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Loch Eriboll

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Loch Eriboll is a Sea Loch on the north coast of Scotland, 6 miles east of Durness, 73 miles west of John O Groats.

The Loch is popular for its Viewpoint and Deer Island. Postcode: IV27 4UJ.

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The image top is from the southwest side of Loch Eriboll looking north out into the North Atlantic towards the Faroe Islands about 300 miles north, and Greenland about 600 miles north.

The second image is of Ard Neackie, that looks like an Island but is actually connected to the Mainland by a narrow strip of land.

The Viewpoint is at a high point above Ard Neackie, one of those areas in Scotland you just have to spend some time taking in the views.

Deer Island is just over the hill to the north of Ard Neackie. There is a small car park looking down over the Island. At times, there can be up to 20 red deer on the small Island.

Deer Island is in the small Loch Ach'an, that is connected to Loch Eriboll.

The road to Ben Hope Mountain starts 2 miles east of Loch Eriboll. The Mountain can be found by traveling down that Loch Hope road for about 5 miles. This is the furthest north Mountain in Scotland over 3,000ft, with a fairly large car park for the many Hikers, with a well marked walking route up past Waterfalls to the top. Photo Tour of Ben Hope.

Loch Eriboll History

Loch Eriboll is about 16 km / 10 miles long. The road along the north coast of Scotland between Durness and John O Groats would be 75 miles if it were not for this loch. The 15 miles you have to drive around the Loch takes the distance up to 90 miles.

There are Bronze Age and Iron Age remains around the loch.

This is a deep water Loch known to have been used by Ships for many centuries when trying to avoid storms.

Around the Loch are the Crofting areas of Eriboll, Laid, Heilam, Portnancon, and Rispond. These would once have been thriving communities before the Highland Clearances of the early 1800s. Today, they are just a few houses.

1829 - the Sutherland/Stafford family bought most of the land in this area from the Mackay's. They then built Roads to the area and Piers on each side of the Loch to run the Heilam Ferry across the Loch between Portnancon and Ard Neackie.

The Ferry Inn was also built at this time by the pier at Portnancon, although nothing remains of the Inn today.

The Sutherland's cleared many Crofters from the area to make way for large scale sheep farming. Many moving to coastal Towns for Fishing, to Cities, and some to the US, Canada and Australia.

1870s - Limekilns were built on Ard Neackie to make Quick Lime to be used as Mortar for Buildings. The Lime was transported by Ship to be used in Buildings around the UK.

1890s - the Road was completed around the Loch, leading to the closure of the Ferry service.

1940s - the Royal Navy used the Loch during World War II with the mighty Battle Cruiser HMS Hood being based here.

1944 - Eilean Choraidh, largest Island in the Loch, was used by British Bombers for Target Practice before their Attack on the mighty German Battleship Tirpitz that was anchored in a Norwegian Fjord.

1945 - the German surrender at the end of World War II led to their remaining 33 U-boats being taken to Loch Eriboll.

2011 - the Loch was used for the largest War Games ever held in the UK, involving the Navy's assault ship HMS Bulwark, used to land Marines on land.

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