'C'est un beau lieu', from the French – “what a beautiful place”, was Mary Queen of Scots reaction to the grandeur of the scene when she stayed in Beauly in the 16th century and local tradition credits the naming of the village to her.
Shopping in Beauly is a pleasant experience as many of the shops are set around the attractive village square - one of the largest in the Highlands. There is a lovely mix of high quality accommodation in Beauly, as well as upmarket shops, restaurants, hotels and guest houses in the village, just 10 miles west of Inverness. The route from Inverness follows the southern shore of the Beauly Firth, bounded at one end by Beauly and at the other by Inverness. The entire shoreline is a haven for estuary birds of all descriptions.
Another unusual bonus (these days) when visiting Beauly is that parking is plentiful and FREE!
There are many walks in the locality, from the sedate river path and riverside walk to the Priory, to the demanding high mountains of Glen Affric. The area is also well known for fabulous shooting and fishing that is available locally. The River Beauly is a renowned salmon river, but trout fishing is also available locally. As well as walking and fishing, the area offers golf and pony trekking and among the places to visit are Highland Wineries at Moniack Castle.
Cycling is popular in the local area and the village is the finishing line for the annual Highland Cross coast to coast cycling and running event.
Golfers are well catered for in the area with nearby golf courses at Aigas, Inverness and Loch Ness.
People have lived here since at least 2000 BC, but the origin of the village probably dates back from the founding of the Priory in the early 13th Century. It is now a ruin, but the elm tree which stands at the entrance to the graveyard, at eight hundred years old, is believed to be the oldest elm tree in Europe.