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03 September 2018

New Highland Tourism Business To Cater For Cyclists And Adventurers

Highland Farm Cafe Panorama

A sunny Friday 31st August 2018 saw renowned Scottish round-the-world cyclist and adventurer, Mark Beaumont, officially open Highland Farm Cottages’ new “Highland Farm Café” at Mount Gerald, situated between Dingwall and Evanton in Easter Ross.

Before the event, Mark led a party of cyclists drawn from local groups and clubs on the beautiful 25 mile ride north from Inverness Castle – the start and finish point for the UK’s ultimate road trip, the North Coast 500 -  to the Café, a ride made all the more special thanks to the presence of the local school children who joined the party for the last leg.

Highland Farm Cafe A splendid buffet in the Café was followed by a talk from Mark on his round the world experiences, his North Coast 500 record (he did it non-stop), and his recent World Record attempt on a Penny Farthing.

So what of the business? Highland Farm Cottages and Highland Farm Café are owned by FSB members Kenneth and Lesley McKenzie. 

If business success is down to location, location, location, then Highland Farm Cottages and Highland Farm Café have it made. Overlooking the Cromarty Firth, and with magnificent views to the south and west, they sit on National Cycle Route 1, linking Dover to Shetland, and beside both the North Coast 500 grand circuit of the Northern Highlands and the main Land’s End to John o’ Groats route. The café also provides a great venue for locals wanting a trip into the countryside. 

Earlier this year, Highland Farm Cottages won the FSB “Best Scottish Ethical, Green Business Award”, and Kenneth and Lesley were keen to carry the ethical approach forward into the Café. They paid particular regard to environmental sustainability, and they source as many goods and services as possible locally. Consumers are increasingly seeking this sort of commitment and it has to be the way forward for Highlands & Islands businesses as a whole. MB and Highland Farm Cafe

The locally-sourced wooden building has a “green” roof, an electric vehicle charge point and 6 KW of solar panels. Wherever possible the products are all locally-sourced too:  organic produce from Knockfarrel; Black Isle Dairy Ice Cream; beers from the Black Isle and Cromarty Breweries; award-winning morning rolls from Three Little Bakers in Inverness; and meat from Dingwall based Fraser Brothers. There is also a tie-in with the new community-owned Glen Wyvis Distillery, which is headed up by Kenneth’s brother, John.

If you are proud of all that you have achieved with your business, why not enter this year’s FSB Small Business Awards


David Richardson is the FSB's Development Manager in the Highlands & Islands