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Background

Background

In the heartland of Scotland's Northern Highlands, the Kyle of Sutherland is the ideal base for a touring holiday or for enjoying a wide range of activities, from salmon and trout fishing, walking, golfing and boating to mountain biking, watching wildlife and visiting archaelogical sites.

The Kyle of Sutherland is a gateway to the county of Sutherland.

The Norsemen who came here in the 10th century, thought of this area as the land to the south and named it Sudrland. They settled here, liking the green fertile country, the glens, moors, forests and lochs. It was in the 17th century that the name Sutherland was adopted.

Bonar, which is from the Gaelic, Bhannath meaning low ford, had its first bridge, a Telford design, built in 1812 and with the building of roads the mail coach service reached the far north. By 1847 the railway had reached Ardgay.

Communities grew along the Kyle of Sutherland. Ardgay grew from the small settlement of Kincardine and became a hub with a thriving cattle and produce market, the Feill Eiteachan held every November. Bonar Bridge was established and became a centre for skilled craftsmen.

Further inland are the villages of Culrain and Invershin, now linked by railway viaduct and footbridge. Culrain made famous by its spectacular castle, Carbisdale and Invershin, site of one of the oldest castles in Sutherland dating back to 1211. Little remains of the castle now but the Shin Hydro Power Station completed in 1959 still provides "green electricity" to the national grid. In 1748 when William Bailley bought the lands at Achness and Altas he called the estate Rosehall. Of great attraction are the three fine salmon rivers, Shin, Oykel and the Cassley.

To the east, is the village of Spinningdale where the ruins of a late 18th Century cotton-spinning mill can be seen.