Access to ancient cave restored

Rosemarkie steps
Roy Stuart and his son, Cameron from Cupar are among the first to use the completed steps.

Steps from Rosemarkie beach to the old ‘High’ path – a popular walks that leads to Caird’s Cave have been restored by The Highland Council’s Access Team.

The walk to Caird’s Cave has always been a pleasant stroll beside the sea. One way is the beach but the other runs along ‘the High’, the old path which runs above the cliff and then parallel with the beach. This was the route used by net and coble salmon fishers heading for Hillockhead and Eathie.  At high tide this is the only way past as the waves come up to the cliff.

Previously this was an ordeal, particularly for local elderly people, with the old wooden handrail decayed and broken and the concrete steps damaged and slippery, especially at the top.

Councillor Jennifer Barclay on behalf of the Highland Council’s Black Isle Ward Members said: “Rosemarkie Beach and the shoreline walk are very popular with locals, day trippers and holiday-makers. The community has worked hard to make Rosemarkie a welcome and vibrant community and this excellent project by the Council’s Access Officer to restore the steps will make a huge difference to everyone who loves this beauty spot.”

Highland Council’s Access Officer, Phil Waite explained how the project came about: “I was often receiving complaints about these steps and felt that something had to be done to improve the situation. The condition of the steps was either putting people off using them or they risked a slip if they did. The ownership of the steps was unclear but the public benefit of improving them on a popular core path justified the project.”

The work was completed by local contractors GG MacKenzie of Garve, who completed the work quickly and diligently, fitting the work in before the summer season.

The improvement has been well received by visitors and locals alike.

Anne Phillips of Fortrose and Rosemarkie Community Council was delighted, she said: “Wow what a difference! Many thanks from the community.”

Philip Eley the Beach Café Manager added: “It is particularly pleasing to have this route restored to easy use for our customers and other beach visitors as Rosemarkie Amenities Association plans to restore and improve the seafront promenade as part of its next community project.”

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26 May 2015
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