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The town at the southerly end of the Sutherland coast. Once a Viking assembly centre.

The sea lochs and estuaries of the inner Moray Firth are fringed with fields and woods, a fertile lowland landscape dotted with farms and crofts. Fast-flowing rivers drop from the hills through deep, wooded straths. The bulk of Ben Wyvis dominates the horizon northwest of Dingwall.

Across the Dornoch Firth is Sutherland - the south land of the Norsemen - where the coastal strip of fertile land narrows towards Helmsdale, backed by heather-clad hills deep blue in the reflective sea light. Prehistoric sites are abundant throughout East Sutherland, as are Pictish sculptured stones in Easter Ross. The seagoing Norsemen of Orkney used the firths to extend Viking influence into the Pictish lands, lured by good land and timber for shipbuilding.

Dingwall was their Thingvallr - or place of assembly. Many existing villages grew up around Celtic Christian missions of the seventh or eighth centuries. From the 11th century Tain was an important place of pilgrimage, and the cathedrals at Dornoch and Fortrose, and Fearn Abbey, date from the 13th century.

Eating Out

The Caledonian Hotel, Portmahomack provides friendly, comfortable accommodation in a beach-front village setting on the east coast of the Scottish Highlands. STB 3-star rated. If you are looking for good value for money in a child and dog friendly establishment, then use them as your base for touring the North of Scotland. Good for Fishing, 9 hole Golf Course, Owner has horses which guest may use Bird & Dolphin Watching Archeology Reservations Email Address or call 01862-871345