Scourie (Scottish Gaelic: Sgobhairigh), historically spelled "Scoury", is a village on the north west coast of Scotland, about halfway between Ullapool and Durness. The name comes from the Gaelic word Sheiling or shed, a stone-built place of shelter used during the summer months. It is in the traditional county of Sutherland, now part of the Highland council area; the 2011 Census classified Scourie as 'Very remote rural' with an adult population of 132.
Until the 19th century, Clan Mackay was the predominant family in the area with a junior branch of the family owning Scourie itself; in 1640, it was the birthplace of Hugh Mackay, a Scottish general who settled in the Netherlands and commanded the forces of William III at Killiecrankie in July 1689. The last of the Mackays' Scottish estates including Scourie were sold in 1829, although the name is still common in the area.
The nearby island of Handa is a nature reserve and the site of a large seabird colony, including puffins, skuas, guillemots and razorbills. The Scourie estate is owned by Dr Jean Balfour. The palm trees in the grounds of Scourie House next to the harbour are claimed to be the most northerly specimens in the world not grown in artificial conditions. However, this is a popular misconception. The "palms" in the grounds are actually Cordyline australis, a native New Zealand tree which is found in lowland and montane areas. In the UK it is commonly referred to as "Torbay palm" or "Cornwall palm".
Being on the popular North Coast 500 (NC500) scenic route, the village has accommodation for tourists in several small hotels, including the Scourie Hotel, and Bed and Breakfasts and a campsite. However, all are closed from October to March apart from Scourie Guest House and "Scourie Lodge" which are open all year. Off season, nearby shopping/eating is in Ullapool.
Fishing is a popular attraction due to the large number of freshwater lochs in the remote area.
- Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland
- Scottish Parliament Place Names Reference Archived 2008-05-29 at the Wayback Machine
- "Area Information for Scourie, Lairg, Scotland, IV27 4TB". streetcheck.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
- Bangor Jones, Malcolm. "From Clanship to Crofting; Land Ownership, Economy and the Church in the Province of Strathnaver" (PDF). ssns.org.uk. Page 51. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
- ConFor. "2015 - Drs Jean Balfour and Bob McIntosh « Award for Dedicated Service to Forestry « ConFor". www.confor.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-09-26.
- "Cabbage tree in England".
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