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Small sleepy port to the North of Helmsdale that was once a major Herring port. Its past is recalled in the works of Neil Gunn. There is a good little croft museum to the north of the village as well.

The A9 coast road then drops down into Dunbeath, a pleasant little village at the mouth of a small strath (or glen). This was the birthplace of one of Scotland's foremost writers, Neil Gunn (1891-1973). His finest works, such as The Silver Darlings and Highland River, reflect his experiences of growing up in the northeast and are fascinating accounts of life here during the days of the herring boom, though the sleepy harbour of today is barely recognizable as the erstwhile bustling fishing port.

The villages of Dunbeath, and Latherton to the north, are included on the Neil Gunn Trail, as is the beautiful walk up the glen, described in the leaflet available at the Dunbeath Heritage Centre. Here, you can learn all about the life and works of the famous novelist as well as the history of Caithness. Info - Easter-Oct daily 1000-1700, £2, concession £1, children free, Tel. 731233. If you fancy something to eat, the Dunbeath Hotel, Tel. 731208, does good, cheap bar meals.

Travel Directions to Dunbeath

Local Sights & Activities for Dunbeath

Just outside the village is the Laidhay Croft Museum, a restored traditional longhouse with stable, house and byre all under the same roof. Info -Easter-Oct daily 1000-1700, £1, children £0.50, Tel. 731370, a traditional longhouse with stable, house and byre all under the same roof.