Lairg

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Lairg
Scottish Gaelic: An Luirg
Village of Lairg in the Highlands.jpg
Lairg
Photograph of Lairg Scotland.jpg
Lairg is located in Sutherland
Lairg
Lairg
 Lairg shown within the Sutherland area
Population 900 
OS grid reference NC582064
Council area Highland
Lieutenancy area Sutherland
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LAIRG
Postcode district IV27
Dialling code 01549
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
Scottish Parliament Caithness, Sutherland and Ross
List of places
UK
Scotland

Coordinates: 58°01′N 4°24′W / 58.02°N 4.40°W / 58.02; -4.40

Lairg (Scottish Gaelic: An Luirg, meaning "the shank/shin")[1] is a village in Sutherland, Highland, Scotland. It has a population of about 900 and is at the south-eastern end of Loch Shin.

Lairg is unusual in the northern Highlands, if not unique, in being a large settlement that is not on the coast. One of the reasons that Lairg is slightly bigger than other non-coastal Highland villages is its central location within the County of Sutherland. Having four roads which meet in the village, it used to be known as "The Crossroads of the North". In the 19th century, it was provided with a railway station (at NC582039), on what is now the Far North Line. This development means that the north west of Sutherland is now easier to access. (The Far North Line links Inverness in the south with Thurso and Wick in the north.)

Sheep Sales[edit]

Lairg is the location of the largest single-day sheep sale in Europe. These auctions take place in August and bring people from all over Scotland to buy or sell their animals.

Gala Week[edit]

In July, Lairg holds a Gala Week. This is organised by a local committee in order to put on fun activities for adults and children. Events include fancy-dress parades, a pet show, fishing competitions on Loch Shin or the Little Loch Shin, and dances with live music in the community centre.

Lairg Crofter's Show[edit]

This one-day event has been running for 100 years. It attracts many spectators and participants for activities such as horse-jumping, sheep and cow judging, children's sports, Highland sports (e.g. tossing the caber, throwing the wellie/haggis) and homemade crafts. Sheep racing has even become a significant attraction in recent years.

Little Loch Shin[edit]

Little Loch Shin lies directly in the centre of the village. It is a manmade loch created by the hydroelectric dam scheme, and is the home of the "Broon's hoose", a small wooden dwelling on an islet.

Loch Shin lies to the north of Lairg and is 17 miles long.

Lairg has a petrol station, pub/hotel, post office, bank, campsite, primary school, tourist information centre, and various shops, cafes and B&Bs. Tourists attractions include the Shin Falls, fishing, sightseeing and hillwalking.

The areas to the north and west are sparsely populated and crossed by just three single track roads.

Transport[edit]

Lairg railway station lies on the picturesque Far North Line, north of Invershin and west of Rogart. It is managed by First ScotRail.

A proposal on the rail routes to the north of Inverness is to create a more direct rail from Inverness to Dornoch via a new bridge and an old branch line, which would leave Lairg isolated on a circuitous loop away from the main route. Although the link would shorten journey times to Thurso and Wick, reducing the rail service to Lairg would be detrimental to the local economy. Given the huge cost of building a rail bridge over the Dornoch Firth and both the Scottish government and the Highland Regional council's lack of enthusiasm for the project, it seems unlikely the proposal will become reality.[2]

The B864 road leads south and passes through the hamlet of Achany. The parallel A836 road also runs south, and passes through the village of Achinduich. [3]

People associated with Lairg[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]