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Exploring the Hidden Gems: Caithness vs. East Sutherland

Video courtesy of Venture North Discover

Breathtaking landscapes, rugged coastlines, and a rich tapestry of history and culture are all part of Scotland's Highland region, and with Valhalla Rental located at the cross roads of Caithness and East Sutherland it is the perfect base to explore these two unique regions. In this short post, we'll highlight some key differences that make each county distinctive, allowing you to make the most of your Highland adventure.



Caithness is known for its dramatic and barren landscape. It's often referred to as "the land beyond the mountains" due to its flat, expansive terrain. The North Sea coast is a defining feature, characterized by towering sea cliffs, and the occasional sandy beach.

East Sutherland:

East Sutherland, on the other hand, offers a more varied topography. From the stunning Dornoch Firth to the hilly terrain of Strath Carnaig, it's a landscape that effortlessly shifts from coastal beauty to rolling hills and glens.

Historical Sites:


Caithness is rich in history, with numerous ancient monuments. The area boasts impressive standing stones, like the Hill O'Many Stanes and the Camster Cairns. Castles, such as Castle Sinclair Girnigoe and Castle of Mey, tell tales of Scotland's past, making it a treasure trove for history enthusiasts.

East Sutherland:

East Sutherland is famous for its association with the Highland Clearances, which left a lasting impact on the region. Golspie's Dunrobin Castle, with its beautiful gardens, stands as a testament to the area's history and offers a different perspective on the Highland story.

Wildlife and Nature:


Caithness is known for its diverse birdlife. The RSPB Forsinard Flows Nature Reserve is a haven for birdwatchers, while the peat bogs provide a unique habitat for various species. Caithness is also home to a wide range of marine life, and visitors can often spot seals and dolphins along the coastline.

East Sutherland:

East Sutherland's varied landscape is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the expansive forests, spot red deer, or take a leisurely walk along the Dornoch Firth for a chance to encounter seals and otters. The flow country in this region offers incredible opportunities for nature lovers.

Arts and Culture:


Caithness has a strong cultural heritage, and you can explore local art and crafts at the North Lands Creative Glass, showcasing the region's artistic talent. The nearby town of Thurso also hosts music festivals and cultural events throughout the year.

East Sutherland:

East Sutherland is home to the vibrant town of Dornoch, which boasts the Dornoch Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic architecture. The town is also known for its golf courses and vibrant local arts scene, making it a hub for culture and entertainment.

Choosing between Caithness and East Sutherland for your Highland adventure may seem like a tough decision, but rest assured that both regions have their own unique charms and attractions. When you stay at Valhalla Rental, you have the luxury of exploring both regions at your leisure. Discover the stark beauty of Caithness, the rich history, and diverse wildlife of East Sutherland, and all the captivating experiences that each region has to offer. With Valhalla as your base, you're guaranteed a memorable Scottish Highland holiday filled with adventure and discovery.

Article contributed by Jennifer Gordon - Linkedin Profile -


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