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N O R T H ’ S




M A G ’ !

# / - - 5 . ) 4 9 s 3 4 9 , % s % !4 ) . ' / 5 4 s &! 3 ( ) / . This Month Chef’s Confidential ............p16

Motoring ...........................p20

Travel: Dubai .....................p22

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A New Form of Heating .......p7 Home Interiors.....................p9


Where’s Santa ...................p12 A Cleaner Christmas......p17 Auldearn Homes ................p19 Clubs & Societies, Pastoral Letter, Church Details, Council News, Useful Numbers, Local Holidays, What’s On, Parliament Blog, Tide Times and much, much more!



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3 Critical Features to demand from Your New Vet... Moving to a new area is a challenging process for your family, your pet will be stressed by the process as well. At Moray Coast Vet Group we want you to know that we are here to help you and your pets settle into the area. Why would you use us? Well it’s simple really, we have been vets in this area for a very long time and can offer your pet the following 3 critical benefits: to a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Accredited Practice,  Access meaning your pet will be treated to the highest standards. convenient surgery locations making it easy to get to us  Four day and night. and well equipped surgeries meaning we can treat all routine  Modern conditions without the need to refer your pet. So all you need to do now, for peace of mind for you and your pet, is call us to say ‘hello’ and we will do all that is necessary to register your pet with our practice. Oh, and we will call your old vet to request your pet’s existing notes, so we can be familiar with everything we need to know. Now that is peace of mind for your pet.


Forres Surgery (main branch) 01309 672243 Nairn Surgery 01667 453161 Lossiemouth Surgery 01343 815335 Balloch Surgery 01463 794224 24 HOUR EMERGENCY NUMBER 01309 672243

© Pauline Lewi

CLUBS & SOCIETIES BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT GROUP Last Thursday of the month, 7 9pm, Best Western Palace Hotel, 8 Ness Walk, Inverness. For those who have lost a baby before, during or after birth. Bring along any photos or memory items. Contact Susan 07771358382 or Denise on 07724306983 CROWN CHURCH MENS CLUB Call 237768 or email com CROY & CULLODEN MOOR SENIOR CITIZENS' LUNCH CLUB Alternate Wed 1 - 3pm, Church Hall, Croy, £3 for 2 course meal & afternoon tea. Dominoes, jigsaws and other activities FAMILY FIRST Offers a support service to families with at least one child 0-3 yrs old. Tel: 703033 or email: FORTROSE SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCE GROUP Mondays 7.30 -10pm, Gordon

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page 4 - December 2012

Memorial Hall, Rosemarkie. Fun and exercise, with tuition. We welcome beginners or experienced dancers. Contact Susan on 01381 621309 or email HIGHLAND LONGBOWS Call 741307 or email: barbara39campbell@ HIGHLAND RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB Coaching & competitive opportunities in Rugby Football for the whole community. Call Andrew Russell on 243972 or 07786 256891 HIGHLAND SCHOOLS GYMNASTICS ASSOCIATION To promote participation in the sport of gymnastics within schools across the Highlands. INVERNESS ANGLING CLUB Call Don MacKay, Inverness Angling Club, 4 Maxwell Drive, Inverness IV3 5EX INVERNESS CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY Music lovers promote concerts of chamber music by professionals in the Town House, Inverness, Sept - April/May. Call Paul Crowe on 221535 or visit INVERNESS CHESS CLUB Wednesday, 7pm - 10:30pm, Chieftain Hotel, Inverness. Provides coaching and games for all ages & standards, juniors welcome. invernesschessclub INVERNESS CLASSIC JAZZ SOCIETY Tel: 01463 223857 jazzitoria/home.htm INVERNESS RADIO VOLUNTEERS Do you have spare time at the weekend and have the use of a car? Then the IRV would like to hear from you as we are looking for more volunteers. For more information contact 794984 or visit www.inverness

INVERNESS RADIO CLUB Contact Mr Norman Baird, tel: 242841 INVERNESS ROWING CLUB On the Caledonian Canal 5 mins drive from the centre of Inverness, Sundays 10:30am INVERNESS SWIMMING CLUB We are a competitive club. Club night is Wednesday from 6.15pm, but training sessions are throughout the week. Inverness Leisure, Bught Lane. LOUISE NELSON DANCERS Classes in Ballet, Tap and Musical Theatre Dance in Inverness. Tel: 792672 NORTHERN COUNTIES CRICKET CLUB Providing cricketing opportunities to all members of the local community. Tel: Hamish Christie on 239894 or 07761 119604 NORTH KESSOCK BOWLING CLUB For more information about Indoor bowling call 01463 793502 and for Outdoor bowling call 01463 731052 THE WAY FOUNDATION Help each other rebuild our lives after widowhood. Call us on 0870 011 3450 or email LGBT RUNNING WITH JOGSCOTLAND Every Wednesday evening. 5K & 7.5K run for LGBT community and friends (16 and over). Starts at 6:630pm at Inverness Leisure. Contact 07745 930383 or email 777 MOUNTAIN BIKE CLUB Tel: 235231 or email: BOLESKINE SHINTY CLUB Call 791955.


DINGWALL FRISBEE CLUB Sundays 3-4pm at Dingwall Leisure Centre. Call Luke 07970 597770 or FRIENDS OF THE BIRNIE PLAYGROUP Wednesdays 9:30am - 11:30am & 12:30pm - 2:30pm in the playroom at The Birnie Centre, Raigmore Hospital. For children with additional needs & their families and carers. Call Anne on 07542712381 for more info. FITNESS FRENZY Fitness sessions Thursday lunchtimes at the palace hotel. Visit HARMONY MUSIC THERAPY SCOTLAND Individual & Group Music Therapy sessions to encourage, enable and empower all ages and abilities through interactive music experiences. Will travel to private homes, facilities and schools. Call Kristen Macleod on 07770427396. MELANIE MCKAY SCHOOL OF DANCING Classes on Thursdays from 5:30pm - 6:30pm at North Kessock village hall. Contact Melanie on 07835 613530 INVERNESS CATHEDRAL SOCIETY OF BELL RINGERS Thurs 7.30pm - 9pm. Anyone can be a bell ringer! We ring for Sunday services, weddings and other special occasions. 01381 610411. FOR CLUBS & SOCIETIES AMENDMENTS, PLEASE PHONE:

01309 690063

If you would like details of your club or society included in this section, please let us know. All club listings are free. Not all clubs will be listed in every issue.

