Walking in Sutherland
Sutherland is one of the most beautiful though sparsely populated landscapes in Europe. Deserted sandy beaches cling on to the coasts whilst the vast peatlands and glittering lochans are overlooked by magnificent mountains. The County of Sutherland offers walks of all types with a marvellous array of wildlife on offer for the observant rambler.
The Sutherland Walkers’ Group welcomes both regular and occasional walkers. The Group usually offers two grades of walks (typically, 10 miles) at each of its meetings in order to cater for the needs of most walkers and their fitness levels. Download the latest details of Sutherland Walkers Group Walks on http://www.sutherlandpartnership.org.uk/Whats-On-g.asp
The Highland Council Countryside Ranger Service operates across the Highland Region and offers a range of guided walks. Walks have a wildlife emphasis for the naturalist and the casual walker. They organise local walks of varying length on the coast, in woodlands and inland. Find out more and download the latest details at http://www.highland.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/367853F6-BB86-4C99-83BF-4E613B01401C/0/rangerguidedwalkandeventbooklet2013.pdf
Sitting on the edge of Caithness & Sutherland’s Flow Country’s high quality peatland bogs, the four mile Forsinain Trail is self-guided and takes in farm fields, bog pools, riverside and woodland allowing an insight into conservation management and exciting wildlife. It starts on The Flows National Nature Reserve, part of RSPB Forsinard Nature Reserve, continues through Forestry Commission Scotland’s Forsinain Forest and returns along the privately owned River Halladale salmon river. Find out more at http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/f/forsinard/about.aspx
More serious walkers can follow the Sutherland Trail which has been described by Cameron Macneish in his book of the same name.
‘Starting at the picturesque port of Lochinver on the North West coast, and finishing at Tongue on the northern sea board, lies a 70 mile route of constant interest, variety of terrain and some degree of challenge.
Located largely within the North West Highlands Geopark area, it makes its way in between or close to many stunning mountains – Suilven, Canisp, Quinag, Ben Stack, Arkle, Foinaven and Ben Hope, and ends within sight of Ben Loyal, the most shapely of them all.
It follows ancient ways used since time immemorial much of the time, but there are a few miles of wild untamed terrain. In addition pleasant stretches of quiet country roads allow you to almost switch the brains to your feet off for a while.
The area is really good for wildlife and flowers, and the scenery is without compare. This is definitely ‘get up and get there’ territory’.
Read all about it at http://www.sutherland-trail.info/
Remember whilst walking in Scotland, please be sure to follow the Country Code at all times:-
- Care for the environment
- Guard against all risk of fire.
- Leave all gates as you find them.
- Use stiles when provided.
- Keep dogs under close control.
- Keep to paths across farm land.
- Avoid damaging fences, hedges and walls.
- Leave no litter of any kind.
For details on lots of walks in Sutherland plus details and maps etc. look at the following web-sites.