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Guidebook for Highland

Steve

Guidebook for Highland

Food Scene
A wide selection of locally produced pints (from the Black Isle Brewery) and fantastic pizzas.
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Black Isle Bar & Rooms
68 Church St
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A wide selection of locally produced pints (from the Black Isle Brewery) and fantastic pizzas.
It has a good selection of chef cooked food at a good price. There is an early evening menu up to 7, the food is just as good but it is a bit cheaper.
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The Mustard Seed Restaurant
16 Fraser St
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It has a good selection of chef cooked food at a good price. There is an early evening menu up to 7, the food is just as good but it is a bit cheaper.
It has a good selection of chef cooked food at a good price. There is an early evening menu up to 7, the food is just as good but it is a bit cheaper.
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The Kitchen Restaurant
15 Huntly St
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It has a good selection of chef cooked food at a good price. There is an early evening menu up to 7, the food is just as good but it is a bit cheaper.
Standard Pizza Express menu but I have always found it to be good service.
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Pizza Express
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Standard Pizza Express menu but I have always found it to be good service.
My kids love it. Basically, no seating but its walkable from the B&B and on the route back from most of the eateries in town.
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Miele's Gelateria
92 Church St
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My kids love it. Basically, no seating but its walkable from the B&B and on the route back from most of the eateries in town.
Excellent carvery and salads. Worth the wait in the queue (and there is usually a queue because it is good). From Inverness it’s a nice drive across the Black Isle. There is a good chance you will see an oil rig in the Cromarty Firth for servicing and you can drive in to Invergordon for a closer look.
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The Storehouse
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Excellent carvery and salads. Worth the wait in the queue (and there is usually a queue because it is good). From Inverness it’s a nice drive across the Black Isle. There is a good chance you will see an oil rig in the Cromarty Firth for servicing and you can drive in to Invergordon for a closer look.
For those interested in an eco café it is worth the walk up the hill.
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Velocity Cafe and Bicycle Workshop
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For those interested in an eco café it is worth the walk up the hill.
Excellent food.
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Rocpool
1 Ness Walk
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Excellent food.
Excellent food.
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Cafe One
75 Castle St
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Excellent food.
Lovely restaurant. Specialising is fish.
River House
1 Greig St
Lovely restaurant. Specialising is fish.
Good sized portions of typical pub grub
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The WaterFront
70 Huntly St
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Good sized portions of typical pub grub
Good pizzas and a dedicated area for kids to amuse themselves
Pepperoni Speciale
18 Tomnahurich St
Good pizzas and a dedicated area for kids to amuse themselves
Drinks & Nightlife
The clue is in the name. Live Scottish music every night on the ground floor. If the upper floors are opened (eg at weekends) they have (non-Scottish) music.
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Hootananny
67 Church St
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The clue is in the name. Live Scottish music every night on the ground floor. If the upper floors are opened (eg at weekends) they have (non-Scottish) music.
Live music every night of any type (Scottish, Rock, Jazz, R&B etc)
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Gellions Bar
14 Bridge St
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Live music every night of any type (Scottish, Rock, Jazz, R&B etc)
Sightseeing
Nice falls (with not too much walking). Nice cafe adjacent to the car park. A nice drive in itself and a good spot to stop if driving all around the loch. A good point to stop if you do a trip around Loch Ness.
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Falls of Foyers
45 B852
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Nice falls (with not too much walking). Nice cafe adjacent to the car park. A nice drive in itself and a good spot to stop if driving all around the loch. A good point to stop if you do a trip around Loch Ness.
The monument is a long and tiring walk, but fantastic views on a clear day. Treat yourself to lunch at the Storehouse of Foulis afterwards you will have earned it.
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Fyrish Monument.
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The monument is a long and tiring walk, but fantastic views on a clear day. Treat yourself to lunch at the Storehouse of Foulis afterwards you will have earned it.
The viaduct is scenic in itself (best from a distance as the construction is concrete) but iconic as the viaduct seen in the Harry Potter movies. From the same car park, you can visit the Glenfinnan Monument, marking the point the Bonnie Prince Charlie came ashore in 1745. If you continue on to Mallaig it is a lovely drive and you might notice the island that Dumbledore was buried on.
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Glenfinnan Viaduct View Point
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The viaduct is scenic in itself (best from a distance as the construction is concrete) but iconic as the viaduct seen in the Harry Potter movies. From the same car park, you can visit the Glenfinnan Monument, marking the point the Bonnie Prince Charlie came ashore in 1745. If you continue on to Mallaig it is a lovely drive and you might notice the island that Dumbledore was buried on.
