Last week I posted about the village of Lairg, which is a hidden gem in the heart of the Highlands. I was originally going to include the trips that we did out of Lairg into the Kyle of Sutherland, but it would have been a mammoth post, so decided to create another post to cover the Falls of Shin, and Rosehall Forest!
As Mr B was on study leave, we were looking for places that he could work in, while meantime I could explore or walk the dog in, and our first place to do this was at the Falls of Shin.
From the huge car park, you simply cross the road and follow the zigzag path down to the viewing platform.
In the summer months visitors are treated to a display by Atlantic salmon, who return to their place of birth for future spawning. When we lived in Inverness another site you can drive to is Rogie Falls if you are heading west in the direction of Ullapool, and you will be able to see salmon jumping up a ladder built into the river.
Around the Falls of Shin there are a myriad of paths to follow around the forest. Huge trees tower above you as you navigate the paths. The paths are suitable on the most part for pushchairs and bikes.
While I was busy enjoying the scenery, Mr B set up office in the Falls of Shin Visitor Centre, which houses the Highland outpost of Mac & Wild (which also has two London restaurants).
The outside space is amazing. It’s very spacious especially when you pull in from the small single track road, and a birds eye view of the top of the site shows that the building and walkway actually appear in the form of a salmon!
A Highland stag greets you, there’s a huge play area, and the all important pitch and putt course which is an automatic competition between Mr B and I (he won).
This outdoor bothy area is where Mac & Wild host their supper clubs, and they have a calendar of other events throughout the season.
Inside the space is light and bright with beautiful highland foliage hanging from the ceiling and decorating the main restaurant counter.
Mac & Wild have a lunch menu with light bites and tasting boards. I would have liked to have seen some of their meatier options that they have on the lunch menus for other sites and feature heavily on their social media, like their prestigious Veni-moo burger.
I had hot smoked Scottish salmon, with sweetcorn & basil cream cheese and mixed leaves – served in a brown multi-seeded roll .
Mr B had Nairn streaky bacon, shredded gem lettuce, mustard mayo & sliced tomato in a granary & sunflower seed bap.
We both agreed the rolls were excellent, and made good use of Scottish produce of which there is so much. We followed this up with excellent coffees and cakes from Bad Girl Bakery (one of our favourites in the Inverness/Ross-shire/Sutherland areas). It’s fab to see collaboration between businesses!
The second trip we made was an evening walk in Rosehall Forest. There’s a log cabin built by the community with lots of local information.
There’s a few different trails through the woodland. We followed this trail which partly goes through the Rosehall forest before heading toward the Achness/Cassley Falls.
The falls were at the halfway point of the walk, and they were impressive, even on quite a grey evening.
The falls covered a fair bit of distance and there were definite good spots to get closer to the waters’ edge.
We also spotted a tree growing out of a rock, not the most common occurrence and one that was recognisable to others when I posted this photo on Instagram at the time.
Other popular tips from fellow Instagrammers in Sutherland featured another local walk at Raven’s Rock Gorge, and even where to buy good local eggs from the roadside.
They Kyle of Sutherland is somewhere I’d like to continue exploring in the future, there was some beautiful scenery and it definitely facilitates a intentional slow ‘off the beaten track’ tourism that the Highlands can capitalise on, because there are so many of these spots to explore.