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Town of the week; Dingwall.

Famous son?

Major General Sir Hector MacDonald, the son of a Black Isle crofter who became one of the highest-ranking officers in the British army. He was the hero of the Battle of Omdurman in the Sudan in 1898 where he was responsible for saving the British from defeat. The Hector MacDonald Monument on Mitchell Hill overlooks the town.

A phrase to make folk think you're local?

"I'm proud to be a Staggie." The local football team Ross County have a stag's antlers on their badge. Fans watch their team from the 'Jail End'. Their Victoria Park ground's south terrace has this nickname as the old county jail and courthouse is behind it. County play in the First Division - the same league as main rivals Inverness Caley Thistle, but they have not beaten them for five years.

Best place for a quiet drink?

Tulloch Castle, previously the seat of the Clan Davidson, is now a hotel.

Where do you go if you want to pull?

Try The Caley or The Mallard.

Top restaurant a) if someone else is paying b) if you're paying?

a) Tulloch Castle Hotel or, a little bit out of town, try Kinkell House Restaurant. b) Cafe India, for Indian cuisine or the Tudor Coffee Shoppe and Restaurant for delicious home baking.

Is there much to keep the kids entertained?

Dingwall Museum is open May- Sept, Mon-Sat and tells the history of the town. You can climb to the top of the Sir Hector MacDonald Monument, but remember to pick up the key from the council offices. The village of Strathpeffer is around five miles away and worth a visit. Here you will find The Highland Museum of Childhood which has a fascinating collection of toys. In the centre of the village, the Victorian pump room has been reopened and there's a spa that you can drink from.

Shopping. Individual and exciting or faceless high street?

Most shops are small, privately-owned concerns. Cormacks is a small department store and McDonalds is an old-fashioned hardware shop. For fancy goods try Envy, June's Gift Shop or the museum's gift shop.

If this town was a song, what would it be?

The Wall by Pink Floyd

What would you bring back as a souvenir?

A piece of local blue clay pottery.

Why would anyone want to live here?

It's just 12 miles from Inverness and ideally placed for touring the Highlands. It's a traditional bustling market town and they still have regular markets during the week.

FACTS:

Dingwall is a market town where the rivers Conon and Peffery join the Cromarty Firth.

Its name comes from the Norse, Thingvollr, meaning the field of council or the court of justice.

It also has a Gaelic name, Inbhir-Pheafharan, which means the mouth of the Peffery.

Dingwall may have been established around the time of Earl Thorfinn Sigurdason, (Hinn Riki), The Mighty of Orkney in the 11th century.

Alexander II made the town a burgh in 1226.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Town of the Week
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 5, 2001
Words:494
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