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Top 20 things to do

Locally…

1. Treat yourself to a Capaldi’s ice cream

No sunny afternoon in Brora is complete without a Capaldi’s ice cream. Nor are the quiet close nights or walks along the beach, come to think of it. We recommend vanilla, with a flake but rum and raisin is also popular. These days Capaldi’s can be found within Harry Gow’s, across from the Post Office. www.capaldis.co.uk


2. Picnic at Loch Brora

Prepare yourself some food-to-go (or ask the local hotel to or go to Harry Gow’s) and jump in the car and head in land. Loch Brora is around ten minutes outwith the centre of the village by car but it’s easily accessible by bike, if you’re feeling a little more active.
Pick your spot, sit back and relax. You might even spot a herd of local deer when you’re
up there. www.theriverbrora.co.uk


3. Sample a local dram

Clynelish Distillery has been cultivating the local dram since around 1820 and it’s considered a cult whisky Clynlish single Malt and the famous Brora 18yr old single malt, sought out by connoisseurs from across the world. It’s one of the main malts in Johnnie Walker Gold Label. The distillery is open year round (expect between Christmas
and New Year) and tours start from £5 per person. www.discovering-distilleries.com


4. Pick up the catch of the day…

…if you can. We’re not saying it’s easy, but you could pick up some fresh crab or lobster landed in the local harbour. Ask around, someone will point you in the right direction.


5. Take home a souvenir (a nice one)

Brora was once famous for Hunters of Brora woollen mill which supplied tweeds to some of the world’s most prestigious design houses including Burberry and Ralph Lauren. Sadly, the woollen mill is no longer operating but you can still pick up some tartan rugs and cashmere stoles
at  Kingcraigs tweed shop in Brora.


6. Find a hidden gem

Brora Golf Club was founded in 1891 and in 1923 James Braid designed the course that you’d play on today. The 18 hole links course offers any golfer a good challenge and we consider it to be in pretty fabulous condition, at any time of the year. The clubhouse looks out over the
first and eighteenth holes, making competitions fun for the spectators at least. www.broragolf.co.uk


7. Eat out

The Royal Marine Hotel is a traditional hotel designed and built by Sir Robert Lorimer, just a short walk from the golf course. It offers dining across three restaurants: the formal dining room, the cocktail bar and the family-friendly Garden Room. If you haven’t made it to the distillery, take this opportunity to try out the liquid gold. On winter evenings, curl up by the roaring peat fire
before and after dinner.

Sid’s Spice an Indian Restaurant in Station Square is also highly recommended for dining in and carryout.

 

8. Gallop across the beach, the wind in your hair

It doesn’t have to be a day dream, you really can with the small riding centre based on the outskirts of the village:  Star Stables

Spreading your wings a bit…

9. Visit the mannie on the top of the hill

Often considered controversial, the statue of the Duke of Sutherland overlooks the area from Ben Bhraggie, above Golspie, but you can see it from The Old Croft and The Paddock. If you follow the pathway on foot, you can get up there in around an hour or try the Wild Cat mountain bike trail. www.discoversutherland.co.uk/golspie_duke.php


10. Keep an eye out for the Lady in Gray…

…or the little girls fingers wriggling on the window ledge. Those are just two of the ghost stories we remember from when we were kids about the magnificent Dunrobin Castle. The castle is open from April to October and tours are available for £26 for a family ticket.This includes access to the castle, museum and the stunning gardens or watch the daily Falconry display with the hawks and Birds of Prey.    www.dunrobincastle.co.uk


11. Find out more about us at Timespan

Established in 1986 and redeveloped in 2007 Timespan offers an insight into our local history and it now houses a contemporary art gallery. It’s a great day out when the weather isn’t ideal but the outdoor seating area of the River Cafe is a perfect spot for afternoon tea. www.timespan.org.uk


12. Visit the Royal Burgh of Dornoch

Dornoch is a lovely little town only 15 minutes away from the self-catering accommodation.
The Cathedral, where Madonna’s was married and her son Rocco was christened, has pride of place in the centre of the town whilst there are plenty of shops, such as The Jail, for a bit of retail therapy. The Courthouse Cafe is a perfect way to take the weight off your feet. The Famous Championship Golf Course at Royal Dornoch is spectacular and well worth a round of golf if not a leisurely walk.    www.visitdornoch.com


13. Eat out…again

We recommend Luigi’s in Dornoch for good quality food served by Chris and his friendly team. They’ve always got some good local meat or seafood on the menu and the wine list is fairly extensive – we love the Albarino. www.luigidornoch.com


14. Fish are jumping….

Falls of Shin is around a half an hour drive from the holiday houses at Brora that’s really worth the visit.  The salmon on the river are renowned for jumping back up the falls and if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse, it’s a fascinating sight to see.

15. Catch your own

The river at Helmsdale is well known for its fishing. To find out more visit the links page. www.helmsdale.org


16. Or just eat someone else’s…

La Mirage at Helmsdale is a great experience. Established by the late Nancy ‘the Mannequin’ Sinclair it is now run by her son Don but stays true to her quite unique style. This is a great stop for a traditional high tea – we strongly recommend the haddock and chips complete
with bread and butter and a pot of tea. www.lamirage.co.uk


Further afield…

17. O’er the ord

Caithness is but a hop a skip and a jump away and yet it looks remarkably different to the hilly, tree-covered Sutherland. Tour the North Highlands taking in Wick, Thurso and John O’Groats, which has undergone a significant redevelopment.


18. …and on to Orkney

Whilst in the vicinity you might as well take the short hop across to Orkney. Only 45 minutes by ferry from John O’Groats it must be on many bucket lists – and of course it oozes historical significance, from the Italian Chapel to Scapa Flow. www.orkney.com


19. Go coast to coast

Sutherland goes from one side of Scotland to the other and though that sounds like it might be a long way away in reality you can make it over and up to Durness in around 2.5 hours or to Ullapool within two.


20. Visit Anta or Tain Pottery

Just because we’re in the Highlands of Scotland it doesn’t mean there aren’t some great opportunities to shop. Both Anta and Tain Pottery, both close to Tain, around 30 minutes away, create and sell beautiful ceramics for the home whilst Anta also does some lovely fabrics and soft furnishings. Both well worth a visit. www.anta.co.uk and www.tainpottery.co.uk

 

The Paddock

The Old Croft

Top 20 Things to do

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