The village of Scourie lies on the west coast of Sutherland, at the centre of the parish of Edrachilles. This is in
"Mackay Country", the area of the north and north-west of Sutherland that was traditionally a stronghold of
the Clan Mackay. The Mackays of Scourie built a fortified house here in the late sixteenth century. In the early
1840s the Duke of Sutherland altered and enlarged the building to make a coaching inn and it is still a hotel today.
With excellent road connections to the north, south and east, Scourie makes an ideal base for exploring this part of
Sutherland. The scenery is dramatic, dominated by mountains such as Foinaven, Arkle and Quinag while the coastline
has many sheltered and sandy beaches and bays. And despite its northerly location you may be surprised by the
climate - thanks to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream, the gardens of Scourie House are famed for the palm trees
that grow there!
If you are an angler then Scourie is probably your ideal holiday location. There are opportunities to fish for
brown trout, sea trout and salmon. Bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts will also find much to interest them
in this area. On the southern shore of Scourie Bay there is a public hide from which you can watch the birds and
other animals. Walkers are also well catered for with a wide range of walks to suit all abilities. There are
gentle trails around the village and its surrounding coastline while if hillwalking is your thing then there are
numerous hills and mountains to be tackled.
The village has its own Post Office, a petrol station and a shop. There is a village hall which hosts various events
throughout the year. For the visitor, there is a cafe and restaurant as well as a caravan & camp site, numerous
bed & breakfasts, guest houses and hotels.
Lying off the coast to the north-west of Scourie is the island of Handa. Up until the middle of the nineteenth
century the little island supported about a dozen families, but the potato famine of 1848 forced them to emigrate.
Since that time it has been uninhabited.
Today, the island is managed as a bird sanctuary by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and its sea cliffs are home to one
of the largest sea bird colonies in northern Europe. Species include puffins, razorbills, terns, skuas and kittiwakes.
This island is also home to Britain's largest colony of guillemots.
You can visit the island by taking the ferry from Tarbet, which is a few miles to the north of Scourie.