Falconry demonstration at Dunrobin Castle, Scotland

This morning we departed our lodgings in Kirkwall, Orkney, drove for 20 minutes to nearby Stromness, connected with the 9.00 am ferry crossing to Scrabster on the Scottish mainland and duly arrived at 10.30 am. En-route we passed the Old Man of Storr rock stack on the coast of Hoy.

Video clip of Stromness Harbour, Orkney.

Old Man of Hoy

Next, we drove south stopping for about 30 minutes to visit the Badbea Clearance Village on the Caithness Coast.

Remains of building at Badbea Clearance Village, Caithness.

Coastal view from site of Badbea

Badbea is the site of a now abandoned settlement located on a  beautiful, but windswept cliff where, following the infamous Highland Clearances, a small community of Highlanders was forced to live following their removal from more fertile lands inland.The relocation being a function of switch to more profitable sheep farming by the local landowner in common with a trend across the Scottish Highlands from the late 1700s to around 1860. Badbea was finally abandoned in 1911.

Next, we moved on to Sutherland where we stopped to visit Dunrobin Castle, a magnificent edifice located on a cliff facing the North Sea.

Dunrobin Castle, Scotland

Although Dunrobin can trace its history back to 1275 AD with subsequent additions in the 17th and 18th centuries, most of the building which exists today dates from the mid 19th century from a French style design. This is the largest building in the Highlands with 187 rooms and a richly furnished interior which is open to visitors.

The Castle faces the faces the sea. Interposed between the castle and sea are some imposing formal gardens and a summer-house which is now a museum containing some interesting Pictish era carved stones and other memorabilia.

Formal garden at Dunrobin Castle, Scotland

Dunrobin is home to the Dukes of Sutherland one of whom, in the 19th century, was responsible for particularly vigorous Highland Clearances entailing the forced eviction of some 15,000 tenants.

At Dunrobin, we visited the castle interior, museum, gardens and witnessed a falconry display.

Falconry demonstration at Dunrobin Castle, Scotland

Next, we continued south for three hours, passing Inverness, the Cairngorms region and into Perthshire where we checked into our hotel about 6.30pm.

Tomorrow, we move on to Edinburgh.

Be Sociable, Share!