CULLODEN FENCING CLUB Tuesdays 7pm - 9pm during term time at Culloden Academy Community Centre. Call 792794.

tel: 01309 690063

SpotLight on Inverness and District

The Editor

Santa’s coming! Normally a time of cheer and goodwill but, through RAF or Army deployments, work commitments or other reasons, many local families will be without their loved ones this Christmas. So, while you're tucking into your turkey, spare a thought for those who are miles away on this special day. The SpotLight Team would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas & Best Wishes for 2013.

PUBLISHER ...............David Nelmes SALES ......................Eilidh Conners SALES...........................Peter Evans ACCOUNTS ...................Lynn Wood LAYOUT ........................Michelle Ho DESIGN .................Alistair Davidson ADMIN ....................Tamsyn Dickson

January 2013 Issue Deadlines Editorial: Friday 30th November Advertising: Wednesday 5th December

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Do you know how many songs are about “the rhythm of life”? Artists as varied as The Temptations, Bananarama and Status Quo, to name only a few, have used these words in their lyrics to comment on life’s patterns. There usually comes a point in the year (often just before New Year) when I contemplate what has happened in the year and what might lie around the corner. For you, perhaps this past year holds treasured memories of happy events, a special birthday, or the celebration of a new life. Or perhaps reflecting is painful because of a loss, the passing of someone close, or maybe the loss of employment. Or maybe this year has simply been more of the same old, same old. For me, a highlight has been discovering the TV drama The West Wing in which the lead character, the President of the US, has a catchphrase “What’s next?” A good part of this year has been spent planning and preparing for what is coming next. In our Church, we have just had the excitement brought by the arrival of our first minister Scott McRoberts. For Scott and his family, the latter part of this year has seen the

completion of training and the start of new things: a new job, a new home, new neighbours, a new church, and new possibilities. “What’s next” for Scott will be experiencing all that it means to be in his new environment, which will include, hopefully, the joys of forming new friendships. The patterns of life are inevitably shaped by the relationships we have. I am not referring to amorous encounters – although they certainly will impact on your life – but to the everyday relationships which are woven into life; the relationships with the people with whom we share life’s journey. Scott’s new home and neighbourhood makes me think of a specific verse in the Bible which speaks of moving home: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighbourhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good— tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” (Revelation 21: 4-5) (the message) God wants to be intimate with us. He doesn’t desire to be confined to the pages of a book, or to academic study. He wants to be involved in our relationships, to the extent that He wants

St Andrew's Cathedral, Scottish Episcopal Church Ardross Street, Inverness. Tel: 01463 233535. Website: St Clement's Parish, Church of Scotland Church Street, Dingwall. Sundays 11.30am. 6.30pm: evening worship. Sunday school meets in church hall 11.20am (term time). Tel: 01349 863063. St Columba, Church of Scotland Inverness. Sunday 11am. Wednesday 8pm: prayer at Holm Primary School. Tel: 07535 290092. Website: St John the Evangelist, Episcopal Church Southside Road, Inverness. Sunday service 10.45am. Wednesdays 11am: Holy Communion. Tel: 01463 716288. Website: St Ninian's Catholic Church 21 Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 4AN. Saturday Vigil 5pm. Sunday Mass 10am. Tel: 01463 236620. Website: St Mary's Catholic Church 30 Huntly Street, Inverness, IV3 5PR. Saturday Vigil 6.30pm. Sunday Mass 11am and 6.30pm. St Columba’s Catholic Church Culloden, IV2 7PW. Sunday Mass 9.30am. Tel: 01463 233519. Website: St Mary-in-the-Fields, Episcopal Church Culloden. Sunday Service 9.45am. Fridays 10.30am: Holy Communion. Tel: 01463 716288. St Michael & All Angels Abban Street, Inverness. Sunday Mass 11am. Contact Rev. Gerald Stranraer-Mull: 01463 870986. Email:

page 6 - December 2012

to move in with us! But God doesn’t force his way in. No, it’s rather that we have the opportunity to answer an invitation to let God be part of our lives. Elsewhere in the Bible it is put like this: “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.” (Revelation 3:20) (the message) If we are willing to open up our lives to God and ask him to be involved in what we do, it makes a difference, especially to our relationships. In a relationship with God, there is the promise that we become part of His household and family and in doing so, we can experience a new hope and confidence with which we might view all of life, which of course includes our relationships with other people too. So, as we contemplate being on the threshold of a new year, what’s next? For me, I look forward, with eagerness, to the next chapter. What’s next for you? God desires to move in with you. Have you let Him?

R. Murray McCheyne, Secretary, St Columba Church of Scotland New Charge, Inverness. Website: Smithton Free Church Murray Road, Smithton, Inverness. Sundays 11am (with crèche) and 6pm. Tel: 01463 793191. Website: The Reformed Baptist Church Telford Road, Inverness. Website: The Salvation Army Tomnahurich Street, Inverness. Sundays 10.30am and 6.30pm. Tel: 01463 225276. Website: Trinity Church, Church of Scotland 60 Huntly Place, Inverness. Sundays 11am. First Sunday of the month: 6:30pm service. Website: Urray & Strathconon Free Church Urray at West Road, Muir of Ord and Strathconon at The Strathconon Community Hall. Tel: 01463 871223. Email: West Hill Free Church (Continuing) Culloden, Inverness. Sundays 11am and 6.30pm. Thursdays and Saturdays 7.30pm. Tel: 07532010595. This is listed alphabetically from S to W and will regularly be rotated. If you are a member of a church not listed here, please email us with details and we may print this in future issues.

