Places of Interest around TainHill of Tain and Aldie Burn. Walks leaflets are available from Tain Through Time. The list of places that follows is just a sample of what you might find.
Both faces of the stone are covered with a profusion of symbols, including a prominent cross in high relief bosses. At Nigg the stone is in Nigg Old Church which is open daily 10am to 5pm from Easter to the end of October. The church itself is well worth a visit.
At Edderton there is a Pictish cross slab in Edderton Old Churchyard, and an earlier Pictish symbol stone in Edderton village. The fabulous cross slab which once stood by the old chapel site at Hilton was controversially removed to the British Museum in 1921 and is now in the Museum of Scotland. A project is taking place to carve a replica which will be erected at the original site.
Portmahomack is also worth visiting for its long sandy beach with stunning views to the mountains of Sutherland. Just to the north of the village is Tarbat Ness Lighthouse, built in 1830 by Robert Stevenson. It is the second tallest lighthouse in Britain and is not open to the public.
Another church of particular interest is that at Croick in Strathcarron. Eighty people from Glencalvie sheltered here when they were evicted from their homes in 1845. Some of their names were scratched on the church window; these can still be seen along with contemporary newspaper reports describing the events.
Returning closer to Tain, opposite the Glenmorangie Distillery on the A9 is the Walter Scott Stone. This is a large boulder carved with the inscription "The Immortal Walter Scott OB 1832", by a mason working on the construction of the distillery.
There are several impressive castles around Tain, including those at Balnagown, seat of the Clan Ross, Ballone and Skibo, built by Andrew Carnegie. These are all privately owned and are not open to the public. In order to visit a great Highland castle you must go to the home of the Countess of Sutherland at Dunrobin, just north of Golspie on the A9. For more information on Skibo Castle visit their website.