue on the A9 through Drummand and Evanton to the B9176 to Contullich, here you will find Contullich Castle found a few miles north-west of the town of Alness, on the eastern side of the county of Ross-shire, Scotland, believed to date back the 11th century,situated on the west side of Contullich farm-house.
It was taken down around 1826, the stones were used for building the farm-house and steading, Human remains were found here inside the walls.
From Contullich continue on the B9176 through this historic region, north, with the counties of Ross-shire and Cromartyshire, Ross-shire being the larger of the two counties, including all of Lewis and most of Ross and Cromarty on the Scottish mainland, Ross itself comprises the traditional regions of Wester Ross, on the Atlantic coast, and Easter Ross, on the North Sea coast.
The County is beautifully and remote its possible to spend an entire day walking without ever seeing another person on the hill beside you, you may be able to catch sight of eagles, deer, pine marten, dragonflies, and other rare animals and insects.
This region is full of Stone circles and cairns that provide evidence of the area’s prehistoric occupation and the Pictish kingdom with carved memorial stones and crosses, round stone towers known as brochs, or “Pictish towers,” and underground stone houses called weems, or “Picts’ houses.”
The Gaelic Lords of the Isles dominated the Atlantic coast from the 12th century to the 15th century, when the kings of Scotland secured control over the entire region.
During the 18th century in this region the government reduced the power of the clan chiefs and cleared the way for acquisition of much of the land by outsiders, who forcibly evicted thousands of crofters in the Highland clearances forcing large-scale emigration to create large sheep-farming estates.
Today the development of Tourism offers some of the most beautiful and rugged scenery of the Scottish Highlands, its very remoteness means that it is relatively quiet and peaceful even at the height of the summer months.
The B9176 continues through Achandunie, Dalnavie, Easter Ardross to Sittenhham, Kincardin, Ardgay and over Bonner Bridge, take the A836 to Invershin, passed Klye of Sutherland a natural tidal river estuary, tributaries and burns with 61 named fresh water lochs, it flows into the Dornoch Firth and is fed by the rivers Oykel, Shin, River Cassley and Carron, the downstream extent of the Kyle of Sutherland is the Bonar Bridge, the upstream end of 'the Kyle' as it is locally known, is the furthest inland extent of tidal water, which corresponds to 'the bailey bridge', beyond Rosehallits, these are wild, rugged rivers, which offer a wealth of salmon angling fishing amongst some of the most stunningly scenic backdrops in the Highlands, here you can stop and admire the natural wonders like the Rogie Falls and Corrieshalloch Gorge, then sail out to explore the windswept isles of Lewis and Harris, spot dolphins around the coast, stroll the sandy beaches and visit fascinating ancient sites like the Callanish Standing Stones and Carloway Broch, see the Sound of Taransay – a remote and windswept island that was made famous for hosting the British TV programme, Castaway and stroll along beautiful Lusekentyre Beach.
From Invershin continue through Achinduich, were you will find the remains of a double stone circle, the outer ring now consists of five stones approximately 1m high, with only the western arc that still remains, the inner circle has only three stones that survive with the tallest standing to approximately 0.8m, the monument is of national importance as the remains are of a rare double stone circle and part of a major complex of prehistoric remains in Achany Glen.
From Achinduich continue on the A836 to Lairg, to the Junction at Dalchork for the A838 to Colaboll, a wild beautiful region, traverses the ancient and geologically fascinating landscape offering some of most striking hill scenery in Scotland, comparable to the better known Torridonian Sandstone hills of Assynt, on the clearest days, the cone of Morven is visible across large stretches of the Northern Highlands, from Hoy and even from south of the Moray Firth, Mormond Hill in Buchan is a fine example, a quartzite residual rising from the surrounding granitic and metamorphic rocks, the roads are mostly single track sweeping through sublime Glen Oykle, with an ever-changing landscape that will take your breath away, from the mountains and lochs to rugged sea cliffs, take your bike and cycle through the incredible scenery of northern Scotland on winding tarmac and single track roads past towering mountains, sandy beaches and rolling wilderness.
From Colaboll continue on the A838 through Corriekinloch passing Loch A Ghriama a small but beautiful and remote loch, it is the next loch after Loch Shin if you are heading north though the glen it turns east at this point and Loch a'Ghriama runs east-west, the road is usually very quiet and this makes for a lovely easy walk along the loch side, with fishing for wild brown trout on Loch Shin, Loch a’Ghriama and Loch Merkland, from here every road is a beautiful journey through remote Sutherland, in the Highlands of Scotland, stay on the A838 to the Laxford Bridge a stone arch bridge in Sutherland, which carries the A838 across the River Laxford north to Rhiconich and Durness.
The bridge was built about 1834 by the Dukes of Sutherland the road from Lairg, one of the destitution roads built during the potato famine, not being completed until 1851, the bridge is a category B listed building.
From the Bridge you can continue on to Loch Laxford, the name "Laxford" derives from the Norse for "salmon fjord", the river is well known for its salmon and fly fishing, the area is an important geological region and forms part of the North West Sutherland National Scenic Area, one of 40 such areas in Scotland, areas of exceptional scenery that are protected by restricting certain forms of development.