Exploring Caithness & Sutherland
If you use Inverness as a base for your holiday, exploring Caithness & Sutherland is one of the things you should do whilst staying here. The wide expanses of the north Highlands offer a sense of space and tranquility unlike that found anywhere else. The area includes three National Scenic Areas – Scotland’s finest landscapes.
Three dramatically different coasts await you. The east cost entices with glittering estuaries, salmon rivers, historical fishing villages and lovely woodlands. The rugged splendour of north west Sutherland inspires world class geology, breath-taking mountains and a rich natural environment. As you travel across the top coast, the landscape becomes gentler and gives way to fertile farmlands and the rich archeological hertitage of Caithness, where you will find the most northly point on the British mainland and stunning sea views.
Spring or early summer are the best time for nesting seabirds and abundant wildflowers. Summer brings a chance to see ospreys fishing and seal pups sunning themselves on sand banks. Stags in the rut and spectacular colours of woodlands and hillside are a treat for the autumn, while crisp beautiful sunny days and impressive crashing sotrms make a visit in the winter a real pleasure to be savoured roun the fire at nights.
Many visitors have looked at our map of the north of Scotlands whilst staying here and thought they could drive north, across the top, down the west coast and across country back to Inverness in one day. But unless you want to spend the entire day driving, and through some challenging roads, it’s way too much to do in one day. There are so many places to visit, here’s just a few:
Dunrobin Castle – on of the most northerly of Scotland’s great houses, Dunrobin Castle dates back to the early 1300s. Home to the Earls and later the Dukes of Sutherland, the castle is perched on a high terrace with beautiful walled gardens. Daily falconry displays take place on the lawns. Open April – October.
Dunnet Head – Dunnet Head is the most northerly point on the UK mainland. The few miles between the village to the lighthouse offer magnificent cliff-top views of Orkney. In early summer, the cliffs are alive with seabirds such as fulmar and puffins. Dunnet Head is managed by the RSPB.
Stacks of Duncansby – Duncansby offers a dramatic experience. These imposing pyramidal stacks have been isolated by the retreat of the cliffs. Superb views can be had from the coastal path where the best views of huge seabird colonies can be gained.
Scottish Natural Heritage provide a great deal of information on Scotland’s nature and how you can enjoy the great outdoors.