Visit Dornoch

Visit Dornoch, one hour north of Inverness on the east coast – only 2 miles off the popular North Coast 500 route, but a step back in time.


At the heart of this historic Royal Burgh stands a 13th century Cathedral with a Castle, Jail & Courthouse in golden sandstone, nestled round the green and the Square, where in summer, markets are held, and the pipe band plays on Saturday nights. Explore the lanes and alleyways at leisure by following the Dornoch Heritage Trail round the town to find out about the last witch, monks’ cells, medieval markets and when the post was carried by human runners from Meikle Ferry. Visit Historylinks, a 5-star museum, to find out about the Vikings, the Cathedral, Andrew Carnegie and Skibo Castle, the Dornoch Light Railway, the history of Golf in Dornoch & Donald Ross, and much more.

If golf is your game, then book ahead to reserve a tee time at Royal Dornoch – possibly the best Golf Course in the World! Enjoy a walk on our miles of golden beach or check out the seals sun-bathing at Loch Fleet. Explore the woodlands at Camore with its natural play area and ancient hut circles.  Hire a bike and explore the country lanes at a gentle pace or book a pony trek at nearby Skelbo. Come for the first Friday in August for our Highland Gathering – with tossing the Caber, the emotive sound of bag pipes, and Highland dancing displays. Join us for the Hogmanay Street Party and New Year’s Loony Dook.

With a wide range of cafés and restaurants to choose from, Dornoch is a great ‘foodie’ hot-spot on the NC500. Soak up the atmosphere while enjoying sumptuous coffee and cake. Sample the local produce and cuisine accompanied by fine wines. Enjoy dinner in the conservatory restaurant at The Royal Golf Hotel while looking out over Scotland’s #1 golf course or book a private fine dining experience in the Vault at the Castle.

Dornoch has over 20 independent shops, so browse at your leisure for books, tartan rugs, tweed & wool, outdoor clothing, antiques, local arts & crafts, shortbread, whisky & Dornoch gin. Jail Dornoch has cashmere from Johnstone’s of Elgin, country wear from Barbour and Joules and a wide range of jewellery and gifts. For the latest fashions check out Becca Mac boutique or visit Tartan Creations for locally produced accessories. Enjoy a whisky (or gin) tasting in the Carnegie Whisky Cellars – set in the 200-year-old Courthouse record room. Or come in October for the Dornoch Whisky Festival.

Why not stay a while? Dornoch has a great range of quality accommodation to choose from – hotels, B & B, self-catering. Links House at Royal Dornoch is recognised as the #1 luxury hotel in the Highlands and The Royal Golf Hotel situated on the first tee is an ideal golfer’s retreat. Dornoch Castle Hotel in the historic ‘Bishop’s Palace’ is steeped in history and has a beautiful walled garden to enjoy a summer drink or afternoon tea.

How about a Highland Wedding – Dornoch provides the perfect romantic setting for that special day.

Dornoch enjoys a pleasant micro-climate and is one of the driest places in the UK – and there are no midges!

To plan your trip, go to, download the Discover Dornoch App or pop into the Visitor Centre on arrival. Our friendly Highland community welcomes visitors, and the opportunity to chat and share their local knowledge. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news. We look forward to meeting you!