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About Dunbeath

Dunbeath Is a small village on the east coast of Caithness, birthplace of the prolific Scottish writer Neil M. Gunn (1891-1973) and home to the Iconic Dunbeath Castle. It boasts a harbour, once busltling with boats and barrels in the herring fishing boom, and a beautiful hazel wood strath, rich in archaeology. 

Dunbeath has been home to people since at least the iron age, Dunbeath being called so possibly after a cheiftan 'beth' who owned the broch settlement. the name could also be translated from the gaelic 'ford of the birches'.

At the heart of Dunbeath lies Dunbeath Strath; an inspiration for Neil Gunn's book 'Highland River'. Flowing through it is Dunbeath water, once famous for salmon and salmon poaching. At the start of the strath a Thomas Telford bridge crosses the waters, still standing strong. An old mill building can be seen, now converted into a local publishers office. As you follow the water up the strath you come across remnants of a previous mill and latterly an Inn. As you wander further the path takes you past a grassy mound that once was an ancient monastery,  the pioneering christian monks hoping to establish their religion far and wide. Further up the strath an iron age broch is waiting to be discovered and much more. 

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