THINGS TO DO
The Highlands have a range of hiking, mountaineering, walking, bouldering and climbing sites/tracks from East to West.
Being home to many mountains and several miles of unspoilt coastline, Sutherland is perfect for many different activities.
Ben More Assynt, Ben Loyal, Quinag, Ben Stack, Suilven and Ben Hope are just a few of Sutherland's peaks available for climbing; hiking trails can be found through most of the county, several surrounding Lairg's Loch Shin. Ferrycroft Visitor Centre has two walks, one leading to a local Broch.
Loch Shin is the longest loch in Sutherland at 17 miles in length; it is divided into two sections: Little Shin and Big Shin.
As the names suggest, one loch is quite large and the other loch small.
Both are known for their fishing, Trout and Salmon can be found here,
If you find yourself interested in what Loch Shin has to offer, the Lairg Angling Club may be able to help.
Both road cycling and mountain biking are popular in the North of Scotland, with many trails, paths and roadways suitable for your requirements.
Mountain biking trails can be found all over Sutherland, with some of the best black and red runs just a stone's throw away in Golspie.
If you fancy something a little slower paced, other examples of routes can be found here.
Local bike hire can also be found nearby towns of Dornoch and Bonar Bridge, with an electric bike available for hire in Invercassley (Rosehall).
From the annexe and surrounding areas, you will see (and hear!) a whole host of birds of prey and common species.
In Amberskye gardens, we have a family of sparrows, cold tits and blue tits, siskins, red robins, thrushes, finches, wagtails, lapwings and a cuckoo. Just in the fields behind we have a pair of resident hen harriers, along with curlew, goldcrests, lapwings and the odd falcon.
To find out more about bird watching in the area, visit this link.
There is also a bird hide at Dalchork, just outside of Lairg village.
Loch Shin is divided into two sections: Little Shin and Big Shin.
Little Shin is a calm loch, compared to the tumultuous Big Shin, and kayaking is a perfect way to explore the quieter shores.
Big Shin is a huge expanse of water and many hours could be taken kayaking around this vast loch. The south-west bank of the loch is lesser known, so has plenty of exploration opportunities.
Kayak rental can be found in the form of Go Wild Highlands - a fantastic local company, who will take you on some fantastic tours.
Other spots worth kayaking around are the Kyle of Sutherland, River Oykel and the River Shin.
If you're interested in Surfing, Sutherland and Ross-shire boast some beautiful beaches and great areas for good waves.
Brora beach is a great spot for surfing, with next to no people around. There's a great view of the moray coast on a clear day.
Sinclair's Bay, Wick, is a good starting spot for beginners, with a great view into the east across the North Sea.
Durness to the north is a great place for surf and on the NC500 tourist route - a stunning place. Visit Smoo Cave if you get the time.
Bettyhill, also to the north, has access to the surfing beachbreaks of Torrisdale, Farr Bay and Armadale.
Despite being a large area with few restaurants, the eateries which are available are extremely good.
Lairg's local restaurants come in the form of The Highland Hotel and Bar, who serve good traditional food and drink, and The Pier who serve paninis, tea, cake and coffee in the daytime, and gourmet food in the evening; both definitely worth a try. The Pier also offer Pedalo rental during Summer.
Further afield, in Bonar Bridge, The Crannag is a fantastic little bistro with good homemade food, all ingredients sourced locally.
The Pittentrail Inn, 15 miles east in Rogart, are reasonably priced and serve a range of food in well-sized portions.
The Crask Inn past Altnaharra has brilliant reviews on food, so could be worth a drive (if not solely for the views and deer).
The Dornoch Castle Hotel is another splendid eatery, open to non-residents and highly rated for its whisky and gin selection, along with its own distillery.
There are many good reviews on Google for other dining experiences in the area, so it is worth checking there, if the above recommendations don't appeal.
Golf is a big deal up in these parts of Scotland, The Royal Dornoch Golf Links being one of the must prestigious.
Taken from the 'Welcome to Scotland' site, the following itinerary would be a good start to your golfing tour:
To the northwest is one of the most enigmatic little 9-hole golf courses at Durness. Descend from Durness to the wonderful little 9-hole course at Gairloch and experience some of the best scenery the Highlands can offer. See the listing for Golf in the Northern Highlands.
If you are in Lairg for any period of time, there are events on occasionally, the most regular being our Community Market.
The Market runs monthly -
Every 3rd Tuesday,
Lairg Community Centre (on Main Street, just past The Highland Hotel)
We have a range of craft, food and arty stalls to browse - all local and very good!
Support is always welcome :)
Tea & coffee available