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Ross & Cromarty - The Endless Beauty of the Ross and Cromarty Region


Ross and Cromarty are the short names for which the Scottish counties of Ross-shire and Cromarty shire are known. They are easily among the most interesting areas of the whole Scottish country. And they are also the most confusingly defined as well. Together they have been designated as a constituency of the Parliament, as a local government county, as a district of the Highland local government, and lastly as a management area of the Highland Council.

Its size is impressive as well, spanning from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea, reaching from shore side to shore side of the Scottish country. Its geo-political situation however, is not as most would guess. This is because Ross and Cromarty are completely divided into two different local government areas, the Highland (main land) and the Western Isles (off shore) area. 

Short History

According to archeological evidence (especially stone circles and cairns), Ross and Cromarty may have been inhabited even as far back as in the prehistoric era. Many decades after the first inhabitants occupied the lands, during the 6th and 7th centuries; they were converted to the Christian faith by followers of St. Columbia. However, shortly after that, they fell under Norse domination in the centuries that followed.

The whole region remained constantly dominated from the 12th to the 15th century, until it returned to the hands of the kings of Scotland, who finally secured it after three centuries. The curious thing was that, once back as part of Scotland, the situation of Ross and Cromarty didn’t changed much, with different clans and chiefs fighting for their possession. This in turn, led to the constituency of each county at separate times (Ross-shire in 1661 and Cromarty in 1698).

This situation however, ended on the late 18th and early 19th centuries when the government cleared the path for foreign acquisition of the lands, which generated discontent among its inhabitants. But this was not everything. After seeing how easily they were being evicted from the lands they had owned for decades, many Scottish people emigrated to other parts of Scotland and even to countries like Canada and the United States.

The economic situation of the region changed drastically with the oil boom that the country experienced, but it didn’t had such an impact as to change the old farming and fishing habits of its population.

When it comes to geography, Ross and Cromarty sport some of the most astounding landscapes of the whole country. Among the many different spots to visit, one can find anything from white beaches to mountains, lakes, waterfalls and even small fishing villages. All of these combined make of this place a true paradise for both any photographer and regular visitor alike.

Maybe the best part of all though, is that this vast region is inhabited by just around 50,000 people mainly rural in character, which gives the whole place quite a unique atmosphere.