Welcome to the Northern Scottish Highlands
No description can quite convey the sheer wild beauty of the Northern Highlands of Scotland. But we will try! From rugged mountains and white sandy beaches to heather strewn hills and ruined castles, you don’t come here expecting a Starbucks! But you can expect some hidden gems and some of the most amazing scenery you’ve ever seen. Oh – and you simply have no excuse not to re-charge your batteries!
The north coast of this area has a main village, Durness, famous for many things, including Loch Eriboll, Balnakeil Craft Village and the fascinating Smoo Cave. Its coastline is rugged and there are cliffs to be explored, hidden beaches to discover and we mustn’t forget the most northerly Munro, Ben Hope
The area of Assynt has some of the most striking scenery in Scotland. Boat trips to Handa Island, ancient ruins such as the atmospheric Ardvreck Castle and majestic peaks of Suilven and Canisp are a photographers dream!
If you prefer lazy days on the beach, there is no shortage of spectacular spots. Some easy to find and others an adventure!
With its open landscape and ruined cottages, nowhere are the Highland Clearances more evident than on the NE side of the Northern Highlands. Strathnaver Museum gives a fascinating history of the Norse and Gaelic ancestry which shaped this sparsely populated region.
Now, you’ve all heard of John O’Groats, but did you know that Dunnet Head is in fact the most northerly point of the Scottish Mainland? A visit to the north would not be complete without a visit to see the vast array of sea cliff bird such as puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, kittiwakes, shags and cormorants!
The east coast of this area also has its fair share of historical attractions shaped by its turbulent relationship with the sea, perfectly illustrated by Whaligoe Steps – all 365 of them, descending to the harbour below. In the early 1800’s fisherwomen (some beyond a free bus pass!), first gutted, then carried, baskets of herring and salt up the steps and on foot to Wick, 7 miles away to market.
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.
Golspie & Dornoch are the two largest villages largest village on the east side of 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. Dornoch has amazing beaches and a stone marking where the last witch in Scotland was burned. Oh – and a famous golf course!
If you’re feeling energetic, take a walk up Ben Bhraggie for a panoramic view of Loch Fleet – a favourite spot for birdwatchers.