tel: 01309 690063

SpotLight on Inverness and District



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boiler space can become a valuable storage area! Installation takes minutes and running is completely clean with no danger of leakage, no holes through walls, no floor boards up and no tradesmen trundling around the house wielding pipe cutters, spanners, hammers, wrenches and dirty work-boots! This incredible German heating simply plugs in and that’s it! Job done! You can even do just one room or the whole house. Get your free info pack right now by calling 01343 819676 or online at This heating is NEW in Scotland yet in many parts of Europe it has been a mainstream form of heating for a long time. We are the only outlet for this heating in the whole of Scotland, now giving a truly Scotland wide coverage operating from Glasgow for the central belt and borders and Elgin for Grampian and Highlands and Islands. Discover for yourself this incredible German heating, get your FREE info pack right away by calling Elsco Heating on 01343 819676 and ask for John or online at

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Local Holidays

Inverness Holiday St. Andrews Day Christmas Day Boxing Day New Year’s Day Scottish Bank Holiday Burns Night Shrove Tuesday

Mon 5th Nov 2012 Fri 30th Nov 2012 Tues 25th Dec 2012 Wed 26th Dec 2012 Tues 1st Jan 2013 Wed 2nd Jan 2013 Fri 25th Jan 2013 Tues 12th Feb 2013

Mother’s Day Good Friday British Summertime Begins Easter Monday Early May Bank Holiday Spring Bank Holiday Father’s Day British Summertime Ends

Sun 10th Mar 2013 Fri 29th Mar 2013 Sun 31st Mar 2013 Mon 1st Apr 2013 Mon 6th May 2013 Mon 27th May 2013 Sun 16th Jun 2013 Sun 27th Oct 2013

Winter Term Ends Spring Term Starts Holiday Closure Holiday Closure Regional Closure Regional Closure Regional Closure

Thurs 20th Dec 2012 Mon 7th Jan 2013 Mon 11th Feb 2013 Tues 12th Feb 2013 Wed 13th Feb 2013 Thurs 14th Feb 2013 Fri 15th Feb 2013

Spring Term Ends Good Friday Holiday Easter Monday Holiday Summer Term Starts May Day Holiday Summer Term Ends Regional Closure

Thurs 28th Mar 2013 Fri 29th Mar 2013 Mon 1st Apr 2013 Mon 15th Apr 2013 Mon 6th May 2013 Fri 28th Jun 2013 Mon 19th Aug 2013

School Term Dates

Useful Telephone Numbers

Police Station . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 08456 005703 Bus Station, Inverness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 239292 Citizens Advice Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 08444 994111 Dalcross Airport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01667 464000 Highland Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01349 886606 National Rail Enquires. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 08457 484950

DENTISTS 21 Kingsmills Road . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 233416 Abban Street Dental Clinic . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 718140 Academy Dental Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 232423 Burnfield Dental Practice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 241515 Black Isle Dental Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01349 877082 Castle House Dental Practice . . . . . . . . . . 01463 234598 Dalneigh Dental Practice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 243767 Dental Clinic, New Craigs Hospital . . . . . . 01463 704000 Fraser Street Dental Practice . . . . . . . . . . 01463 242344 High School Dental Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 235468 Inshes Dental Centre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 794949 Inverness Dental Centre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 255866 Ness Bank Dental Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 236295 Riverside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 226358 Southside Surgical Dentistry Centre . . . . . 01463 710760 Southside Dental Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 710760 Torwood Dental Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 712772 Dental Helpline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 6442271 page 8 - December 2012

DOCTORS Beauly Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 782794 Burnfield Medical Practice. . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 220077 Cairn Medical Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 712233 Cromarty Medical Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . 01381 600224 Culloden Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01463 793400 Crown Medical Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0844 576 9977 Drumnadrochit, Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01456 450577 Dunedin Medical Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 712157 Fairfield Medical Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 713939 Fortrose Medical Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . 08444 772497 Foyers Medical Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01456 486224 Kingsmills Medical Practice. . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 235245 New Craigs Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 704000 Riverside Medical Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 715999 Raigmore Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 704000 RNI Community Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 706966 Strathlene Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 870843 The Aird Medical Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 782214 The Surgery, Munlochy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 811200 Southside Road Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01463 710222 Other useful numbers including village halls and community centres, vets, and schools are rotated on a regular basis and will appear in subsequent issues. If you have any suggestions for additional numbers, please contact us and we may include them in the magazine.

tel: 01309 690063

SpotLight on Inverness and District


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NOVEMBER 28 wednesday history through objects: talk on ww2 & the home front 2pm - 4pm. highlands museum of heritage, strathpeffer. £5 • highlands & islands autism society support group 7.30pm. mackenzie centre, culduthel road, inverness. all welcome. 01463 235384

28 wednesday - 22 december “winter exhibition� inchmore gallery, inverness. 05602 625740.

29 thursday st andrew’s ceilidh (glen urquhart rural association) 7pm. urquhart castle. £5 / £3 children. ann: 01456 450509 & jan 01456 450227 • the scone fairies @ hootananny, inverness • carnivale feat northeastern sunrise, iain mclaughlin, matchstick maker & jeep solid @ mad hatters, hootananny, inverness 8pm.

29 thursday - 16 december cromarty christmas pop up shop 10am - 7pm. the pantry. small crafts, xmas stockings, bobbles & gingerbread.

30 friday arts, crafts, & food fair by exclusively highlands @ eden court 1pm. free admission. supporting archies foundation. • “representations of st andrewâ€? (moray society lecture series) 7.30pm - 9.30pm. elgin museum hall. 01343 543675. • devlin live pa @ ironworks 7.30pm. 0871 7894173 • bruce macgregor @ hootananny, inverness • netsounds takeover with the mouse that ate the cat @ mad hatters, hootananny, inverness

30 friday - 2 december cromarty film festival 2012 at various locations.

DECEMBER 1 saturday starting 1st december: christmas at culduthel christian centre, inverness christmas programme - see website: • craft fair in aid of alzheimer scotland nairn community & arts centre. 01667 453476. • inverness qr SpotLight on Inverness and District

NAIRN Nairn Community & Arts Centre Y Your our loca locall venue for films, shows, concerts, and parties. Wide W ide range of activities for all ages.

