Outdoor Activities in the Highlands
Birds of prey and falconry displays
Learn more about the ancient art of falconry at Dunrobin Castle, which runs regular displays throughout most of the year. Featuring resident species like golden eagles and peregrine falcons, as well as more exotic types such as the European eagle owl, spectators can enjoy a range of aerobatic displays.
Walking and Hiking
The gentler landscape of this area of the North Highlands has many routes leading high into the hills, whilst the beaches on the coast provide a gentler alternative. Follow the coastal route from Brora to Golspie, treading on dunes and field edges or hike up Ben Bhraggie to its 100ft monument of George Leveson-Gower, the first Duke of Sutherland. If you’re looking for something more challenging, there are several Munros and Corbetts over to the west, with Carn Chuinneag just over an hour’s drive from Brora and Ben Klibreck two hours away. Maps are available on request.
Tennis and Bowling
Brora Tennis and Bowling Club is just a short distance from the Hotel and is open every day to members and non-members. Bowls are available to use but visitors must bring their own tennis racquets. Booking in advance is recommended.
Fishing of all types can be enjoyed in Brora; by sea, loch and river. Fly fishing instruction is provided for first-time fishermen and boats and ghillies can be hired for Loch Brora and the River Brora, where trout and salmon can be found. Cod, ling, dogfish and mackerel can be caught at Brora’s harbour, where tides dictate the times and duration of trips. Boat, fishing equipment, packed lunches and ghillies can be hired directly through our Hotel.
Brora is a geological hotspot and a real find for fossil hunters, as recognised by Sir Humphry Davy who visited in 1812 and compiled a manuscript that was given to Dunrobin Castle. Jurassic rocks containing ammonites and shells are deposited around the mouth of the River Brora and on Brora’s beaches. The latter is a popular location for families and inexperienced collectors, whilst the exposed nature of the River Brora is more suited to those with experience or a scientific background.
The North Highlands is a fantastic location for family breaks, whether you’re looking for outdoor action, day trips or educational fun for all ages. Filled with wildlife, walks, visitor attractions and outdoor activities, it’s an adventure playground just waiting to be explored by you and your family.
Here’s some suggestions from us to keep your troop entertained...
Discover Brora’s archaeological and industrial past from the Stone Age, right up to present day at Brora Heritage Centre. An exhibition, interactive displays and a dinosaur play area will keep the whole family entertained whilst providing some fascinating facts about the village’s heritage.
Visit the North West Highland Geopark, an area of geological interest. Covering huge areas of West Sutherland and Wester Ross, the diverse landscape of mountains, sandy beaches, ancient settlements and present day communities is of world class importance and quality. In preparation for your visit, the Orcadian Stone Company in Golspie is recommended, offering insight into the geological heritage of this part of the world.
Brora is home to two beautiful, unspoilt beaches with golden sands that stretch out along the scenic coastline, ideal for marine wildlife and enjoying walks and picnics. The area is known for its geological significance and it’s not uncommon to find Jurassic rocks containing ammonites and shells, making it a great place for families to try out fossil-hunting. Further south along the coast lie the sands of Dornoch Beach and a Site of Special Scientific Interest next to it, featuring nesting birds, flora and fauna.
The North Highlands is a popular choice for wildlife spotting, with a mixture of dolphins, minke whales, grey and common seals often sighted from the beach. Roe deer, red deer, hedgehog, moles, shrews, voles, wood mice, fox, stoat, weasel and rabbit are all common, and if you’re very lucky, you might catch sight of the wildcat, which resides in woods and the hills.
Give your kids a mini taster of the golf course on our putting green at the Royal Marine Hotel. Equipment is available from the reception.
Get on your bike and see the sights of the North Highlands by racing through woodland and conquering the steep inclines of the local hills. Highland Wildcat has constructed an 18km trail in the Golspie area which accesses Ben Bhraggie and caters for all abilities, from beginner to expert. Mountain bikes and helmets are available to hire from the Hotel.
If you prefer to take in the views on horseback, book a horse riding experience with Star Stables in Brora which offers all levels of riding tuition for children and adults, lasting from a couple of hours to a whole day experience. Contact 01408 621164/07759 335918 to book.
The countryside rangers run a series of walks, events and activities in the Highlands throughout the year. For details of these, visit http://www.outdoorhighlands.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Ranger-Guide-2015-D.pdf
Looking for some adrenaline-packed action? Boots n Paddles runs outdoor activities at several locations throughout the Highlands. From quadbiking and white water rafting to canoeing and archery, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes.
If you'd rather have someone show you the sights, HOSTGA provides a specialist guide service in several language to individuals and families that are visiting the Highlands. See here for more details.
- Smoo Cave, Durness
- Orkney – see details of our Orkney Day Tour package.
- John O’ Groats
- Inverewe Gardens, Poolewe
If there’s a particular activity that you’d like to do, Contact Us and we’ll do our best to make it happen