Things to do from Sango Sands :: Durness Activities

Durness is the most North Westerly community in mainland Britain, and has an abundance of attractions for any kind of visitor. Below is a little information on some of these attractions. For more information you can contact the Tourist Information Office in Durness on 01971 511259 or visit the community website at

Smoo Cave is a modest walk away

Smoo Cave

This is the largest sea cave in Britain, and is accessed down a flight of stairs. The cave itself is floodlit making it an accessible and impressive attraction all year round.

In the summer tours are available with a boat trip across the waterfall pool and into the inner cave. Besides its natural beauty there is evidence of its use by man dating back 6000 years, with a number of myths attached to it… For more information Click/Tap Here

Hiking and Walking

Durness is fantastic location to base your walking holiday. With the hills of Foinaven and Arkle nearby and the most Northern Munro Ben Hope only a short drive away hill walking enthusiasts have plenty of scope for adventure. For those who prefer a little less uphill, the coastal paths offer peace and wonderful views, and Ranger Walks run in the summer to show you the area.


With the number of inlets, bay and coves in the area, Sea Kayaking around Cape Wrath and along the North Coast is popular in summer. Durness makes an ideal base for this sport.

Balnakeil Bay

This long stretch of sand is a short walk from Sango Sands and is opposite the Golf Course and extends out along Faraid Head. One of the more sheltered beaches.

Loch Eriboll

A large sea loch to the east of Durness, it is now used primarily for fish-farming. With a back drop of mountains a drive around its shoreline is beautiful and a walk out to Whiten Head offers an superb opportunity in Autumn for seal spotting.

The Loch also has long Naval history, with a lot of activity during the Second World War. The North Atlantic U-Boats surrendered here in 1945.


Durness and the surrounding area sits at the corner of the North West Highlands Geopark. Scotland’s first Geopark, it forms part of global network of territories with exceptional geological features.

The area surrounding Durness offers amazing opportunity to explore the landscape in the most sparsely populated corner of Europe. For more information Click/Tap Here

Culture and History

There is evidence of mankind in this area dating back 6000 years. Evidence of the long history is evident in the ruins and buildings of the area, and in the culture of today.

Highland Gathering

On the last Friday in July Durness hosts the Highland Gathering, where you watch traditional competitions such as tossing the caber and highland dancing. Events are open to anyone who fancies a challenge

There’s also less traditional events such as tug of war, tip the bucket and the pillow fight for those who want a laugh!

Faraid Head

A wonderful walk, this peninsula reaches out into the sea from Balnakeil Beach. In the summer you can find puffins nesting amongst the cliff tops.

The dunes here are impressive and guided walks are available in the summer from the Countryside Ranger. This is also a good place to watch for Whales, Dolphins, Porpoise and Seals.


As the North West corner of the British road system, cycling through and around Durness is very popular.

Balnakeil Craft Village

On the way to Balnakeil beach an M.O.D. Early Warning Station has been converted into a craft village. Here you can find a wide range of craft shops from woodcarving to ceramics.


This underground passage was built in the first century AD. Is purpose is unclear, but consists of a narrow entrance with steep short steps leading down to a passage with ends in a small chamber. Flooded after rain, it is worth exploring in summer. The entrance is marked by two small cairns on the roadside on the way to Laid.

Balnakeil Church

Founded in 722 by St. Maelrubha, the ruins of this church overlook Balnakeil Bay. Inside the church is the grave of Donald MacMurdo, a local tyrant who murdered at least eighteen people.

The graveyard contains the grave of Rob Donn, a famous Gaelic poet, and also a mass grave of the people killed when the emigrant ship the ‘Canton’ sank off Faraid Head.

Dun Dornaigil

South of Loch Hope are the impressive remains of a Broch, a defensive tower typical of the highlands.

Sports and Activities – The geography of the area offers a unique environment for outdoor enthusiasts.

Cape Wrath

This is the most North-Westerly point in mainland Britain. A passenger ferry across the Kyle drops you at a road and from there you could walk, cycle or catch a bus along this remote corner of the country

Golf Course

Nine greens with eighteen different tees, this golf course, featured on a memorable Peter Alice program, has spectacular views over Balnakeil Bay and Cape Wrath. Not to be missed by golfing enthusiasts, visitors are welcome.


The above picture shows a nice wave or two on our own main beach where surf fun can be had regularly.  With nearby beaches on the West Coast, and local north facing breaks, Durness has some of the most consistent swell on mainland Britain. With the range of beaches somewhere will inevitably be offshore.

Sandwood Bay

Extremely remote, this beach can only be accessed by a four and a half mile walk. Stunning in its seclusion.

Balnakeil House

On the site of an older castle, this mansion house was rebuilt in 1744. It was one of the homes of the Chief of the Clan Mackay, although likely started as a summer palace for the Bishops of Caithness.