Outdoor

Tain is an excellent base for walking and cycling. For details of just some of the walks, viewpoints and cycle routes.

The long bright summer days in this wonderful area will draw you to the splendid beaches within easy reach of the town; with beaches at Portmahomack, Nigg, Shandwich and Balintore. Windsurfing and water skiing are popular at Portmahomack. Also visit Tarbat Ness, where the lighthouse stands, it has excellent coastal scenery and wildlife. 
 
Within a 10 minute drive you can reach the award winning, Blue Flag Status, Dornoch beach, a beautiful, safe sandy beach for all the family to enjoy.

The Links area provides a pleasant walking and recreational area to the north of the town centre with ample car parking facilities offers stunning views of the Firth, the Sutherland coastline and the open sea to the Northeast. Access to the foreshore and beach to the Northeast is provided by a narrow Victorian suspension bridge, which adds character to the landscape. Includes waterside walk, with pathway, children's play areas and large recreational/outdoor sports areas. Several hundred species of flowering plant are present, ten of which are at their most northerly limit and are uncommon in Easter Ross and several being national rarities. The area is of major importance for wintering and breeding wildfowl, long tail ducks ospreys and oystercatchers and offers great opportunities for bird watching. 

Wildlife

For the bird watcher, the coastal scenery is very rewarding, with gannets, skuas and shearwaters inhabiting the outer areas whilst the bays of Nigg, Tain and Ardjachie are renowned for the number of waders and ducks. The highest recorded numbers of teal and widgeon in the UK have been recorded in these bays. From mid October to the end of November, Loch Eye, approx 5 miles from Tain, comes into its own. Between 10,000 and 20,000 greylag geese break their migration journey here, and it is an unforgettable experience to hear and see the long skiens winging down to the fields and water. Sharing the loch with the geese and ducks are about 1,000 whooper swans, and in summer you may see an osprey fishing.

Fishing

Many people come to this area to enjoy fishing, with activities to suit all tastes with its wide selection of waters. 
  
There are opportunities for family fishing, Salmon and Sea Trout, Wild Brown Trout and activities for the more adventurous angler. Permits for various lochs, equipment and information is available from R Macleod in Tain, telephone +44 (0)1862 892171 or visit their website on www.rmacleod.co.uk. 

Cycle Routes

Morangie Route 

12 mile round trip. Moderate grade mostly on forest road, with some demanding off road sections. 

Offers some particularly fine views across the Dornoch Firth and up the Sutherland coast; these viewpoints are the ideal spot to enjoy a rest or a picnic after the climb up from the Lairgs of Tain. 

Strathrory Route 

24 mile round trip. Mostly moderate grade with some more demanding sections, some on forest roads and some on public roads. 

Starts with a steep climb to a magnificent vista over the Cromarty Firth, the Moray Coast and Ben Wyvis, once this climb is over you can enjoy a gentle downward run into the older trees at Scotsburn whilst continuing to enjoy the view. Part of the reason the forests of Ardross are so valuable to wildlife are the old gnarled Scots Pine that are dotted about the wood, look out for these on the sections through Lamington and Inchindown. 

Both of these routes give you an opportunity to sample the diversity of this well forested part of Ross-shire and to hopefully spot some of the abundant animal and birdlife that makes its home there.

Outdoor

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