Sutherland, in spite of its name, is one the two northernmost counties in mainland Great Britain. It stretches across the north end of the land from the Atlantic to the North Sea.
Although often linked to its smaller neighbour, Caithness, Sutherland is very distinct; it is a Highland County, rough with mountain and moor. Many of its place-names are Norse, showing the influence that was brought to bear on the northern lands, but there is much Gaelic in Sutherland too, in contrast to its neighbour.
The north coast of Sutherland is a mixture of sandy bays and crags. There are two deep sealochs in the northern coast, the Kyle of Tongue and Loch Eriboll. Beyond Loch Durness is the great rock of Cape Wrath, where the coast turns round to head south. This west coast is rocky and rough and sparingly inhabited. Sutherland’s North Sea coast is smoother, running from the Dornoch Firth to a little beyond Helmsdale. The interior of Sutherland is high and bleak. There are lochs scattered throughout the hills, and peat lochanns in the low ground. The sealochs are renowned for their fisheries and several of the rivers for gentler angling.
County Town: Dornoch
Main Towns: Brora, Dornoch, Helmsdale, Kildonnan, Lairg, Lochinver, Tongue.
Main Rivers: Eanack, Carron, Oykill, Cassley, Shin, Fleet, Broroa, Naver, Hope.
Highlights: Cape Wrath; Dornoch Cathedral; Loch Eribol; Witches Stone, Dornoch; Dunrobin Castle; Smoo Cave, Durness.
Highest Point: Ben More of Assynt, 3,431 feet.
Area: 2,028 square miles
County Flower: Grass-of-Parnassus