Chanonry Point is often visited as part of tours of the Black Isle, which—contrary to its name—is not an island but a peninsula north of Inverness. Tour itineraries typically include stops at key sights such as Chanonry Point, Black Isle Brewery, Glen Ord Distillery, and the photogenic village of Cromarty.
Another way to see the dolphin pods off Chanonry Point is with a boat tour. Dolphin-watching cruises depart from Avoch, Cromarty, and Inverness, with boats traveling into the Moray Firth in search of dolphins, harbor porpoises, gray seals, and minke whales.
Things to know before you go
- The viewing area is wheelchair-accessible.
- There are no restrooms at Chanonry Point—the nearest facilities are in the nearby villages of Rosemarkie and Fortrose.
- To increase your chances of spotting dolphins, plan on spending a couple of hours at Chanonry Point.
- The parking lot is small and the approach roads are narrow, so if you’re visiting during the busy summer months, get there early or park in the village and walk from there.
How to get there
Chanonry Point is situated on the Black Isle, about a 40-minute drive from the cruise port at Invergordon and about a 30-minute drive from Inverness. If you’re coming by public transit, take the Stagecoach Highlands 26a bus from Inverness to the Fortrose/Chanonry Park stop. From there, it’s a 5-minute taxi ride or a 25-minute walk to Chanonry Point.
When to get there
Summer is the best time to visit, with dolphins coming close to land to chase the salmon making their way to the nearby rivers of Ness and Beauly. Time your visit for the incoming tide—usually an hour or two after low tide—as this is when dolphins are most often spotted.
What to See Nearby
At Chanonry Point, look for the memorial stone to Brahan Seer, a 16th- or 17th-century soothsayer who was supposedly burned alive in a barrel of tar for telling the wife of a Highland clan chief and nobleman that her husband was having an affair. In the nearby town of Fortrose, you’ll find the red sandstone ruins of the town’s cathedral, parts of which date back as far as the 13th and 14th centuries.
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- Fort George
- Culloden Battlefield
- Hugh Miller’s Birthplace Cottage & Museum
- Clava Cairns
- Cawdor Castle and Gardens
- Merkinch Local Nature Reserve
- Old High Church (Old High St. Stephen’s)
- Inverness Castle
- River Ness (Abhainn Nis)
- Eden Court Theatre and Cinema
- Tomnahurich (Fairy Hill)
- Inverness Botanic Gardens (Floral Hall)
- Whin Park
- Glen Ord Distillery
- Rogie Falls