Perched on the cliff just over a mile south of Dunbeath is an impressive whitewashed building - this is Dunbeath Castle, which once belonged to the Sinclair Clan, who replaced the original building with a four-storey tower house in 1620. The castle saw action during the Wars Of The Three Kingdoms, part of a spate of civil wars fought in England, Scotland and Ireland, when it was attacked by Royalist forces. As the castle is still occupied, it is not open to the public. However, there are some cottages and lodges within the Dunbeath Estate available for holiday lets.
Dunbeath itself is, like Berriedale, a small village nestling at the mouth of a river. The village has a heritage centre showcasing the history and wildlife of the area. The history of the village stretches back to the Iron Age, with many brochs - hollow-walled, drystone structures. There is also an early medieval monastic site. Bookworms who want to get a feel for the area should look up the author Neil Gunn, who died in 1973. He was born in Dunbeath, and many of his novels are set in Dunbeath and the surrounding area. There is a statue overlooking the harbour called Kenn And The Salmon in memory of Gunn.
Map of the area.
© 2007, Stanley Howe, via Wikimedia Commons