North of Inverness


Avoch, Scotland, United Kingdom


Avoch is an attractive coastal village overlooking Avoch Bay and the Moray Firth on the south side of the Black Isle. It is well known to visitors to the Black Isle as it lies astride the A832 from Muir of Ord and the A9 to Fortrose and Rosemarkie.

The name Avoch means mouth of the stream in Old Scottish Gaelic after the Killen Burn which flows into the sea at this point. Its origins as a fishing village date back to the end of the 1500s: some say it was founded by the survivors of a Spanish Armada vessel wrecked here in 1588.

A cairn and flagpole were erected on Ormonde Hill in the village of Avoch in 1997 to mark the 700th anniversary of the raising of the Scottish Standard by Andrew de Moray.

The raising of the Standard started the North Rising. Andrew de Moray's was an equally important figure in the Scottish Wars of Independence alongside William Wallace.

He and his forces joined with Wallace to defeat the English at Stirling. Andrew was fatally wounded and died a month later.

Intrepid Scottish-Canadian explorer Sir Alexander MacKenzie, the first to explore the great Canadian river now known as the Mackenzie River, crossing North America twice, to the Arctic Ocean in 1789 and Pacific Ocean in 1793, retired to Avoch in 1812 where he died in 1820 and was buried in the old Avoch Parish churchyard.

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