Northern Sutherland

Northern Sutherland comprises of the far north west tip of the Scottish mainland and is an area of mountains, moors, lochs, rock, bog and wild and beautiful coastlines – with spectacular cliffs and stacks and some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. In between all this it has welcoming settlements nestled in sheltered locations such as Scourie, Durness, Tongue, Bettyhill, Melvich, Altnaharra and Lairg. You can find great accommodation options in these locations and others.

Northern Sutherland is an area of stunning natural beauty, it has a feeling of space and solitude – probably more so than any other area of mainland Britain. The North Coast 500 (NC500) scenic route follows the main roads around the coast and provides access to many of the excellent sights, more are accessible for the adventurous further off the beaten track. The Flow Country is a globally important expanse of blanket bog and peatland wilderness that occupies much of the interior and east of the area between the mountains – World Heritage status is currently being applied for, see more here.

In terms of mountains the interior has plenty of choice: Ben Hope is the most northerly Munro and a spectacular hill; Ben Klibreck above Altnaharra is a massive 10 kilometre long ridge whose highest top, Meall nan Con, also has Munro status; Foinaven and Arkle in the west comprise one of the most spectacular mountain masses in Scotland but are less frequented as they are below 3000 feet; Ben Loyal is feted for its fine ramparts above Tongue and has an intriguing granitic summit terrain. Also, the hills of the Reay Forest south of Foinaven provide exceptionally rough and wild terrain away from the “crowds” and are highly recommended. The west of Sutherland is part of the North West Highlands Geopark – one of the UNESCO Global Geoparks – an area of international geological significance.

Discover and explore Northern Sutherland through the articles and links below.

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Ben Klibreck from the Summit of Ben Hope, Northern Sutherland
Northern Sutherland
Northern Sutherland comprises of the far north west tip of the Scottish mainland and is an area of mountains, moors, ...
Winter Afternoon - Arkle & Foinaven from Ben Hope, Northern Sutherland
Foinaven and Arkle
Foinaven and its neighbour Arkle are amongst Scotland's finest and most starkly beautiful mountains. Foinaven is one of the highest ...
Northern Sutherland interactive map
Interactive map of photos, places and mountains focussed on Northern Sutherland. Have a play and explore with the map, click ...
A'Cheir Ghorm & Ben Hope from Foinaven, Northern Sutherland
Northern Sutherland select photo gallery
A select gallery of only my very best or favourite Northern Sutherland photos. From dawn over Ben Hope and the ...
Beinn Leoid and the wilderness at the head of Glen Coul from the east ridge of Glas Bheinn
Beinn Leoid and Meallan a’ Chuail
Beinn Leoid and Meallan a' Chuail are remote charismatic peaks in the area between Loch Merkland and Glen Coul north ...
Ben Hope at Dawn from Beinn Direach, Northern Sutherland
Ben Hope – the most northerly Munro
Ben Hope is famed as the most northerly Munro and is an iconic mountain of Sutherland and the far north ...
Ben Hee as mist forms and high frontal clouds move in from the west - 2, Northern Sutherland
Ben Hee
Ben Hee is a big mass of a Corbett with several ridges and corries radiating from its central 873 metre ...
A panorama of the southern Reay Forest hills from the southern slopes of Ben Hope, Northern Sutherland
The Foinaven and Reay Forest Mountains
The group of hills comprising of Foinaven and the Reay Forest areas are exceptionally wild and remote and include the ...
Ben Hope - An Autumn Afternoon, Northern Sutherland
Distinct Mountains of the Far North
These are distinct mountains that do not belong to a logical or easily definable "mountain range" in the far north ...
Dun Dornaigil Broch and Ben Hope by night, Northern Sutherland
Dun Dornaigil Broch and Strath More
Dun Dornaigil (or Dun Dornadilla) is an excellent example of an iron age broch built around 2000 to 2500 years ...
Ard Neackie And Loch Eriboll, Northern Sutherland
Ard Neackie & Loch Eriboll
Ard Neackie is a small scenic peninsula on the east side of Loch Eriboll joined to the mainland by a ...
Photo of reflections on Loch Hope on a beautiful, still May morning with Ben Hope, semi shrouded in morning low cloud, on the left
Loch Hope and the Hope to Altnaharra Road
The hamlet of Hope on the A838 (North Coast 500 route) is at the north end of Loch Hope. From ...
Photo of April sunshine on a chilly picnic at the beautiful beach at Farr Bay, Bettyhill
Farr Bay, Bettyhill
Farr Bay on the east side of the north coast village of Bettyhill is a stunningly scenic location. It is ...
Late afternoon on beautiful Ceannabeinne beach (Traigh Allt Chailgeag)
Ceannabeinne Durness – Grey November Day but Still Beautiful
Saturday was a grey day in the far north, there was some mizzle in Caithness to start. The forecast had seemed okay so I set out with my boy to head west and do something. No firm plans, just a need (on my part) to get out of the house ...
Dawn Over the Kyle of Tongue, Northern Sutherland
Ben Hope Summit Camp
Back in July I had a free weekend that coincided with good weather in the north west. This generally seems to be a rare occurrence with good weather appearing to only happen during the working week. Whilst having climbed Ben Hope many times I had never spent a night high ...
Photo of a Puffin surveying the geo around Wester Clett, "Puffin Island"
Puffin Colony – Wester Clett, Sutherland
Just on the Sutherland side of the Sutherland/Caithness border, on the coast at Drumhollistan Moss, is a complex series of deep geos, or coastal inlets, with a steep sided island called Wester Clett in the middle. Wester Clett has been popularly named "Puffin Island" and the surrounding geos as "Puffin ...

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