Venture North with…. Forse of Nature
We caught up with Ellie Sheales - Baker, countryside ranger and a bit of everything else at Forse of Nature.
What do you love about what you do?
Lynn and I do all the baking for the Forse of Nature Cafe and since starting three years ago I’ve learned a lot and developed a real passion for baking. I love trying new recipes and ideas for our customers to try. I also love making old favourites using treasured family recipes! I really enjoy the interaction with customers and always like to be able to offer something delicious - no matter the dietary requirements!
Why Caithness or Sutherland, how did you come by what you do?
I’m very lucky in that my job is really varied. Some days I’m renovating rooms and deciding on decor and colour schemes, other days I’m leading groups in the woods to look for minibeasts! My degree is in countryside management and I worked as a ranger for several years at various sites in Aberdeenshire, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but there’s something extra magical about looking after nature on “your own patch” and being able to explore all the hidden places and then share them with others!
Why Venture North?
We moved up to Caithness in 2017 after falling in love with the beautiful Forse House - a rambling, Georgian country house, surrounded by 24 acres of beautiful woodland and landscaped gardens. As a family we decided to make the move and set up a business to be able to live in such beautiful surroundings. We decided to use the house and grounds to the best of their ability with a cafe, craft shop and guesthouse rooms as well as being a venue for weddings, meetings and groups. The business has evolved slowly and we are always making improvements where we can!
Top 5 things to do in Caithness and Sutherland:
- We absolutely adore walking along Dunbeath Strath - beautiful, meandering paths along the river, under the trees and past several historical site.
- Another favourite to visit, especially with little ones is the fairy trail at Latheronwheel harbour. This is a small area of woodland chock-full of amazing fairy houses and curios, all put together by members of the local community.
- Very close to home and an absolute hidden gem is the wag of Forse - an Iron Age settlement, nestled on the hillside. Meg from the Dunbeath Heritage Centre does guided walks up to the wag a couple of times a year and her immense knowledge really brings the site to life!
- We have three dogs - so visits to the beach are always a hit with us! We often go a bit further afield to Achmelvich beach on the north coast. Flanked by grassy dunes, this pristine beach is well worth a visit, and bonus for dog owners - nearby Halladale Inn is dog friendly and offers lovely pub meals.
- Another brilliant place to visit is Camster Cairns - these are a reconstruction of historic cairns that you can visit for free - you can even go inside them!