Discovering Craig Dunain Woods Inverness
At this time, because of the COVID 19 pandemic, I am featuring walks within 5 miles of my home in Inverness. The current Scottish Government guidelines tell 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 tourist guide in Inverness for several years I have never walked in these woods before.
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 #Ibelieve. 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. And last year I even had two ladies on my walk who had run the whole route!
Take in Views of Inverness
Inverness, once one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe, has now grown out and up the 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.
Find Out About a Local Hero
Further down the 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 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 which had been set up by the hospital. Patients who had not been claimed by their friends were laid to rest here.
Feed the Ducks
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 these uncertain times.
Want to see more? You can watch a short video by following this link. Until we can meet again keep safe and well.