The North Highlands offers local residents and tourist visitors with a wide variety of things to do. The impressive golden beaches of the area are certainly worth a visit. The North Highlands is host to countless beaches across the region which are popular with the locals and tourists. The beaches have the most stunning views and are surrounded by high sand dunes and cliffs with small, deep caves.

The impeccable sights of the North Highland region do not stop at the beaches. The area is filled with some of the most wonderful walks and views, including Whaligoe Steps, Duncansby Head and Dunnet Head. Visitors can further take a drive up to Smoo Cave, and appreciate the spectacular largely combined sea cave and fresh water cave in Durness, Sutherland.

John O’Groats, a small village within the North Highlands, offers a wildlife cruise illuminating the wonderful free-living sea life creatures, bird life and cliff scenery. The tour is available for either a couple of hours or a full day and allows visitors to appreciate the sites to which the area has to offer.  Weather dependent, the cruise will enable you to view the Duncansby Stacks up close. John O’Groats has various shops to browse and is home to the iconic sign post which signifies ‘the end’.

Furthermore, the North Highlands is host to numerous famous whisky distilleries, Wolfburn, Old Pulteney, and Clynelish, as well as a new gin and vodka distillery, the Dunnet Bay Distillery. The distilleries deliver tours to those who wish, and usually issues samples of their products to their visitors.

In addition to the beaches, cruises and distilleries, the North Highlands are home to Air Extreme, a facility which is brilliant for those wishing to release some adrenaline. Within the Air Extreme grounds, visitors can enjoy and take part in zorbing, a high ropes assault course and a zip line. The facility is open 6 days a week, however activity operation is solely weather dependent.

The North Highlands are home to some of the most jaw-dropping, dramatic scenery. Within the Sutherland region you can visit the hidden gem – ‘Falls of Shin‘, Lairg – where you can witness the spectacular leaping salmon along with some additional nature and wildlife creatures. Similarly, the Queen of Scottish Mountains – Ben Loyal. A beautiful trek up this mountain allows you to overlook ‘Loch Loyal’ and the picturesque village, Tongue.

The North Highlands is well-known, within the community, to host various games throughout the year to showcase the areas talent, trade and livestock. The Halkirk Highland Games, an annual event which takes place on the last Saturday of July is the largest premiere sporting event North of Scotland, attracting the countries greatest amateur and professional competitors. As well as showcasing sporting talent, the games host entertainment stalls, charity stalls, fairground rides, and food and drink stalls and marquees. The North Highlands is further host to the Mey Games – an annual event held every August – which illustrates traditional events such as highland dancing, piping and tug o’war which is usually judged by Prince Charles.

Hammer throwing at Halkirk Games

Photo by Wendy Sutherland

Similarly, the Caithness County Show, annually held by the Caithness Agricultural Society in July promotes agriculture and rural industries of the Highlands. The event encourages the display of the finest livestock and trade stands from the Highland farms and rural industries. Additionally, the Caithness County Show hosts the North Highland Quality produce marquee which displays crafts, food and drink.