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The local area guide to living in Muir of Ord
A Highland village located on the Black Isle, Muir of Ord has long been a centre for cattle and grazing. Little is known of the village’s history, beyond the fact that it has been around for several hundred years. Normally quiet, it hosts the annual Black Isle Show, one of Scotland’s largest agricultural fairs, with a thriving trade in livestock occurring during the show.
The Glen Ord Distillery, the only remaining single malt distillery on the island, has existed since 1838, sometimes operating with a license, and sometimes without. Today, it continues to produce malts matured for up to 36 years and tours of the distillery remain popular, as, of course, do the tastings that typically accompany them.
The Highland landscape is magnificent, one of the most unique and unspoiled in Britain, and often the only thing you can see for miles is ancient castles and ruins, as well as the hosts of livestock.
Information about the local residents
Despite its residents average age being on par with the rest of the country, it has far more under 25s than the national average. There are also more married couples than ordinary and a high percentage of English born residents, 12.5% of the total population. Unemployment rates are low, particularly for 16-24s, whilst the rates of home ownership are higher than the national average by one in twenty.
Despite the Scottish language being strong in the region at one point, today very few people speak it. The Gaelic language is more popular, however, and is spoken quite regularly. Some of those who work in the village commute to nearby Inverness, the largest city in the region, and nearly a third of the village’s working inhabitants work in the motor repair or construction industries.
There is only one secondary school on the Black Isle, the Fortrose academy, which currently hosts around 780 pupils. Considering its position as the only secondary education centre on the island, the school is a very reputable one, with one of its former teachers having been awarded the Teacher of the Year Award for Scotland in 2006. The school is only a twenty-minute commute.
Of the several primary schools on the island, there are some within walking distance of Muir of Ord. The Tarradale Primary School is located within the village, whilst the Beauly Primary and Mulbuie Primary School are both within fifteen minutes.
The A9 used to run directly through the village, but a modernisation scheme moved the main road further to the north. As such, the village benefits from a modern and well-built road, the A862, which runs directly through the village and joins the A9.
The Kessock Bridge crosses towards Inverness, allowing for a commute of 26 minutes. Inverness has an international airport, whilst the train stations at the city also run to the larger cities of Scotland, and even onwards to London. Muir of Ord does have a train station of its own, which runs on the Far North and Kyle of Lochalsh lines.
The village tends to all the basic needs of life, with a supermarket, several pubs, restaurants, a post office and banks all having a presence here. There’s a large development being undertaken at the moment, with the aim of adding several store fronts, a garden centre, and several office units; approximately one hundred jobs will be created when this development is complete in the next few years.
Nearby Inverness offers some excellent shopping, with two large malls hosting international fashion brands, such as River Island, Superdry and Next. Beauly, situated next to Muir, has more choice than its neighbour, at least in terms of supermarkets and amenities, whilst also having some excellent tartan and tweed outlets. There is a notable tale of Mary Queen of Scots being so enchanted by the village’s designs that she ordered tartan outfits for her entire court.
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