The North Highlands, home of inspiration.

Initially, this blog was inspired by World Book Day (today). It made us think about the highland landscape and the numerous authors that have used it as a source of inspiration. Writers describing every beautiful detail to share their tales, encouraging readers to use their imagination to experience the wide-open spaces, the ferocity of the seas and the beauty of boundless horizons. The most famous book from the Caithness and Sutherland area would arguably be The Silver Darlings, by Neil M Gunn. The story tells of a community who turn their hands to Herring Fishing in the aftermath of the Highland Clearances. The story paints a vivid picture of a community fighting against nature and history and refusing to be crushed.

The idea of authors and writers being inspired by the north then expanded into creative inspiration in general and the many, many people from all walks of life who have been, are regularly or will at some stage, be inspired by the north. We invite you, creative professionals and all, to experience the north highlands and try not to be inspired!

In the North Highlands and across the country, you’ll find many exhibitions, festivals and events bursting at the seams with artwork inspired by and depicting the often-world-renowned scenes of our landscape. From artwork inspired by Caithness Flagstone by Lisa Poulsen of Inspired By Caithness to ceramic pieces inspired by the Sutherland Landscape by ceramicist, Lottie Globb and body adornment pieces created by goldsmith, designer and glass artist Patricia Niemann as well as many, many more. These pieces often find themselves on display all over the world, isn’t that a fun thought? Little pieces of the highlands in various countries and cities across the world.

At present, the Caithness Society of Artists have an exhibition on display in Thurso, the most northerly UK mainland town. ‘Journeys’ showcases work from the societies members which is thought provoking and inspiring. Caithness also has deep connections with the Royal Family since the late Queen Mother fell in love with the area and purchased Barrogill Castle which she transformed into The Castle of Mey. The castle remains today as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the north. HRH, The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay submits his own artwork to the annual Caithness Artists exhibition every Summer.

Next month, the John O Groats book festival takes place which celebrates writing, reading and creating in a fun, social way. With events suitable for the whole family in a variety of unique and quirky venues, including the mainland’s most northerly art centre, it’s sure to set creative juices flowing for all who attend. We expect the event to be top of the list for the Caithness Writers group who are a welcoming group of enthusiasts for the written word.

So, as well as leading technologies and cutting-edge business, the North’s open spaces have plenty to offer too. We all, in one way or another thrive from the peaceful atmosphere we call home and invite you to join us.