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MANY places of interest in the ruggedly spectacular north-west corner of Sutherland are natural features – such as Smoo Cave at Durness, the Falls of Kirkaig, south of Lochinver, or the fascinating Inchnadamph bone caves on the limestones of the Traligill Burn.

Cruises from the pier at scenic Kylesku will take visitors for a view of the Eas a’ Chuil Aluinn, the highest waterfall in the UK. Continuing north, the island of Handa is a nature reserve with spectacular seabird colonies.

A popular excursion is to Sandwood Bay, the longest sandy beach on the north-west coast, with magnificent seascapes and a reputation for being haunted.

Another option is to reach the most north-westerly point, Cape Wrath. This involves crossing the Kyle of Durness on a passenger ferry, then travelling by minibus.

The Clo Mor cliffs, between the kyle and the cape, are the highest on the Scottish mainland at over 780ft.

The awesome Smoo Cave is one of the main reasons Durness has established itself as such an enduringly popular holiday destination.

The cave has an entrance 100ft wide and a wooden walkway allows you to view an inner chamber where the Allt Smoo burn falls from a gap in the roof. There are boat tours of Smoo Cave throughout the summer.

Durness boasts a beautiful stretch of golden sands, while the delightful diversity of Balnakeil Craft Village adds to the area’s appeal. There’s also a John Lennon memorial garden commemorating the former Beatle’s connection with Durness.

Lennon spent many childhood holidays there and it is thought to have been the inspiration for his song “In My Life”, lyrics from which are featured in a set of three standing stones within the garden.

Discover Durness this summer with the Highland Council countryside ranger. Visit the puffins at Faraid Head, learn about the wildlife and geology of Scourie Bay, and get closer than ever to this fantastic landscape.

Download a programme of events at www.highland.gov.uk/leisureandtourism/what-to-see/rangers

Printed copies are also available from local council service points and tourist information centres.
(Picture of Faraid Head courtesy of Highland Council Ranger Service; other pictures by Alan Hendry)


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