Home to one of northern Scotland’s most magnificent homes, this pretty seaside resort is also a pleasant spot for walking and mountain biking.
Golspie is best known for its grand Dunrobin Castle, a lavishly decorated castle once the Scottish home of the dukes of Sutherland. In addition to exploring this ornate castle, cycle along scenic mountain biking trails and view the town’s controversial hilltop monument.
Dunrobin Castle is the largest house in the Highlands. Although parts of the castle date back to the 13th century, the majority of this French-style castle was built in the 19th century. Over 20 of the castle’s 189 rooms and its elaborate formal gardens are open to the public. See the gilded four-poster bed where Queen Victoria slept during her visit to the castle in 1872. Enjoy the impressive falconry demonstrations in the garden.
It’s impossible to miss the 100-foot-tall (30-meter) Sutherland Monument looming over the village. The Duke of Sutherland infamously evicted thousands of tenant farmers from the region to clear space for more profitable sheep farms. As a result, the statue, which was completed in 1837, remains controversial to this day. Climb to the statue atop the summit of Ben Bhraggie for excellent views south along the coast.
See a large geological collection at the Orcadian Stone Company. This superb collection features thousands of fossils, minerals and rocks from around the world, with an emphasis on Scotland’s unique geological specimens.
Lovely St. Andrew’s Church built in the 1700s is also worth visiting. Inside, notice the canopied pulpit and the Sutherland Loft, both carved in the 18th century.
Cycle along the fine Highland Wildcat mountain bike trails. Select from trails for cyclists of all experience levels, including several picturesque forest routes. Skilled cyclists can follow the challenging black trail, which features a (1,300-foot) 400-meter drop over 8.5 miles (13.6 kilometers).
Golspie is located 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Dornach. Get here by following the main east coast road or by train. See the historic Dunrobin Castle and its French-inspired formal gardens in Golspie.