Brora is a lovely coastal village on the east coast of Scotland in the county of Sutherland, in the Highlands of Scotland. Brora has beautiful sandy beaches, a small harbour, and a golf course that has scenic views. Brora is under 6 miles from the historic castle at Dunrobin, a popular tourist attraction in the north of Scotland and close to the historic village of Badbea, one of Scotland’s Clearance villages.
The small harbour is tidal, built beside the River Brora, and can be affected by prevailing winds and high tides. The harbour is used by local boats for leisure and crab, lobster and prawn fishing. The River Brora is a good salmon river and reasonably priced day tickets can be purchased locally for the lower tidal stretch of the river. There is also fishing on the nearby Loch Brora for trout and salmon – see Facebook page for Loch Brora Angling Club.
The golf course overlooks the sandy beach and follows the coastline, it is one of James Braid courses and has not been changed much from when it was laid out by this great golf course designed in 1923. This is an 18-hole championship course that welcomes visitors throughout the year. Visit the Brora Golf Club website for more information on the course and details on playing this golf course.
Looking over the River Brora and tidal harbour entrance to the beautiful sandy beach at Brora and the Brora 18-hole golf course. Access to the beach is from the Brora Golf Club car park with paths to beach.
Salt was manufactured using salt pans from around 1590, the salt being used to preserve fish, probably salmon at the earliest dates and then herring.
Brora harbour was built in 1814 for the Sutherland Estate, for shipping coal, and latterly the fishing industry. It is still an active harbour mostly for lobster, crab and prawn fishing boats, read more about the harbour.
Brora Salt Pans – Brora has a long industrial history with coal mined being used locally for running a distillery, a woollen mill, a brick works and being used to evaporate salt water (using salt pans heated by coal fires), leaving salt that was used to fish, both locally and throughout the east coast of Scotland (Wick, Helmsdale and elsewhere herring was landed and preserved). The preserved Salmon and herring was exported to Europe. The origins of coal mining and salt panning dates from the 1590’s – with the industry being revived at different times. The last coal was mined in 1974. References - Brora coal mining, Brora Salt Pans, Brora Back Beach Salt Pans Excavation report (pdf).
The Brora Clock Tower is a War Memorial to the local people who lost their lives in the two World Wars and also in the more recent Gulf War. The Memorial for made the parish of Clyne to remember those who fell in the Great War of 1914-1918. It was unveiled and dedicated at Brora, on Christmas Day, 25th December, 1922. It is situated next to the A9 road near the bridge that crosses over the River Brora. The IWM has details on this memorial along with a list of names shown.
Close to Brora is the Highland Clearance Village of Badbea, abandoned in 1912 it used to house people who were moved to the area during the Highland Clearances in the late 1780's onwards, to make room for the more profitable sheep, as sheep brought in more money to the the highland estates than the rental from the highland estate families. For pictures and information on the highland village of Badbea.