… and other monochromes, from a walk between Portmahomack and Tarbat Ness lighthouse. To get here, head for Inverness, cross the Kessock and Cromarty Bridges, follow the A9 north, by-passing Invergordon, until a turning right is signposted Fearn and beyond. We are here because of golf, a ‘research’ trip for Golf in the Wild – Going Home – golf doesn’t get much wilder than this.
It is also a fine place to stay regardless of the golf: Known in Gaelic as ‘Port MoCholmaig’ or St Colman’s Port, Portmahomack can trace its roots back to 800 AD. Today, this pretty fishing village is well-known locally for its picturesque setting. The only village on the east coast of Scotland that faces due west, Portmahomack can enjoy spectacular sunsets. And because it is situated in an area of the Highlands renowned for its low rainfall, the village doesn’t suffer with those pesky West Coast midges! – http://www.portmahomack.org/
A remarkably flat landscape for much of the road towards the tip of the peninsular, it was purpose-built for aerodromes. More than seventy years after the end of World War II, there is much evidence of the decaying infrastructure that supported RAF Tain. It is also prime farmland, more reminiscent of the Great Plains than a land steeped in ancient Pictish history. There are the inevitable too-yellow fields of oil seed rape but also, acres given over to potato crops, much of which ends up in crackly packets of Walkers Crisps.
Once you reach the coastal village Portmahomack, the landscape roughens up such that the golf course is anything but flat which makes for a thoroughly entertaining 10-hole layout at the top of the village. Golf was first played here in 1894 and the current club established in 1909.
Portmahomack even has its own Carnegie Hall which, by happy coincidence, was playing host to Lizabett Russo on the night we arrived.
These photos ignore the golf as I am honour-bound to occasionally entertain the Good Wife/part-time caddie with walks that don’t include greens and fairways: