Sutherland, Tour Caithness
coast offers a rich variety of scenery, from tall storm swept
cliffs to gentle sandy bays. The interior offers equally dramatic
contrasts between low lying windswept bogs and dramatic mountain
peaks. Fishing boats shelter in the area's many harbours. Numerous
nature reserves protect the moorland's rich plant and animal
life, with sea birds to the fore.
Hamlet of crofters' cottages heated in winter by peat fires.
Set in Armadale Bay with fine view of sandy beach and sweep
of shallow water. Main road leads over two burns, Allt
Beag and Armadale, both with twin stone bridges, old and
Assynt is a parish in west Sutherland, Scotland.
John Nicholson, 19th century antiquarian, extensively studied
this region's ancient remains. Old school house opposite his
home is now a museum of region's early human history, called
Viking Centre, a useful starting point for visiting brochs
and other area sites.
Old Ministry of Defence early warning station is setting for
Craft Village; visitors can watch various crafts, ranging
from weaving to jewellery and candle-making. The ruined Balnakeil
Church of 1619 has monument to Celtic bard Rob
Crofting centre and resort above Torrisdale
Bay. To north is Farr Bay, where precious stones can be
found. Salmon fishing in River Naver and trout in Loch Naver,
15 miles inland. Bettyhil Church dating from 18th century houses
Strathnaver Museum of local history. Outside museum is Farr
Stone, an early Christian Celtic stone.
Canisbay lies on the Pentland Firth, 2 miles west of John o'
Groats. The medieval St
Drostan's Church with its saddle-back west tower has in
its porch a tombstone commemorating members of the Dutch Grot
or Groat family which settled in Caithness in the late 15th
Century and whose descendants operated a ferry to Orkney.
John Groat, who held a pennyland in nearby Duncansby from the
of Caithness, gave his name to John o' Groats. When residing
in nearby Castle
of Mey, the Queen Mother attended services at Canisbay Church.
Wrath is red-rock headland rising 360ft from sea, topped
by 7Oft lighthouse. The Parbh, 100 square miles of peat-bog,
heather, scrub and rock, lies inland. Only link to cape from
outside world is ferry across Kyle of Durness. Cleit Dhubh,
or Black Cliff, rises 850ft from sea south east of the cape.
Cape Wrath Lighthouse.
Well ordered village built for men working in nearby quarries.
Castletown's stone has paved the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh;
stone was sent out from neighbouring harbour of Castlehill,
also built of this stone.
Experimental nuclear power station's 135ft steel dome dominates
flat coastal area. It was world's first fast reactor to provide
power for public use. Dounreay Exhibition tells story of nuclear
power and has guided tours.
is home to small fishing fleet. Dunbeath
Castle still lived in but closed to public. Laidhay
Caithness Croft Museum displays typical 18th century complex
with house, byre and stable all under one roof. Old village
school houses Dunbeath
far north eastern tip of Scottish mainland where the Duncansby
Head Lighthouse stands high above entrance to Pentland Firth.
Photos of Duncansby
Head and Stacks.
Most northerly point of British mainland. Viewing platform provides
3600 view over 300ft cliffs, taking in Cape Wrath and Duncansby.
Head Lighthouse stands below viewpoint, its walls battered
by stones thrown up by Pentland Firth in rough weather.
fairy-tale like Dunrobin
Castle faces the North Sea a mile or so north of Golspie
in Sutherland. The Sutherland family can trace their ancestry
back to Freskin of Moravia, and one of his descendants, Hugh,
migrated to Sutherland in the days of William the Lion, with
the 1st Earl of Sutherland being created in 1235.
The Grey Wolves Of Erriboll.
is a crofting village spread out along coast. Along the shore
is three chambered Smoo
Cave. Its main chamber, over 200ft deep and 110ft wide,
is accessible by foot. Allt Smoo burn flows from moorland and
drops 80ft into deep pool inside second cavern. Durness
Cairns of Camster
chambers 2 miles north of Camster date from Stone Age, beginning
6,000 years ago. Visitors can crawl down passage into chambers.
Long cairn is nearly 200ft. Legless skeletons found in round
Village based on local quarries that mined stone for street
paving. Fossil Centre at Mybster has displays on local flagstone
Island Nature Reserve. Steep
cliffs on three sides of island packed with sea birds in summer.
Moorland interior is also home to variety of birds, from skuas
to golden plovers. The departure point for Handa Island is at
Tarbert, 6 miles north of Scourie.
