Geo-Trips :: Black Isle east coast : Walk from Eathie to Hillockhead and on to Rosemarkie

East coast Black Isle

A walk from Eathie, Sun, 23 Aug 2015 by Julian Paren

The coast of the Black Isle north of Rosemarkie is trackless but may be walked along by the seashore, tides permitting. There are two places where a high tide prevents a way ahead. One between Rosemarkie and Hillockhead, at Scart Craig, and another between Hillockhead and Eathie. This Geotrip covers the whole route between Eathie and Rosemarkie, but the imagery is reserved for the section north of Hillockhead. Another Geotrip will provide the imagery for the Rosemarkie to Hillockhead section.

The walk is a linear walk and benefits from a lift to the start at Eathie. Rosemarkie is on a good bus route. This coast is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its rocks and coastal vegetation, and was made famous by the pioneering geological studies of Hugh Miller. The coast also contains the geological event - the Rosemarkie Inlier - and the striking salmon pink colour of the leucogranitic rock is great to find. Wildlife lovers have said it is great to be the first across the tidal sections because then you have the best chance to see otter tracks in the unwalked sand.

The walk from Eathie to Rosemarkie is 7.3 miles long, and with a lunch and exploring the rocks can take 4.5 hours. The walk starts by the Interpretation Boards near Eathie Mains before a walk by fields and a steep descent through woods to the coast.

On the map below, the grey line is the GPS track from this trip. Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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NH7661 : Black Isle coastline below Craighead by Julian Paren
Black Isle coastline below Craighead
A fine stretch of coast with hard sand to walk on. Just south of the tidal section... more

NH7561 : Walking the shoreline between Eathie and Rosemarkie by Julian Paren
Walking the shoreline between Eathie and Rosemarkie
The route encompasses soft sand which is a pain to walk in, boulder fields which... more

NH7763 : Interior:  Ammonite Bothy at Eathie Fishing Station by Julian Paren
Interior: Ammonite Bothy at Eathie Fishing Station
All set up in readiness for someone wishing to spend the night. At one time four... more

NH7763 : Beach of boulders south of Eathie by Julian Paren
Beach of boulders south of Eathie
Not the easiest of terrains to walk over knowing there are six miles before you... more

NH7762 : Rock surface, Black Isle coast by Julian Paren
Rock surface, Black Isle coast
So much history in the rocks that I cannot understand.

NH7662 : Lichen and coastal plants, Black Isle by Julian Paren
Lichen and coastal plants, Black Isle
Prolific cover hiding the true rock surface.

NH7662 : Barnacles and mussels on the Black Isle coast by Julian Paren
Barnacles and mussels on the Black Isle coast
Living on a strongly coloured rock.

NH7662 : Bedrock below Eathie Hill on the shore of the Black Isle by Julian Paren
Bedrock below Eathie Hill on the shore of the Black Isle
Differential weathering between the adjacent rock strata has produced this obelisk.

NH7661 : The tidal section of the Eathie to Hillockhead coastal walk by Julian Paren
The tidal section of the Eathie to Hillockhead coastal walk
A short section of the Hillockhead to Eathie coastal walk is under water for part... more

NH7661 : Black Isle coastline below Craighead by Julian Paren
Black Isle coastline below Craighead
Cut off by cliffs, this is a remote section of the coast between Rosemarkie and Eathie.

NH7661 : Coastal rocks below Craighead by Julian Paren
Coastal rocks below Craighead
Plenty of colour in the rocks and in the lichen - and some fascinating geological... more

NH7661 : Vertical strata in the bedrock below Craighead, Black Isle by Julian Paren
Vertical strata in the bedrock below Craighead, Black Isle
Beautiful sand and a fine salmon-pink coloured band in the sedimentary rocks now... more

NH7763 : Interior of the Bothy, Eathie Fishing Station by Julian Paren
Interior of the Bothy, Eathie Fishing Station
A weatherproof place to spend some days. Less than 100 years ago four people... more

NH7762 : Geological Disconformity by Julian Paren
Geological Disconformity
I presume the intrusion is the salmon coloured leucogranitic rock of the... more

NH7661 : Lichens on the coastal rocks by Julian Paren
Lichens on the coastal rocks
A vivid splash of colour above the high tide line.

NH7661 : Secluded sandy beach on the Black Isle coast by Julian Paren
Secluded sandy beach on the Black Isle coast
An ideal place for a lunch stop on the walk from Eathie to Rosemarkie. And we... more

All images © Julian Paren and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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