DECEMBER DECEM BER EVENTS Saturday 1st .......................Craft ....................... Craft Fair in aid of Alzheimer Scotland Monday 3rd .................................................................. ..................................................................Cinema Cinema Nairn: “Miracle on 34th St� 2pm Saturday 15th ................................................................ Music Nairn: The Burns Ensemble 7.30pm W Wednesday ednesday 19th ........................................ Y Yellow ellow Dog Drama Show ............................................Christmas Saturday 22nd ............................................ Christmas Carol Concert The Board of Directors and staff would like to year,, thank you for your support rt throughout the year Year. and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Y ear. For further details, telephone telephone 01667 453476, e-mail or check out our website at www

treasure hunt all day event. family fun. . entry £5. proceeds to clic sargent children’s cancer charity • inverness farmers market 8.30am - 3.30pm. selection of vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs etc. • great glen walking club: strathpeffer – rogie falls and loch kinellan, 12 miles 9am. meet at highland council car park. 01463 236204 • christmas craft fair 9am. smithton hall. aileen trappitt & best friend climbing mount etna in 2013 for cystic fibrosis fundraiser. • christmas fayre 11am-2pm. smithton primary school. £2 / £1 (concs) • christmas bazaar 11am - 2.30pm. charleston community complex, inverness. stalls, music, dance and santa’s grotto • soup & sandwich lunch @ st john the evangelist church, inverness 12noon - 1.30pm. homemade soup, sandwiches, tea,

tel: 01309 690063

December 2012 - page 11

coffee, mince pies etc. £3 • christmas market hosted by out of the box 1pm - 5pm. culduthel christian centre, inverness • highlands astronomical society christmas dinner 7pm for 7.30pm. culloden free church, inverness dingwall choral presenting handel’s “messiah” • 7.30pm. strathpeffer pavilion. £8. 01997 420124. • the clan donald society of the highlands & islands annual ceilidh 7.30pm. munlocy hall, ross-shire. £8 entry or £5 for members. 01381 620121 • bisongrass & the cundees @ flanagans bar, elgin. 8pm. a night of punk & sludge metal. • darren styles & mark breeze @ ironworks 10pm. 0871 7894173

1 saturday - 2 sunday arts, crafts and food fair by exclusively highlands @ eden court 10am. supporting archies foundation. 01463 250127.

1 saturday - 9 sunday christmas exhibition and sale (speyside artisans) 10am 4pm. glenfiddich distillery, dufftown. 01542 886311.

2 sunday inverness ramblers: avoch to rosemarkie circular, 10 miles 9am. meet at highland council car park. tel: 01463 236204 • happy mums market 10am - 1pm. the thistle hotel, millburn road, inverness. pop-up market dedicated to preloved baby & children’s items • moray 5k winter challenge 11am. cooper park, elgin. • little elves’ christmas party 11am. jim love studio, inverness. 01463 234234.

3 monday inverness’ “light up a life” (highland hospice) 01463 227906 • do crafts demonstration day @ howdens garden centre, inverness card-making using docrafts brands. cinema nairn presents “miracle on 34th street” (u) 2pm. nairn community & arts centre. senior special christmas film with tea & bakes. 01667 453476.

4 tuesday “journey into space” by paul jenkins (highlands astronomical society) 7.30pm. smith-culloden free church, inverness. • scottish ornithologists’ club: birdwatching talk entitled “christmas in uganda” by al mcnee 7.30pm. culloden library. 01463 22166 / 01808 511740.

4 tuesday - 6 sunday january mother goose (pantomine) @ eden court matinee & evening performances. 01463 234234.

5 wednesday

Where’s Santa?

Santa’s Grotto At Baxters Highland Village 11am - 4pm. £5 includes a gift. tel: 01343 820666 Breakfast With Santa At


Baxters Highland

Fochabers. Delight kids with the chance to enjoy breakfast with Santa himself. £9.99, pre-booking required. tel: 01343 820666

Reindeer Day at Brodie Countryfare on Sunday 23rd December. Visit Santa in his grotto 11am-2pm. Meet Santa’s reindeer in their pen 1pm-3.30pm. Wave Santa off on his farewell parade 3.30pm. Enjoy our special winter bbq. Children’s teacups ride. Dr Gray’s Wave Radio and much, much more. Shop for last minute food, gift ideas, toys and stocking fillers. tel: 01309 641555.

Santaland at Castle Stuart. Available everyday from Saturday 1st Dec to Sat 22nd Dec. Choose and book your time for private parties (min. 10 people in the group / 1 hour exclusively in the entire castle). The castle will not be open to the public. Hot dogs, hot chocolate, ice cream and cookies, crafts with Mrs Claus, and a wee gift with Santa in the drawing room. Child £10 pp. adult £10 pp. babies under 6 months free. To book your date and time, contact: Twinkletoes, Head Elf: 07814 476901 or email visit Santa’s Grotto at Christies - Every Sat & Sun, 12pm 3pm. All children primary school and under will receive a free gift. Donations gratefully received and all monies collected will be sent to Childrens’ Hospice Association Scotland. tel: 01343 820 362

Santa’s Grotto at Holm Mills Shopping Village in inverness. £4 per child includes toy. 1st Dec 11am-4pm, 2nd Dec 12noon-4pm, 8th Dec 11am-4pm, 9th Dec 12noon-4pm, 15th Dec 11am-4pm, 16th Dec 12noon-4pm, 22nd Dec 11am-4pm, 23rd Dec 12noon-4pm and 24th Dec 12noon-4pm. Breakfast with Santa is £7 and includes a three item breakfast with juice & a toy. 9am-12noon on the 22nd and 24th Dec. 10am on the 23rd. booking is essential.

Santa's Grotto at Howdens Garden Centre at Stoneyfield, Inverness. Opening hours: Sat and Sun 11am1.30pm and 2pm-4pm. £5 per child includes a gift from Santa. tel: 01463 711134.

