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Strathpeffer, In the 19th century it was discovered that the several mineral springs in the valley here had curative properties and in no time at all a resort was created for hordes of visitors who travelled from far and wide to take the waters, A pump room was built and by the end of the 19th century Strathpeffer had become the 'Harrogate of the North', with a pavilion, a rheumatic hospital and five mineral wells of different strengths.
The waters of the spa, both sulphur and chalybeate, are still available from a small Pump Room re-opened in 1960. So popular was the town that it had its own branch railway line from Dingwell, with its own Strathpeffer Express which included through coaches from London. much of the former spa stands complete and the town retains its original Victorian charm, which makes it a popular tourist attraction staying in bed and breakfast accommodation.
Dominating the valley is the mass of Ben Wyvis (3433 ft), where a proposed mountain railway and ski development threatens to bring in more tourists. Overlooking Strathpeffer is the ridge of Knockfarrel where a vitrified fort can be seen. Close by the Ben Wyvis Hotel is the Eagle Stone, a carved Pictish monument with an ornamented arch and an eagle - possibly a marriage stone.
Until after the First World War, Strathpeffer was a famous spa, can be found about five miles west of Dingwall on the A834 in the Scottish Highlands
The village is This picturesque village is unlike any other you will find in the Highlands as it is lavishly full of Victorian buildings, based around the Victorian obsession with healing waters It is like stepping back in time.
There was once a train to Strathpeffer which brought hundreds of people from all over the UK to the famous spa waters, after a prominent Dr Thomas Morrison claimed in 1819 that the water was the most “efficacious in Britain.”
The very first pump room in Strathpeffer was opened in 1820 and this brought many health-seekers, prompting the construction of several hotels in the village
Seasonal visitors to Strathpeffer increased considerably in numbers, and a branch line to Strathpeffer itself was opened in 1885; the earlier station was renamed Achterneed.
In 1909 a new pump-room was added to the first and the gardens were improved. It was reopened in 1960, and the holiday centre much developed, particularly in facilities for golf and tennis,
Tourism increased considerably, but the First World War interrupted the leisure development, and it never recovered after the war.
In 1946 the second Strathpeffer station was closed to passengers.
The earlier station, now called Achterneed, continued in use, being located on a through line, but it closed in 1964.
To the North of the village stands Castle Leod, the seat of the Earl of Cromartie.
The Castle was built on an L-plan, with a deep parapet and with bartizans at the angles, by Sir Rorie Mackenzie of Coigach in 1619.
Here you can find the Ben Wyvis a vast and sprawling mountain whose isolated position makes it the dominating feature of a wide area of the Highlands,The summit is 935m, and the ascent 14km.
you ascent to its spacious plateau which has a simple walk in good summer conditions by Munro standards and there are very extensive views from the summit, there is parking at the car park just south of the bridge over the Allt a Bhealaich Mhoir.
Here you will find the Strathpuffer the legendary 24 hour mountain bike endurance event held every year, in the Highlands of Scotland in the middle of winter, seen on the Scottish out door programme, The Adventure Show
It all started in 2005,It was meant to be a one-off local event, but somehow, more than a decade later we have a national event with a legendary status.
Over the years we have had every possible type of weather conditions - gales that blew away our marquee, iced roads, 2ft of snow the week before the event, temperatures down to minus 10 degrees, rain, hail and even sunshine
The Strathpuffer follows the traditional 24 hour MTB format with laps of a circa 12.5 km course
It starts at 10.00 am on Saturday morning and competitors must start their last lap by 10.00 am on Sunday morning and complete it by 11.00 am
The event is open to solos, pairs, teams of four and teams of eight for schools, it now attracts competitors from all over the world,
Strathpeffer Spa Golf Club was founded in 1888, Today it has 18 holes which has one of the most scenic courses in Scotland with spectacular panoramic views towards the Cromarty Firth in the east and the Fannich Hills in the west and the views are worth the green-fees alone.