Area's best known building is Castle
of Mey, the Queen Mother's past summer residence. Castle
Arms Hotel, Mey, has royal photographs display. Quarries shipped
flagstones from harbour a century ago.
o' Many Stanes
Bronze Age stone
formation on hillock. Rows of small stones form a fan like
formation possibly for astronomical purposes.
Nature reserve with notable dwarf shrubs. Skelpick long barrow
is 200ft long with two burial chambers blocked by massive capstones.
Remains of Iron Age settlement with tower stand on rocky slope.
to be mainland Britain's most northerly village, named after
founder of ferry service to Orkney in 1496, Jan de Groot. Water
mill established 1750 operates under original family. Ferry
service between John O' Groats and Orkney.
harbour is an important crab and lobster centre. Keiss
Castle, 16th century, stands near private 18th century castle.
3 mile stretch of sand on Sinclair's
Bay lies south.
busiest fishing port has double harbour. Nearby Blairmore starts
trail to Sandwood
Bay. Kinlochbervie Local History.
Lochinver is a village on the coast in the Assynt district of Sutherland, Scotland.
Village at meeting point of three lochs, Kylesku is across water.
Boat trip up Loch Glencoul gives views of Britain's highest
waterfall, 650ft Eas
a Chual Aluinn.
Active fishing community; broad
street runs down to harbour with octagonal lighthouse at
its entrance. Church
has finely carved Celtic cross.
Rocky point north of Wick is crowned by two ruins. Castle Girnigoe,
15th century, has keep on cliff edge. Castle Sinclair dates
from 17th century. Noss
Head Lighthouse is located three miles outside the town
Broad bay, with harbour of Fresgue to one side and village of
Reay sheltering behind dunes. Small whitewashed church of 1740
has gallery for laird and family. Sandside Harbour
and associated fishing store and cottages were built in 1830
by Major William Innes of Sandside. There are a number of Pictish
stones in the area and Sandside house dates from 1751.
pale sand and grassy dunes, usually deserted except for sea
birds and, legend has it, mermaids. Beach lies 4 miles north
of Blairmore, accessible by rough
track. Swimming not advised. John Muir Trust. Sandwood Bay Photographs.
Scourie lies on the west coast of Sutherland district in Highland
Council Area, at the head of Scourie Bay, 5 miles west of Laxford
Bridge. The village is famed for the palm trees that grow in
the garden of Scourie House, a consequence of the warming effects
of the Gulf Stream. The village
is a popular centre for walkers and anglers, whilst trips to
the nearby island of Handa and the nature reserve there are
popular summer excursions.
Begun as port for loading flagstones, town is now main ferry
port for Orkney.
Path leads up past lighthouse
to cliffs of Holborn Head. Sailing club, sea angling and other
Iron Age broch stands on a spur thrusting out from cliffs. Its
hollow walls are 14ft thick and enclose an interior 22ft across.
Britain's most northerly mainland town was laid out as Georgian
new town by Sir John Sinclair. Ruined Church of St Peter dates
back to 13th century. Thurso
Castle, largely rebuilt, dates from 17th century. Thurso
Heritage museum. Thurso
Village has gabled church, built 1680. Its boxed wooden gallery
was once used by Mackay clan. Angling in Loch Loyal, 4 miles
south. Ruined 14th-century Cais-teal Bharraich, built on Viking
Ancient settlement, Vikings once sheltered here. Name comes
from Norse Vik, 'bay'. Town plan is medieval, but buildings
are mostly 18th century. Visitors can watch handmade glass being
blown at Caithness Glass. Also visit the Wick
Heritage Centre. Wick
you would like to tour Sutherland or Caithness as part of a
highly personalized small group tour of my native Scotland please
Sutherland, Tour Caithness Links:
of Shin Visitor Centre.
Writer's View Of Sutherland.
in The Highlands of Scotland.
Atlas of Scotland, 1654.
Gunn Sites in Caithness and Sutherland.
Home of the North West Highlands.
Brief History of Clan Sutherland.
Short History of Clan Sutherland.
Earls and Dukes of Sutherland.
Highland Council Archive.
Scottish Genealogy Society.
Documents Index of over 300,000 names in Scottish wills
Hugh Mackay of Scourie.
William Young Sellar
Sir John Sinclair of Thurso.
John 0' Groats House.
Duke of Sutherland Monument.
Stoneware Ltd, Lochinver, Sutherland.
West Sutherland artists and writers.
Map Of Sutherland.
West Sutherland Local Services.
Maps Of Sutherland.
West Sutherland Bird Life.
West Sutherland Churches.
West Sutherland Learning.
West Sutherland Community Groups.
Sutherland Country Ranger.
West Sutherland Events.
West Sutherland Geology.
Highland Family History Society.
Family History Society.