Santa’s Grotto at Mackenzie & Cruickshank every Sat and Sun in Dec up to Christmas 1pm-3.30pm. £5 entry (including toy and photo and donation to Forres Christmas lights). 1 West Road, Forres, IV36 2GW. t: 01309 696940.

Simpsons Garden Centre in

Santa is at

Inverness on Dec 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 and 22-24. £7. Gift from Santa and ten minutes. tel: 01463 250200.

the black isle stompers play dixieland castle tavern, inverness. swing and latin music • winter @ udale bay & newhall point, black isle 1.30pm - 4pm. check out wildlife page 12 - December 2012

tel: 01309 690063

SpotLight on Inverness and District

around the area. adults £3, concs £2. contact martin: 01349 868563 • alasdair fraser & natalie haas 7.30pm. universal hall, findhorn. 01309 691170. • glasvegas @ ironworks 7.30pm. 0871 7894173 • great glen camera club presents ian cameron of transient light 7.30pm. scotts kitchen, fort augustus. jane:

6 thursday university of the highlands and islands christmas lecture 2012 @ eden court 11am. free but ticketed. 01463 279344. • free retail crime training (business event) 11am - 1pm. ramada encore, academy street, inverness. book with malcolm: 01463 714550 • them & us announce “neon lights” ep launch @ ironworks 7.30pm. 0871 7894173 • rspb north of scotland office update 7.30pm. fraser park bowling club, inverness. 01997 433283 or 01463 220013.

7 friday a kitchen range christmas 7.30pm. culduthel christian centre. tickets: £5. see website for more details:

8 saturday inverness ramblers: loch lundie - bridge of oich circular, 9.5 miles 9am. meet at highland council car park. tel: 01463 236204 • christmas coffee morning @ elgin 10am - 12noon. holy trinity church hall. crafts, raffle, jewellery, home produce, collectables etc. adults £2. children 50p • christmas tea party (highland hospice - aird branch) 10am - 12.30pm. phipps hall, beauly. gifts, cards & homebaking • ian rankin - the a9 tour 12pm. waterstone’s, eastgate centre. signing copies of the new rebus installment, “standing in another man’s grave”. 01463 233500 • riverdale centre for complementary therapies open day 12.30pm - 6.30pm. all welcome. 01463 250589 • dreich house 4pm. universal hall, findhorn. 01309 691170. • winter wonderland @ whin park, inverness. 4pm - 7pm. free admission. kid’s rides chargeable • christmas crackers variety evening 6.45pm. strathpeffer community centre. music, comedy & homebaking. £6/£4 u12. 01997 423209 • chris ramsey - feeling lucky @ ironworks 7pm. 0871 7894173 • mark ronson dj set @ ironworks 10.30pm. • scottish ensemble - variations: concerts by candlelight 8pm. inverness cathedral. 01463 234234.

8 saturday - 9 sunday arts crafts and food fair by exclusively highlands 10am - 4pm. brodie castle. £3 admission. 01463 250127.

9 sunday great glen walking club: big burn glen and ben bhraggie, 6 miles 9am. meet at highland council car park. 01463 236204 • horse @ eden court 7.30pm. 01463

10 monday royal scottish geographical society lecture: SpotLight on Inverness and District

john beatty: wild vision 7.30pm. highland council chamber, inverness.

11 tuesday cromarty’s “light up a life” (highland hospice) t: 01463 227906 • df concert presents: frank turner @ ironworks 7.30pm. 0871 7894173 • inverness film fans (infifa): “silent running” 7.45pm. eden court cinema.

12 wednesday dingwall bay & river conon winter wander 2pm - 4pm. watching wildlife. adults £3, concs £2. contact martin: 01349 868563 • warren miller’s flow state (snow sports film) @ eden court 6pm. 01463 234234 • dingwall’s “light up a life” (highland hospice) 7pm. national hotel, dingwall. free entry (donations). all welcome. contact kathleen: 01349 864260 • “bulbs of asia minor” (highland rock garden club) 7.30pm. nairn community centre. john owen: 01320 366246 • short films with a light buffet and refreshments 7.30pm. highland spiritual cinema, inverness. free but ticketed. • arctic winds (chamber music) 8pm. town house,

13 thursday williams duo + one 1pm. town house, inverness.

13 thursday - 14 friday dingwall players pantomime - “panto crime!” 6.45pm. dingwall academy. £8 & £5 concs from the greenhouse, dingwall - any remaining on the door.

13 thursday - 15 saturday winter wonderland 4pm - 7pm. whin park, inverness. santa and his reindeer make a visit. illuminations & playground • medieval christmas banquet @ ironworks 6.30pm. 0871 7894173.

14 friday the good old days (beauly theatre club, in aid of hospice at home) 7.30pm. beauly british legion club. 01463 782 634 • showstopperz 8pm. strathpeffer pavilion. tickets £12 / £9 (family £36). 01997 • christmas party night with rooty ma toot big band simpsons garden centre, inverness. £35 ticket. 01463 250200.

14 friday - 16 sunday holly at christmas 2012 @ eden court 7.30pm. 01463 234234.

15 saturday great glen walking club: exploring more findhorn river, 10 miles 9am. meet at highland council car park. 01463 236204 • arts, crafts and food fair (exclusively highlands) 10am. inverness town house. supporting inverness ms therapy centre. • christmas dance 8pm. strathpeffer pavilion. tickets £18, includ-

tel: 01309 690063

December 2012 - page 13

ing stovies. 01997 420124 • dingwall players pantomime - “panto crime!” 1.45pm & 6.45pm. dingwall academy. £8 & £5 concs from the greenhouse, dingwall. • the good old days (beauly theatre club, in aid of hospice at home) 3pm & 7.30pm. beauly british legion club. 01463 782 634 • music nairn presents the burns ensemble: “christmas in european castles” 7.30pm. nairn community & arts centre.

copal church, southside rd, inverness 11.30pm. with bishop mark strange.

