Click on the map to view more clearly. For more visitor attractions and to help plan your adventure in Caithness and Sutherland view our Heritage Map at www.venture-north.co.uk/heritage-map/
Additional infrastructure points:
- Electric Vehicle Charge
- Petrol/Diesel Station
- Electric Vehicle Charge
Caithness & Sutherland Tourist Information and Map text:
Soaring sea cliffs, long sandy beaches, low-level fertile farmland and rugged mountainous terrain with superb panoramic views, combined with twisting roads, foaming rivers, and stunning lochs...
WELCOME TO CAITHNESS AND SUTHERLAND
... one of the last true wild lands in Britain.
Whether venturer or adventurer you will find a region rich in unique leisure opportunities.
Go surfing at Thurso East at the world-famous reef break or join the 'end-to-enders' by visiting the most northerly extremes on the UK mainland at Dunnet Head and John O'Groats.
Take in breath-taking seascapes or roam Scotland's first European Geopark with its 3,000-million-year-old rocks and classic hills, like Suilven and Stac Pollaidh, amongst the wildest places in Britain.
Take time to unwind under gigantic skies in our ancient land and tread in the footsteps of our Pictish and Norse ancestors whose enigmatic architectural remains cover our landscape.
If you're lucky you might even see the aurora borealis (northern lights) in our clear dark skies.
And once you've climbed, trekked, mountain-biked, surfed, gazed, explored and recharged, enjoy our famous Highland warmth and hospitality.
Enjoy your Venture North!
For accommodation, shopping, bars, cafes and restaurants visit: venture-north.co.uk/map.
- Northlink Ferries
- Pentland Ferries
- John O'Groats Ferries
- Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd
Electric Vehicle Charging
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Often described as 'the lowlands beyond the Highlands' Caithness is known for its wide-open spaces and big skies. Spectacular geos, sea stacks and caves can be seen on the many miles of dramatic coastal scenery. During the summer months, the cliff tops support internationally important colonies of seabirds.
On the east side of the county, in the little harbours dotted along the coast, are the remnants of the great herring industry. Many workers from all over the country were attracted to work here.
Morven, Maiden Pap and the Scarabens are hills that dominate the landscape to the south of the county offering great vistas from the peaks of the entire county and beyond.
Caithness is home to some of the most spectacular and nationally important archaeology in the country ranging from the sites of the Mesolithic hunters and gatherers to the broch builders, including the mysterious stone rows mainly found on the east coast on the county.
Sutherland is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north-west and the North Sea to the east, and shares land borders with Caithness and Ross and Cromarty.
The name Sutherland dates from the era of Norse rule and settlement over much of the Highlands and Islands, under the rule of the jarl of Orkney. Although it contains some of the northernmost land in the island of Great Britain, it was called Southern Land from the standpoint of Orkney and Caithness.
Central and East Sutherland
This area has a very varied landscape. Standing at the Crask Inn, at the very centre of the county, you can gaze over the Flow Country where red throated divers and greenshank nest and hen harriers hunt.
Travelling east you reach the upper reaches of the Dornoch Firth where you can find the Spinningdale Woods, with stands of oak and a wonderful pine wood. The wood plays host to crossbills and black grouse.If you're very fortunate you may see roe and red deer or even pine martens.
At the mouth of the fifth lies the sand dune system at Dornoch. Full of wildflowers in the summer and home to a colony of small blue butterflies.
Further up the coast is the national nature reserve at Loch Fleet. Within the pine woods here you can find one-flowered wintergreen, twinflower, and creeping lady's tresses. In summer you will see ospreys fishing here and in the winter the loch itself is a feeding ground for hundreds of wigeon, redshank and curlew. You will also find shelduck, bar tailed godwit and ringed plover.
One of the last truly wild places in Europe, Assynt has a unique assemblage of habitats, wildlife and flora.
From the wild Atlantic coastline to the tops of the Munros, there are ancient woodlands, hundreds of lochs and lochans and rocky mountains as well as the largest area of limestone hills within Scotland.
There are some great walks offering the opportunity of seeing golden eagles and red deer in the hills and otters and black-throated divers in the lochs. The walk to the Old Man of Stoer is great for seeing dolphins, whales and seabirds.
The furthest north-west corner of the Highlands has a tremendous variety of scenery, including mountain and coastal habitats for a wide range of wildlife, from the highest peaks of Ben Hope at 927m (the most northerly Munro) and Foinaven at 911m, to wide ranging pure seashores and the clean sands of Sandwood Bay, north of Kinlochbervie, and the beautiful Balnakeil Bay by Durness.
There are also smaller and equally beautiful beaches at Talmine and Coldbackie, plus others like Scourie which are rich in rock pools and bird life.
This huge variety of wildlife includes soaring eagles in the hills and rare divers on the lochs, while otters frequent the coastal fringe (and inland waters). The flora is impressive too; Durness limestone features the Scottish primrose, and large areas of mountain avens grow at sea level.
Flowing with the fresh mountain water from pristine moorland in the hills, the vast Kyle of Tongue and Kyle of Durness along with the river Laxford offer excellent fishing for salmon and sea trout.
Sutherland has some of the most dramatic scenery in the whole of Europe, especially on its western fringe.
To find out more about Caithness and Sutherland view our area guides at www.venture-north.co.uk/guides