Mackay Country, Northern Scotland

Today, we embarked on a personal ancestry tour themed on Clan Mackay.

From Inverness, we drove north across the Cromarty Firth to Conon Bridge and then on to Lairg where we visited the church and a tour around the village which sits on the southern tip of Loch Shin.

Dornoch Firth, Northern Scotland

Lairg War Memorial, Scotland

Lairg Church, Scotland

Next, we continued north along the single track A836 stopping for a photo at the ‘Mackay Country’ monument which is in the heart of a remote, heather-clad area.

We arrived in Tongue on the eastern side of the Kyle of Tongue ( on the northern coast) at lunchtime and availed of a light lunch in a hotel. Up until this time weather was dry but thereafter clouded over with rain later in the afternoon.

Kyle of Tongue, Scotland

After lunch we drove east, through Coldbackie and then to the Strathnavar Museum near Bettyhill. This is an interesting facility housed in a former church with emphasis on local social history and Clan Mackay. The burial ground has a considerable number of memorials with surname Mackay. Also in the burial ground is carved Pictish stone from around the 9th century AD.

Strathnavar Museum, Scotland

Pictish Carved Stone, Strathnavar Museum, Scotland

After concluding the Bettyhill visit we returned to Tongue and checked into our hotel. Guests then embarked on a short hike to visit the ruins of Castle Varrich which was the ancient seat of the Chief of Clan Mackay.

Castle Varrich, Scotland

Ben Loyal, near Tongue, Scotland

Tomorrow, we return south via Dubrobin Castle.

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