Walks accessible from the cottage

All the walks listed here can be accessed from the cottage and include a combination of the hard top road, forest roads and forest paths.

Short forest walk with a stop at the loch

Difficulty: Easy; Time: 60–120 Minutes

This walk can be accessed directly from the cottage and will take around an hour to complete. It will bring you to a small picturesque loch which offers a great spot for a picnic or a glass of something.

The walk is a combination of forestry road, track and single track.


Longer forest walk up to the higher loch

Difficulty: Medium; Time: 2 to 3 hours

This walk will take you higher up into the forest and onto the upper loch. There’s an old abandoned cottage up there and we recommend you approach the area slowly as there is a lot of wildlife to see that is otherwise undisturbed.


Pub walk

Difficulty: Easy; Time: 20 minutes

This walk is a short walk down the hill to the smallholding of Culrain, across the railway bridge footpath to the pub at Invershin. Please note, the pub is normall shut or limited in opening times in the winter months — best to phone ahead.


Note: Boots are recommended for the winter months as the forest tracks can become boggy. Please take care in the forest areas. The land around us is a combination of working forests and farms. Please be cautious of bogs also, which can be deep.

Whisky in Sutherland, Scotland’s North

As you might know, we’re big fans of Buy Local. Nowhere is this more economically relevant than in Sutherland in Scotland’s North, where the population is sparse and relies on local jobs. If we want nice things like local butchers and bakers then we have to do our bit to support them, otherwise they’ll vanish.

Beyond that though, there are many benefits to buying local. We find that we appreciate things more when we know they’re from the immediate area, know their story, and can taste the local water, the soil of the earth, and the pollen from the flowers. So where better to start than local Whisky.

Fortunately for us, we have some of the best right on our doorstep.

We’ve created this list in order of proximity to our rental home, Lower Hilton Cottage in Culrain. There’s nothing better than sipping a local malt by the fire, or in the garden, admiring the view. We’ll leave it to you to rank them by taste.


This is our closest Distillery, and is the only distillery we know of that only releases Vintage bottles. They cleverly label the bottles with the year distilled, rather than the age, similar to how wine is labelled. Their most recent vintage is 2005 and, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can go back all the way to 1969. They arrange Distillery tours but note that they don’t run between October and March. More details can be found here.


One of the better known Whiskies from this part of the world, Glenmorangie is close to nearby Tain, around 30 minutes from the cottage. Their original bottle will give you a citrus aroma, a vanilla taste, followed by flowers and more citrus flavours, as well as everything to be expected from a great Scottish Whisky. They have a large range of malts from both their regular, private and limited collection. Tours and tastings can be arranged here.


Perched on the coast at Alness is the beautiful distillery of Dalmore, where they use American White Oak ex-Bourbon Casks and Sherry Casks to deliver a unique flavour and different aromas depending on the age. More details can be found on tours here.

Old Pulteney

A bit further away from the cottage but worth a visit if you’re exploring the Northeastern coast. You’ll get a taste of the sea this one with an aroma of the sea air, followed by tastes including vanilla, citrus and brine. Oh, if you like Oysters then this is a great pairing. Information on Distillery tours can be found here.

Did we miss something from the list? Email us at bookings@lowerhiltoncottage.com and we’ll happily review it.

For more information on Whisky, we recommend the Scottish Malt Whisky Society.