village & Culture
Helmsdale sits on the Eastern coast of Sutherland. It was developed in 1818 as a fishing village, largely herring fishing, as like many other villages in the Highlands around that time. Today, the harbour is a prominent feature of Helmsdale village and there are a number of fishing vessels based there which gives it a sense of a working harbour.
The region offers all the traditional Scottish activities such as salmon and wild brown trout fishing, stalking, shooting, bird watching, whale watching, nature walks.
For alternative entertainments, you can try your luck panning for gold at the site of the Kildonan gold rush of 1868 in the tributaries of the Helmsdale River. There are also golf courses within easy reach of the hotel accommodation.
Situated in the heart of the village, the Hotel is the perfect base for exploring the wonders of the Highlands. It also provides an ideal stop-over on the way to Thurso, wick, John o' Groats, the Orkney Islands and the most Northern point of mainland Scotland.
The museum first opened in 1987 and ever since they have been welcoming visitors and adding to their collections. The museum display tells the local and social history of the parish and people, taking you on a journey from the sea and river mouth, upstream and inland to the Strath of Kildonan.
The first, Kildonan Burn, is located at the site of Baile an Or and a stretch of it is open, for a small fee (from 2018), to anyone to pan for gold for a maximum of two weeks a year. Free camping is available and panners are required to purchase a permit here.The fee will be £10 per day per person for a permit. Children under 16 free of charge. Concessions £5. A 50% discount is applicable if staying in a local hotel or B&B.
EQUIPMENT HIRE/PURCHASE - Available, just ask at reception.
Lower Helmsdale - Fishing Permit available from us
11th Jan - 30th Sept
Visitors £20.83 per day + £4.13 VAT = £25
Weekly £83.33 per day + £16.67 VAT = £100
Pensioners - Half prices, Children 16 and under - Free
north coast 500
There's nothing quite like the freedom of the long open road. Never-ending back roads, wide meandering country tracks and beautiful bends through some of Scotland's finest coastal scenery are just a few things you can expect along the North Coast 500. Strap yourself in for the road trip of a lifetime.