Lovely falls. Bit of a walk down (and worse going up) so good to burn off some energy but not good if mobility is an issue.
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Rogie Falls
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Lovely falls. Bit of a walk down (and worse going up) so good to burn off some energy but not good if mobility is an issue.
A nice drive through the Highlands takes you to a beautiful location. You could stop and take a picture but better to take a walk. A good half day or longer trip.
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Glen Affric
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A nice drive through the Highlands takes you to a beautiful location. You could stop and take a picture but better to take a walk. A good half day or longer trip.
Eathie Beach is on the south coast of the Black Isle. It is a good 20-30 mins walk down a trail from the small parking area. As such it is ‘underutilised’ or if you prefer ‘unspoilt’. I’m recommending it as a half day out as you are on the Black Isle and the beach is popular with fossil hunters. Note: due to the walk you are not recommend to take the usual beach accoutrements and there is virtually nothing man made there, so go for the ice-cream treat once back in the car.
Eathie Hill
Eathie Beach is on the south coast of the Black Isle. It is a good 20-30 mins walk down a trail from the small parking area. As such it is ‘underutilised’ or if you prefer ‘unspoilt’. I’m recommending it as a half day out as you are on the Black Isle and the beach is popular with fossil hunters. Note: due to the walk you are not recommend to take the usual beach accoutrements and there is virtually nothing man made there, so go for the ice-cream treat once back in the car.
A local company offering a variety of tours (boat, boat/bus, bus/boat) centred on the world renowned Loch Ness, so perhaps your best chance to see Nessie. There is a variety of tour lengths and a number of different pick up and drop off points.
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Loch Ness by Jacobite - Clansman Harbour
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A local company offering a variety of tours (boat, boat/bus, bus/boat) centred on the world renowned Loch Ness, so perhaps your best chance to see Nessie. There is a variety of tour lengths and a number of different pick up and drop off points.
The castle isn’t really a castle – it was built as a Court of Law and is still being used for this purpose. However, the viewpoint has good views of the area (on a clear day). If the weather is poor or you are on a tight budget just have a look around the outside.
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Inverness Castle
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The castle isn’t really a castle – it was built as a Court of Law and is still being used for this purpose. However, the viewpoint has good views of the area (on a clear day). If the weather is poor or you are on a tight budget just have a look around the outside.
Who hasn't heard of Loch Ness? Even if you don’t see Nessie it's worth the drive. If you have the time do a circuit of the whole loch - easily a day trip if you stop along the way. I’d go anti-clockwise, consider stopping at Loch Ness Exhibition, Urquhart Castle, Fort Augustus (for food), Falls of Foyers, Dores and any view point if which there are lots.
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Loch Ness
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Who hasn't heard of Loch Ness? Even if you don’t see Nessie it's worth the drive. If you have the time do a circuit of the whole loch - easily a day trip if you stop along the way. I’d go anti-clockwise, consider stopping at Loch Ness Exhibition, Urquhart Castle, Fort Augustus (for food), Falls of Foyers, Dores and any view point if which there are lots.
Excellent, intact fort. Built after the Battle of Culloden, but not needed by the time of its completion, it is still an active army unit. Multiple things to see, good views of the Black Isle and the chance to see dolphins.
Fort George
Excellent, intact fort. Built after the Battle of Culloden, but not needed by the time of its completion, it is still an active army unit. Multiple things to see, good views of the Black Isle and the chance to see dolphins.
Fantastic castle. Been in many a movie, including: Highlander, The World Is Not Enough (James Bond), Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Rob Roy, Entrapment. Worth the drive from Inverness. Could tie in a visit to Skye which is about another 10 miles further.
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Eilean Donan Castle
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Fantastic castle. Been in many a movie, including: Highlander, The World Is Not Enough (James Bond), Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Rob Roy, Entrapment. Worth the drive from Inverness. Could tie in a visit to Skye which is about another 10 miles further.
Another fantastic location of world renown. Could be visited as a day trip (bus tours from the town centre). A must see if you get the chance. Google it.
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Isle of Skye
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Another fantastic location of world renown. Could be visited as a day trip (bus tours from the town centre). A must see if you get the chance. Google it.
I love old stuff and I love built stuff. Orkney is unbelievable. You might just end up passing a 12 century cathedral and a site of Viking significance, then around a Neolithic village enroute to your destination – a UNESCO Word Heritage site 1,000 years older than the pyrimds at Giza. Days trips start at the bus station (in season) or you can drive/ferry or fly.
