The Village of Beauly & the Beauly Firth
Beauly is some twelve miles from the Highland capital Inverness. The area has benefited from improved transport and communication links in recent years. In 2002 the railway station at Beauly re-opened to give commuters easy access to Inverness and beyond. Visitors to Beauly are invariably impressed with the quality and wide range of services on offer including banks, petrol station and cash machines.
The village takes its name from the French "beau lieu" (beautiful place), often attributed to Mary Queen of Scots, but in fact dating back to the monks of the Valliscaulian order, from the Burgundy region of France who built the Priory in 1230, long before her reign. In any event Beauly has lived up to its name over the years.
The Priory is now in the care of Historic Scotland and open to the public (no entry charge).
A winner of the 'Britain in Bloom' competition in 1995, Beauly villagers take great pride in its appearance. The main square, established by Baron Lovat in the 1840s hosts weekly pipeband displays in the summer months. Nearby is the Lovat Memorial Garden dedicated to the memory of Simon Fraser (15th Lord Lovat) who served with distinction in WW2 and was awarded the MC &DSO.
The Beauly Firth is in effect a continuation of the Moray Firth stretching some 7 miles from Beauly to Inverness. To the north lies the Black Isle while the southern shore is bounded by the hills and woods of the Aird. The Kessock Bridge, opened in 1982, crosses the narrows between the Firths.
Two main highland waterways feed into the Beauly Firth, the salmon abundant River Beauly to the east, and the Caledonian Canal at Clachnaharry on the outskirts of the Highland capital. The Beauly Firth has an abundance of wildlife to enjoy. Dolphins and porpoise are regularly seen close to the shore and a wide variety of birdlife can be viewed.