Tongue Area, Sutherland

Including: Melness, Talmine, and Port Vasco
Telephone Code (+44) 1847 from outwith Britain – From within Britain 01847

“Tongue” was named by the Vikings, from the Old Norse “Tunga.” Contrary to popular belief, it does not refer to the shape of the Kyle of Tongue (though the kyle can be described as “tongue-shaped”), But although the Norse probably lived here between the 900s and 1200s, nothing certain has been found of their settlement. That particular piece of land, on which the village and the kyle are located, is the terminal moraine of the Kyle of Tongue glacier.

Tongue is in the heart of Mackay country and is situated on the North Coast of the beautiful Scottish Highlands; midway between Cape Wrath and John O’Groats, and also between the challenging golf links at Durness and Reay.

In Gaelic – ‘Tunga’ indicates the village; whereas Caol Thunga, indicates the kyle. The village is also known as ‘Ceann Tàile’ and formerly as ‘Circeabol’. Tongue itself is an attractive village with some imposing stone buildings. Among these are large hotels like the Tongue and Ben Loyal, as well as the Royal Bank of Scotland. Views from the village are dominated by the bulk of Ben Loyal to the south and by Caisteal Bharraigh and the truly beautiful Kyle of Tongue to the west.

Ben Hope (Scotland’s most northerly Munro) is nearby, and the spectacular hill-climb up Ben Loyal (2,700ft) starts just 5 minutes away. The parish of Tongue has three burial grounds: Melness, Skerray & Tongue Parish Churchyard – these have all been photographed and available in Burial Grounds.

Caisteal Bharraigh, Tongue

Fig: Caisteal Bharraigh, Tongue

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