Strathy Point to Strathy Point Lighthouse

The scattered crofting community of Strathy lies on the main north coast road and is spread across the valley of the River Strathy where it flows into the sea at Strathy Bay.

Strathy Bay consists of a wide sandy beach and numerous caves and rocky stacks. The North Coast of Sutherland is home to a countless number of beautiful sandy beaches and Strathy beach is one of the best.

Strathy Point to Strathy Point Lighthouse

STRATHY grew in importance during the Highland clearances to accommodate the crofters emigrating to the colonies. A local road leads 2M/3.2km N to a car park at Strathy Point. Strathy Point projects far to the north of the surrounding coastline. Visiting its lighthouse makes for a straightforward walk with excellent seascapes. From here there is a walk to Strathy Point Lighthouse, Scotland’s first to run on electricity and the last to be manned. The coastal landscape is very rugged with many arches and sea stacks and very rough seas.

strathy lighthouse

Fig: strathy lighthouse

A two-panel optical apparatus of 250mm focal length, rotating round a 250watt lamp can give a range of up to 26 miles. The optic is only a quarter of the size considered necessary twenty years earlier and the lantern measures only seven feet in diameter. The fog signal, with horns set 120° apart to spread the sound, is no longer in use. The station buildings, designed by the Board’s Engineer, P H Hyslop, are laid out in a hollow square with covered-in passageways, giving protection from the high winds on this exposed headland. The traditional round tower has been abandoned (curving walls require interior fittings made to match), and even the 35 foot concrete lantern tower is square.

An area of 504 acres/204ha at Strathy Point has been designated as an SAC due to it’s vegetated sea cliffs and a larger 1611 acres/652ha area as a SSSI due to it’s range of coastal communities, geology and bird interest. The nearby estate of Forsinard has been acquired by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) to protect the migratory birds that use the area. The RSPB have opened a visitor centre in Forsinard and they operate a hen harrier web cam. There are also walks along guided trails. There are a number of walks from Strathy, such as one along Armadale Burn. An area of 215 acres/87ha at the western edge of the Strathy North forest has been designated as a biological SSSI for its variety of plant communities and raptor populations. There are also a number of ancient features, such as a cross slab, hut circle and field system and cairns in the glen.

Strathy Bay

In common with its more well known watershed neighbours, the rivers Halladale, and Naver, The Strathy is a spate river . It flows north from its large catchment area and the main source, Loch Strathy approximately 12 miles to the Pentland Firth/ North Sea at Strathy Bay. For a change of scene, especially in low water conditions, anglers may also fish in Strathy Bay for the sea trout or, by arrangement, in one of the many named hill lochs for wild brown trout (boat and bank). There is also under-exploited deep sea fishing on hand at the local harbours.

Spring, summer or winter, Strathy beach is a favourite spot for holiday makers and locals. But don’t be surprised if you have the beach to yourself. Whether you are looking for a special interest holiday such as Birdwatching and Hill walking, or just want to take in the local scenery and attractions, you will find the north coast of Scotland more than meets your expectations.

Recommended reading to find more about Strathy, Sutherland:


Strathy Point to Strathy Point Lighthouse
Strathy Point Strathy,
Sutherland KW14 7RY
Scotland, UK

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