First of all, the name “Dingwall” comes from the Viking word “Thing Võllr” which means meeting field. The town was granted a Royal Charter in 1226 by King Alexander II and remains a Royal Burgh to this day. The town itself still retains much of its character and walking along the pedestrian precinct you can still see the small alleys and a lot of the old buildings. In particular, the museum and tolbooth, from the 1730’s.
Dingwall is the County Town and a market town serving a large area which extends to the west coast. Walking down through the town you will find it a busy, thriving centre of the local population.
The original castle is ruined with little left to see of the original structure. A wooden panel from the original castle is on display in the museum and there is a folly known as the “Doocot” which appeared in 1825 and was build using stones from the old caste.
Tulloch castle still has parts of the original, built in 1166. This is now used as a hotel.
Virtual tour Of Ross and Cromarty Archaeology and Heritage Society Project in Dingwall, Ross-shire, Scotland
Doocot; a folly built in 1825 using stones from the old castle
Walks around Dingwall
There are many beautiful walks around the Dingwall area and you can find out about them at the railway station – there is a large information board detailing the length, difficulty and route for each walk.
Dingwall is a centre for several rewarding walks. You can stroll along the side of the canal, the Dingwall designer ignored Thomas Telford’s advice not to run the River Peffery into the canal as it would silt the canal up. The inevitable happened and the canal ceased to be functional in 1840.
Another pleasant walk is to go up by Kinnardie Brae to Tulloch Castle. There is also a path westwards to Knockfarrel and Fodderty which has a well known landmark – the ‘Cats Back’- so named because it looks like a cat curled up sleeping.
The surrounding areas of mountains and Straths make Dingwall an excellent base from which to visit other very interesting places. To the south is the village of Conon with its famous salmon river which flows from beautiful and peaceful Strath Conon. (Strath Conon was the subject of a recent television series.) After Conon you reach Muir of Ord. Next is Beauly which has an old priory. All these villages are steeped in Highland history and surrounded by breathtaking, distinctive scenery which is different from other parts of the north highlands.