Loch Fleet

Highland | Golspie | Nature reserve & castle | ★★

[Loch Fleet's lower estuary from The Mound]

Loch Fleet is a coastal wildlife reserve based around the estuary of the River Fleet between Dornoch and Golspie. The estuary was cut in two by the construction of a long road causeway, known as The Mound, across the tidal wetland by Thomas Telford in the early 19th century. Telford installed an ingenious set of sluice gates where the River Fleet passed underneath The Mound, which let freshwater out of the upstream part of the estuary at low tide, but automatically prevent seawater from flowing in the other direction at high tide. Over the last 200 years, the upper estuary has been transformed into an important freshwater habitat and alder woodland, in contrast to the saline lower estuary. There are good views of both parts from near the car park on The Mound, with curious seals when we visited. The narrow southern shore road is an excellent place to spot wading birds, overlooked by Skelbo Castle - a ruined keep dating from the 14th century.

[Sluice gates on the River Fleet at The Mound]

Location & info

📌 Loch Fleet NNR ★★
The Mound is on the A9 3 mi southwest of Golspie, G.R.: NH 775982 ///occur.grinning.complains
Always open | Free

📌 Skelbo Castle
Off minor road 4 mi south of Golspie, G.R.: NH 792952 ///dressings.potato.central
Always open | Free

💬 Skelbo Castle is most easily viewed from the roadside, though it is probably possible to get a bit closer on foot.

[Skelbo Castle (15/8/13)]


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