Bonar Bridge Travel Guide

  • Bonar Bridge
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  • Spanning the history
    Spanning the history
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  • Summer Colours
    Summer Colours
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Bonar Bridge Things to Do

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    by scottishvisitor Updated Nov 27, 2008

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    The day we visited Bonar was hot with blue skies which would have been more at home in Greece than Scotland, I had spotted the Clock Tower so nothing else to do we wandered up Kirk Brae to check out the Church which stood high above the village. We were not disappointed by our find, Creich Parish Church or to give it its Gaelic name of Craoich has a wonderful clock tower and is very picture perfect. The name Creich refers to the Parish which extends west along thirty five miles along the left bank of the Kyle. The clock was made in Nottingham maybe a place for clock makers? Surprisingly the Church was built in 1913 just before WWl when money was not in plentiful supply. Even from the outside (the Church was closed during our visit) the stained glass windows were very decorative even if we had to read the inscriptions in mirror image. The long walk up the hill was worth the effort to see this Parish Kirk.

    Greek Sky surrounds the tower
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    by scottishvisitor Updated Nov 24, 2008

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    The village of Bonar Bridge was named just Bonar before the building of the bridge. It dates back to the 1300's when an Iron Foundry was established here to take advantage of the iron ore which was dragged here from the West Coast. Today you see no relics of the iron industry just a sleeply little village with one main street dispaying pastel coloured buildings on one side and the natural scenes of the Kyle of Sutherland on the other side which have been here since time began. As well as the pretty pastel coloured shops and houses you will also see some fine examples of Victorian architecture with their stepped gables end buildings. Bonar Bridge is not a tourist place but more a practical place in these remote parts. The village provides almost everything a tourist may need to continue travelling around Sutherland. If you do cross the bridge here you will come to Ardgay where you can follow the thirty three mile walk which goes from East Coast to West Coast ending at the head of Loch Broom at Ullapool. We did travel from coast to coast but didn't walk - the road journey is much longer in miles but you do see much more of this area.

    White & Pink Buildings Kyle of Sutherland Directions The Kyle & Grasses Lairg Road
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    by scottishvisitor Updated Nov 23, 2008

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    We arrived at Bonar Bridge from Lairg so we had no need to cross this bridge. The bridge dominates this small unassuming village as it spans the Kyle of Sutherland in clean lines and a certain beauty especially on our visit when it was framed by blue sky. The original bridge, designed by Thomas Telford, who incidently designed planned villages and bridges throughout the Highlands, was constructed in 1812 and opened in November of that year. Its fate fell to flooding in 1892 and was rebuilt in 1893. The Bonar Bridge we see today was opened on the 14th. of December 1973. The building of the Dornoch Firth Bridge in the 1980's saw the village of Bonar fall back in the visitors stakes, the Dornoch Bridge was build much nearer the sea and cut off twenty miles of journey time to the far North. On the village side of the bridge there is an interesting display of stone and iron plaques spanning the history of the bridges which have graced the Kyle here in Sutherland. There is a nice seating area where you can watch for the emerging traffic or really just a few lorries and cars which cross in very small numbers, but good to know the Bonar Bridge is still in use and makes such a pretty crossing.

    Spanning the history Summer Colours
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Bonar Bridge Hotels

  • Dunroamin Hotel

    Lairg Road, Bonar Bridge, Bonar Bridge, IV24 3EA,

    Satisfaction: Poor

    Good for: Families

Bonar Bridge Restaurants

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    by scottishvisitor Updated Nov 25, 2008

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    Getting back to Bonar on a second evening we hoped to visit the Bridge Hotel again but were out of luck. It was shut which surprised me as there are only two places to eat and this was a busy evening after the village gala. Our only option for our hungry stomachs was the nearby Dunroamin Hotel but I was almost put of by the name of this hotel = Why not call it stay put? Anyway as it turned out this was a good choice. The decor was nothing to write home about just some tables along one side and some comfy seating on the other. Oh how I wanted a comfy seat after a long day but these were already occupied so I had to make do with a table. The waitress came with the menus fairly swiftly and our drinks were served, this place was so busy with locals and some tourists we were in for a long wait.

