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Gaelic: An Luirg
Village of Lairg in the Highlands.jpg
Grid reference: NC582064
Location: 58°1’12"N, 4°24’0"W
Population: 700
Post town: Lairg
Postcode: IV27
Dialling code: 01549
Local Government
Council: Highland
Caithness, Sutherland
and Easter Ross

Lairg is a parish in Sutherland, the village after which it is named lying at the south-eastern end of Loch Shin. A small but charming village, it has a population of about 700 souls.

Lairg is unusual for the northern Highlands, if not unique, in being a sizeable settlement that is not on the coast. Its relatively large size for Sutherland is partly due to its having being provided during the 19th century with a railway station, on what is now called the Far North Line, the hope being that it would "open up" the north-west of Sutherland.

The village is an important centre for sheep sales, and in August hosts the largest livestock auction in Europe.[1]

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

Current proposals reviewing rail routes to the north of Inverness include the creation of a direct rail link to the town of Dornoch by way of a new bridge and an old branch line, which would leave Lairg isolated on a circuitous alternative loop away from the main route. The idea is to enable very fast trains to serve the remote towns of Thurso and Wick in reasonable time, and establish a viable connection with the Caledonian Sleeper at Inverness, to make business in these centres more viable, although reducing Lairg's connections to a "slow service" might well be detrimental to the local economy. However, given the huge costs involved in constructing a rail crossing over the Dornoch Firth and the complete lack of enthusiasm for the project from government powers it seems extremely unlikely that this proposal will ever become reality.


Lairg railway station lies on the picturesque Far North Line, north of Invershin and west of Rogart.

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


Outside links