Balnakeil Bay is separated from Sango Bay by Faraid Head. The village has a ruined 17th century church with a tombstone commemorating a highwayman who killed eighteen people. The tombstone is decorated with a skull and crossbones and is built into a niche in a wall, supposedly as protection against enemies who might be tempted to desecrate the grave. The Balnakeil Craft Village, where visitors can watch craftsmen creating leather goods, ceramics and other products, is housed in an unusual set of ex-military buildings which once formed part of an early warning system. Balnakeil House was built in the 18th century on top of the remains of a summer palace which belonged to the Bishops of Caithness. The beach at Balnakeil Bay is wide, with brilliant white sands, backed by dunes. There is a 3 mile walk through the dunes which border the eastern side of the bay leading to Faraid Head, where nesting puffins and other sea birds can be observed.
Map of the area.
© 2007 Bob Jones, via Wikimedia Commons