Discovering Craig Dunain Woods Inverness
During the COVID 19 pandemic, I featured walks within 5 miles of my home in Inverness. That’s how I came up with my list of things to do in Craig Dunain Wood. I came up with Then the Scottish Government guidelines told us that we are only allowed to travel with this distance of our homes to exercise. The Dunain Community Woodland Facebook page alerted me to this walk. Even though I’m an Invernessian and have been a tour guide in Inverness for several years I have never walked in these woods before. I was very surprised by the number of things to see on my walk and will definitely return again with Archie (my black Labrador dog) in the future.
Become a Community Volunteer
The Dunain Community Woodland is owned by Robertson Homes. At the moment they are building homes for sale in the area. A band of enthusiastic local volunteers and trustees help to manage the activities within the community woodlands. You can see a myriad of wildlife, voles, rabbits, and birds of prey including ospreys on the hunt for food. Before you go download a map of the area from their community website. Why not get in touch with them if you want to become a member or volunteer with their duck pond project?
Walk the Great Glen Way
The woodlands incorporate part of the Great Glen Way. The 79-mile path runs from Inverness to Fort William along the Great Glen. If you do continue the walk you will take in views of Loch Ness. Keep your eyes peeled and you might see (if you’re lucky) it’s most famous resident Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. You will become one of the 30,000 people who walk part of the Way every year. Of this number 4,500 people complete the walk taking 4-7 days whilst lodging in local villages and towns along the path. I’ve even had two ladies on my walk who had run the whole route!
Take in Views of Inverness for Craig Dunain
Inverness, once one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe, has now grown out and up Craig Dunain Hill. Craig means “rock” in Gaelic and the hill is 257m high, quite a climb. Looking down you will also see a large red sandstone building, Craig Dunain’s mental health hospital was built in 1864. Following the closure of the hospital 150 years later the building was bought by Robertson Homes. Luxury flats are bringing the building back to life. They have encouraged people to try out things in Craig Dunain Wood like volunteering to tidy up and improve the area.
Find Out About a Scottish Local Hero
Further down Craig Dunain wood, a metal bench depicting soldiers in uniform and several red poppies stands beside the memorial to Colour Sergeant James Munro VC. James saved the life of an officer in 1857 during a battle. Afterward, Queen Victoria awarded James the Victoria Cross for his heroism. Subsequently, James was permanently injured in the same campaign. James was a patient at Craig Dunain Hospital until his death in 1871. Afterward, James, who died a pauper, was laid to rest in this small cemetery that had been set up by the hospital. Patients who had not been claimed by their friends were laid to rest here too.
Feed the Ducks at Craig Dunain Wood
Don’t forget to spend time with the ducks. As you can see, Mum and Dad are watching protectively over their offspring. When I visited people had brought both bread and Rich Tea biscuits to feed the ducks! Equally important it was lovely to see human families spending time together too during the uncertain times of the pandemic.
There are lots of things to do in Craig Dunain Woods. Theres a video you can watch by following this link.