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Local Area, Activities, History and Links

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A little History; The Golspie Inn, Golspie and Sutherland

he Golspie Inn has been in existence for over 200 years and has recently reverted back to its original name having been known as the Sutherland Arms Hotel.   It is of historic importance locally, was the first bar in Sutherland and boasts the oldest postbox  in Scotland, dating back to 1861.

The crest  with two shields at the top of our web pages , seen here, is the original coat of arms clearly marked on the wall above the entrance to the reception and shows the date 1808  pointing to the heritage of this  important building.

Golspie History

Golspie lies on the east coast of Sutherland, mid way between Loch Fleet and Brora on the main road north. Originally a small fishing hamlet Golspie was, like many villages on the east Sutherland coast, expanded in the early nineteenth century to house some of those evicted from the inland straths and glens during the clearances. Fishing was the main industry, but the opening of the railway in 1868 brought the first tourists to the area.
Golspie today is an attractive little seaside resort with much for the visitor to see and do. The village boasts a long sandy beach and there a number of scenic walks around the area, including one at the Big Burn with its spectacular waterfalls.
There are a number of historic buildings too, including St Andrews church dating from the sixteenth century and, most famously, Dunrobin Castle. This is one of the grandest houses in the north of Scotland and is situated just north of the village. It is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited homes in Britain, the oldest part of the castle dating from the early fourteenth century. As well as the castle itself, Dunrobin is known for its formal gardens.

Sutherland History

It was the early Viking settlers who came to Caithness that named everything to the south “The Southlands” which is how Sutherland came by its name. However, Sutherland’s history goes back much further than this.
There is evidence of man’s activities throughout the county from prehistoric times. Stone Age and Bronze Age man have left their mark throughout the area, as have the Picts and the Scots. The remains of their buildings and monuments can be seen wherever you go.
Since those ancient times, small communities grew up throughout the county with the people living off the land. Families worked small parcels of land and tended to a few animals, and this simple way of life continued relatively undisturbed until the early eighteenth century.
But following the Jacobite defeat at Culloden, the Highlands and its people were persecuted. Then in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century the people that once inhabited the remote glens and straths were forced out by the landowners and replaced with more profitable sheep. The infamous Highland clearances took place over a number of years where many of Sutherland’s population were forced to move from their land to coastal villages or to further lands to start up a new life. The ruined remains of their homes and entire villages can still be seen to this day across the county.

Local Area


Local Activities in Golspie
As far as Highland villages go, Golspie has more to offer than most.  When it comes to activities, walkers can enjoy coastal and hill excursions with the popular ‘Big Burn ‘ walk commencing right next to the Inn.
Within a few minutes walk there are tennis courts, outdoor bowling greens, and a local swimming pool.
For the more adventurous swimmer, Golspie is home to an award-winning beach where an early morning dip is sure to set you up for the day ahead!
In recent years Golspie has become a popular venue for mountain biking with award-winning tracks blended into the natural environment. Safe bike storage and washing facilities are available here at the Golspie Inn.
Situated one mile North of the Golspie Inn is the beautiful Dunrobin Castle. The castle is the most northerly of Scotland’s great houses and the largest in the Northern Highlands with 189 rooms. Dunrobin Castle is also one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses dating back to the early 1300s, home to the Earls and later, the Dukes of Sutherland.  The castle is a must see during your visit to Golspie.
Wildlife is in abundance with seals and RSPB cente including Osprey etc

The Wider North Highlands


Day Trip to Orkney: website 
Picture shows Chapel built by Italian PoWs.  Orkney is steeped in history dating back 5,000 years to the ancient settlement of  Scara Brae .

Wildlife from Deer, Dolphins, Puffins ..
..and if  you’re lucky, whales.   The RSPB reserve at Forsinard is well worth a visit with marked walks through peatland and a chance to see some rare and beautiful birds.

Walking and Cycling
We are on the LEJOG (Lands End to John O’Groats) and several other major cycle routes  but anyone can enjoy shorter cycle rides or pleasant strolls along this  stunning North Atlantic coast.

Castles and History
You can visit the Castle of Mey and Dunrobin Castle at Golspie.  For museums try Caithness Horizons in Thurso, Mary Ann’s Cottage at Dunnet or Strathnaver Museum .

Surfing, Golfing, Fishing …
Have an activity holiday with top surfing including competition beaches nearby, Salmon and Trout fishing rivers and the Golf nearby at Golspie, Brora & Dornoch (many top Links courses in the region).

LINKS - other websites of use

Dunrobin Castle

Wildcat mountain bike



Dornoch Cathedral,

Glenmorangie Distillery

Golspie Golf Club (a great blend
of classic links and parkland)

Brora Golf Club – Fantastic Links

Royal Dornoch Golf Club
(Championship – No 6 in world !)

Highcroft Hilton B&B Dornoch

Estuary View Self Catering Brora

Inberbrora Farm Bed and Breakfast

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