The Sutors of Cromarty

The Black Isle has many photogenic spots and this morning I got up with the larks to try and photograph the sunrise over the Sutors of Cromarty. It was a bit murky and the sunrise didn’t amount to spectacular skies, but sea and sky still provided some drama.


The Sutors of Cromarty are two opposing headlands which mark the entrance to the Cromarty Firth. The North Sutor rises to 147 m, while the South Sutor reaches 140m.

The Sutors stand guard over the firth, and many stories have been told about them. Sutor is the Scots word for shoemaker, and one story tells of two giant shoemakers, the sutors, who used the two cliffs as their workbenches, and tossed their tools to and fro between one another.

Both the North Sutor and South Sutor carry the remains of substantial military gun emplacements, coastal batteries built in the early 20th century to protect and defend the naval anchorage in the firth, which saw service during both World War I and, to a lesser degree, World War II, but was abandoned by the 1950s. Built before the outbreak of World War I, this protection included elaborate defences to protect the firth from U-Boats, including not only the batteries, but a Boom Defence and Minefield, together with Lookout and Observation Posts, and Searchlight Batteries.

There is a nice circular walk around the South Sutor. You can find instructions on the WalkHighlands website here.


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