16 sunday

inverness ramblers: post-christmas wander, 6 - 9 miles 11am. meet at highland council car park. tel: 01463 236204.

christmas birding and lunch coach at 9am at station hotel, avoch. booking essential on 01997 433283 • inverness ramblers: river orrin circuit, 8 miles 9.30am. meet at highland council car park. tel: 01463 236204 • ironworks unplugged: willie & tabs macaskill, willie campbell & megan blyth 7pm.

17 monday season preview event @ eden court 6.45pm. £5 entry. 01463 234234 • cerys matthews - cerys by candlelight @ ironworks 7pm. 0871 7894173.

17 monday - 20 thursday little blue the jim love studio, inverness. for under 5s and families. 01463 234234.

18 tuesday inverness film fans (infifa): “la antena” 7.45pm. eden court cinema • nairn community carol concert st ninian’s church, cawdor road, nairn. • carol service @ st ninian’s episcopal church 5pm. 6 miles up glenurquhart, beside loch meikle. all welcome. rev. christine mylne: 01456 450715.

come celebrate christmas @ st john the evangelist church, southside rd, inverness 10.45am family eucharist.

26 wednesday 27 thursday “for independence” 11am - 4pm. urquhart castle. learn about andrew de moray - the true braveheart from the wars of independence. 01456 450551. kazabian @ ironworks 7.30pm.

29 saturday great glen walking club: around fortrose, 6.5 miles 10am. meet at highland council car park. 01463 236204.

31 monday the wee hot highland fling 12noon - 3pm. inverness city centre. musicians, costumed characters and dancers • the red hot highland fling 7pm - 1am. northern meeting park arena, inverness • torridon hogmanay party @ ironworks 9pm - 3am. £12.

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19 wednesday yellow dog drama show nairn community & arts centre. 01667 453476.

19 wednesday - 22 saturday a christmas carol @ eden court 01463 234234.

21 friday one night of queen @ ironworks 7.30pm.

22 saturday inverness ramblers: yet more kiltarlity byways, 11 miles 9.30am. meet at highland council car park. tel: 01463 236204 • christmas carol concert nairn community & arts centre. 01667 453476. jack beats dj set @ ironworks 10pm. 0871 7894173.

23 sunday christingle service @ st john the evangelist church, southside rd, inverness call 01463 811333 for details • great glen walking club: 3 lochs around duntelchaig, 8 miles 9am. meet at highland council car park. 01463 236204.

24 monday christmas eve service @ st john the evangelist epispage 14 - December 2012

25 tuesday

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SpotLight on Inverness and District

It is difficult to imagine a more romantic setting for your wedding than a 17th century house set in a sheltered walled garden. However, Innes is not just a stunning venue which you and your guests will never forget, but also offers a wholly flexible programme to enable you to plan your day exactly as you would like. Every wedding is unique and tailor-made for each couple. You may hold the ceremony here in the garden or in one of the two beautiful reception rooms. After the service your guests can wander round the gardens whilst you have your photographs taken in these tranquil, romantic surroundings. The reception and dinner may be held in the East Dining Room or larger parties can be held in our marquee extension which covers a walled garden complete with a summer house for the bar and a fountain around which the tables are set. After dinner you may enjoy dancing or other entertainment and then drive away down the tree lined avenue and look back on a magnificent floodlit house. Alternatively, you and some of your guests may stay the night in one of our splendidly appointed bedrooms and leave after a leisurely breakfast the next morning.

Any couple booking their 2013 Wedding with us during January 2013, will be offered complementary Wedding night accommodation along with a ‘Champagne Toast’ upgrade of their chosen Drinks package.

Innes House – Elgin – Moray – IV30 8NG Tel. 01343 842410 – Please quote ‘SpotLight’ when making an enquiry


Chef’s Confidential Rich Christmas Pudding Ingredients 100g (4oz) self-raising flour Pinch of salt 1 x 2.5 ml spoon (½ tsp) grated nutmeg 1 x 2.5 ml spoon (½ tsp) mixed spice 75g (3oz) shredded suet 100g (4oz) raisins 100g (4oz) sultanas 100g (4oz) currants 100g (4oz) soft brown sugar 50g (2oz) mixed peel ½ grated lemon rind 2 medium eggs 2 x 15 ml spoon (2 tbsp) brandy or milk

Method 1. Grease a 1.2 litre (2 pints) pudding basin. Place a small round of greaseproof paper in the bottom to prevent sticking. 2. Mix together the dry ingredients. 3. Add eggs, brandy or milk and mix well. 4. Place the mixture in the prepared basin. Cover with greaseproof paper and foil or use a pudding cloth. 5. Steam for 8 hours. Allow to cool completely then store in a cool dry place. 6. When required, steam for 2 hours before using (we cook ours in small timbales/ramekins). Steaming to cook only takes 2 hours and then 20 minutes to warm through.


Robbie Sheriffs Bog Roy Inn, Kirkhill, IV5 7PX Tel: 01463 831296

All round satisfaction at... At the Bog Roy Inn we pride ourselves with Passion, Flair and Excitement. Our friendly, attentive staff and creative new Kitchen staff would love to make your time with us a memorable one. All day Sunday Carvery NOW AVAILABLE! 12.30 - 8.30- booking advisable 1 course - £8.25, 2 courses .............. £11.75 Over 60's Lunch every Wednesday 2 courses + Coffee/Tea ...................... £5.50 Venue for conferences/team meetings/ training sessions with full conference facilities



Private Dining Room and ample Parking

Pre Christmas Lunch and Dinner Menu available

Bog Roy Inn Kirkhill IV5 7PX Tel: 01463 831 296

© Eileen Fitzp


Parliament Blog

Just recently I had an opportunity to hear what some of our young people in Inverness think about the issues facing the highlands today. Europe, the economy and fuel prices were all high on the list of priorities for the senior pupils, at the newly refurbished Inverness Royal Academy, when I was invited along for a question and answer session. But, for many of them, the issue at the forefront of their minds seemed to be the one on which they may have their first chance to vote: independence. Now that we all know when the referendum is likely to be, they were keen to find out when they will know the facts behind both camps’ arguments, what the implications might be for the highlands and why I have taken the pro-UK stance they had read about in the papers. Facing their questions, I felt confident that, with young people so concerned about the area’s future and aware of the issues the country is facing, the future of the highlands is in safe hands.

