Beauly was apparently given its name by Mary, Queen of Scots, when she stayed in the town in the early 1560s. Having spent most of her childhood in France, the Scottish queen was fluent in French, and commented to her host, "C'est un beau lieu", meaning "It's a beautiful place". Surrounded by the dramatic scenery of the Highlands, and set on the banks of the River Beauly, the charming town still merits its 'beautiful' reputation today.
Beauly Priory and the River
The impressive Priory was the town's main source of wealth, and was the reason that a settlement then developed. Following the dissolution of the monasteries, the Priory lands and much of the town came under the control the principal clan of the area, the Frasers of Lovat - and officially they still own much of the land surrounding Beauly. The atmospheric ruins of Beauly Priory, along with those of Lovat Castle, are today some of the town's popular attractions, particularly the number of walks that lead to or past these picturesque sights. Another of Beauly's best-loved sights is the tranquil river of the same name, which affords some fantastic fishing opportunities, particularly for catching salmon.