The little communities of Melvich and Portskerra are located at the end of Strath Halladale, where the River
Halladale flows into the sea at Melvich Bay. Melvich itself lies on the main road that runs the entire length
of the north Sutherland coast, while Portskerra can be found down a side road towards the sea.
Melvich Beach, an unspoilt stretch of golden sands, lies at the head of the bay. It can be reached from the village
by a signposted track which leads to a parking area just above the dunes. On the eastern side of the bay is
Bighouse Lodge. Built in the 1760s, this large house was owned by the Mackays, who also owned the lands of
Strath Halladale. As well as the lodge, there are also other buildings including the barracks, a walled garden,
a garden pavillion and an ice house. It is believed that the barracks were used to house troops during the 1745
Jacobite rebellion. The Bighouse and its lands in Strath Halladale were sold to the Marquis of Stafford and the
Countess of Sutherland in 1829, becoming part of the Sutherland Estates.
Portskerra has always been a fishing community, and close to its pier you will find the Drowning Memorial. This
monument commemorates the many fishermen from the village who over the years have been lost at sea. The memorial
stone includes a verse by the celebrated poet Hugh Macintosh, who was born in Portskerra in 1901.