For centuries Beauly has been a draw to tourists, thanks to its beautiful setting, excellent fishing and ancient priory.
These attractions still draw visitors in their thousands but today’s Beauly is also a magnet for the discerning shopper: boasting its own designer boutique, continental deli and café, fine tweeds, knitwear, antiques and – all under the one roof – luxury gifts, crafts, designer clothing, a bridal salon, jewellery and restaurant at a fine goods emporium.
The 13th century priory is home to the MacKenzie vault and the inscriptions on the ancient gravestones surrounding the priory make interesting reading.
It lies at the heart of the village, close to the famous Square which was laid out by Baron Lovat in the 1840s and is one of the most spacious in the area.
Mary Queen of Scots and her retinue stayed at the priory and she was charmed with the attractions of the place, ordering outfits in tartan for her entire court.
Many of Beauly’s stores are concentrated around the village square which offers a convenient spot to park the car free of charge.
And there is lots of free parking available on streets throughout the village, all within easy walking distance of the centre.
Given the compact size of the village, the choice of designer wear is hugely impressive from well-known international brands to an eclectic mix of niche designers.
There are several outlets offering a wide choice of gifts ranging from hand-made cosmetics, jewellery, crafts, gourmet local produce including cheeses, wines, meats, confectionery, beautiful hand-crafted stationery and trinkets, as well as ornaments, paintings and sculptures.
As well as shopping, Beauly is also a food lovers’ paradise with an array of eateries throughout the village from traditional pubs serving filling bar lunches and Sunday roasts to cosy cafés and restaurants using the finest local produce to create mouthwatering dishes, freshly-made sandwiches and home baking.
The deli offers a mix of the best local and European produce including wines, cheeses, meats, juicy preserves, cakes and confectionery, as well as ground coffees and herbal teas.
It also houses an inviting café overlooking the High Street so shoppers can enjoy a warming latté and some scrumptious home baking while watching the world pass by.
Just outside the village centre a farm shop offers a host of delicious goodies from local honey, free range eggs and succulent meat and game to delicious cakes, ice creams and preserves.