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Durness

4.3
Caves · Beaches · Geologic Formations
Durness is a village and civil parish in the north-west Highlands of Scotland. It lies on the north coast of the country in the traditional county of Sutherland around 120mi north of Inverness. The area is remote and the parish is huge and sparsely populated covering an area from east of Loch Eriboll to Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point of the Scottish mainland.The population is dispersed and includes a number of townships including Kempie, Eriboll, Laid, Rispond, Sangobeg, Leirinmore, Smoo, Sangomore, Durine, Balnakeil and Keoldale.EtymologyThe name was originally Norse "Dyrnes", meaning "deer/animal headland". No one knows for sure where the name derives; it has variously been translated as from "Dorainn nis" tempest point, or "Dhu thir nis" the point of the black land; or from the Norse for deerpoint. Or even from the main village "Durine" which would translate as "Dhu Rinn" the black (or fertile) promontory, with the Norse "ness" tacked onto an existing Gaelic name.HistoryThe area has been inhabited since stone age times and there are many places of historic interest. Durness was formerly a part of the bishopric of Caithness and the old house at Balnakeil was originally the bishop's summer residence. The church at Balnakeil dates back to the Culdean monks but the existing ruined church is said to have been built by the monks from Dornoch Cathedral in the 13th century. On Faraid Head is Seannachaisteal, presumably a broch, but it is now completely enveloped in sand and no dig has ever been carried out to see what it was and from which time in history. A few years ago, the body of a young Viking boy was discovered exposed by the erosion of the sand dunes at Faraid. At Sangobeg beach, the body of a Pictish boy was discovered.
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Popular things to do in Durness

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Durness Beach ©
Beach
Durness Beach
5.0
Duration: 2 hours
Smoo Cave ©
Cave
Smoo Cave
4.3
Duration: 2 hours
Balnakeil Beach ©
Beach
Balnakeil Beach
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
Cape Wrath ©
Geologic Formation
Cape Wrath
4.1
Duration: 2 hours

Side trips from Durness

Achmelvich Beach ©
Beach
Achmelvich Beach Lochinver
4.9
Duration: 2 hours
Sandwood Bay Beach ©
Beach
Sandwood Bay Beach Kinlochbervie
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
Handa Island Wildlife Reserve ©
Island
Handa Island Wildlife Reserve Handa Island
4.7
Duration: 4 hours
Oldshoremore Beach ©
Beach
Oldshoremore Beach Kinlochbervie
4.9
Duration: 2 hours

Hidden gems in Durness

Rispond Beach ©
Beach
Rispond Beach
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
Durness Deep Time ©
Natural History Museum
Durness Deep Time
5.0
Duration: 4 hours
Durness Golf Club ©
Golf Course
Durness Golf Club
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
Cairn House Gallery ©
Landmark
Cairn House Gallery
5.0
Duration: 30 minutes

Museums in Durness

Balnakeil Craft Village ©
Art Gallery
Balnakeil Craft Village
3.2
Duration: 2 hours
Lotte Glob ©
Art Gallery
Lotte Glob
4.9
Duration: 30 minutes
Mudness Ceramics ©
Art Gallery
Mudness Ceramics
4.4
Duration: 30 minutes
Wee Gallery
Art Gallery
Wee Gallery
4.0
Duration: 2 hours

Kid-friendly things to do in Durness

Sango Bay ©
Beach
Sango Bay
4.9
Duration: 2 hours
Balnakeil Bay ©
Water Body
Balnakeil Bay
4.6
Duration: 2 hours

Nature in Durness

Ben Stack ©
Mountain
Ben Stack
4.5
Duration: 2 hours
Mudness Ceramics ©
Art Gallery
Mudness Ceramics
4.4
Duration: 30 minutes
Ardvreck Castle ©
Castle
Ardvreck Castle Assynt
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
Drumbeg Loop ©
Scenic Drive
Drumbeg Loop Lochinver
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
Kylesku Bridge ©
Bridge
Kylesku Bridge Kylesku
4.6
Duration: 2 hours

Places to visit with Durness

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