About the Area


On the north-western tip of mainland Scotland along the rugged coastline, surrounded by magnificent mountains and with wide unpolluted beaches, lies the community of Durness

Durness is a thriving crofting community that lies within the wild, unspoilt, stunning scenery of Sutherland with a rugged coastline and abundant wildlife.

This is Mackay country and the numerous cairns, brochs and ruined settlements in the area are testament to a long and turbulent history. Norsemen would steer their longships around Cape Wrath on the way to Ireland, and sometimes came ashore in Durness and Sandwood Bay.

And it was the Vikings who gave the county of Sutherland its name. True to their Norse ancestry, the original settlers of both areas loved to pass on stories, and there is hardly a hill, loch or bay in the area which does not boast its own ghost, such as haunted Sandwood Bay or legend with Smoo Cave.

There are a wealth of exciting things to do in this area, and you could start with a visit to the breathtakingly beautiful Balnakeil Beach or go along to Sango bay or our own Ceannabeinne beach. These are some of the most beautiful and unspoilt beaches in Scotland. Or perhaps you’d prefer to go inland with some hiking, walking or fishing.

Long distances running or walks could be your pursuit with the Cape Wrath Trail  This area has a huge amount of wildlife. You could go sea kayaking or take a boat trip and you may be lucky enough to see whales and dolphins off the coast or seals basking in the sun.

You could visit the nearby Handa Island Reserve with over 200,000 seabirds visiting in the summer. Perhaps sporting activities are more your pursuit and you could try the most north-westerly Nine hole golf course in mainland Scotland or the superb salmon and trout fishing that is available. There is Balnakeil Craft Village close to Durness with various handmade arts and crafts on offer. Visit Cocoa Mountain for the most amazing hot choc and handmade chocolates.

We are blessed to have a number of artists in the area. The world famous Lotte Glob, and her ceramics studio on Loch Eribol. Highland Stoneware in Lochinver and The Old Ferry Craft co-op in Kylesku.

We also have a wealth of lovely places to eat and drink in and around the area. You could try The Smoo Cave Hotel  Old Schoolhouse,  Smoo Cave Hotel , The Craggan  or the award winning Kylesku Hotel is worth a visit.

Durness is on the  NorthCoast500 route and is on the North West Geopark too

The NC500 is an exciting driving route which covers 500 miles from Inverness, to Applecross, up the north west coast to Durness, then across to John O’Groats and back down the east coast through Helmsdale to Inverness again.

You could take a day trip or weekend to Orkney. Sail from Scrabster to Stromness and visit some of the oldest and most spectacular archaeological sites in the UK

We hope you have found these links useful and you can find more general information about Scotland and Sutherland to help you plan you visit!