There’s gold in them thar hills! Gold panning has long been a tradition on Kildonan Burn, just west of Helmsdale and you can try it for free! The majority of this area is uninhabited and makes for lots of walking opportunities, particularly for the keen fisherman. It is well known that this area is one of the best in Europe for salmon fishing.

If you prefer your fish on a platter, Helmsdale and Golspie can both boast to have “possibly the best fish and chips in the northern hemisphere” – and we didn’t get that from a guide book – it’s all personal experience!

Some of the worst aspects of the Highland Clearances were carried out in Sutherland and a stark reminder of these can be found at Croick Church just 10 miles west of Ardgay. After being evicted, many took refuge in the churchyard and you can still see their messages scratched into the windows.


Golspie is the second largest village in this area and any holidaymaker will find something to suit their taste. Ride the Highland Wildcat Trails, experience the grandeur of Dunrobin Castle or browse the unique selection of shops. This includes the fascinating Orcadian Stone Company where you can lose yourself in the history of local fossils and rocks, millions of years old!

Take a walk up Ben Bhraggie for a panoramic view of Loch Fleet, a favourite spot for birdwatchers. The contentious statue at the top of this hill has a turbulent past and we wouldn’t want to speculate on the correct version of events! We will leave you to read about the Duke of Sutherland yourself and reach your own conclusion…

The Royal Burgh of Dornoch is the largest town in the area. With a huge sandy beach and play park, children will be delighted with their day out! And if it’s the unusual you enjoy, what would a day out be without seeing the stone marking where the last witch in Scotland was burned, seeing where Madonna was married and browsing goods from a  jail cell –  you will have to visit for yourself and see what on earth we are talking about!

So a visit to Sutherland allows you to take in the great outdoors, sample some of the best locally caught seafood, visit unusual landmarks and practice your golf on one of the most famous courses in the world!