Danny Alexander MP

LOW TIDE TIMES FOR INVERNESS IN DECEMBER Walking on the beach should be possible 2 hours either side of these times 1 2 3 4 5 6 7



AM 06:31 06:53 07:09 07:35 08:13 09:11 11:01

PM 19:23 19:54 20:20 21:01 22:10 23:24

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19


Broadband. Ten years ago hardly anyone would have known what it was, now it has become an essential for business. The Highlands and Islands have been chosen as the first place in Scotland to have a massive investment to upgrade the services. The investment will exceed a hundred million - and will therefore do great things. But even at that, there will still be , in rural areas in particular, non spots where there is no access, or areas where the speed remains frustratingly slow. This matter was discussed at a meeting in Elgin of the Convention of the Highlands and Islands, where John Swinney and myself, as the Finance secretary and Enterprise Minister, met with representatives of the Moray, Highland and Islands councils and others. The importance of swift broadband connections is now critical to a great many businesses. In tourism, for example, so many of the bookings of accommodation are made online. This work is being rolled out and it will take a bit of time - but please do contact me if you have a particular problem with lack of access or slow speed. Recently, playing with my four year old daughter in the garden, a low autumnal sun shone across the garden, from over tops of the Cairngorm peaks. I therefore donned my sun glasses when playing with Natasha. This led her to observe: "Daddy - you look like a rock star!" This accusation has never been levelled at me before. But then, I thought that since she has only seen the likes of Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and so on, on telly, she probably thinks that you have to be pretty ancient to be a rock star! Fergus Ewing MSP

AM 00:39 01:47 02:44 03:41 04:36 05:27 06:14 06:59 07:44 08:29 09:12 09:48

PM 12:24 13:55 15:17 16:15 17:07 17:56 18:43 19:32 20:22 21:15 22:08 23:01

page 18 - December 2012

AM 10:25 00:06 01:36 02:38 03:26 04:04 03:33 04:14 05:00 05:44 06:22 06:55


PM 11:19 14:04 15:03 15:51 16:31 17:01 17:29 18:01 18:37 19:14 19:53

Range of High back chairs Riser/Recliner Chairs & Electric Beds...

£4.99 Offer available at the Eastgate Centre Pizza Hut Express store IV2 3PR. Please present voucher at the time of ordering and produce on payment. Not valid with any other deal or offer. Offer subject to availability. Only one voucher per order.

20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

...everything to keep you comfortable this winter.

Save £2.79

Hours of Business MON - FRI 9am - 5pm

01309 676677 21 West Road, Greshop Industrial Estate, Forres IV36 2GW (Behind Lidl) Easy Parking & Disabled Toilet Facilities

tel: 01309 690063

SpotLight on Inverness and District

When you thought the Moray Firth couldn’t get more beautiful


A quality, affordable and spacious new development in Auldearn, why live anywhere else? Completely re-built, and re-developed into 10 stunning, high quality, two bedroom flats, with private, own access. The Lion

Apartments at Auldearn by Nairn are distinguished by the beautiful finishes and tasteful fixtures and fittings. With apartments starting from only £125,000, it’s the perfect time to buy your new home. And for a limited period only there are huge additional savings to be made. Please ask for details. For a brochure or for further details and viewing information, please call 0800 028 1294.

Prices start at only £125,000 For more information please call




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Better Motoring this Winter

Winter is the season requiring most care and preparation if you're to stay safe and avoid a breakdown. Here's general advice from the AA for safe, trouble-free driving through the Winter.

Driving in snow and ice Gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving - stopping distances are 10 times longer in ice and snow. Pull away in second gear to avoid wheel-spin.

Battery and electrics Lights, heaters and wipers put high demands on the car battery and the battery will give out eventually. Avoid running electrical systems longer than necessary – turn heater fan down and heated rear window off once windows clear. Turn off electrical loads like lights, screen heaters and wipers before starting engine. Use the starter in five-second bursts if the engine doesn't start quickly, leaving time for battery to recover.

Up hill - avoid having to stop part way up by waiting until it is clear of other cars. Keep a constant speed, avoid changing down on the hill. Down hill - reduce your speed before the hill, use a low gear and try to avoid using the brakes. Apply brakes gently. Release brakes and de-clutch if car skids. Automatic transmission - in slippery conditions it's best to select '2', which limits gear changes and also makes you less reliant on brakes.

Antifreeze A squealing noise as soon as the engine starts is a sign the water pump is frozen - it's the fan belt slipping on the pulley. Stop the engine immediately and allow it to thaw out. If the car begins to overheat a few miles from home it's likely that the radiator has frozen. Stop to avoid serious damage and allow the radiator to thaw. You need a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water in the cooling system for winter.

If you get stuck, straighten steering and clear snow from wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of driving wheels to give tyres some grip. Once on the move again, don’t stop until you reach firmer ground.

Vision Keep the windscreen and other windows clear. Clear snow from the roof as well as from windows as this can fall onto the windscreen obscuring your view. Dazzle from a low winter sun can be a real problem. Improve vision by making sure that the windscreen is clean both inside and out. Check windscreen wipers and replace if necessary. Make sure that wipers are switched off when there's risk of freezing. Top up Windscreen washer fluid and treat with a suitable additive to reduce the chance of freezing. Visibility When roads are really mucky you might need to clean lights after every journey. If you have to clear snow from the car it's important to clear it from the lights too.You must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced. Tyres The AA recommends at least 3mm of tread for winter motoring, and no less than 2mm. It's rare to need snow chains unless you live in an isolated area hit with heavy snow, and where the roads are not cleared. Consider changing to winter or all season tyres – these give better grip in cold wet conditions.


Before you go Get up at least 10 minutes early to prepare the car. Don't drive off like a tank-commander, with a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen. Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer. Use a cigarette lighter to warm a key for a frozen lock. Plan routes to favour major roads that are more likely to have been cleared and gritted.Put safety before punctuality when the bad weather closes in. Allow extra time and be prepared for the inevitability of being late for work due to unexpected delay.

