County Council


The county of Sutherland is located in Scotland's far north. To the west, Sutherland shares a border with Caithness, and Ross and Cromarty county is located immediately south. Sutherland is one of the few British counties to have a coastline in both the Atlantic and the North Sea. This Scottish county covers a total area of just over 2,000 square miles, and is therefore the UK's fifth largest county.

Sutherland county is divided into 871 civil parishes, the most important of which are Dornoch (which is the county's burgh), Golspie, Tongue, Durness, Cline, Kildonan, Farr, and Eddrachillis. Despite its relatively large size, Sutherland has one of the United Kingdom's lowest population densities, as the county's total population barely exceeds 13,000 people. The largest urban centre is Dornoch, which has a population of just over 2,500 people. Dornoch is the gateway to Sutherland county, as it is located just over one hour away from Inverness airport on the A9 motorway, and has excellent transport links with the rest of Scotland and of the UK. The nearest train station is also in Inverness.

It is believed that Sutherland has been inhabited since the Neolithic era, although the earliest records point at the Norse as the first settlers of this remote region. In fact, Sutherland's name is thought to have derived from the Norse expression for 'southern land'. The few families who decided to settle in what today is Sutherland remained isolated from the rest of the country until the first road crossing this county was built, back in 1819. Traditionally, Sutherland was (and still is) a primarily rural area. During the 18th and 19th centuries, local families made a living by raising cattle and by growing barley, potatoes, and rye. Over time, trades and crafts like weaving, shoemaking, carpentry, and blacksmithing appeared in the area.

Today, Sutherland's economy is built around the tourism and the service sectors, just as it is in other parts of the Scottish Highlands. In some of the more remote communities, and during the low season, fishing and agriculture still remain important sources of income.

Some of the county's most notable landmarks and attractions include the championship golf course at Royal Dornoch, the Loch Fleet National Natural Reserve, the dramatic coast between Durness and Cape Wrath, the peaceful countryside around Althanarra, the old gold mining town of Kildonan, and the scenic drive that links the coastal communities of Tongue and Strathy.


Banks and Building Societies

  • Branch finder for all Sutherland high street banks listing the address, telephone number, facilities and opening times for each. Also offers savings and investment information, tips and comparisons.

Tourism - Official Site