Focus Follow Up: Durness

Our November Focus section is on the wild beauty and ancient history of the stunning North-West Highlands, and here’s a wee follow-on piece on Scotland’s most north-westerly of villages, Durness


One night’s camping on the beaches at Durness will leave you wanting to stay longer – unless the weather is against you, of course!

Soft sand, turquoise water, wide open spaces and a rocky coastline make it a real haven to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

It might be a beautiful location, but one of the beaches has a tragic history. Ceannabeinne is Gaelic for head or end of the mountains and the beach there was known as the beach of the burn of bereavement and death.

Tradition tells of a woman who fell into the burn in spate and drowned. Her body was washed down to the shore.


An Unusual Connection


Durness is the ideal base to explore the north-west, and while the Smoo Caves and the nearby Clo Mor Cliffs might be the main attraction – not to mention Cape Wrath – the village has a connection with one of the Britain’s all-time pop greats, John Lennon.

Lennon enjoyed boyhood summers in the village and returned with Yoko Ono and their children in 1969. A small garden with shrubs in the centre of Durness is dedicated to him and the house where he stayed still stands.

It might take a long-ish drive to get to Durness but it’s well worth it, not just for what the area offers but for the tremendous scenery you pass through to get there.

It’s a popular holiday destination for Scots Magazine columnist Nick Drainey and his family.

“Sango Bay at Durness has one of the most magical beaches on the coast of Scotland,” he says. “It’s made all the more welcoming by having a pub just above it!”

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of our November issue for our nine-page focus on the North-West!

Garry Fraser