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The two areas
of Caithness and Sutherland form Scotland's northern wilderness.
Their scenery varies from wild cliffs and tiny islands to lonely
moorland and remote sandy beaches with superb panoramic mountain
views, plus tree-lined twisting roads and foaming rivers. Here
you'll find dozens of ruined castles and ancient monuments, particularly
in the east. There are also lots of golf courses and places where
you can fish for salmon and trout.
Here are some facts about Sutherland:
Sutherland has only five inhabitants per sq km, compared
to an average of 116 in the rest of Europe, making Sutherland
one of the least densely populated areas in Europe. Also with
only around 2% of the total land area under cultivation, Sutherland
is the least farmed county in Scotland.
The small town of Brora in Sutherland once supplied stone
to the whole nation. Both Liverpool Cathedral and London Bridge,
the one famously transplanted to an Arizona desert were built
from stone mined in Sutherland.
Sutherland may seem a bit out of the way, but it is no
stranger to the world of celebrities. Madonna and Guy Ritchie
got married in the beautiful, and exclusive Skibo castle in Sutherland,
and chose Dornoch Cathedral, the spiritual heart of Sutherland,
as the venue for baby Rocco's christening.
During World War II, Sutherland's Carbisdale Castle (the
last castle built in Scotland) was the host to the Norwegian royal
family, who were exiled to Britain following Hitler's invasion.
The Flows National Nature Reserve in Sutherland is the
largest blanket bog in the world. At 11,353 hectares the area
is home to some of the rarest bird and animal life throughout
Scotland. 73% of the total area has been designated a Site of
Special Scientific Interest.
Sutherland was the site of the last execution for witchcraft
in Scotland. In 1727 an old woman was burnt to death in the Sutherland
town of Dornoch, suspected of turning her daughter into a pony
and engaging contact with Satan. She was suffering (from what
we would recognise today as) senile dementia. Nine years later
the witchcraft laws were repealed.
Here are just some places to visit in and around Sutherland:
Memories of Childhood Museum
Dunrobin Street Helmsdale Sutherland KW8 6JA