Monday 10th October – Bonar Bridge to Inverness

Monday 10th October – Bonar Bridge to Inverness

I set off from Bonar Bridge at 09:00hrs for a quick 15 mile ride south to the town of Tain, it was around 2 degrees & there was a bank of fog floating above the Kyle but the sun was making an appearance.

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Bonar ¬†Bridge (Scots Gaelic Drochaid a’ Bhanna) is situated on the north bank of the Kyle of Sutherland in the parish of Creich in the Highland Council Region. The Kyle is a river estuary for the rivers Oykel, Cassley, Shin & Carron that all enter the Kyle above the bridge at Bonar, the estuary then opens into the Dornoch Firth.

In 1746 the Earl of Cromartie & his men were returning South when they were attacked by Clan Sutherland in what later became known as the Battle of Bonar Bridge. Most of the Jacobite officers were captured, most of the earls men were killed, survivors were driven into the shore where several died while attempting to escape by swimming the Kyle of Sutherland.

Until 1812 the only means of crossing Dornoch Firth was by ferry boat. On the night of 16 August 1809 over 100 people boarded the ferry on the Dornoch side heading for the market in the town of Tain. About halfway across the ferry boat capsized & sank with the loss of 99 lives including the Sheriff of Dornoch. In 1812 work began to build a bridge, in total 3 bridges have been built, the last in 1973 which is still in use.

In 1927 a school of pilot whales ran aground in the bay between Bonar & Ardgay.

Tain (Scots Gaelic Baile Dhubhtaich) is a Royal Burgh & parish in the county of Ross in the Highland region.

A saint named Duthac, an early Christian figure was born here & in 1419 a shrine was erected which attracted large numbers of pilgrims. As a result an early Duthac Chapel became a centre of sanctuary, fugitives were by tradition given sanctuary in several square miles marked by boundary stones.

RAF Tain was built here in the 1930’s with the event of WW2 looming. It was home to British, Czech & Polish airmen but after the end of WW2 it was abandoned & turned into a bombing range for the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. img_2052-edited

I had a quick mooch around the town of Tain & then made for the rail station to get the 11:30hrs train to Inverness, I needed to be in Inverness by early afternoon so I could check into my Premier Inn hotel by 15:00hrs. The train journey was 1 hour 20 mins, the distance to cycle would have been another 35 miles from Tain, if I’d cycled it I wouldn’t have arrived until evening.

I checked into my hotel which has a view of the castle & is next to the River Ness, I sorted my pannier bags for the journey home tomorrow & gave Diana a quick once over whilst she was in the bedroom with me, a treat for her as she’s been a good ride this week.

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