The northern part of
Sutherland is made up of the parishes of Tongue and Farr. these two
parishes cover a large part of the northern coastline. The total population
is around 1600 and as they live in a total area of 531 square miles it is
the emptiest part of not just Scotland but the whole United Kingdom.
The area has long been the homeland of the clan Mackay and even though the
population suffered the clearances and other voluntary emigration the name
Mackay is still the dominant name in the area..
for thousands of years agriculture has had to be of a very low level due
to the climate and topography. Consequently this hugely beautiful
area has much that would seem to be untouched. Crofting came in
following the clearances and exists to this day along with farms and
estates mainly concerned with sports such as shooting and fishing.
Sheep are in evidence in many parts and a few cattle that can
sometimes be seen strolling along the beach at Melness.
Places to Stay
The area is well served with hotels, bed and breakfast and camping and
For the highly active there are a wide range of places to climb, walk,
surf and for the less active of just a rest the beaches are amazing and
often you will find one all to yourself. The area has much to offer
for those interested in History and archaeology. With a local guide
leaflet you can follow trails or head for one of the many ancient
The Strathnaver Museum is open in the spring until Autumn.
Castle Varrich is clearly visible from Tongue and the surrounding
area. Only a small part remains and it is thought to have been of
Castle Borve (ND 725642) is a fantastic site to visit but
there is very little to indicate it was a casrle to the casual observer.
Enjoy the views