Orkney
I love old stuff and I love built stuff. Orkney is unbelievable. You might just end up passing a 12 century cathedral and a site of Viking significance, then around a Neolithic village enroute to your destination – a UNESCO Word Heritage site 1,000 years older than the pyrimds at Giza. Days trips start at the bus station (in season) or you can drive/ferry or fly.
The castle is mostly not there, but you get some great views of Loch Ness. See the movie in the visitor centre before you head outside.
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Urquhart Castle
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The castle is mostly not there, but you get some great views of Loch Ness. See the movie in the visitor centre before you head outside.
A significant point in the countries history. A good new visitors centre.
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Culloden Battlefield
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A significant point in the countries history. A good new visitors centre.
Dores is at the north end of Loch Ness (on the southern road). The Dores Inn beer garden (with an outside bar in season) has excellent views of the loch and is on the beach so kids can do their thing. Good food too. A good point to stop if you do a trip around Loch Ness.
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Dores
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Dores is at the north end of Loch Ness (on the southern road). The Dores Inn beer garden (with an outside bar in season) has excellent views of the loch and is on the beach so kids can do their thing. Good food too. A good point to stop if you do a trip around Loch Ness.
This is a nice point to stop to stretch your legs if driving along the A9. There is a car park and it is a short walk to the Hermitage which is a small building with a fab view of a waterfall. You could continue on a longer walk if you wanted to.
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The Hermitage
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This is a nice point to stop to stretch your legs if driving along the A9. There is a car park and it is a short walk to the Hermitage which is a small building with a fab view of a waterfall. You could continue on a longer walk if you wanted to.
Parks & Nature
Basically a nice walk, on a well-maintained path with some rather large trees (with signage). My mother managed it in her 80s. Good way for youngsters to burn off some energy but not too long.
Reelig Glen
Basically a nice walk, on a well-maintained path with some rather large trees (with signage). My mother managed it in her 80s. Good way for youngsters to burn off some energy but not too long.
A variety of walks. There is a board in the car park so you can decide on which one to walk when you get there.
Culloden Forest
A variety of walks. There is a board in the car park so you can decide on which one to walk when you get there.
A good park for families. Equipment suitable for various ages including the younger ones. There is a boating pond with boats to rent. There is also (seasonal) a ride on train. It is close to the river so you can have a seat on the riverbank if you want. There is an ice cream shop adjacent to the car park (seasonal) or it is a short walk to the Floral hall which has a coffee shop year-round. Not suitable for ball games.
Whinpark
A good park for families. Equipment suitable for various ages including the younger ones. There is a boating pond with boats to rent. There is also (seasonal) a ride on train. It is close to the river so you can have a seat on the riverbank if you want. There is an ice cream shop adjacent to the car park (seasonal) or it is a short walk to the Floral hall which has a coffee shop year-round. Not suitable for ball games.
A good park with equipment suitable for various ages including the very young. Adjacent to a park so suitable for a frisbee or a kick about. No shops/ice cream nearby.
Fraser Park
A good park with equipment suitable for various ages including the very young. Adjacent to a park so suitable for a frisbee or a kick about. No shops/ice cream nearby.
Lots of plants in this park and a play area good for the younger ones, not good for young teens. It has a very small paddling pool. Seasonal ice cream shop. The latter portion of the park has 6 tennis courts open to anyone.
Bellfield Park
Lots of plants in this park and a play area good for the younger ones, not good for young teens. It has a very small paddling pool. Seasonal ice cream shop. The latter portion of the park has 6 tennis courts open to anyone.
A ride on train (seasonal) takes you around a landscaped park. The young(ish) ones will love it.
Ness Islands Railway Co.
A ride on train (seasonal) takes you around a landscaped park. The young(ish) ones will love it.
Not a spectacular destination but a nice walk. Go to the upstream end of the upstream island and have a seat to watch the river. I recommend a walk upstream from the castle, over the islands and downstream back to the B&B. Or go a bit further to the Floral hall for a look-see and/or a cuppa in their café.
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Ness Islands
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Not a spectacular destination but a nice walk. Go to the upstream end of the upstream island and have a seat to watch the river. I recommend a walk upstream from the castle, over the islands and downstream back to the B&B. Or go a bit further to the Floral hall for a look-see and/or a cuppa in their café.
A nice drive along the south coast of the Black Isle will take you to Chanonry Point. I good place to view the Moray Firth and a chance to see dolphins.
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Chanonry Point
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A nice drive along the south coast of the Black Isle will take you to Chanonry Point. I good place to view the Moray Firth and a chance to see dolphins.
A (free) mini-mini Kew Gardens in the far north. An indoor tropical house, a cactus house, outdoor gardens planted in different styles. Good place for kids to run about. When finished you can get a drink etc from the adjacent cafe. Alternatively, drop the kids at the leisure centre and cross the road to the floral hall.
