logo image


RS Home

Dornoch is a Town 44 miles north of Inverness, on the northeast coast of Scotland with two long Beaches.

Dornoch is popular for its Golf, Cathedral, Castle, Courthouse now a Cafe, Old Jail now Shops, Historylinks Museum, Clearances Cottages, Burning Site of a Witch, two Holiday Parks, and Dunrobin Castle 12 miles north.

For Images on Mobile swipe right

Map Large Images Hotels
B&Bs Self Catering Golf
Shops Restaurants  

Click on Map for area Attractions

Camping & Touring Parks in area

The top image right shows Castle Street leading to the town Centre where you can find the Cathedral, Castle, Courthouse, and Old Jail. The Market Cross can be found on the High Street, on the north side of the Cathedral.

Dornoch Castle is now a Hotel with a large Beer Garden at the rear.

The Carnegie Courthouse is now a Cafe / Diner with a Visitor Centre.

Dornoch Jail is now shops with the small Cells used for displays.

Dornoch Cathedral is across the road from the Castle. The Catheral was built in the ealy 1200s.

The Historylinks Museum can be found behind Dornoch Castle, up Castle Close. The Museum has a large display of Artifacts that span many centuries, and gives information of life and work in this area from the 1100s to present day.

The Dornoch Station Hotel is close to the beach on Grange Road.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club is by the Beach, on the southeast side of the Town. This Golf Club was formed in 1877, and became a Royal club in 1906 through King Edward VII.

The Royal Golf Hotel is by the Golf Club with its Conservatory Restaurant having views over the course.

Dornoch Holiday Park is by the Golf Course and Beach, with a range of Caravans available for holidays, and pitches for Touring and Tents.

By the Holiday Park, on Beach Road, is a Garden with a Stone marking where a Witch named Janet Horne was Burned to Death in 1727. Janet was the last recorded person to be executed in this way.

A short walk towards the Town centre from the Witches Stone are the Clearances Cottages. Around 1800, Landowners began forcing Tenant Farmers off their land so they could begin large scale sheep and crop farming. Many Farmers moved to Dornoch where they built small Cottages. This area of Dornoch is referred to as Littletown.

Grannies Heilin Hame Holiday Park is about 3 miles north of Dornoch in the area known as Embo. This Holiday Park is next to the long sandy Embo Beach, with a range of Caravans for holidays. The Park has a Bar Diner and large Entertainment Hall.

Dornoch History

5000 BC - settlements were established in this area known as Sutherland.

540 - Saint Finbarr may have arrived in Dornoch and established a settlement. The ruins of his Church are believed to be at the east end of Dornoch Cathedral graveyard.

800s - Vikings took control of the Orkney Islands and parts of the far northeast of Scotland, encroaching on Dornoch.

1100s - Scottish Kings began pushing north forcing the Vikings out of mainland Scotland. Halkirk 65 miles north of Dornoch was where the first Cathedral was built for the area.

1200s early - Halkirk Cathedral was burned down by Farmers, killing the Bishop inside. The Farmers riots began after the Bishop raised Taxes.

The most prominent family in the area was de Moravia, later The Mory, Murray, and Sutherland.

1200s early - Skibo Castle was built for the Bishops, 4 miles west of Dornoch.

1220 - Dornoch Cathedral was built for Bishop Gilbert de Moravia to replace Halkirk Cathedral.

1220? - Dunrobin Castle was built for William de Moravia, 1st Earl of Sutherland, 12 miles north of Dornoch.

1260s - Richard de Moravia was killed at Embo, 3 miles north of Dornoch, fighting Vikings. Richard was buried in Dornoch Cathedral.

1500 - Dornoch Castle was built next to the Cathedral for the Bishops.

1545 - the Bishops awarded Skibo Castle to John Gray so his powerful family could help prevent the Protestant uprisings from spreading north.

1563 - the Queen's Act against witchcraft was introduced in Scotland. This led to a number of people being Strangled or Burned to Death, normally after a neighbour they did not get on with, reported them for Witchcraft.

1570 - Dornoch Cathedral was set on fire during a Clan feud between the Murray's of Dornoch, and Mackay's of Strathnaver. These Clan feuds took place over many years, involving a number of Clans from the area.

1703 - Witchcraft was no longer seen as a Criminal Offence punishable by the Death Penalty in most of Scotland.

1727 - Janet Horne was found guilty of Witchcraft at Dornoch, rolled in tar, placed in a barrel, then burned to death. Janet was the last recorded person in Scotland to die this way.

1700s late - the Sutherland Clearances began, removing large numbers of small scale Tenant Farmers so their land could be used for large scale Sheep and Crop farming. A number of these Farmers moved to Dornoch to try to live off Fishing. The area of Dornoch where they built their small cottages was named Littletown.

The Clearances Monument can be viewed at Helmsdale, 27 miles north of Dornoch.

1837 - the restoration of Dornoch Cathedral was completed so it could be used as a Church of Scotland.

1849 - Dornoch Courthouse was completed next to the Castle. Dornoch Jail was built next to the Courthouse around the same time.

1877 - Royal Dornoch Golf Club was founded.

1897 - the wealthy industrialist Andrew Carnegie bought Skibo Castle to serve as his holiday home with a swimming pool and golf course.

1947 - Dornoch Castle was converted to a Hotel.

1973 - Dunrobin Castle, Gardens, and Museum were opened to the public, also with Falconry displays.

1982 - Skibo Castle was bought by Peter de Savary to be used as a private members club named The Carnegie Club.

2000 - Madonna and Guy Ritchie were married at Skibo Castle. There have been a number of Film Stars and Sportsmen married at the Castle.

2000 - Dornoch Jail was converted to a Shopping Complex.

2010 - billionaire Elon Musk and the actress Talulah Riley were married at Dornoch Cathedral.

2015 - Dornoch Courthouse was converted to a Cafe / Diner, Shops, and Visitor Centre.

RS Home


Dornoch Photos