Dornoch (G Dorn Eich, horses hoof) is an ancient settlement and Royal Burgh.  It is a lovely wee town facing south and east across the Dornoch Firth, redeveloped between 1810 and 1815 by the Countess of Sutherland, creating pretty sandstone cottages reminiscent of a Cotswold village.  Dornoch Cathedral was originally built in 1224 by Gilbert de Moravia, Bishop of Caithness.  The Countess of Sutherland had the cathedral rebuilt in 1835.

It is also home to Royal Dornoch, one of the best and oldest golf courses in the world!  The oldest record of golf in Dornoch is 1616.  Legendary golf course designer Donald Ross began his career as a greenkeeper on the Royal Dornoch links.

In 1902 a group of Dornoch businessmen opened the Dornoch Light Railway, a branch line which connected to the main Highland Railway some 7 miles away at the Mound. Two years later they opened the Station Hotel (now the Dornoch Hotel). By the 1950s car ownership became the norm and rail travel declined. Dornoch’s Light Railway was deemed unprofitable and in July 1960 its much-loved ‘coffee pot’ engine steamed to the Mound for the last time.

The bridge across the Dornoch Firth was constructed in 1991, although the route around by Bonar Bridge and over Struie Hill is to be recommended.