Highland tourist attraction once dubbed ‘Harrods of the north’ up for sale

Press & Journal – Kelly Wilson

It cost £1.4 million to rebuild following a fire in 2013, but is now being offered for a cut-price deal of £350,000.

The tourist attraction, near Lairg, has been put on the market by community working group owners The Kyle of Sutherland Trust.

The Falls of Shin site – which was previously owned by businessman Mohammed Al Fayed – burned down in May 2013, leading to 19 staff being made redundant.

Formerly referred to as “The Harrods of the North”, Falls of Shin, which has a cafe, restaurant and gift shop, was very popular with tourists and at its height attracted about 160,000 visitors a year.

The Kyle of Sutherland Trust led plans to build a new £1.4 million facility with it reopening in May 2017.

However, despite efforts of the Trust to find tenants to assist with the running of the cafe and restaurant it closed in 2020 curtailed by Covid.

t is now being offered for sale for just £350,000.

Falls of Shin buyer can ‘trade immediately’

Selling agent Barry McNeil, from Cornerstone Business Agents, said: “The availability of the subjects in turnkey condition offers motivated buyers the ability to open and trade nearly immediately.

“The facilities and public areas have benefited from a considerable capital expense in near past allowing operators solely to focus on offering guest/tourists and locals the best in term of service.

“The space lends itself perfectly to a number of different operations and trading styles.

“Prospective purchasers should also be aware and consider the quality of the recent build ensuring that significant capital spend on the property has been future proofed for some time.”

Salmon viewing a draw for visitors

The sale also includes the Falls of Shin salmon viewing platform which attracts circa 100,000 visitors a year.

The brochure states: “The café and gift shop are next to the Salmon viewing platform.

“In May to September every year, it is possible to see North Atlantic Salmon leaping on the river Shin.

“The Falls of Shin Restaurant and shop was built to capitalise on the increased visitor numbers and assist with a better experience for the tourists.”

The children’s play area, large car park with EV and electric bike chargers and motor home parking are among the some of the items not included in the sale.