Things to See and Do

Helmsdale is a very active community and there is a lot to see and do, below are a few suggestions to get you started on your journey.


The emigrants statue

The Emigrants statue is situated in Couper Park, adjacent to the A9.  The statue can be accessed by a path from the A9 and from the village itself.

The statue is dedicated to the people who were forced to leave the land and travelled far and wide to rebuild their lives.




The harbour is at the mouth of the River Helmsdale and was built in 1818 in response to the increased number of boats due the herring boom.

The harbour remains in use by local fishermen and is very popular place to walk around with a beach nearby.




Gold panning

Baile an Or was the location for the gold rush that took place in 1869.

Baile an Or can be reached by car, approximately 20 minutes or by train to Kinbrace followed by a walk of a mile.

Gold panning equipment can be hired or purchased in the village from Timespan. 

Timespan is a cultural centre that contains a museum telling a story from the harbour to the hills.  It has the only contemporary art gallery in the county which has six exhibitions a year which follow the organisations annual themes.  

The archive contains more than eleven thousand items donated by the local community and contains genealogy information of many of the local families.

The River Cafe offers home baking and light lunches with some outdoor seating by the river enabling you to watch the wildlife close up.

The gift shop has a wide variety from childrens' toys to local pottery.

The Ice House

Helmsdale originally had two ice houses, one down by the harbour which sadly has been demolished and this one beside the war memorial.  which was used for the preserving and packing of salmon. The ice house, built into a natural hillside and consists of an ante chamber where packing took place and a vaulted room where the ice was stored. The roof was covered with a layer of soil and turf, giving better insulation.

Thomas Telford Bridge
Thomas Telford was a famous 18th Century Scottish Civil Engineer, and is renowned for building, roads, bridges and canals in Scotland and England.  This bridge was the main road in and out of Helmsdale up until the 1970's when it was replaced by the new bridge.

Walks in and around Helmsdale
You have a choice of walks along the beach, along the river bank or on the hills.   

Shopping in Helmsdale
Spar (convenience shop), Dunrobin Street
Gifted, (gifts, greetings cards) Dunrobin Street

Glencoast, Dunrobin Street, (tackle, clothing and Gin) @tacklecountry
Thistle and Rose, Dunrobin Street
The Garrison, (crafts and gifts) Shore Street
Timespan, (gifts, books, pottery, prints, scarves) Dunrobin Street
Second Hand Shop/Bric a Brac, Dunrobin Street