Durness lies on the remote north coast of the Highlands, and is the most north-westerly village on the Scottish mainland. It is located in the county of Sutherland, roughly 120 miles north of Inverness. Despite being the largest village in the northwest corner of Scotland, but has a population of just 400. Backed by spectacular, mountainous countryside, with a pristine, sandy beach nearby, holiday cottages in Durness are perfect for visitors who want to experience the Highlands’ rugged landscapes at their best. The coast of Durness consists of towering, grassy clifftops and sheltered, sandy coves. Smoo Cave is a vast hollow in a sheer limestone cliff, and a must-see on self-catering holidays in Durness.
Inland, scenic drives past peat bogs, lochs, and snowy mountains are highly recommended, on the village’s doorstep. Keep an eye out for the Highlands’ most iconic bird, the golden eagle, often seen soaring over desolate heathland. Breathtaking views can be enjoyed from Faraid Head, a finger of land jutting into the stormy waters of Pentland Firth. The village centre lies near the clifftop, between Sango Sands Beach and Loch Caladail. Thera are a couple of small groceries, and a bar overlooking the beach serving a variety of local whiskies. A short distance from the village, Balnakiel Beach is a vast sweep of sand where some of the region’s best surfing conditions can be found when the conditions are right.
Before retiring to your Durness holiday cottage, take a look at the night sky, where the northern lights are often visible from October to April. Just outside the village, Balnakiel Craft Village is a former Cold War listening station. Today, it is home to galleries, studios and eateries. The deserts at Cocoa Mountain café are exceptional. West of Durness, there is an excellent golf course with far-reaching views across the Kyle of Durness.