Dornoch is something of a hidden gem, considered by many to be too far off the well trodden tourist trail to visit. However, the pretty Royal Burgh if Dornoch is only an hour away from the airport at Inverness and offers you a true taste of Scottish life which is unspoiled by the heavy hand of the tourist industry. This picturesque small town lies on the edge of the beautiful Dornoch Firth which itself has been declared an area of outstanding natural beauty. The location is both scenic and tranquil and just what you need to slow down and unwind. The region is a haven for golfers who come here to brush up their skills on the championship course of Royal Dornoch, though for many this is a place to get back to nature, enjoy the landscape and get up close and personal with the local wildlife. Everything here is relaxed and unhurried and just what you need when you need to de-stress.
Things to See and Do
What the town lacks in size it makes up for in hospitality and friendliness. There are plenty of unique local businesses from shops and stores to hotels and restaurants. The beach is beautiful and has won awards for its cleanliness and facilities. What you may not expect to find in such a small town is a cathedral, but it has one. You will also find a hotel which used to be the bishop’s palace and a traditional old town jail. The peaceful streets are lined with sandstone cottages and the whole place looks like it has been recreated from a Highland picture postcard scene. One thing that you can find here, which you may well pass by without giving a second glance, is the witch’s stone. It is situated in the very last garden along Carnaig Street and you will probably pass it on your way to the beach, the stone is a memorial to the last person accused of witchcraft that was burned at the stake. Her name was Janet Horne, an elderly woman with dementia who was burned to death in 1727.
Places to Visit
Dornoch is only a five minute drive from the main A9 which means that you are only five minutes away from exploring the Highland region, including the region’s major city, Inverness and all of the attractions that it has to offer. Within Dornoch you will find the town museum. This five star attraction entitled Historylinks offers visitors a chance to look into the past of the town, learn about feuding clans, the Picts, the Vikings and of course the witchcraft trials. Another popular local attraction is Dornoch Cathedral. Dating from the 13th century and constructed from attractive red sandstone the cathedral really is the heart of this beautiful former Royal Burgh. Dornoch cathedral is the most northerly cathedral building on the UK mainland. It offers visitors beautiful stained glass windows and a unique calm and serene space in an area with a turbulent and often bloody heritage.