Have a Merry Christmas a Happy New Year and remember DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE

The Wheel Specialist comes to Inverness & The Highlands TWS offer a wide range of Finishes with a same day service that can make alloy wheels look as good as new.


Perfect when you slip up this winter 26 Shore Street, Inverness IV11NG For more information call us today on 01463 226222


01343 842657 07831 847212


MG Sports Car Gift Vouchers

01224 514097 or 07794017790 Valid for 12 months

Christmas is the time to give special presents. What better than a gift voucher to drive an MG sports car.

Highland Caterham Hire offers you the opportunity to self drive hire an iconic British sports car, the Caterham Seven. Additionally, chauffeur driven days / tours, gift vouchers and wedding use are all catered for. We are based in the beautiful county of Moray, near Elgin, and ideally situated to allow you easy access to the best driving roads and scenery that Scotland has to offer. Should you wish to explore beyond the wonders of Scotland then the cars are available for European tours.

Papercrafts ELGIN




TH E ID E A XMAS L or B IR TH D A Y G IF T GIFT VOUCHERS Regular classes and workshops

BE INSPIRED TO CREATE & LEARN All things paper crafting and beyond. &2%%$%-/.342!4)/.3$!93




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The Mayflower Lounge at the Thistle Inn, Inverness

Weddings Birthdays Anniversaries Leaving Christenings Retirement...

there’s no better place to party! At prices starting from just £65, hiring our Mayflower Lounge would be the ideal place to celebrate your special occasion! For further detail please call 01463 220700 or email

19 Celt Street Inverness IV3 5JB


Dreaming of... ...Dubai

With its guaranteed sun, excellent hotels, golden beaches, fantastic shopping and only seven hours flying time direct from Glasgow, Dubai has become one of the most popular, all year round, holiday destinations. With dwindling oil reserves, the United Arab Emirate set out to replace its oil incomes with revenue from tourism, and it appears to have succeeded.

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

The oldest part of the City is centred around the Dubai Creek with its many souks and mosques, or you can take a visit to the Dubai Museum which is housed in Al Fahidi Fort. Built in 1787, it is the oldest existing building in Dubai. Dubai’s fascinating museum shows the history and development of Dubai to the present day. With approximately 68 shopping malls, Dubai is a shoppers paradise. The two biggest being the Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates, which offers everything from high street and designer brands to ice rinks and cinemas, along with every type of cuisine imaginable and even the world’s largest suspended aquarium can be found in the Dubai Mall. Dubai has something to offer everyone in the family, including skiing in the desert at the fabulous Ski Dubai indoor arena. Kids will love Wild Wadi and Aqua adventures water parks. For the more adventurous, why not try the 4x4 desert safari or take the elevator to the observation deck on the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, where you will have a spectacular 360 degree view of the city, desert and ocean from 830 metres above. To enjoy the best beachfront facilities, beach lovers opt to stay in one of the many luxurious hotels on Jumeirah Beach, the most iconic hotel being the Burj Al Arab, the world’s only 7 star hotel. Dubai offers such a vast range of hotels choices and experiences, it would make an ideal destination for a two centre holiday, combining both beach and city life and direct flights from Scotland make it very easy to get to.


Information kindly supplied by Desert 4 x 4

2-6 South Street, Elgin 01343 548844 ‡+LJKStreet, FRUUHV


Santa's On His Way

Experience all the magic of Lapland in a single day huskies, reindeer, snowmobiles and an enchanting family meeting with Father Christmas himself - and still be back home in time for bed. 22nd Dec departing Glasgow .......................ÂŁ1696

Search for Santa in his magical homeland. A two night short break with full board accommodation, include husky rides, reindeers rides snow mobile safaris and all kinds of fun for your family in the snow. 7th Dec departing Edinburgh for 2 Nights...................ÂŁ2947

Switzerland Christmas Markets Chateau d'Oex

Jersey Christmas Markets Hotel Mayfair

12th Dec departing Edinburgh for 3 nights B&B.........ÂŁ379pp

8th Dec departing Glasgow for 3 Nights................ÂŁ379pp

(2 Adults & 2 Children)

(2 adults, upgrade to HB ÂŁ54)

FORRES 01309 672203

(2 Adults & 2 Children)

(based on 2 adults B&B)

beaver Travel

ELGIN 01343 548844

Beaver Travel, 78 High Street, Forres

Also at: 2-6 South Street, Elgin ‡ Beaver Travel is also a ticket agent for Eden Court Theatre, Inverness - No booking fee.

able Avail ay from d y r e ve t 1 s t Sa mber Deceto 2nd Sat 2mber e Dec

BOOK NOW! CHOOSE & BOOK YOUR TIME FOR PRIVATE PARTIES (minimum 10 people in the group/ I hour exclusively in the entire Castle)

Smaller groups can now check availability and book times available for sharing the castle with other families. The Castle will not be open to the general public. You need to book a time and date for the electronic gates to open at your command! Hot Dogs, Hot Chocolate, Ice Cream & Cookies, Crafts with Mrs Claus, Wee Gift with Santa in the Drawing Room. Child ÂŁ10.00 per person, Adult ÂŁ10.00 per person Babies under 6 months FREE Please note there is no wheelchair access at the Castle, it is a 17th century tower house with a steep stone staircase.

To Book your Date and Time Contact: Twinkletoes, Head Elf

Tel 07814 476 901 i“>ˆÂ?ĂŠĂŒĂœÂˆÂ˜ÂŽÂ?iĂŒÂœiĂƒJV>ĂƒĂŒÂ?iĂƒĂŒĂ•>Ă€ĂŒÂ°VÂœÂ“ĂŠUĂŠĂœĂœĂœÂ°V>ĂƒĂŒÂ?iĂƒĂŒĂ•>Ă€ĂŒÂ°Vœ“

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SpotLight on Inverness & District  

SpotLight on Inverness & District

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