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Inverness Botanic Gardens
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A (free) mini-mini Kew Gardens in the far north. An indoor tropical house, a cactus house, outdoor gardens planted in different styles. Good place for kids to run about. When finished you can get a drink etc from the adjacent cafe. Alternatively, drop the kids at the leisure centre and cross the road to the floral hall.
The UK tallest hill. You can set off first thing in the morning and ‘conquer’ The Ben and be back in Inverness for your evening meal. Definitely not for the unprepared. Do not do it on a whim, do not do it without the appropriate equipment. Depending on your start point - there is a track (of varying quality) all the way to the top. Fantastic views at the top (if not in cloud).
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Ben Nevis
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The UK tallest hill. You can set off first thing in the morning and ‘conquer’ The Ben and be back in Inverness for your evening meal. Definitely not for the unprepared. Do not do it on a whim, do not do it without the appropriate equipment. Depending on your start point - there is a track (of varying quality) all the way to the top. Fantastic views at the top (if not in cloud).
Handa Island is a bird nature reserve. It is a good drive through lovely scenery to get to the harbour to catch the boat (you can only get to it by boat). It is about a 45 minute walk across the island to get to he Puffin colony. If this is your kind of thing then you will love it. You cannot overnight on the island. Last Ferry to the island is at 1400 and it does not operate on Sundays.
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Handa, Scotland
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Handa Island is a bird nature reserve. It is a good drive through lovely scenery to get to the harbour to catch the boat (you can only get to it by boat). It is about a 45 minute walk across the island to get to he Puffin colony. If this is your kind of thing then you will love it. You cannot overnight on the island. Last Ferry to the island is at 1400 and it does not operate on Sundays.
Entertainment & Activities
Its not Disneyland but it is local. Set in the midst of a forest there are lots of activities for all ages – waterslides, climbing, jumps, treetop trails and a small rollercoaster. There is a tree top walk with an extremely high chance you will see red squirrels. There is a fire tower with good views of the area at the top. The Bamboozeleum is full of optical illusions. There is a butterfly house, a maze, a shooting gallery etc. The food is well priced for a tourist attraction. I use the burger bar rather than the restaurant as the service is much quicker.
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Landmark Forest Adventure Park
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Its not Disneyland but it is local. Set in the midst of a forest there are lots of activities for all ages – waterslides, climbing, jumps, treetop trails and a small rollercoaster. There is a tree top walk with an extremely high chance you will see red squirrels. There is a fire tower with good views of the area at the top. The Bamboozeleum is full of optical illusions. There is a butterfly house, a maze, a shooting gallery etc. The food is well priced for a tourist attraction. I use the burger bar rather than the restaurant as the service is much quicker.
There are 2 Loch Ness ‘Nessie’ based attractions in Drumnadrochit. The exhibition is the one to see. It is a 5* attraction taking you through the legend of the Loch Ness Monster and the scientific studies.
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Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition
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There are 2 Loch Ness ‘Nessie’ based attractions in Drumnadrochit. The exhibition is the one to see. It is a 5* attraction taking you through the legend of the Loch Ness Monster and the scientific studies.
Fantastic castle. Lovely gardens (going through a transition) with a croquet lawn. The Bird of Prey display is a MUST SEE. Take your camera – sit at the front opposite the perch or front row at the very end.
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Dunrobin Castle
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Fantastic castle. Lovely gardens (going through a transition) with a croquet lawn. The Bird of Prey display is a MUST SEE. Take your camera – sit at the front opposite the perch or front row at the very end.
A cooper makes barrels, in this case for the whisky industry. If you are here for the whisky it should be included in your itinerary. There is a film then a visit to the factory floor.
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Speyside Cooperage
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A cooper makes barrels, in this case for the whisky industry. If you are here for the whisky it should be included in your itinerary. There is a film then a visit to the factory floor.
A nice sized indoor kart track. Good option on a rainy day.
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Inverness Kart Raceway
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A nice sized indoor kart track. Good option on a rainy day.
Arts & Culture
Eden Court is the main theatre and entertainment venue for the Highlands. It is alongside the river and there is always a packed agenda of performances. See box office for details.
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Eden Court Inverness
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Eden Court is the main theatre and entertainment venue for the Highlands. It is alongside the river and there is always a packed agenda of performances. See box office for details.
Shopping
The House of Bruar is a good point to stop on the way up/down the A9. It isn’t cheap but good quality including the food.
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The House of Bruar
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The House of Bruar is a good point to stop on the way up/down the A9. It isn’t cheap but good quality including the food.