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Durness Parish

Occupying the north west corner of the county of Sutherland Durness parish covers nearly six hundred and six square kilometres. One thousand five hundred and eight hectares are water; one thousand and twenty eight hectares of foreshore, just over thirty three kilometres in length; and nearly eighteen kilometres wide. On the north west and north, the parish is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, on the east by Tongue and Farr and on the west by Eddrachillis. It is the most sparsely populated parish in Scotland, two point four persons per square mile, and the most remote area in Great Britain. 

Districts within the Parish.

  • Gobernuisgach to Arnaboll.

  • Eriboll to Freisgill including Hope.

  • The Cape Wrath area is from Strath Coilloch on the west to Achiemore in the east and from Cape Wrath in the north to Loan Burn in the south.

  • Strath Dionard district from Gualin House to Sarsgrum.

  • Sarsgrum district to the burn of Sangomore including Keoldale, Balnakeil and Durine

  • Rispond, from the burn of Sangomore to Rispond including Smoo Lerin, Sangobeg and Ceannabeinne.

  • Rispond to Strathbeg including Port Chamuill and Laid.


The coast is mainly of precipitous cliffs. There are two inlets, the shallow Kyle of Durness and the longer deep water of Loch Eriboll Between the Kyle and Loch Eriboll lies a range of hills attaining an elevation of nearly nine hundred meters at Foinaven. The western flank of the hills is formed of gneiss and the eastern slopes of Cambrian quartzite, resulting in meagre vegetation. On the east of Loch Eriboll, the rocks are quartzite and schist of the Moine series, ensuing desolate moorland to the south of which stands Ben Hope at over nine hundred meters. Forming a triangular tract around Durness village and a narrow zone on the south west shores of Loch Eriboll are limestone rocks giving rise to good pasture land.

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