CHURCHEND HOLIDAY COTTAGES

DURNESS 

in The Highlands of Scotland

janet@churchendholidaycottages.co.uk

 

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100 miles west of John o Groats on the north coast is Durness, the most north westerly inhabited village and locality on the British Mainland. Durness is  Located 16 kilometres east of Cape Wrath at the extreme north westerly tip of Scotland.  The village of Durness serves a large area of scattered townships and farms with an abundance of scenic, wildlife and cultural attractions. Durness in North West Sutherland is a crofting village set on a limestone outcrop.  As a result its green fields contrast with the surrounding heather covered peatlands and mountains. The corner of the Scottish Highlands is accessible by road on single tract.

The A838 winds its way around this part. To arrive at Durness the traveller must pass through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.The Scottish Highlands are a vast and unique place. It is an ideal place to explore the solitude of the Highlands, to watch the varied wildlife and birds, or enjoy a spot of fishing or golf. Being on the “corner” of Scotland, this makes an ideal base for touring the rest of the northwest highlands, a vast area of outstanding natural beauty.

Our self catering accommodation is a retreat for those inspired by the natural world. Offering peace and tranquillity with interests for all tastes, geology, archaeology an area steeped in history and legend. Here is evidence of very long term occupation in this fertile area dating back to the Bronze Age.  The old church at Balnakeil was originally built as a Celtic Foundation. The area has a path net work of walks and a Ranger Service based in the Tourist Information Centre offering guided walks. There are more demanding hill walks, fishing, golf, amazing beaches, and a haven for bird watchers and a paradise for lovers of the multitude of wild flowers.

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The most north westerly point and lighthouse at Cape Wrath is accessible by passenger ferry and minibus and Smoo Cave opens as a large cavern in the lime stone cliffs over sixty metres long, forty metres wide and an entrance arch over fifteen metres high.About half a mile on is the Balnakeil Craft village, a post World War II military encampment that has been converted into a Craft Village. These former military buildings have been taken over by a loose collective of artists and crafts people The Balnakeil Craft village which was established in 1964 provides an outlet for the sale of local arts and crafts.

The very far north has an appeal all year if the traveller is not looking for guaranteed good weather. The climate creates a dynamic landscape with a vibrant and lively character. Light alterations constantly create new and varied panoramas. Large, immense dark starry skies and short days with intermittent light sequences that can make the landscape appear ever changing. A break in a wet, gloomy day can bring alterations to the light and surroundings that can only be appreciated by experience. The long dark nights offer an unrivalled opportunity for spectacular shows of the northern lights. In contrast the summer months bring long days with nearly constant daylight at mid summer. The village of  Durness 5 miles west provides 2 grocery shops, a campsite overlooking Sango Bay and sandy beaches at Balnakeil, Sango, Sangobeg and Ceannabeinne. Durness is a remote and scattered crofting township spread out along the coast.