A disused army camp-now home to craftsmen happy to explain and demonstrate their various crafts. The Balnakeil Craft village which was established in 1964 provides an outlet for the sale of local arts and crafts. About half a mile from the Durness village square is Balnakeil Craft village, a post World War II military encampment that has been converted into a Craft Village. These former military buildings have been taken over by a loose collective of artists and crafts people The Balnakeil Craft village which was established in 1964 provides an outlet for the sale of local arts and crafts.
This was originally an Early Warning Station in case of a Nuclear attack on Great Britain. You can tell that it was some sort of military facility by looking at the buildings. In 1964 the Station was turned into a craft centre. Some of the buildings have been decorated and personalised, but many are in a sorry state of disrepair. However, saying that, there are many good reasons to visit the village.
- The Printmakers Gallery, where renowned Printmaker Ishbel MacDonald works and displays her work.
- There is The Loch Croispol Bookshop and Restaurant which has a good selection of books and serves a nice meal. This is also fully suitable for disabled with good access and bathroom.
- Enamel Workshop and Gallery
- The Lotte Glob Far North Ceramics
I am sure that there are also other craft shops as well as workshops that I have not listed here. I will update the list as I find out more.
Balnakeil Craft Village with its’ own unique history has been described from many aspects. Collection of craft workshops. Craft and gift shops selling quirky, Paintings, Screen prints, Handmade soaps, Leatherwork, Pottery, Woolworks, Basketry, Enamelwork, and Woodwork. Coffee shop with home baking. Bookshop/Restaurant. Luxury handmade chocolates and one-off or uniquely Scottish products are found all over Scotland. Kate Patrick provides a short-cut to some of the best. Truly a chocolate heaven on earth.
Nearby is Balnakeil beach, just one of the many clean, sandy beaches in the area. Here you will also find Durness Golf Club whose course is, like everything in the area, the most north-westerly golf course on the British mainland.
About twelve to fifteen crafts appear to be the average at any one time working at dissimilar levels with divergent commitments, ambitions and aspirations. There has been a diverse, wide range of crafts worked in the village. From fine artists to profit making hobbyists and people from all walks of life and different nationalities have experienced living in Balnakeil Craft Village.
Hot to get Balnakeil Craft Village:
On the far north coast of Scotland. Just off the A838 at Durness. The Craft Village, one mile northwest of Durness sits by Loch Croispol, surrounded by mountains and looking towards Cape Wrath, 15 minutes walk from Balnakeil Bay and miles of golden sand. Look out for a path signed for Balnakeil to the left and go through a gate and onto a straight footpath. This runs alongside a stone wall, passing through another two gates before passing the Old Manse on the right and following the track up past the edge of the Balnakeil Craft Village. At the road turn left to return to the car park at Balnakeil.
Balnakeil Craft Village
Tel: 01971 511 777
Balnakeil Craft Village
Sutherland IV27 4PT