    Favorite Dish: After seeing other peoples steaming dishes arrive and go we were at last treated to some food. The food was served in large portions in deep white dishes. Kenny enjoyed the beef and ale pie topped with fluffy crisp pastry with green vegetables and potatoes while I enjoyed the mince and tatties served with dumpling. The food was well cooked and very wholesome, the service first class but the wait awful long. Do try this place if ever you have the chance but don't pick Gala Day!!

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    by scottishvisitor Updated Nov 25, 2008

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    The Bridge Hotel Restaurant has a cosy comfortable feel with natural stone decoration. I did think the black carpet with the name emblazoned along its length and breadth was a tad too much but would ensure no one would want to steal this and it did give us a bit of a chuckle. We ate in the bar area but did investigate the lounge with its most comfortable sofas and solid wooden tables which reminded me of old fashioned shipping crates.

    Favorite Dish: Kenny ordered the steak sizzler with baked potato and side salad. It was funny when the sizzle plate arrived as the waitress was more than a bit worried the heat rising from the steak would set of the smoke alarm, she kept flapping a tea towel at the sensor which had me in fits of giggles. I was glad I had chosen the cold chicken salad which didn't add to heat and smoke but all was well the alarm stayed quiet. We both ordered Cranachan for dessert, whenever I see this on a sweet menu I can never resist its fruity charms. Cranachan is always served in a glass of some sort a delectable dish layered with roasted oat meal topped with fresh raspberries then smothered with thick fresh cream, the dish is sweetened with heather honey and ours contained a dash of Talisker single malt whisky. A small shortbread round is served along with this but I didn't bother to count the calories because oatmeal is very healthy. Service here was with a warm friendly smile - producing great food with a local touch, we finished our meal sitting outside in the warm evening sunshine with a cup of coffee chatting to two other patrons who were on a fishing trip and wanted some rain - Ah well you can't have it all!

    Why the Bridge? Flaming Steak The name on the carpet Cosy Corner Well named hotel
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  • Bonar Bridge Hotels

    1 Hotels in Bonar Bridge

Bonar Bridge Shopping

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    by scottishvisitor Updated Nov 25, 2008

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    Looking in the window of this hardware shop we spotted a dog harness - a most unexpected find! We had bought a dog harness for Cuileann in Aberdeen just before we ventured to Sutherland but we had forgotten to add it in our packing list! This shop was so crammed full of all things necessary for all eventualities and occassions. Everything was displayed either on the counter or behind it - no self service here! The sights and smells of this hardware shop took me back to my childhood and I still gazed in wonder at the simple things like shiney buttons on card and yards of pretty hair ribbon.

    What to buy: The shop's slogan was 'If you want it - we probably sell it - just ask' It certainly lived up to its claim. I already knew I wouldn't find a pet store in any of the places we visited so I was happy to buy the harness which despite its cheap price ticket of 4.99 actually worked and stopped my dog from hauling us around.

    What to pay: I found their prices a lot cheaper than many large supermarkets - maybe having a little stock of a lot of items holds prices down.

    Midge Repellant All kinds of everything
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Bonar Bridge Local Customs

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    by scottishvisitor Updated Nov 25, 2008

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    We had seen the advertising for the Gala due to be held on the first Saturday in August on an earlier visit but we had thought we would miss it as we intended to go somewhere else that day. However, we did arrive back in Bonar for an evening meal and caught the last sights of the village gala. We heard the pipes on arrival so followed the tune to the centre of the village. Pipers on displays after the march past usually stand in a circle with their backs to the audience - this way you usually get a good view of the kilt. The weather had changed to a light drizzle which caused us a little disappointment to see the pipers covered up with a two part cape. Well kilts are expensive and rain can do much damage to the woollen material hence the cover up. I don't know which tartan the pipers were sporting on the occassion but I do know it was green because of the flashes on the socks and the capes which usually match the general colour of the kilt.

    Piping in the rain Gala announcement raining pipers
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