Depending on when you plan your visit, you may want to take part in some of the summer's busy schedule of events.
On the third weekend in May, the Black Isle village of Avoch has its Raising of the Standard. Local residents, tourist and battle re-enactment soldiers dressed in the armour of the day take part, convening on the Avoch FC football pitch and walking up Ormonde Hill to the site of de Moray's Ormonde Castle, now only a shape in the grass. The flag is raised on cairn built in 1997 with stones from an older commemorative cairn. The event marks Andrew de Moray's rousing of the clans in 1297 at the outset of the Scottish Wars of Independence. Moray raised and army in the Highlands prior to the victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge on 11 September that year, where he led the Scottish forces alongside William Wallace. His place in history is relatively small in comparison to Wallace as he died a few days after Stirling Bridge, from wounds acquired during the battle.
June, July and August are the Games season. Highland Games very enormously, from the ceremony of the Royal games at Braemar to more local games. Strathconon Games up the road here are pretty informal, but with all the fun and the different events you normally associate with Highland Games.
From June onwards, Beauly Firth and Glens Pipe Band perform in Beauly Square without admission charge. Their performance is preceded by accordion music and demonstration Highland dancers from 7.30pm.
July is pretty busy, including the local Gala Week in Muir of Ord, which is a week of fundraising events for local causes. Strathpeffer also has its Victorian Day, celebrating the Victorian "boom" in tourism because of the reputedly health-giving waters of the spa. Highlight of Victorian Day is the open air market in the village square, with many participants in period costume and music and other entertainments like Punch and Judy shows. This is also the month for open gardens. Scatwell House has a major opening day, with entertainments and stalls. Allangrange House opens, over near Munlochy and even local villages have open gardens days - Fortrose and Rosemarkie in mid-July and Avoch at the end of the month, providing you with a map of the houses which are opening their gardens, and usually a cup of tea and home baking in the hall.
The first Thursday in August is the usual date for the Black Isle Show. The Show has a pedigree of over 150 years and it is the largest agricultural show of its kind. There are, naturally, livestock competitions, but also demonstrations, open air entertainments, exhibits by ostrich breeders and lumberjacks, sheep shearing, face painting, riding competitions and grandly decorated heavy horses, such as used to be seen in farms all over the country. Alongside all this are stalls and markets and a large funfair, locally known as the "Showies".