Lairg is an important rural centre, being home to the UK’s largest one-day sheep sale. It is also archaeologically significant in the Highlands. The story of the area’s prehistoric people and their role in shaping the landscape is told at the Ferrycroft Countryside Centre. The Ord Archaeological Trail takes you to some of the best prehistoric sites including chambered cairns dating from around 3000 BC. Cairns or stone burial tombs built by New Stone Age farmers who are believed to have settled in the Northern Highlands 5-6,000 years ago, provide the earliest evidence of habitation in Lairg. Recent excavations, prior to road rebuilding in the Achinduich area, have confirmed this. Examples of chambered tombs can be seen at Achany (GR NC 571019) and on the Ord Summit (GR NC 573056 and 574055). The Ord North cairn is 90ft in diameter and when it was excavated, two styles of Stone Age pottery and evidence of cremation were revealed. There is now an Archaeological Trail round the Ord, further details of which can be obtained at the Countryside centre.
The hill and its slopes are scattered with a rich variety of ancient features and remains. The trail snakes between burial cairns, hut circles, burnt mounds, ancient banks, field clearance heaps and other fascinating features from the past. Length of trail: 1.3 miles, Approximate time of trail: 1 hour.
Even if you are not interested in archaeology the trail is well worth a visit just to enjoy the magnificent views over Loch Shin into central Sutherland and the 3,000 foot high Ben Klibreck.
Ord Hill Archaeology Trail can be started from Ferrycroft in Ferry Wood which is part of Sutherland. Lairg is the nearest town or village.
Follow signs for Ferrycroft Countryside Centre.