Durness, Tongue and Scourie

Durness, Tongue and Scourie

Northwest Sutherland is one of the most sparsely populated and yet hauntingly beautiful landscapes in Britain. Stunning but deserted sandy beaches lie along the coast like jewels whilst the vast moorlands and glittering lochans are overlooked by gaunt, bare and rocky mountains ascended by few. This is a special place.

The main villages are Scourie on the west coast, Tongue on the north, and Durness, the most northwesterly settlement in Britain, just a few miles from the dramatic cliffs of Cape Wrath.

Note that we have a separate section for Assynt.


Walk Grade Distance Time
Ceannabeinne Township Trail, near Durness grade1km 45 minutes
Forsinard Flows and Tower, Forsinard grade1.5km 45 minutes
Borgie Forest walk grade1.75km 40 minutes
Melvich Beach grade1.75km 45 minutes
Portskerra pier and jetty grade2km 45 minutes
Strathy Point grade2.5km 1 hour
Caisteal Bharraich, Tongue grade2.75km 1 hour
Scourie Headland grade3km 1 hour +
Loch Innes, Kinlochbervie grade4km 1 hour
Rosal and the Strathnaver Clearances grade4km 1.5 hours
Handa Island, near Tarbet grade6.5km 2 - 3.5 hours
Faraid Head, Durness grade6.5km 1.5 - 2 hours
Smoo Cave and Bhlar Duibhe grade6.75km 1.5 - 2 hours
Sandwood Bay grade13km 4 - 5 hours
Ard Mor, Bettyhill gradegrade3km 1 - 1.5 hours
Scourie to Tarbet gradegrade5.5km 1.5 - 2 hours
Poulouriscaig, from Armadale gradegrade6km 2 - 2.5 hours
Forsinain Trail, Strath Halladale gradegrade6.5km 2 hours
Oldshoremore Bay circuit gradegrade8km 2 - 4 hours
Torrisdale Bay and Broch, Invernaver gradegrade8km 2.5 hours
Kyle of Durness circuit gradegrade9km 2.5 - 4 hours
Talmine and Achininver Beach circuit gradegrade10km 3 - 4 hours
Ben Stack gradegradegrade7.5km 3.5 - 4.5 hours
Ben Hope gradegradegrade7.5km 4 - 6 hours
Ben Hee, from West Merkland gradegradegradegrade11.25km 5 - 6 hours
Cranstackie and Beinn Spionnaidh gradegradegradegrade12km 6 - 8 hours
Ben Loyal gradegradegradegrade13.75km 5.5 - 6.5 hours
Ben Klibreck gradegradegradegrade14.25km 5 - 7 hours
Beinn Leoid and Meallan a' Chuail from the A838 gradegradegradegrade15.5km 6 - 7 hours
Meallan Liath Coire Mhic Dhughaill gradegradegradegrade16km 6 - 6.5 hours
Arkle gradegradegradegrade17.5km 6 - 7 hours
Meall Horn gradegradegradegrade18km 6 - 7 hours
Foinaven circuit gradegradegradegrade18.5km 8 - 9 hours
Cape Wrath Trail376km2-3 weeks
Scottish National Trail864km6 weeks

FEATURE: Scotland’s finest west coast beaches

FEATURE: Scotland’s finest west coast beaches

Whilst most people associate Scottish landscapes with mountains and glens, the coastline is equally magnificent. When it comes to beaches, there is truly an unmatched range from tiny rocky coves to majestic windswept bays of perfect shell sand. There’s really far too much to cover in just one ‘Our picks’ article, so here we look at the beaches of the West Highlands, from the Great Glen heading north to Durness.

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.